HENNING, MN - The North Dakota State women's basketball team hopes its found a hidden gem in its own backyard.
Henning senior guard Ellie Dague announced on Twitter Wednesday evening her commitment to the Bison. Dague is 5-10 and is coming off a sensational junior year where she averaged nearly 21 points per game as the Hornets reached the Minnesota Class A state basketball tournament for the first time.
"I'm excited for her and proud of her as she's had quite the journey. To lead us to that first state tourney despite the way it ended was such a great thing for our school and community." Henning head coach Mike Hepola said.
The road to a Division I scholarship has been a winding one for Dague. In December of 2017 Dague suffered a high ankle sprain that plagued her for the rest of her freshman season. The hits kept on coming for Dague, who then tore her ACL in the spring of 2018 while playing AAU basketball for one of the top teams in Minnesota, North Tartan.
Dague's rehab finally ended this winter and now healthy, led Henning to its best season in school history. Dague became the all-time leading scorer in school history as the Hornets captured their first section championship, beating West Central Area to reach the state tournament. Dague was sensational on that night, scoring 32 points.
Dague said that night: "I just didn’t want us to lose. I was going to help the team whatever way I could, whether it was making the right pass, scoring, getting fouled, playing good defense. It was anything to get the win.”
I am excited to announce my commitment to continue my academic and basketball career at North Dakota State University!! I want to thank my parents, teammates and coaches for guiding me along this journey. I cannot wait to become a bison! #HornsUp 💚💛 pic.twitter.com/XazflLBP2S— Ellie Dague (@EllieDague) July 8, 2020
Henning wasn't done and neither was Dague. She poured in 22 points in the Hornets Class A quarterfinal win over Fillmore Central to secure a spot in the state semifinals and a chance to play on statewide television. That all ended the next day when the Minnesota State High School League canceled the tournament.
Despite Dague's injuries, she's been a highly touted 2021 prospect. She held offers from Indiana State and St. Thomas besides her NDSU offer. "I'm looking forward to cheering on the Bison, but looking forward more to another high school season and hopefully reaching our goals." Hepola said.
A major goal was just checked off for Dague and Henning. She becomes the first commitment for North Dakota State for the Class of 2021.