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Kadoun siblings help Sargent County teams make history

Mar. 16—MILNOR, N.D. — The 2023-24 campaign for both Sargent County basketball teams has been a historic one and there is one set of siblings that get to experience the moments together.

The Kadoun siblings, Kolten and Karleigh, have both played a major role in their team's trips to the state tournament.

This season, Kolten is averaging 6.1 points per game with 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists as of March 13.

During her sophomore season, Karleigh averaged 18.5 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

"The hard work is paying off, fundamentals, chemistry with my whole team since we've been playing together for so long, those weekend tournaments and everything's finally come together and paying off," Kolten said.

In order to play as well as she did, Karleigh said she worked hard in the offseason and put up extra shots in practice.

The Bulldogs girls' basketball team won the Region 1 title and finished third in the state tournament with Karleigh hitting the game-winning shot in a 45-44 victory over Bowman County. Kadoun said the shot felt good out of her hand and it was a great feeling to see it go in.

"It means a lot. I love watching my sister succeed and the role she has made on her team, watching her make it to the state tournament and win a couple games there, it was huge," Kolten said. "It means a lot being able to see it like that."

The Bulldogs boys' basketball team also won the Region 1 title and opened their state tournament on Thursday, March 14, against Bishop Ryan. The Bulldogs made their first trip to the state tournament since Milnor made it in 2013.

"It's the most amazing thing ever," Karleigh said. "It's one thing to get to state yourself but to see your brother and the boys succeed as well going to the state is such a big thing for our community, fans and everyone. It's just awesome to see especially in the same year and as a sister, I've always looked up to him so it's awesome to see him going to state as well."

Kolten said the siblings are very close and have gotten closer as they've gotten older.

"We're really close," Kolten said. "I mean going to the same high school and just working together since we were little kids, the bond has gotten stronger going throughout the years. It means so much see her succeed and how she's grown as a basketball player and how she's doing all around."

As they prepared for the state tournament, Kolten said he and his teammates were dreaming of winning the state tournament.

Karleigh said the three communities are fully behind both teams and it means a lot to those communities that the teams are having as much success as they have had.

"I think it means everything to them seeing all us kids succeed and doing something extraordinary," Kolten said. "I think they appreciate it a lot and how far we've come as teams in the last few years."

Since her state tournament was before the boys' big dance, Karleigh was able to give her brother advice about what it would be like.

"I just told him to go out there and his nerves will fade away as soon as the clock starts," Karleigh said. "So I told him to go out there have fun and play his heart out."

While they were preparing for their postseason, Kolten said seeing the Bulldogs girls team succeed motivated the boys team to copy their success.

"It definitely lit a fire under us and it kicked us into that next gear knowing that they did it and we're able to do it too," Kolten said. "We just gotta do some hard work let it pay off."

Karleigh said her brother's best skills are his defense, energy and work ethic. Kolten said his sister's best skills are her ability to shoot the basketball and her unselfishness.

The two practice regularly and play each other one-on-one, which Karleigh said helps both of their games.

"I think I could take her pretty easy but she gives me a good run sometimes," Kolten said.

Karleigh said making the tournament this year fuels her and her teammates to get back there. Karleigh said she expects to take on a bigger role with the graduation of Amber Kjar and Halle Nelson.