3rd try works as Saints end Midgets’ seasonBISMARCK — The Dickinson High girls basketball team tagged Bismarck St. Mary’s with two overtime losses during the regular season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — The Dickinson High girls basketball team tagged Bismarck St. Mary’s with two overtime losses during the regular season.
Saints head coach Rachel Zillmer didn’t even need to give her team a speech before the game — they were ready to play.
Though free throws were troubling in the second half, the seventh-seeded Saints didn’t fret taking a 75-64 win against the sixth-seeded Midgets during the West Region Tournament on Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center Exhibition Hall. St. Mary’s plays fifth-seeded Mandan in a state-qualifying game at 11:45 a.m. today.
“I didn’t really have to give the girls a ‘hoorah’ speech,” Zillmer said. “It’s WDA, we have nine seniors and it’s the third time that we are playing this team. They knew what we had to do and they did a great job finishing this time.”
St. Mary’s went 9 of 19 (47 percent) from the free-throw line in the second half. The only player to make back-to-back free throws for the Saints in the final 3 minutes was Sydney Miller. The senior guard finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. There was a point when even the players looked over at their coach and wondered if there was a lid on the basket.
“Down the stretch, I told them to start closing their eyes or drop kicking it in,” Zillmer said, jokingly. “It was fortunate enough we went a good run in there, so it really saved us from needing those free throws.”
Dickinson head coach Dan Pender felt free throws were the difference in the game. The Saints got to the line 27 more times than the Midgets. Dickinson went 11 of 13 from the line.
“They attempted 40 free throws and that’s the game,” Pender said. “We fouled too much and we weren’t sliding our feet. I give my girls credit because they battled the entire time. It was a fun game, but it’s just hard to end the season this way.”
The Saints (6-14) used Dominique Giesen’s 19-point second half to spark their offense.
The 5-foot-9 senior center finished with a game-high 27 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. St. Mary’s had the slight edge in rebounds 37-35, but forced Dickinson into 22 turnovers while committing 13.
“Our girls just really got after it,” Zillmer said. “We knew our best offense comes off rebounding and playing defense.”
The Midgets (7-14) knew they were in for a 36-minute battle. Dickinson’s largest lead was 15 points, 25-10, in the first half. Ali Moody led the Midgets with 22 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals to close out her senior season.
Moody said the team’s main priority was reaching the state-qualifying game, but a close second was not recreating the same experience from the previous day when third-seeded Bismarck High dealt the Midgets a 78-33 loss as they committed 33 turnovers.
“We definitely we didn’t want to that today at all,” Moody said. “We came out hard and were ahead by 15, but we just get into these phases where we can’t score.”
Dickinson’s last lead, 46-45, came with 11:35 left in regulation after Sydney Gangl drained a 3-pointer.
Gangl, a junior forward, ended with 11 points, while senior post Rachel Schroeder added 10 points and four rebounds. Gangl and Schroeder both played with four fouls for a majority of the second half. Senior Taylor Cooper scored eight points.
“We knew that we had to come out strong in the first 8 to 10 minutes of the second half,” Moody said. “Our main focus was to play good defense.”
D: Ali Moody 22, Sydney Gangl 11, Rachel Schroeder 10, Taylor Cooper 8, Riley Cooper 5, Lillie Meduna 4, Shelby Stoltz 2, Avery Privratsky 2.
SM: Dominique Giesen 27, Sydney Miller 15, Taylor Gendreau 11, Megan Hixson 7, Rachel Power 7, Katelyn Schaffner 6, Angie Schumacher 2.
Halftime: SM 35-32. 3-pointers: D 5 (Gangl 3, Riley Cooper 1, Moody 1), SM 4 (Miller 2, Gendreau 1, Giesen 1). Free throws: D 11-13, SM 25-40. Total fouls: D 28, SM 15. Fouled out: D Moody. Rebounds: D 35 (Moody 12), SM 37 (Giesen 10). Assists: D 10 (T. Cooper 5), SM 15 (Power 8). Steals: D 6 (Moody 3), SM 7 (Gendreau 4). Blocks: D 3 (Moody 3), SM 1 (Lexi Schweitzer 1). Turnovers: D 22, SM 13.