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Patriots take early lead, top Midgets

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson High senior guard Drew Bechtold, back left, passes to Luke Herauf, front middle, between a pair of Bismarck Century defenders during a West Region game on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

The Dickinson High boys basketball team put forth its best game of the season against the No. 3-ranked team in the state.

The Midgets knew facing Bismarck Century the game wasn’t going to be handed to them. They put forth a strong defensive effort to keep the Patriots in check on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

Century won 58-39, but Dickinson head coach John Wilson was pleased with his team holding its opponent under 60 points.

“This is our most complete game effort-wise and how hard we played,” Wilson said. “We’re just still missing that chemistry on offense and that’s going to come, but we had a really interrupted start from not having everybody and most games had someone sitting out to a long break … But I was really happy with the 58. We haven’t really been able to defensively been able to hold people in the 60s and 70s.”

Dickinson was down early by nine — 12-3 — with 12 minutes, 44 seconds to go in the first half, but bounced back to come within four points after Nick Himmelspach stole the ball and drove down court for a layup to make it 27-23.

Aanen Moody had a team-high 10 points with eight coming from the free-throw line. Jackson Binstock had nine points, Drew Bechtold added eight as well as four rebounds and an assist and Luke Herauf chipped in seven points and the team’s only 3-point shot.

“We played well defensively, but we need to go to practice tomorrow and get better at our offense, keep working hard,” Bechtold said.

The Midgets were down by nine at halftime, but Century — led by Isaac Wahlin and Dalton Feeney with 18 and 10 points, respectively — began to pull away and build back its lead.

Feeney picked up four rebounds and two steals and Riley Henderson led the Patriots with six rebounds and chipped in six points. Overall the team had a strong shooting performance and shot 52 percent (13 for 25) in the first half and finished at 46 percent (23 for 50) overall.

“We played really really hard but at times I don’t think we played real smart,” Century head coach Darin Mattern said. “Especially in the first half, I thought we took way too many quick shots and that’s something we’re going to have to improve on. We have to be way more patient on offense.”

Dickinson’s offensive inconsistencies were still prevalent. The Midgets made 40 percent (8 for 20) of their baskets in the first half but sharply dropped to 20 percent (3 for 15) in the second. At the free-throw line, the team was 16 for 18.

The Midgets continue their season and travel to play Jamestown at 6:45 p.m. Friday.

“We got to find ways of coming out of games starting better in the second half,” Wilson said. “Our second half starts have been really really terrible. That’s another thing on us from the coaching staff up to the players and we’ll keep working on it.”

Century: Isaac Wahlin 18, Dalton Feeney 10, Sam Leidholm 7, Riley Henderson 6, Adain Geiger 5, Michael Feeney 4, Andrew Holen 4, Andrew Steinward 2, Luke Leingang 2.

Dickinson: Aanen Moody 10, Jackson Binstock 9, Drew Bechtold 8, Luke herauf 7, Nick Himmelspach 2, Shawn Steffen 2.

Halftime: C, 32-23. 3-pointers: C 5 (Wahlin 3, D. Feeney 1, Leidholm 1), D 1 (Herauf). Free throws: C 7-14, D 16-18. Total fouls: C 20, D 17. Fouled out: D, Bechtold. Rebounds: C 31 (Henderson 6), D 24 (3 with 4). Assists: C 1 (D. Feeney), D 3 (3 with 1). Steals: C 11 (Wahlin 2, D. Feeney 2), D 5 (Himmelspach 3). Blocks: C none, D 1 (Wyatt Kainz). Turnovers: C14, D 18. Records: C 8-1 (4-0), D 0-7 (0-3 West Region).

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.