Midgets rally in 2nd half, beat Mandan
After starting the season 0-8, the Dickinson boys basketball team wasn’t sure if it would win the play-in game for the West Region Tournament at the end of the season.
But after picking up its first win at Mandan on Jan. 25, the Midgets have come full circle, find themselves as the No. 6-seed and ended its season with a 60-51 West Region victory over the Braves Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.
“We came into the season, initially we knew we had this in us and we got really frustrated at the beginning of the season because we didn’t see it,” Dickinson senior Parker Egli said. “We just kept working hard in practice and finally showed up.”
Dickinson never held a lead in the first half and found itself at a 14-point deficit with 2 minutes, 42 seconds left. With the realization it could be beaten at home for the first time since Jan. 31 against Bismarck St. Mary’s, Dickinson picked up its intensity in the second half and outscored the Braves 9-2 in the first 7:11 minutes to tie it up 33-33.
The Midgets and Mandan kept the game going back and forth, with the score close and the leads even closer.
“We came out and we let them do whatever they wanted offensively we got down 14 and we came back and made a run, get it back to six at half,” Dickinson junior guard Mark Erickson said. “We can’t have that kind of defensive effort if we want to go and win games.”
With two minutes left in the game, Egli tied it up 50-50 with two foul shots and junior post Luke Herauf drove inside for a layup for the team’s permanent lead. Egli finished with eight points and five rebounds.
Erickson and Herauf finished with team-highs in points, scoring 21 and 14, respectively. Senior forward Levi Jordheim picked up a game-high 11 rebounds, eight points and two assists.
For the Braves, sophomore Jeremy Friesz went 5 for 8 from 3-point range and scored a team-high 15 points.
“Kind of brings back the early part of the season when we were the cardiac kids,” Dickinson head coach David Wilson said. “We’ll take it, a win’s a win. Lot of emotion for our seniors we got five great kids that we got to send off on a positive note.”
Going winless for so long was mentally tough for Dickinson, especially the seniors who were facing a possible blow out of a season. But they never lost their composure or will to continue fighting each game. Wilson said throughout the year, they’ve been the perfect role models for the team with their attitudes and work ethic.
“They’ve never really got rattled,” Wilson said. “They showed those characteristics you hope to see in a senior. When things were bad, they weren’t pointing fingers or with their head down. They wanted to come back and make it right.”
The Midgets have a week to prepare for the West Region Tournament and are lined up to face No. 3-seed Bismarck High next Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center. In the previous two meetings, the Demons won twice.
With a chip on their shoulder and knowing they’ve earned their spot in the tournament, the Midgets are prepared to prove themselves once more, play together as a team and hopefully keep moving forward.
“I really enjoyed being here, especially with all these guys,” Egli said. “I really loved playing with them and grew as a player around them, we just got a really close bond and I think that’s what kind of put us over the edge too.”
M: Jeremy Friesz 15, Nick Miller 8, Dustin Hermanson 6, Jacob Marschner 6, Trevor Muth 5, Adam Lech 4, Jacob Hanson 4, Ross Effertz 3.
D: Marck Erickson 21, Luke Herauf 14, Parker Egli 8, Levi Jordheim 8, Mac Rohr 4, Aanen Moody 2, Dylan Skabo 2, Jud Mork 1.
3-pointers: M 8 (Friezs 5, Muth 1, Lech 1, Effertz 1), D 4 (Erickson, Egli 2). Free throws: M 9-18, D 16-24. Total fouls: M 22, D 19. Fouled out: M, Miller. Rebounds: M 32 (Muth 5), D 48 (Jordheim 11). Assists: M 2 (Hermanson 2), D 5 (Jordheim 2). Steals: M 9 (Miller, Hanson 3), D 8 (Skabo 4). Blocks: M 1 (Marschner), D 1 (Jordheim). Turnovers: M 16, D 10. Records: M 4-14 (3-12 West Region), D 7-12 (6-10 West Region).