Memorable and Magical
Years from now, not many people will remember Dean Winczewski's return to Dickinson.
If they remember anything, it will be the efforts of Minot High senior Andrew Crosby and Dickinson High sophomore Joe Hanstad.
Hanstad poured out a career-high 41 points but couldn't overcome an unstoppable Crosby, who shouldered the load to help Minot to a thrilling 75-64 victory over the Midgets in West Region boys basketball action Saturday at the Dickinson High School gymnasium.
Crosby also had a career high, amassing 38 points, many of which came from the low block. The 6-foot-3 forward answered most of Hanstad's baskets and finished 13 of 17 from the floor. He was 12 of 15 from the free-throw line.
"Tonight, he wanted the ball," said Winczewski, Minot's head coach. "We wanted to get the ball inside. We said coming in here that we would and I felt we had an opportunity to."
The game marked the first time Winczewski had been back to Dickinson in a professional setting since last season when he coached the Midgets, eventually leading them to a third-place finish at state. He won two state titles in his eight years in Dickinson.
But as interesting as the story of his return was, it took a backseat to the two outstanding individual performances.
Minot used a 13-5 run to take a 68-59 lead with 3 minutes, 37 seconds to go in the game. Eight of those points came from Crosby. Hanstad fired back with a 3-pointer from the left wing and drained two free throws to help the Midgets get within four at 68-64.
However, Minot's ability to sink free throws came in handy as the Magicians went 7 of 8 from the line the rest of the way while holding the Midgets scoreless. In the game, Minot made 21 of 24 from the charity stripe.
"We did a lot of good things," Winczewski said.
The teams played to a 29-29 tie at the half.
Dickinson opened second-half scoring with a Hanstad dunk on an alley-oop pass from sophomore Nate Moody, who was positioned at the high post. Momentum didn't stay with the Midgets though, as Minot rallied for an 8-0 run, forcing Dickinson to play catch-up.
Dickinson coach John Wilson made note of his kids' effort, despite the loss.
"I'm disappointed for the kids," Wilson said. "They do work very hard. Every time they come on the floor, they know they have work to do."
Interior defense was a struggle for Dickinson, which couldn't stop either Crosby or his younger brother Jesse.
The two forwards were magical around the basket, getting put-backs off each other's shots and using a high-post, low-post technique to quell Dickinson's zone defense. Jesse finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. The Midgets gave up 46 points in the second half.
"Fundamentally, we're not taking care of post defense the way we need to," Wilson said. "They're a very tough matchup. Those two give most teams fits."
While the Crosbys did most of their work 4 feet from the basket, Hanstad put on a shooting clinic, often times draining 8-footers over three Minot defenders, who did their best to collapse on him when he drove to the basket.
Andrew Crosby and Hanstad played on an ECI team together last summer and are friends.
Hanstad scored nine of Dickinson's first 11 points and finished 15 of 23 from the field while going 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.
Crosby downplayed his performance in favor of the team.
"Joe got more points," Crosby said. "But in the end, we got the win."
M: Andrew Crosby 38, Jesse Crosby 11, Max Murphy 7, Donte Smart 7, Giacomo Murazzi 4, Jarid Hoffman 2, Jordan Rubbelke 2, Bryan Phillips 2, Kalvin Larson 2.
D: Joe Hanstad 41, Cole Baker 9, Joe Emmerich 6, Jarl Abrahamson 6, Clark Weiser 2.
Halftime: Tied at 29. Free throws: M 21-24, D 13-15. Total fouls: M 17, D 20. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: M 25 (J. Crosby 8), D 25 (Abrahamson 7). Assists: M 10 (Hoffman 4), D 13 (Abrahamson 6). Steals: M 4 (Smart 2), D 0. Blocks: M 0, D 3 (Emmerich 2). Turnovers: M 13, D 14.