Mandan races out to victory over DHS girls
Facing one of the best teams in the state, the Dickinson High girls basketball team struggled to keep pace through the evening.
Mandan jumped on the Midgets early on, cruising to a 73-36 victory on Tuesday, Feb 13 from the DHS gym.
According to a coaches poll released on Feb. 7, Mandan entered the matchup as the fifth-ranked team in Class A.
"They are one of the best teams in the state for sure, but I don't think that's an excuse for how we played," Dickinson head coach James Hayden said. "We came out very flat, low energy and we're a much better team than how we played tonight."
On their first offensive possession, Dickinson (6-13, West Region 5-12) looked to work the ball into the hands of sophomore forward Audrey Rodakowski. After she scored the game's opening bucket, the Midgets continued springing her open on screens and rolls to the basket.
As well as the execution was early on offensively, turnovers plagued Dickinson.
After Mandan scored, the Midgets often had trouble inbounding the ball. Inbounding issues accounted for four of their 14 first half turnovers.
Collecting an offensive rebound off of her own miss, Braves sophomore forward Janie Berger scored inside, giving Mandan a 19-9 advantage with 9:33 remaining in the first half. Giving up rebounds on the offensive glass was an issue all night for Dickinson.
"The area that they controlled the most was the offensive rebounds," Hayden said. "They're very active, that's what they are really good at, and they got a lot of easy, second chance opportunities. That's what killed us in the first half."
Junior guard Gabby Jung did her best to keep the Midgets within striking distance, knocking down shots on consecutive possessions, but immediately after the second Jung make, Mandan junior guard Kennedy Harris delivered a perfect outlet pass to junior forward Megan Zander, scoring easily with a lay-up.
The Braves (14-5, West Region 12-4) constantly made an effort of advancing the ball as quickly as possible by leaking out a guard following a defensive rebound, a live-ball turnover or a even a Dickinson make.
Zander again sprung free following a Midgets miss, pushing the advantage to 28-13, forcing a Dickinson timeout.
"It's not necessary taught, but it's something that we encourage from our team," Mandan head coach Abby Thomas said. "We love to transition, push the ball and get up and down the floor. Kennedy and Megan have played together forever, so they know where each other is going to be, they're always looking to find each other. Kennedy knows that Megan is going to be flying down the floor and Megan knows that Kennedy is going to give her the ball."
Zander led all scorers with 22 points. Harris and sophomore forward Lakyn Darras each contributed 11 points for the Braves, who have won five of their last six contests.
Mandan led 42-17 at the halftime break and by more than 40 points in the second half before the reserves entered.
"I liked the way that our girls pushed the ball tonight and the way we crashed the offensive boards," Thomas said. "We were really, really aggressive on the offensive end and that's been something we've been looking to do in the last few games.
Jung led the Midgets with 15 points while sophomore forward Madison Lindley added seven points off of the bench.
"We've got to figure out a way to get better," Hayden said. "The sun is going to rise tomorrow. We've got a big game against Jamestown on Saturday, so we'll work to get better."
Mandan 73, Dickinson High 36
M 42 31
D 17 21
M: Megan Zander 22, Kennedy Harris 11, Lakyn Darras 11, Courtney Olson 9, Maria Moore 6, Lizi Leingang 6, Janie Berger 5, Aleah Clarke 3.
D: Gabby Jung 15, Madison Lindley 7, Peyton Selle 6, Audrey Rodakowski 4, Lauren Jorda 2, Maddy Hanel 2.
3-pointers: M 6 (Zander 2, Leingang 2), D 1 (Jung 1). Free throws: M 11-18, D 6-14. Total fouls: M 17, D 11. Records: M 14-5 (West Region 12-4), D 6-13 (West Region 5-12).