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Becoming a Christian does not make life easier. Becoming a Christian makes you acceptable to God. Therefore, we can endure rotten things with joy because our biggest problem has been solved.

- Todd Friel


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Three finalists have been chosen for the North Dakota Miss Basketball award.....

    JAMESTOWN, ND - Three finalists have been chosen for the North Dakota Miss Basketball award. Seniors Anna Holen from LaMoure-Litchville-Marion, North Star's Stephanie Miller and Raegan Linster of Fargo Davies have been nominated by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

    Linster, a 5-foot-10 forward, led the Eagles to their first East Region championship in girls basketball last Saturday, posting per-game averages of 16 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals.

    Linster earned East Region senior athlete of the year honors, has scored over 1,000 career points and holds Davies' records for both 3-pointers made in a single game (7) and season (58). The two-time all-East Region selection has committed to Southeastern University (Fla.). Southeastern is the No. 1 overall seed at the NAIA Division II women's basketball tournament currently being played in Sioux City, Iowa. Linster and Fargo Davies (21-3) open the Class A state tournament on Thursday facing Bismarck Legacy at the Fargodome.

    Holen, a 5-8 guard, is a two-time first team all-state honoree who reached 2,001 career points. The Region 3 senior athlete of the year led the Loboes to a third-place state tournament finish as a freshman in 2015, while guiding the team to 95 victories since her eighth-grade season.

    Holen averaged 20.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Also the Class B senior player of the year in volleyball, Holen has committed to University of Jamestown to play volleyball.

    Miller, a 5-7 guard for North Star, helped guide the Bearcats to a pair of Region 4 tournament championships and an overall record of 105-22 as a five-year starter. She posted per-game averages of 21.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.2 steals during her senior season.

    Miller was named Region 4 senior athlete of the year and totaled 1,724 career points. The Bearcats placed second at state in 2017 and third in 2016. Miller will continue her basketball career at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

    The award will be announced after the Class A girls state championship game on Saturday, March 10, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.


    MINOT, ND - The State Super A Basketball Tournament begins today in Fargo.

High School Girls Basketball
    Class A - Fargodome
        First Round
            (W#1) Bismarck Century vs. (E#4) West Fargo Sheyenne, 1 pm
            (E#2) Grand Forks Red River vs. (W#3) Bismarck St. Mary's, 3 pm
            (E#1) Fargo Davies vs. (W#4) Bismarck Legacy, 5 pm
            (W#2) Mandan vs. (E#3) Devils Lake, 7 pm

High School Boys Basketball
    Class A - Scheels Center
        First Round
            (W#1) Bismarck Century vs. (E#4) Grand Forks Red River, 2 pm
            (E#2) Fargo Shanley vs. (W#3) Mandan, 4 pm
            (E#1) West Fargo Sheyenne vs. (W#4) Bismarck St. Mary's, 6 pm
            (W#2) Jamestown vs. (E#3) West Fargo, 8 pm


    MINOT, ND - Six regions in Class B boys basketball will hold semifinals tonight, including Region 6 here in Minot. The other two region, 7 and 8, begin first round today. We'll broadcast the Region 6 semifinals tonight on 106.9 K-Heart and online at

High School Boys Basketball
    Class B

    Region 6 Tournament - Minot State Dome
            Rugby vs Des Lacs-Burlington, 6 pm
            Bishop Ryan vs Our Redeemer's, 7:30 pm


    Region 8 Tournament - Williston State College
        First Round
            (15-1) New Town vs. (16-4) Burke County, 3 pm
            (16-2) Powers Lake vs. (15-3) White Shield, 4:30 pm
            (16-1) Stanley vs. (15-4) Lewis & Clark-North Shore, 6 pm
            (15-2) Mandaree vs. (16-3) Kenmare, 7:30 pm


    Region 7 Tournament - Hazen High School
        First Round
            #1 Beulah vs. #8 Mott-Regent, 3 pm
            #4 Beach vs. #5 Heart River, 4:30 pm
            #2 Dickinson Trinity vs. #7 Killdeer, 6 pm
            #3 Hettinger-Scranton vs. #6 Bowman County, 7:30 pm


    Region 5 Tournament - Bismarck Event Center
            Shiloh Christian vs Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky, 6 pm
            Wilton-Wing vs Standing Rock, 7:30 pm


