Home sweet homeAfter playing its first two games of the season on the road, the Dickinson High boys basketball team will get to play on its home court for three straight games.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
After playing its first two games of the season on the road, the Dickinson High boys basketball team will get to play on its home court for three straight games.
The Midgets host Dawson County (Glendive, Mont.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and West Region opponent Minot at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s finally nice to play at home,” Dickinson head coach John Wilson said with a smile. “There’s going to be a lot of excitement. It’s going to be nice. It’s nice to go on the road and get two wins, but these two home games are going to be really challenging.”
Dawson County has a 4-0 record this season and Wilson said it’s a much improved team than the Midgets (2-0, 1-0 West) played last year. Minot is ranked No. 2 in the Class A media poll, released Wednesday, and have a 1-0 record.
The storyline in Dickinson’s first two games were the same. The Midgets jumped out to an early lead and allowed their opponents to make a comeback. Dickinson, however, eased the pain by winning both games.
“It’s good news, bad news,” Wilson said. “The good news is we have that energy and start games really well. The bad news is we’ve let our guard down. Part of winning is having the talent and the ability to do it, but it’s also learning how to win. Learning how to win is playing every possession like you are down.”
The Midgets defeated Custer County (Miles City, Mont.) 51-47 on Dec. 11 and then won on a Jordan Krieg shot in the post with two seconds left on the clock to defeat Turtle Mountain 63-61 in a West Region game.
Junior guard Dylan Skabo said it has been a learning experience throughout the early part of the season.
“We’ve learned a lot,” Skabo said. “We’ve learned that we are a really young team. In our first two games, we’ve came out with a big lead and we haven’t been able to sustain it. That’s just a part of being a young team.
“If we would have lost those games, it would have been tougher to learn those lessons, but since we won it was easier to learn.”
Wilson has a roster made up for five seniors, six juniors and three sophomores.
The fifth-year head coach knows the team wants to be playing its best when the West Region Tournament rolls around.
“Everybody’s playing for the end of February and the beginning of March,” Wilson said. “It’s good that we can learn these mistakes that we are making and still get a W in the books. Ultimately to makes those lessons easier to handle.”
Trinity hosts No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan
The Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team has its toughest challenge of the year on Friday.
The Titans host No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“We’ve talked to our girls that it’s a good opportunity to have one the best teams, if not the best team, in the state come to our place early on in the year,” Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said. “We have to prepare for our district and region opponents a lot and not take any of them lightly. If you look at our schedule out of conference, I think our out-of-conference schedule is an added bonus.”
The Titans started the season with a pair of wins over Bottineau (47-25) and Des Lacs-Burlington (52-31) at the Shootout on the Prairie in Minot last weekend.
Minot Ryan was at the Shootout on the Prairie and Trinity took full advantage, watching the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
“We had an opportunity to see them this last weekend and they are a very talented group,” Barman said. “All of our weaknesses are going to show up in a hurry on Friday night. It will really give us a good outlook on things we must improve on.”
Trinity and Minot Ryan might not be in the same region, but the two teams are very familiar with each other. Barman said the pressure isn’t really there.
“We’ve been playing Minot Ryan for the last 10 years,” Barman said. “I think our kids are excited about having the opportunity.”
Jillian Stockert leads the Titans with the 11.5 points per game. The junior forward is accompanied fellow juniors Gretchen Wier, averaging 10.5 points, Rachel Jahner with 9 and Katelyn Grinsteinner with 5.5.
“Rachel got beat up her freshman and sophomore year,” Barman said. “Every game we were asking her to do things. I think just those years of experience have showed early this year. She’s done a great job of leading our group.
“Katelyn has really taken on the role of being one of our leaders. Jillian is confident in the role she has.”
No. 2-ranked Beulah faces No. 1-ranked North Star
The last time the No. 2-ranked Beulah boys basketball team and No. 1-ranked North Star met was on the court was on March 3 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. That night, the Miners walked off state champions and the Bearcats ended their perfect season and had a 53-game win streak snapped.
Beulah (5-0) and North Star (4-0) meet again during the regular season as the top two teams in the Class B media poll at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Cando.
“The ratings are based on what we did last year,” Beulah head coach Jeremy Brandt said. “Yeah sure it’s No. 1 and No. 2, but I think more so it’s how we ended last season playing them in the state championship game. That’s probably more so is a little bit bigger of a deal.”
Even before the two teams met in the 2012 state championship game, Brandt knew down the road he wanted his team to face North Star again.
“Two years ago we made this schedule, mainly because we knew they were going to be good and we feel that it’s going to help us,” Brandt said. “It also gives us a chance to get away from our area and play somebody different.”
Beulah returns a handful of strong players from its state championship team, including senior forward Trevor Zacher, who is averaging 15 points per game. Senior forward Jesse Hettich leads the team with 16.4 points and senior guard Cody Nelson has 11.8.
“I think it’s still early and I think we’re playing that way,” Brandt said. “There are things we definitely need to get better at. Sometimes it looks like it’s early in the season for us and other times it doesn’t look at way, because we have a lot of kids returning.”