Midgets top Coyotes, reach West Region tourneyTanner Halter picked the perfect time to have the best game of his senior season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Tanner Halter picked the perfect time to have the best game of his senior season.
The Dickinson High boys basketball team overcame a tough second half to defeat Williston 56-47 in the West Region Tournament play-in game on Thursday at the DHS gymnasium.
“The guys hit some shots when we had to,” Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. “We’ve just been talking about our mental toughness. We have to learn about tight situations. Good teams don’t change what they are doing.”
In the last three games, the Midgets (8-12) have had trouble in the second half. After Dickinson took a 31-23 lead at halftime, Williston head coach Mark Slotsve breathed a sigh of relief.
“We felt that we were right in position,” Slotsve said. “If you look at Dickinson, I think they’ve been a very potent offensive team in the first half. In my mind, going into halftime, we weathered the storm. We weren’t down by 20 points. At least we have the opportunity.”
Dickinson took a 9-3 lead to start the first half with Halter scoring all nine points. The senior guard finished the game with 12 points.
“We just kept pushing the ball up,” he said. “I was at the right spot at the right time.”
Wilson was waiting for Halter to have this type of game.
“All year, we’ve been scratching our heads and asking why isn’t the ball going in for Tanner,” Wilson said. “He’s a great shooter.”
The Midgets maintained that six-point lead throughout much of the first half and eventually climbed ahead 22-11 after a Jordan Krieg layup.
The Coyotes cut it to 31-23 at the half on a Seth Falcon 3-pointer. Krieg had game highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
In the second half, the Coyotes cut Dickinson’s down to four, 41-36, but senior Vance Volesky tipped in a rebound for two of his four points to break Williston’s momentum.
Whenever Williston (2-18) started to sway the momentum in its favor, Dickinson’s Jaden Kudrna drained a 3-pointer. Kudrna went 4 of 8 from the field and was 3 of 3 from 3-point range. He had 11 points.
Austin Fournier had 11 points.
“Our offense was slowing down in the second half and I just come in there, be confident and, if I’m open, shoot it,” Kudrna said.
The Midgets didn’t step to free-throw line many times in the game, but made each trip count. Dickinson went 6 of 8 (75 percent) from the line, while Williston was 7 of 17 (41 percent).
Turnovers hurt both teams. Dickinson committed 18 and Williston with 21.
“Turnovers were costly for us,” Slotsve said. “We came down and turned it over. You just can’t do that when you are struggling to get back into the game.”
Cory Vinger, Brennan Goldade and Jayden Ferguson each had 10 points for the Coyotes.
Dickinson now faces No. 1 seed Bismarck High in the West Region Tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 1 at the Bismarck Civic Center.
The Midgets nearly knocked off the then No. 1-ranked Demons 66-60 on Jan. 13.
“We’re really confident,” Kudrna said. “There’s not a player on the team that thinks we are going to lose to them. We are going in there thinking we should win this game.”
W: Jayden Ferguson 10, Brennan Goldade 10, Cory Vinger 10, Jacob Brokaw 6, Alex Cundiff 4, Seth Falcon 3, Riley Kleven 3, Sam Falcon 1.
D: Jordan Krieg 14, Tanner Halter 12, Austin Fournier 11, Jaden Kudrna 11, Vance Volesky 4, Jesse Kessel 2, Jon Wanner 2.
Halftime: DHS 31-23. 3-pointers: W 6 (Goldade 3, Brokaw 1, Seth Falcon 1, Kleven 1), D 8 (Kudrna 3, Fournier 2, Halter 2, Krieg 1). Free throws: W 7-17, D 6-8. Total fouls: W 15, D 15. Rebounds: W 26 (Ferguson 8), D 36 (Krieg 12). Assists: W 1 (Brokaw 1), D 12 (Kessel 4). Steals: W 8 (Cundiff 2, Goldade 2), D 8 (Fournier 3). Blocks: W 0, D 2 (Krieg 2). Turnovers: W 21, D 18. Records: W 2-18, D 8-12.