Midgets face Bismarck in search of a big 2nd halfThe see-saw effect has been a factor in a majority of the Dickinson High boys basketball team’s games this season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The see-saw effect has been a factor in a majority of the Dickinson High boys basketball team’s games this season.
An upswing is the first half is usually followed by a downslide is the second half.
The No. 8 seed Midgets will attempt to put two quality halves together against No. 1 seed Bismarck High in the West Region Tournament quarterfinals that starts at 2 p.m. today at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“We’ve definitely struggled playing a full 36 minutes,” Dickinson senior guard Tanner Halter said. “We’re going to have to buckle down and get our heads in the game.”
Dickinson holds a narrow margin against its opponents in the first half this season, outscoring them 407-396. The Midgets’ problems have occurred in the second half, where their opponents have a 458-412 advantage.
“It’s really two things that we’ve talked about,” Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. “One, we’ve got to take our previous experience and hopefully learn from it. Second part is our second halves have put us into a situation where we haven’t finished those. The games that we’ve won, we’ve played two complete halves.”
Dickinson doesn’t care that it’s a No. 8 seed and had to beat Williston in a play-in game just to reach the tournament — the Midgets (8-12) are relishing the opportunity to dish out an upset.
“It is exciting,” Dickinson senior guard Jon Wanner said. “They are the No. 1 team and we are No. 8, we’re not supposed to win. If we come out loose like we have been, it should be a good game.”
Dickinson and Bismarck High (17-2) aren’t strangers when it comes to close battles. The Midgets nearly upset the formerly No. 1-ranked Demons 66-60 on Jan. 13, but fell harder, 78-63, on Feb. 9 in Bismarck.
“I think it might be the closest No. 1 and No. 8 games that we’ve seen at the WDA,” Wanner said. “It will be really fun.”
The Midgets have stayed relatively healthy at the tail end of the season.
Dickinson’s lone injured player is Tyrell Parker. The senior post tweaked his hamstring in the regular season finale against Mandan and wasn’t at practice on Tuesday because of the flu.
“He has the flu, so we’re just keeping him at home,” Wilson said. “Why not? We have to have some type of, ‘Well, what if.’ It’s kind of been what our season has been.”
Dickinson senior Brett Braunagel returns from a knee injury. He could add more depth to the bench.
Though the Midgets have their sights currently set on the Demons, Bismarck Century and Minot High are both on their minds — win or lose, that’s going to be their next opponent.
With Dickinson keeping up with each team throughout the season, Wilson thinks losing those close games could add some fuel to the fire.
“You can use that as motivation and you can use that as a confidence builder,” Wilson said. “There are people that know that we are playing well right now. It now comes down to who puts three good games together.”
Wanner said excelling in the second half could lead to something simple, like limiting turnovers.
“We just have to learn that we can’t turn the ball over like we have,” Wanner said. “We just have to put it together at the end of the games.”
Despite the scoring numbers in the first and second halves, Wilson said everybody starts the tournament with a perfect 0-0 record.
“We’re the 8-seed,” Wilson said. “We really have nothing to lose and that by seeding-wise the higher seed need to get it done. With the lower seed, we are the upset men. We have nothing to do, but come in and play basketball.”