Lucky for veteran Carrington coach Andy Braaten, his 5-foot-10 senior forward brought a lunch pail with her to the gym.
Hagel led a balanced flock of Cardinals with 14 points and nine rebounds Monday at the Jamestown Civic Center while guarding District 5 senior athlete of the year Sadie Hansen, leading Carrington to a 58-44 victory over Oakes in the championship game of the District 5 tournament.
Drawing the tough defensive assignments, while crashing the boards, scoring points, and also being asked to help with ball-handling duties in the backcourt, is all part of a day’s work for Hagel. But basketball is a team game, and the Carrington senior — along with guard Lexus Page and forward Kenzie Edland — isn’t one to put herself out in front of her teammates.
“It takes a team … it’s not just me,” said Hagel, deflecting credit. “It’s definitely a tough position, but it works out in the end, I guess. We worked hard and finished it.”
Carrington’s Hannah Hagel (35) leaps to the basket over Laikyn Roney (4) of Oakes during the championship game of the District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Carrington, a team that’s been represented in the state’s top 10 media ranking most of the season, improved to 16-5 and will play Medina/Pingree-Buchanan at 6 p.m. next Monday in the opening round of the Region 3 tournament back at the civic center.
Oakes, another team that’s flirted with the state’s top 10 all winter, will take on Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter at 4:30 p.m.
Carrington’s length and physicality bothered a younger Oakes squad in the district title tilt. The Tornadoes’ lone senior, Hansen, is supported by sophomores Brynn Dethlefsen, Laikyn Roney and Emma Muggli, and junior Abigail Cox, in coach Brennan Hack’s starting five.
Hansen was able to produce 20 of Oakes’ 44 points, but the rest of the Tornadoes struggled to find offensive opportunities that stuck against the red birds. Even Hansen’s 20 felt quiet, as she banked in both a 3-pointer and a long jumper from the top of the key in an opening half won by Carrington 30-24.
“Their length bothered us tonight,” said Hack. “We could just never quite get going and Carrington had a lot to do with that. They, defensively, played pretty well tonight and their shots went in and ours didn’t.”
Carrington’s Sydnie Grager makes a turn towards the defensive pressure of Emma Muggli of Oakes during the championship game of the District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Oakes was limited to 35% shooting on 45 shots, also having to navigate Carrington’s 5-11 Sydnie Grager in the post along with Hagel. Grager scored 11, blocked two shots, and finished with only three fouls after picking up two early in the game and sitting the final 1:47 of the opening quarter.
Hagel scored six points in the first eight minutes and four Oakes turnovers helped the Cards lead by as many as seven before the second. Carrington pushed the advantage to as many as 14 before Oakes closed the half on a 9-2 run to trail 30-24 at the half.
But Oakes’ success was short-lived. Roney and Muggli combined to score 12 points in the first half and just four after the break.
“I thought we got in front of their dribble-drive a little bit better in the second half,” Carrington coach Braaten said. “The first half we had Roney on a bounce and Sadie on a bounce a few times and they got to the rim, and Muggli did, too. We told the kids we have to be better off the bounce when they’re going to the rim and I thought we did a better job there clogging things up.”
Carrington was also incredibly difficult to guard Monday night. Page buried a pair of 3-pointers and scored 13, Grager tossed in 11, Edland 10 and Emma Rindy — a 5-4 junior guard — paired eight points with eight rebounds.
“That’s pretty picture-perfect,” Braaten said. “That’s how you draw it up, and timely buckets. You get to 10 points and that’s a tough lead to come back (from).”
Sadie Hansen (34) of Oakes looks to the basket as she is surrounded by the Carrington defense of Sydnie Grager (30), Hannah Hagel and Kenzie Edland, right, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, during the championship game of the District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Oakes got to within six points of the lead just once after the break as Carrington led by as many as 16 and largely controlled the second half. Carrington shot 46% from the field (23 of 50), one night after shooting 28% en route to scoring a season-low 37 in a win over Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier.
“Definitely better than the other night,” Hagel laughed. “That was rough.”
Hack said he’s been impressed by Hansen’s leadership this season, as she’s helped guide a team of largely inexperienced players to 14 wins and next week’s regional.
