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Midgets play complete game, beat Cowgirls

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson senior forward Avery Privratsky, left, dribbles against a Custer County (Mont.) defender during a nonconference game on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. The Midgets defeated the Cowgirls 44-39.

The Dickinson High girls basketball team played one of its most complete game of the season.

Dickinson head coach Dan Pender loved the effort from the entire team from start to finish as the Midgets defeated Custer County (Mont.) 44-39 in a nonconference game on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

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“(Tuesday) was the first night in a long time that we played a full game,” Pender said. “We had a couple lulls offensively, a few minutes here and there but it wasn’t that 10, 12 minute stretch … They all played good, it was exciting out there and they did a great job.”

Unlike Friday’s game against Jamestown, Dickinson started the first half off strong with back-to-back jump shots from senior forward Sydney Gangl for the 4-2 lead. For the next 13 minutes, the Midgets outscored the Cowgirls 19-6 to go up 23-10 for their biggest lead of the half.

Junior forward Meryl Kovacs came off the bench and led the Midgets with 14 points and eight rebounds, followed by senior guard Riley Cooper with 10 points.

In the second half, the Midgets came out a little flustered in the first minute and had trouble finding the basket. Custer County was warming up and in 15 seconds sophomore guard Ashlie Larson and senior forward Shaylee Singleton scored back-to-back shots to close the lead to 25-21. Singleton had a game-high 16 points and three rebounds.

“We played hard the whole game, but they came out in the second half a little bit harder than us and we got a little frazzled and just needed to calm down and do what we were doing in the first half and keep playing hard,” said Gangl, who went 4 for 8 with eight points and seven rebounds.

The Cowgirls threatened a few times in the second half. Their closest with 6:22 left after Singleton hit her jumper to make the score 35-32. But Dickinson’s Cooper, Sierra Rohr and Avery Privratsky scored six unanswered points and held Custer County back long enough to clinch a win.

“We came out better than last time, couple few times,” Rohr said. “We did our offense, talked on defense but we were a little rushed in the second half and need to slow down.”

Junior point guard Lillie Meduna added: “We started talking a lot more. We started looking up the court to each other and started passing the ball and stuff and moving it around, looking for open shots. It was a pretty good adjustment and we can build on that.”

Dickinson went 11 for 21 (41 percent) from the floor and outrebounded Custer County 46-34. The Cowgirls’ shot 16 for 59 (27 percent) and hit 2 of 11 3-pointers.

When the Midgets traveled to Jamestown, they scored 10 first-half points. Pender said the team had to come alive in the first half or they would be swallowed by the opponent every single time.

“What we talked about when we came back from Jamestown was it’s time for us to get after it right away,” he said. “We can’t just come out and think the game is going to be real easy because every team is going to take it to us. Our girls responded and we got into the second half and told the girls, you know, we kind of didn’t wake up for that first minute.

“Other than that, girls played hard, adjusted defensively and offensively give credit to Miles City.”

The Midgets host Bismarck High at 5:45 p.m. Friday. If Dickinson wants to compete with the Demons, they can’t give into the pressure and slow down mentally.

“We got to be able to handle their pressure and if we can handle their pressure, we’ll be alright,” Pender said. “But if we don’t handle the pressure we’ll be in trouble.”

CC: Shaylee Singleton 16, Ashlie Larson 9, Tori Swope 8, Amy Blaquiere 4, Makena Ellington 2.

DHS: Meryl Kovacs 14, Riley Cooper 10, Sydney Gangl 8, Lexi Jordheim 5, Riana Cooper 2, Morgan Dukart 2, Sierra Rohr 2, Avery Privratsky 1.

Half: 25-17. 3-pointers: CC 2 (Swope 2), DHS 2 (Cooper, Jordheim). Free throws: CC 5-14, DHS 6-18. Total fouls: CC 16, DHS 13. Rebounds: CC 34 (Kadie Heinle 5), DHS 46 (Kovacs 8). Assists: CC 9 (Beth Sutter 5), DHS 13 (Lillie Meduna 4). Steals: CC 16 (Swope 6), DHS 12 (Gangl, Rohr 3). Blocks: CC none, DHS none. Turnovers: CC 19, DHS 22.