Century erases 12-point deficit to beat MidgetsBISMARCK — For eight seniors on the Dickinson High boys basketball team, it was the final game and the toughest of their career.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — For eight seniors on the Dickinson High boys basketball team, it was the final game and the toughest of their career.
Bismarck Century overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half to edge the Midgets 53-52 in the West Region Tournament consolation semifinals on Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center Exhibition Hall.
“You never want to walk off the floor and say you lost your last game of the year,” Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. “The biggest thing is we say goodbye to eight great seniors this season.”
Dickinson has had a majority of close, often heartbreaking, losses this season.
But, senior Jesse Kessel said this season has been about learning life lessons. The other seven seniors are Luke Hanel, Tanner Halter, Brett Braunagel, Jon Wanner, Vance Volesky, Austin Fournier and Tyrell Parker.
“We had a lot of ups and downs this season,” said Kessel, who had a team-high 14 points and five assists. “We just have to learn from those mistakes that we made and then we just have to bounce back from it.”
The Midgets, who end the season at 7-14, held a 29-17 lead at halftime.
The key to Dickinson’s 12-point advantage at the half was its shooting. The Midgets went 8 of 18 (44 percent) from the field, while the Patriots were 6 of 26 (23 percent).
“We held a team of that caliber to 17 points in the first. We were extremely happy at halftime,” Wilson said. “Our focus is how we get better in the second half. We played well in the second half.”
Heads were hanging low for Century players, but the Patriots came back onto the court in good spirits. Once the whistle sounded for the second half, the Patriots started firing baskets.
Century (13-8) shot 14 of 31 (45 percent) in the second half.
“I think some of the credit has to go to Dickinson,” Century head coach Darin Mattern said. “I thought they did a real nice job in their zone. They made it difficult and a majority of our shots in the first hard were contested.”
The dagger that put Dickinson down for good was a 3-pointer by senior forward Tom Fraase with 30.8 seconds remaining.
“Tom is just one of those kids that have made big shot after big shot,” Mattern said. “He’s the type of kid that’s not afraid of taking the big shot. He’s the type of guy that wants the ball at the end of the game.”
After Fraase’s bucket pushed the Patriots in front 52-49, Dickinson took a timeout to draw up a play. The Midgets turned the ball over after the timeout and junior Jordan Krieg fouled senior center Zach Rhone on the ensuing play. Rhone capitalized on one of the two free throws, but gave Dickinson a fighting chance with 13 seconds left.
Krieg made up for the foul by draining a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left. Century inbounded the ball to Fraase and senior Jesse Kessel fouled him right away. Fraase missed the one and one at the free-throw line and Jon Wanner tossed up a full-court shot with 1.4 seconds left that fell short of the rim.
Krieg posted 12 points and seven rebounds for the Midgets.
Fraase led the Patriots with a game-high 15 points and five assists. Andre Maund supplied 14 points and three assists. Alex Bray chipped in a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points.
Despite the season not ending with a win for the Midgets, the team walked out of the Civic Center with their heads held high.
“It was a fun game to play,” Kessel said. “I’d rather go out on that note, than get blown out by 50.”
Added Wilson: “They can be proud of the name on the front of their jersey and know that they played the style of basketball we wanted them to play.”
D: Jesse Kessel 14, Jordan Krieg 12, Jon Wanner 8, Jaden Kudrna 6, Tyrell Parker 4, Vance Volesky 4, Austin Fournier 2, Tanner Halter 2.
C: Tom Fraase 15, Andre Maund 14, Alex Bray 8, Zach Rhone 7, Tyler Randolph 6, Marcus Thune 3.
Halftime: DHS 29-17. 3-pointers: D 5 (Kudrna 2, Kessel 1, Krieg 1, Wanner 1), B 6 (Fraase 3, Bray 1, Maund 1, Thune 1). Rebounds: D 25 (Krieg 7), C 35 (Bray 10). Totals fouls: D 13, C 14. Fouled out: D, Fournier. Assists: D 13 (Kessel 5), C 11 (Fraase 5). Blocks: D 0, C 1 (Rhone 1). Steals: D 7 (Halter 2), C 8 (four with two). Turnovers: D 14, C 11. Records: D 7-14, C 13-8.