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Dickinson staves off Red Devils

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson High senior forward Sydney Gangl, left, drives against a Dawson County (Mont.) defender during a nonconference game on Thursday at DHS gymnasium.

There’s no place like home.

The Dickinson High girls basketball team celebrated its first win of the season in front of its home crowd on Thursday.

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The Midgets defeated Dawson County (Mont.) 53-45 in a nonconference game at DHS Gymnasium and showed off its improving team. The team played with enthusiasm to grab an early lead and never relinquished it the entire game.

“We played good,” senior forward Sydney Gangl said. “We pushed the ball up the floor and around the court and we moved the ball pretty good.”

Senior guard Riley Cooper added: “We did a lot of fundamental things right. Our main goal is to push the ball up the floor and I think we did that pretty well tonight.”

Dickinson junior guard Lillie Meduna was fouled 12 seconds into the game and went 1 of 2 from the free throw. The early lead was a sign of good things to come. The Midgets (1-1) outscored the Red Devils 16-6 in nearly the first nine minutes of the game.

Cooper was all over the court during the half and contributed six points during the run and completed the half with 11 points. She finished with game-high 18 points and went 8 of 15 from the field.

The Midgets went into halftime with a 15-point, 34-19, lead. However, in the second half, the Red Devils had an instant wave of energy and took to the court ready to put up a fight against the Midgets.

“I was really proud of the way the girls performed,” Dawson head coach Kayla Rivas said. “They could have given up in the second half. We went into the second half down 15, I told them at the half the first two possessions are very important and they won both of those.”

Dawson won the first two possessions and started to close the point gap. The Midgets didn’t score their first points of the half until Cooper hit a jump shot three minutes in.

The Red Devils threatened to take the lead when junior Teia Knutson —who led her team with 14 points and five steals — sank a 3-pointer to make it 43-41 with 3:41 left to go. But the Midgets regained momentum to outscore Dawson 10-4 for the remainder of the game.

“Their defense was pretty well,” Cooper said. “We were just not running anything on offense. We were a one-pass jack pretty much. We didn’t run the ball very well.”

Dickinson head coach Dan Pender added: “They changed up the defense on us we didn’t respond right away and we got into that offensive funk of one-pass shot. In the last five minutes, six minutes we started to get some ball movement, we started to get some open looks in the last two minutes. Give the girls credit, they battled the whole time and at the end they stepped up and got the job done.”

Dickinson received a balanced performance from all 10 players who stepped on the court. The Midgets went 21 for 52 from the floor and sank 9 of their 14 free throws. At the post position, Avery Privratsky, Sierra Rohr and Meryl Kovacs combined to complete 50 percent of their shots and score 16 points.

With the first win out the way and a boost of confidence added, the Midgets look to carry the momentum over to their next game against Minot on Saturday.

“First win, first home win,” Pender said. “We had a nice crowd tonight, the girls are excited and we just got to go to work, work on some things (today) and get ready for Minot.”

DC: Teia Knutson 14, Carrie Nagle 11, Maria Zimdars 8, Wyniah Mintz 5, Meriah Taylor 5, Sara Hilbert 2.

D: Riley Cooper 18, Sydney Gangl 9, Avery Privratsky 8, Lillie Meduna 6, Sierra Rohr 4, Meryl Kovacs 4, Morgan Dukart 2, Lexi Jordheim 2.

Half: D 32-19. 3-pointers: DC 4 (Knutson 2), D 2 (Gangl, Meduna 1). Free throws: DC 7-12, D 9-14. Total fouls: DC 17, D 16. Fouled out: DC, Taylor. Rebounds: DC 36 (Knutson, Zimdars, Nagle 6), D 43 (Privratsky 8). Assists: DC 13 (Taylor 4), D 14 (Meduna 4). Steals: DC 8 (Knutson 5), D 12 (Jordheim 3). Blocks: DC none, D none. Turnovers: DC 20, D 16. Records: D 1-1 .

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.