    Region 4 Tournament - Devils Lake High School
            Four Winds-Minnewauken vs St. John, 6 pm
            Dunseith vs Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich, 7:30 pm


    Region 3 Tournament - Jamestown Civic Center
            Carrington vs Ellendale, 6 pm
            LaMoure-Litchville-Marion vs Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier, 7:30 pm


    Region 2 Tournament - Betty Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks
            Hillsboro-Central Valley vs Park River-Fordville-Lankin, 6 pm
            Grafton vs Thompson, 7:30 pm


    Region 1 Tournament - North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton
            Fargo Oak Grove vs Kindred, 6 pm
            Wyndmere-Lidgerwood vs Maple Valley, 7:30 pm


    GRAND FORKS, ND - North Dakota will play top-seed Montana today at 2 pm in the quarterfinal of the Big Sky Men's Basketball Tournament.  

    Marlon Stewart scored a career-high 29 points with four 3-pointers, Geno Crandall added 18 points and the defending Big Sky Tournament champion Fighting Hawks rallied to beat Montana State 76-74 Tuesday in the first round. Montana State led for much of the game and by 19 points with 11:24 remaining in the second half. But UND scored the next 11 points and tied it at 68 after extending the run to 23-4.

    The Grizzlies swept the regular-season series with the Fighting Hawks.


     NEW YORK (AP) - Theo Pinson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Kenny Williams scored 17 points as No. 12 North Carolina beat Syracuse 78-59 on Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9) face third-seeded Miami on Thursday night in the quarterfinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
     In other college basketball news:
     - Kansas forward Udoka Azubuike sprained his left knee during a scrimmage this week, ruling him out of the Big 12 Tournament and putting his availability for the NCAA Tournament in question. The ninth-ranked and top-seeded Jayhawks open the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said Wednesday that Azubuike hurt the medial collateral ligament in his knee the previous day. Azubuike is averaging 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.
     - Kentucky says freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt is being evaluated on a daily basis after sustaining an unspecified injury in practice. Basketball spokesman Eric Lindsey said via text that the 6-foot-9, 214-pound Vanderbilt was injured Tuesday and his status for Southeastern Conference Tournament is "day-to-day." The fourth-seeded Wildcats play their first game in Friday's quarterfinals at the tournament in St. Louis.

     UNDATED (AP) - Brook Lopez scored 27 points and hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a nine-point lead in the final 90 seconds before rallying back to beat the Orlando Magic 108-107. The game ended with a curious officiating decision. When the Magic inbounded the ball at midcourt after Lopez's free throws, the clock apparently started before anyone had touched the ball. But after video review, the referees ruled the teams must have a jump ball at center court.
    In Wednesday's other NBA action:

     - LeBron James scored 39 points, including nine down the stretch, and dished out 10 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108 after squandering a 16-point lead Wednesday night. James made one off-balanced shot after another in the waning minutes to turn back the Nuggets, who didn't take their first lead of the game until 8:35 remaining on a driving layup by Mason Plumlee.
     - James Harden scored 26 points, Eric Gordon had 18 points and two momentum-swinging 3s in the third quarter, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-99 for their 17th straight win. The Rockets passed the Boston Celtics for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.
     - Fred VanVleet's jumper from the left corner with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Toronto Raptors to a 121-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons. DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points for the Raptors, who became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff berth this season.
     - Anthony Davis scored 17 points before rolling his left ankle and leaving in the third quarter, and the New Orleans Pelicans matched a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, beating the Sacramento Kings 114-101 on Wednesday. Davis went down after battling Sacramento's Kosta Koufos for a rebound. The five-time All-Star winced and grabbed at his ankle before slowly getting to his feet. Davis remained in the game briefly before leaving.
     - Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn added 21 apiece, and the Chicago Bulls hung on to hand the Memphis Grizzlies their 15th straight loss, 119-110. The Bulls saw a 21-point lead whittle to one but came away with their fourth win in 18 games.
     - Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell finished with 20 points and six assists, and the Utah Jazz snapped the Indiana Pacers' four-game winning streak with a 104-84 victory. The Jazz improved to 15-2 over their last 17 games. Ricky Rubio finished with 18 points and seven assists for Utah, and reserve Jae Crowder added 16 points. Joe Ingles had 11 points and 10 assists.

     BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski scored three minutes apart in the first period and the Calgary Flames snapped a four-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Calgary improved to 1-3-1 in its last five games to gain ground in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.
     Calgary improved to 1-3-1 in its last five games to gain ground in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race. With 76 points, the Flames jumped into 10th place, a point ahead of idle St. Louis, and within one of Los Angeles and Colorado.
     In league action:
     - Derek Stepan scored with 58 seconds left in the third period, leading the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Clayton Keller assisted on the winning goal and also scored in the first period for the Coyotes. Arizona is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games. Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks.
     - Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Pittsburgh has won three straight and moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.
     - Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski scored three minutes apart in the first period and the Calgary Flames snapped a four-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Calgary improved to 1-3-1 in its last five games to gain ground in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.
     CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Kevin Harvick has been stripped of the playoff points he earned for winning at Las Vegas because of violations discovered on his Ford.
     NASCAR ruled Wednesday that Harvick's No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team violated the rule requiring rear window support braces holding the rear window glass rigid, as well as a rule requiring the right side rocker panel extension to be aluminum.
     The penalty is the loss of the seven playoff points Harvick earned for winning Sunday's race and both stages. It was Harvick's second consecutive win of the season.
     Harvick also was docked 20 points. Harvick now has six playoff points instead of the 13 he had earned through three races.
     Crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, and car chief Robert Smith was suspended two races.
     Images of Harvick's popped up on social media with fans wondering if the car was legal because the window appeared altered. Childers has maintained a brace failed.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles have acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks, according to three people familiar with the trade. They tell the Associated Press that Seattle will get wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick. The deal won't be officially announced until the NFL's league year opens next Wednesday.
     Bennett had 8 1/2 sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career. The 32-year-old has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary of just $1.65 million in 2018. That number jumps to $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020.
     In other NFL news:
     - A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks. The Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season's leading tackler. Los Angeles gets the Giants' fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft.
     - The Patriots have released tight end Martellus Bennett, who was due a $2 million roster bonus next week. His release will save New England about $6 million in salary cap space. Bennett joined New England in November of last season after being released by Green Bay for "failing to disclose a physical condition."
     - Oakland Raiders long snapper Jon Condo says the team has told him he won't return in 2018. Condo said on his Twitter account that the Raiders told his agent he won't be back when he becomes a free agent next week. Condo played every game over 11 years with the Raiders.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Seattle Mariners are bringing back Ichiro Suzuki. Seattle finalized a one-year deal with 44-year-old Japanese star on Wednesday after several outfielders got hurt. Suzuki underwent a physical in Seattle on Monday.
     Suzuki spent the first 11 major league season with the Mariners, earning 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP, winning a pair of batting titles and becoming a 10-time All-Star. He was traded to the New York Yankees midway through 2012, played parts of three seasons with the Yankees, then spent three seasons with Miami.
     In other baseball news:
     - Tim Lincecum has passed the physical he needed to finalize his $1 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers. Texas general manager Jon Daniels says the 33-year-old right-hander will be a reliever and could be the Rangers' closer as he attempts to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2016.
     - The Tampa Bay Rays say right-hander Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The 25-year-old is the second top Rays prospect to incur a major elbow injury this spring training. De Leon made his big league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and pitched in one game for Tampa Bay last year, winning at Texas on May 29.

     UNDATED (AP) - Hall of Fame player Ron Francis is out as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes after four years but will remain with the team in another front-office position. New owner Tom Dundon says the team will begin a search for a new GM to report directly to Dundon. Francis will move into a new role as the team's president of hockey operations. The move came a day after Carolina's 6-1 loss at Minnesota.
     - Boston Bruins forward David Backes has been suspended for three games for a shoulder to the head of Detroit's Frans Nielsen. The decision was announced by the league on Wednesday, a day after Backes knocked Nielsen from Boston's 6-5 overtime victory.

     UNDATED (AP) - The NCAA surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year, most of which came from its television deal for the men's basketball tournament, and distributed $560.3 million to Division I schools.
     The NCAA released Wednesday its audited financial statement for September 2016 to August 2017. The media rights deal with CBS and Turner for the tournament was worth $761 million. That increases to $869 million this year.
     The NCAA also was paid $35.75 million from ESPN. The NCAA does not make anything from major college football and the College Football Playoff media rights. Those deals are struck with conferences.
     The NCAA listed $956 million in total expenses leaving it with a surplus of 105.1 million. The previous year, the NCAA reported $995 million in revenue.


   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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