“All the credit to her this year, bringing in four other girls that didn’t have a whole lot of varsity experience up to this point,” Hack said. “She basically took them and taught them what to do out there and to gel as a team. She’s one of those kids that as a coach you dream of having. “
Oakes needed overtime to get past Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter — next week’s opponent — 54-50 back on Jan. 18.
“No matter if we won or lost tonight, we locked in what our goal was at the start of the season to get to regionals,” Hack said. “Once you get there, it’s anybody’s ballgame. We’ve gotta get our efficiency back. Those little shots in the middle that normally go in for us just bounced around tonight and didn’t go in, and I think Hannah and Sydnie had a lot to do what that, too.”
Carrington won its first district title since 2018 and is looking to get back to the state Class B tournament for the first time since 2016. The Cards have since placed runner-up twice.
“I think we just gotta take it one game at a time,” Hagel said. “Just focus on that one team and keep going on to the next.”
Carrington will be looking to avenge an earlier 45-42 loss suffered against Medina/Pingree-Buchanan. MPB lost standout freshman guard Allison Thomas to a season-ending knee injury in the Thunder’s very next game back in January.
“We’ll rest tomorrow and then get back to work on Wednesday,” Braaten said. “We know Region 3 is solid as ever.”
District 5 Girls Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
(RV) Carrington 58, (RV) Oakes 44
OAK 9 15 13 7 — 44
CAR 14 16 16 12 — 58
OAK — Sadie Hansen 20, Laikyn Roney 10, Emma Muggli 6, Brynn Dethlefsen 5, Abigail Cox 3. Totals: 16-45 FG, 2-9 3-pointers (Dethlefsen, Hanson), 10-15 FT, 26 Rebounds (Roney 7, Cox 6), 13 Fouls, 6 Assists (Dethlefsen 2, Roney 2), 10 Turnovers, 1 Block (Muggli), 8 Steals (Roney 3).
CAR — Hannah Hagel 14, Lexus Page 13, Sydnie Grager 11, Kenzie Edland 10, Emma Rindy 8, Haley Wolsky 2. Totals: 23-50 FG, 3-12 3-pointers (Page 2, Rindy), 9-11 FT, 30 Rebounds (Hage 9, Rindy 8), 13 Fouls, 6 Assists (Page 3), 11 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Grager 3), 8 Steals (3 with 2)
Records: Carrington 16-5. Oakes 14-5.
(Seeds in parenthesis)
G1: (4) Edgeley/KM 44, (5) Griggs-Midkota 39
G2: (2) Oakes 66, (7) Barnes Co. North 28
G3: (3) LaMoure/LM 54, (6) Ellendale 47
G4: Ellendale 43, Barnes Co. North 30
G5: (1) Carrington 37, Edgeley/KM 25
G6: Oakes 68, LaMoure/LM 39
Region 3 qualifier: LaMoure/LM 65, Griggs-Midkota 48
Region 3 qualifier: Edgeley/KM 52, Ellendale 36
Championship: Carrington 58, Oakes 44
District 6 Girls Basketball Tournament
At Linton High School
(Seeds in parenthesis)
G1: (4) Medina/PB 51, (5) South Border 31
G2: (3) Napoleon/GS 61, (6) Strasburg/Zeeland 30
G3: (1) Linton/HMB 68, Medina/PB 22
G4: (2) Kidder County 62, Napoleon/GS 27
Region 3 qualifier: Napoleon/GS 55, South Border 31.
Region 3 qualifier: Medina/PB 59, Strasburg/Zeeland 36
Championship: Linton/HMB 49, Kidder Co. 32
Region 3 Girls Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
Linton/HMB vs. Edgeley/KM, 3 p.m.
Oakes vs. Napoleon/GS, 4:30 p.m.
Carrington vs. Medina/PB, 6 p.m.
Kidder Co. vs. LaMoure/LM, 7:30 p.m.
District 5 Awards
Hannah Hagel, Carrington; Lexus Page, Carrington; Sadie Hansen, Oakes; Laikyn Roney, Oakes; Molly Musland, LaMoure/LM; Mollie Robbins, LaMoure/LM; Mataeya Mathern, EKM; Ashley McFadgen, BCN; Asia Becherl, Griggs-Midkota; Abigail Molan, Ellendale.
Senior athlete of the year: Sadie Hansen, Oakes
Coach of the year: Andy Braaten, Carrington
Athletic director of year: Adam Schlepp, Kulm