Dickinson falls short of BelcourtDickinson High head coach John Wilson said he didn’t want to keep Belcourt in the game — and for a good reason. The Braves used a solid second-half performance from Jacob Knife to defeat Dickinson 60-57 in a West Region boys basketball game Friday at DHS gymnasium.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson High head coach John Wilson said he didn’t want to keep Belcourt in the game — and for a good reason.
The Braves used a solid second-half performance from Jacob Knife to defeat Dickinson 60-57 in a West Region boys basketball game Friday at DHS gymnasium.
“We just mentally lost our focus in the game,” Wilson said. “We prepared for their zone and we did everything we wanted to do in practice. You can never mimic a varsity defense in practice, but we told them this is what’s going to happen.”
Belcourt led 23-22 at halftime and the Braves’ leading scorer didn’t turn up the fire until later.
Knife posted 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. He added six rebounds and four steals.
“He’s one of our leaders,” Belcourt head coach Chris Thomas said. “We needed someone to step up and he did a good job.”
Dickinson (3-6, 1-6 West) showed signs of life at certain points during the game, but junior Jaden Kudrna said it happened too late.
“We got on a roll a little bit too late,” said Kudrna, who had 11 points.
Jesse Kessel made a quality return for the Midgets, scoring a team-high 12 points. His first action in the game was with 12 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first half and it was a little shaky to start.
“He tried to force things,” Wilson said. “We forced things to happen rather than just play as a team.”
The Braves have had a tough season on the road and Thomas said it is a nice relief to get their first West Region road victory.
“We’ve been struggling on how to play a complete game,” he said. “This weekend we are focusing on playing an entire game.”
The Braves’ (5-7, 2-7 West) shot 44 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free-throw line in the second half.
The Midgets started the second half with an 8-2 run, which gave them a 30-25 lead.
After Knife nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, the Braves grabbed a 43-36 lead.
But Belcourt’s defense didn’t falter.
Knife was aided by Charles LaRocque’s 14 points. Kansas Ree added 11. Braves forward Leo Belgarde got into foul trouble at the end of game, but finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Midgets attempted a comeback, but it was an uphill battle as they committed 22 turnovers and shot 12 of 25 from the free-throw line.
“We had 22 turnovers in the game and we just can’t have that,” Wilson said.
Kudrna got the game within two points, 59-57, with less than a minute remaining.
The Midgets fouled Tristan Keplin with 4.5 seconds left in the game and the sophomore forward drained one of two.
Kessel had one final chance to tie the game with a half-court shot. It rattled off the iron for the Midgets’ second straight single-digit loss.
“We did a lot of things wrong in this game and we just have to learn from it,” Kudrna said.
The Midgets have to regroup fast. They travel to Mandan at 6:30 today. Mandan (6-4) received votes in the latest Class A basketball poll.
“We have to put it behind and go out and get a win,” Kudrna said. “That’s all that’s on our mind.”
B: Jacob Knife 16, Charles LaRocque 14, Kansas Ree 11, Leo Belgarde 10, Tristan Keplin 5, John Slater 4.
D: Jesse Kessel 12, Jaden Kudrna 11, Jordan Krieg 7, Jon Wanner 7, Austin Fournier 5, Tyrell Parker 5, Luke Hanel 4, Vance Volesky 4, Brett Braunagel 2.
Halftime: B 23-22. 3-pointers: B 3 (Knife 3), D 5 (Kudrna 2, Fournier 1, Kessel 1, Wanner 1). Free throws: B 15-22, D 12-25. Total fouls: B 21, D 20. Fouled out: B, Belgarde. Technical fouls: B, Belgarde. Rebounds: B 47 (LaRocque 12), D 39 (Krieg 8). Assists: B 5 (Knife 2, Ree 2), D 12 (Braunagel 4, Wanner 4). Steals: B 17 (Knife 4), D 16 (Parker 5). Blocks: B 1 (Ree 1), D 1 (Krieg 1). Turnovers: B 20, D 22. Records: B 5-7, 2-7 West; D 3-6, 1-6 West.