Return and Resurgence: Midgets have been playing big since senior Leslie Beaudoin came backThe Dickinson High girls basketball team’s record doesn’t lie. They win with senior leader Leslie Beaudoin.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High girls basketball team’s record doesn’t lie. They win with senior leader Leslie Beaudoin.
Entering the most important part of the season for the Midgets, Beaudoin has helped the team reach the West Region Tournament and a quarterfinal game against No. 1 seed Bismarck Century at 1 p.m. today at the Bismarck Civic Center Exhibition Hall.
The No. 8 seed Midgets haven’t fared well against the Patriots though, taking two losses during the regular season.
“We just know that we have to keep it outside, we can’t let their posts get a lot of touches, because they are big,” said Beaudoin, who leads the Midgets with 10.9 points, 8.27 rebounds and 2.45 blocks per game. “We just know that we have to stop their inside game and make them shoot the three.”
The importance of Beaudoin for the Midgets reflects in the record. Dickinson went 1-8 before Beaudoin came back from a suspension. After returning, she helped her team to a 6-6 record.
“We missed her a lot,” junior Ali Moody said. “At the beginning of the season we only won one game without her and ever since she’s got back we’ve had more wins.”
Beaudoin had to sit out six weeks at the beginning of the season, because of breaking training violations. Despite not being available for games, Beaudoin said she was working hard at every single practice.
“I was the practice player and I was the big player for the other team, just helping them realizing what they are going to have to stop in the actual games,” Beaudoin said. “I just tried my hardest in practice to make them better during the games.”
Though Beaudoin’s numbers stand out, the biggest asset she brings to the team is senior leadership. Before Beaudoin came back, the Midgets had a lineup of mostly juniors and sophomores.
“She’s been a really good leader,” junior Taylor Cooper said. “She’s scored a lot for us and she gets our plays going. She’s an experienced varsity player and it’s good to have her back.”
Beaudoin returned on Jan. 19 at Mandan. She would be the first to admit, she might have been making up for lost time.
“Right when I came back, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we have to do so much,’” Beaudoin said. “I guess I tried to do it all by myself, but now everyone else is learning how to play with each other now that I’m back. Everything is working out fine right now.”
Dickinson head coach Dan Pender said it was apparent to him that Beaudoin was trying to force things early on.
“She was pushing herself right when she came back,” Pender said. “Maybe forcing and trying to create more for everybody. Now I think she’s figured out that if she does what she needs to do, everyone else feeds off of her.”
If there was one silver lining that came from Beaudoin’s suspension at the beginning of the season, it was that several of Dickinson’s younger players gained extra experience.
“It definitely gave them time to get better,” Cooper said. “Playing up for the sophomore, like my sisters (Riana and Riley Cooper) and Lillie (Meduna) who is a freshman, it’s going to make them a lot better.”