Midgets bit by turnover bug: DHS boys struggle to match Patriots’ defensive might
BISMARCK — Standing toe-to-toe in two regular season contests against the top squad in the region, the Dickinson High boys basketball team entered its matchup with Bismarck Century Thursday afternoon looking for an upset.
The Patriots, looking to repeat as region champions, quickly wiped away any chances of that happening.
Plagued by sloppy giveaways against a stingy Bismarck Century defense, the eighth-seeded Midgets fell 70-47 in the West Region tournament opener from the Bismarck Event Center.
Coughing up the ball over 13 times in the first half, Dickinson relinquished 11 points off of turnovers.
"They're a very good ball team," Midgets head coach Dan Glasser. "Once again, they're the best defensive team in the state, hands down. They make it tough to do your stuff and if you are able to get by one guy, there's two other guys there. They are really good at what they do."
The Midgets were unable to get much early on, commiting three turnovers in their first four possessions.
Dickinson senior post Braden Selinger scored on a drive to bucket, breaking a drought of more than four minutes.
Following a basket inside from Bismarck Century senior center Kade Amundson, sophomore guard Cade Feeney ripped Selinger in the backcourt and coasted in for the easy deuce, resulting in a Midgets timeout down 12-4.
"We can do whatever we want against teams, we just have to come in mentally prepared. Today, we weren't locked in when we first came out to start the game," Midgets senior guard Connor Hoenke said. "That kind of hurt us."
DHS responded doling out a dose of the Patriots' medicine, forcing turnovers on three consecutive possessions.
Catching the ball off of a curl into the paint, Midgets senior guard Dawson Bechtold delivered a drop-off pass to Selinger, who finished inside cutting the deficit to three.
However, the 12-9 gap was as close Dickinson would get as the Patriots pulled away with a 13-0 surge, capped by a driving layup from junior guard Treyton Mattern.
"I think our team defense was solid," Century head coach Darin Mattern said. "I thought we did a nice job of executing our plan and this time of year, it's all about making every possession difficult and I thought for the most part, we did that."
Despite being whistled for 10 team fouls in the first half, the Patriots' physical brand of defense was too imposing for a Dickinson team that was slow to react to the intensity.
"We have to match it," Glasser said. "When we guard our guys, we're ten feet off. They're guarding us and are right in our face and trying to dictate where they want to take us. We matched it, but it took about ten minutes and it was a little too late."
Dickinson trailed 31-14 at halftime and by as many as 31 points in the second half.
Century had three players in double figures, led by Freeny with 13 points, shooting 3-for-6 from three-point territory.
Selinger scored 15 points while Bechtold added 10 points for the Midgets, who face Bismarck Legacy on Friday, Mar. 2 at 1 p.m. (CT).
DHS struggled adjusting to their surroundings, playing on the Bismarck Event Center floor for the first time this season.
"This is [Bismarck Century's] third game on this floor and I don't know if it's fair or not, but it's our first game," Glasser said. "It is what it is. All of these kids have never played on this court before and I don't want to make excuses, but I thought right away, they had some pretty wide eyes. Hopefully tomorrow, we'll be more prepared and use to the environment over here."
Bismarck Century 70, Dickinson High 47
D 14 33
BC 31 39
D: Braden Selinger 15, Dawson Bechtold 10, Krebs Mathern 6, Nathan Personne 4, Martin Lopez 4, Kobe Krenz 3, Conner Hoenke 2, Sheldon Meyer 2, Aiden Levorsen 1.
BC: Cade Feeney 13, Treyton Mattern 12, Kade Amundson, 10, Josh Sipes 9, Kade Lynch 6, Darin Nolz 6, Devyn Vance 5, Oakley Martin 3, Mason Peterson 2, Stevie Kraljic 2, Blake Stuart 2.
3-pointers: D 1 (Krenz 1), BC 5 (Feeney 3). Free throws: D 10-21, BC 11-11. Total fouls: D 17, BC 18. Rebounds: D 26 (Klatt 5, Lopez 5), BC 35 (Lynch 8). Assists: D 2 (Selinger 1, Bechtold 1), BC 11 (Lynch 4). Steals: D 2 (Levorsen 1, Hoenke 1), BC 4 (Feeney 2). Blocks: D 2 (Selinger 1, Klatt 1), BC 3 (Amundson 2). Turnovers: D 20, BC 14. Records: D 7-16, BC 20-2.