No. 2 Minot beats back MidgetsDickinson High boys basketball head coach John Wilson couldn’t be any prouder the way his team stuck with No. 2-ranked Minot High.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson High boys basketball head coach John Wilson couldn’t be any prouder the way his team stuck with No. 2-ranked Minot High.
For the majority of the second half, the Midgets kept the game the game interesting and continued to nip at the Magicians’ heels.
However, Minot didn’t waiver in the second half, defeating West Region opponent Dickinson 65-52 on Saturday at the DHS gymnasium.
“I’m extremely proud of my team,” Wilson said. “We had a lot of reasons that these young high school kids could have said we don’t have a chance. I can see the maturity and growth in our team.”
Minot (4-0, 2-0 West) trailed in the game just once — 1 minute, 2 seconds into the game after Dickinson senior guard Alex Huschka knocked down a 3-pointer. From there, the Magicians went on a 10-2 run during the next two minutes.
Huschka is filling in the starting spot after senior guard Jaden Kudrna went down with a left ankle injury in final 50 seconds of Friday’s win against Dawson County (Mont.). Huschka said it doesn’t matter if he comes off the bench or is in the starting lineup — he just wants to play.
“I wanted to get on the floor and go as hard as I can at all times,” said Huschka, who had 11 points and five rebounds.
Dickinson’s (3-1, 1-1 West) biggest blemish was its 23 turnovers. Minot committed 14 turnovers. Wilson said playing nearly perfect is the key to beating a top five team.
“When you play a team as good as that, you have to make sure you take care of the basketball and you don’t give them second-chance points,” Wilson said. “You have to play flawless when you play a good, veteran team like that.”
With 9 minutes left in the first half, Minot held a 22-10 lead and continued to build on it, leading 38-25 lead at halftime.
“We came out of halftime with confidence,” Huschka said. “None of us were down on each other. We just needed to go back out there with same fire we started the game with.”
Minot’s Kyle Gerding and Brian Bloms each supplied 10 points, while Dickinson’s Jordan Krieg had a team-high 11 points at the break. Gerding finished with a team-high 15 and Bloms added 13. Krieg supplied a game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.
“We’re a very balanced team,” Minot head coach Dean Winczewski said. “That will make us hard to handle during tournament time, because we do have so many kids that can score the basketball.”
Dickinson kept biting at Minot’s heels after a quick six-point run to start the second half. Huschka supplied a 3-pointer and a layup, while sophomore guard Mark Erickson added a free throw. Erickson scored nine points and junior guard Parker Egli came off the bench for six.
But Minot proved why it’s ranked near the top of Class A, responding with an 8-0 run to build a 49-33 lead.
Dickinson continued its attempt to climb back, but Minot answered at every opportunity. Erickson swished a 3-pointer with 2:23 left in the game, but Minot’s Austin Frank answered from beyond the arc. Frank ended with nine points in the contest.
“We got real sloppy the second half,” Winczewski said. “We didn’t share the ball as well and it became ‘My turn, I need to make a play.’ Instead of just doing little things that we are capable of.”
The Magicians closed out the game with a 5-1 advantage. Gerding scored Minot’s five points from the free-throw line.
Dickinson has more than two weeks before stepping back onto the court when it hosts Bismarck Century at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.
“The kids need to be confident in their ability and their ability to improve,” Wilson said. “If they continue to stay the course and we work out tails off, we can be a team at the end of the year that can be very scary.”
M: Kyle Gerding 17, Brian Bloms 13, Brandon VanDus 12, Austin Frank 9, Noah Bosh 6, Caleb Albertson 2, Colter Hustad 2, Jesse Andrist 2, Dakota Halvorston 2.
D: Jordan Krieg 19, Alex Huschka 11, Mark Erickson 9, Parker Egli 6, Luke Herauf 4, Mitch Mehrer 2, Dylan Skabo 1.
Halftime: M 38-25. 3-pointers: M 8 (Bloms 3, Gerding 2, VanDus 2, Frank 1), D 5 (Huschka 3, Erickson 2). Free throws: M 7-9, D 7-11. Total fouls: M 14, D 16. Rebounds: M 31 (VanDus 6), D 35 (Krieg 13). Assists: M 6 (VanDus 4), D 3 (Skabo 2). Steals: M 5 (Gerding 3), D 5 (Skabo 2, Huschka 2). Blocks: M 1 (Frank 1), D 0. Turnovers: M 14, D 23. Records: M 4-0 (West 2-0), D 3-1 (West 1-1).