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Five Thoughts: Mandan at Bismarck Century

02/13/2024, 10:30pm CST
By Chuck Thompson

1) It certainly wasn't easy, but led by stellar defense throughout and fending off a 2nd half charge from Mandan, Bismarck Century was able to move to 14-1 on the season and remain undefeated at home. Gritty win for Century who played without 2nd leading scorer Zoie Austin (5'8" 2025 Guard) due to illness and losing Ashlyn Buchholz (5'8" 2025 Guard) during the game to injury.

2) Eden Fridley (5'9" 2024 Guard) of Century really impressed. The UMary Women's Basketball commit is the teams leading scorer (just under 15 PPG) and a skilled shot maker. Finished with 11 points, including key baskets whenever Mandan made a push. Great shot mechanics and has deep range off the wings. One of the best players I've evaluated this week, think Coach Neumann really did a good job keeping Fridley in-state for college.

3) Even on a night when shots wouldn't fall, Mandan's McKenna Johnson (6'2" 2025 Forward) impacts the game and finds a way to produce at a high level. When you average 15 PPG and 12 RPG that shows the level of consistency Johnson brings night in, night out. Led the way for Mandan with 11 points. The way she scored shows her versatility. Had a score off the right block with a step-through, a curl cut to get an easy touch and score and a nice finish on a mid-lane jumper. Division I talent who has strong Mid-Major offers on the board and only getting better.

4) Olivia Klimpel of Century (5'10" 2027 Forward) really made a strong impression. Finished with a team-best 13 points and had an attacking mentality with the ball in her hands. Excellent attacks off the baseline, including a nice jumper and a runner. Always nice when a young name pops onto your radar, I think Klimpel is a player college coaches will need to get onto their radars, she has a nice game and really looks like she's about to take a big step up in her game.

5) Another young Guard who made a great impression was Mandan's Sarah Helderop (5'6" 2026 Guard). Both teams had a tough time getting their offenses going early, a lot of that credit does go to the two defenses, but Helderop was the player that got Mandan back on track. Did a nice job getting downhill on drives, both from the wings and the corners as well. Didn't back down from traffic. Finished with 9 for Mandan.

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