Dickinson plays with pride as Braves win
BISMARCK — Down by 22 points at halftime, the Dickinson High girls basketball team could have thrown in the towel.
Dickinson outscored Mandan by 10 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the halftime deficit.
“We came back out in the second half, got after it and did some things we were trying to do in the first half,” Dickinson head coach Dan Pender said. “When we went back to our man-to-man defense, we really got after it.”
The Braves effectively ended the Midgets’ season with a 64-52 victory during the loser-out game of the West Region Tournament on Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center exhibition hall.
With the loss, six Dickinson seniors stepped off the basketball for the final time — Avery Privratsky, Sydney Gangl, Morgan Dukart, Riley Cooper, Riana Cooper and Sierra Rohr.
“It was tough, because the end of the season is always hard for any senior and this year as my year and it was a really hard knowing it came to an end,” said Riana Cooper, who finished with eight points.
Mandan jumped out to a quick double-digit lead and never looked back. The Braves were 15 of 26 (58 percent) from the field in the first half.
The offensive outpour came from a trio of Braves. McKayla Howling Wolf, Chelsea Peterson and Alicia Weiand each supplied 10-plus points. Peterson also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
“It was nice to see Howling Wolf to get off to a good start,” Mandan head coach Len Stanley said. “Our kids are resilient and they showed up and they wanted to compete. They will live to see another day.”
Mandan’s biggest lead came in the second half at 28 points, but the Midgets started to chip away at the deficit.
Dickinson shot 39 percent in the second half, which was a 12 percent increase from the previous 18 minutes.
The Midgets’ underclassmen had a chance to play some quality minutes against Mandan’s starting varsity lineup.
Dickinson junior forward Meryl Kovacs was the lone player in double figures with 11 points and six rebounds.
At close out the game, Dickinson eighth-grader Lexi Jordheim sank a 3-pointer as time expired. Jordheim finished with six points. Raegan Linster, an eighth-grade guard, supplied seven points and three rebounds. Freshman forward Jayde Lawlar went 4 of 4 for four points from the free-throw line.
“Our young kids have to figure out how many minutes and how many hours they have to put in if they want to get better,” Pender said. “It’s just a physical and faster game. Hopefully, our underclassmen did that. Give our credit to our seniors, they battled the entire time they were in there.”
M: McKayla Howling Wolf 13, Chelsea Peterson 12, Alicia Weiand 10, Miranda Lowman 7, Mackensi Higlin 6, Emily Bendish 5, Shelby Anderson 5, Hannah Hanson 4, Kiara Ogden 2.
D: Meryl Kovacs 11, Riana Cooper 8, Raegan Linster 7, Lexi Jordheim 6, Jayde Lawlar 4, Avery Privratsky 4, Lillie Meduna 3, Morgan Dukart 3, Riley Cooper 2, Olivia Rovig 2, Sydney Gangl 2.
Half: M 42-20. 3-pointers: M 5 (Howling Wolf 3, Weiand 2), D 3 (Riana Cooper 2, Jordheim 1). Free throws: M 15-28, D 15-20. Total fouls: M 18, D 20. Fouled out: M, Anderson. Rebounds: M 33 (Peterson 12), D 44 (Kovacs 6). Assists: M 12 (Peterson 4), D 7 (Linster 2). Steals: M 13 (Howling Wolf 4), D 6 (Riley Cooper 2). Blocks: M 1 (Higlin 1), D 0. Turnovers: M 17, D 27. Records: M 11-10, D 5-17.