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Demons use pressure to defeat Midgets

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High eighth-grader Raegan Linster, back, tries to dribble against a Bismarck High defender during a West Region game on Friday at DHS gymnasium. The No. 3-ranked Demons defeated the Midgets 77-26.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

The No. 3-ranked Bismarck High girls basketball team brought the pressure and Dickinson didn’t have an answer.

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Dickinson committed 32 turnovers — including 20 in the first half — as the Demons took a 77-26 West Region win on Friday at DHS gymnasium.

“Bismarck came out and they played hard and they played hard for 36 minutes,” Dickinson head coach Dan Pender said. “They didn’t stop and it didn’t matter who was in the game. We have 32 turnovers and we let them shoot 54 percent. I don’t think our defense was there tonight.”

Bismarck head coach Dallas Hinderer added: “We played both ends of the floor well. We scored the ball well, but more importantly we played good defense.”

At halftime, Bismarck held a 41-14 lead. The Demons’ offensive output wasn’t finished. Bismarck’s biggest lead of the game was 53 points, which it held twice. The first was on a Kylee Leingang hit a jump shot and the second was a Shelby Standing Elk jumper. Both occurred with less than 6 minutes in the game.

Leingang ended with 13 points. The Demons (8-1, 6-0 West Region) had two more players in double figures. Courtney Trolliey had a game-high 21 points, while Mckenzie Keifer was dialed in from 3-point range, going 5 of 6 and finishing with 19 points.

As a team, Bismarck was 32 of 59 (54 percent) from the field. The Demons had nine players score at least two or more points.

“We did a good job of moving the basketball,” Hinderer said. “There wasn’t a lot of one-pass shots. (Dickinson) had to defend multiple things, whether it was a post touch or a kick outside. When other teams have to defend multiple things, that’s when we are good.”

However, the Midgets (2-5, 0-5 West Region) didn’t have the same luck. Dickinson was 9 of 36 (25 percent) from the field including 14 percent in the second half. Meryl Kovacs was Dickinson’s leading scorer with six, while five players were tied four points.

The Midgets put up six more shots in the second half, but got half as many to fall. Dickinson took a total of 15 shots in the first half and 21 in the second. The Midgets made six field goals in the opening 18 minutes and three in the second.

“That’s been a problem for us all year — our shots aren’t falling very well,” said Morgan Dukart, a junior guard.

Pender and Dukart both said the team wasn’t mentally prepared when it stepped onto the floor.

“I think mentally and physically we weren’t here tonight,” Pender said.

Dukart added: “I feel like we didn’t come out very strong and we just aren’t mentally there sometimes. We need to work more as a team than five individuals playing basketball.”

Dickinson’s next game is traveling to West Region opponent Mandan at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Midgets’ main goal is to learn from its mistakes and not make them again.

“The girls saw it when they were on the bench how hard Bismarck goes when there are 3 minutes left in the game,” Pender said. “We have to take that look and try to bring it to us. Right now, we are struggling offensively and we can’t find a groove.

“Hopefully, we can rebound and take something out of this.”

B: Courtney Trolliey, 21, Mckenzie Keifer 19, Kylee Leingang 13, Keisha Engelhardt, 7, Ashlee Hilzendeger 6, Shelby Standing Elk 3, Taylor Mann 3, Estee Schmidt 2, Taylor Hoakstra 2.

D: Meryl Kovacs 6, Avery Privratsky 4, Riana Cooper 4, Sierra Rohr 4, Raegen Linster 4, Lexi Jordheim 4.

Half: B 41-14. 3-pointers: B 7 (Keifer 5, Leingang 1, Mann 1). Free throws: B 5-11, D 8-16. Total fouls: B 18, D 15. Rebounds: B 31 (Hilzendeger 4), D 28 (three with three). Assists: B 20 (Engelhardt 4, Alison Fisher 4), D 5 (Linster 4). Steals: B 17 (Keifer 4), D 10 (Cooper). Turnovers: B 13, D 32. Records: B 8-1 (6-0 West Region), D 2-5 (0-5 West Region).