Krieg, Midgets win post battle with Boehning, Devils
Shooting from the free-throw line was troubling at times for the Dickinson High boys basketball team.
The Midgets finished 11 of 22, but made free throws at the most important time.
Dickinson senior Alex Huschka and sophomore Mark Erickson each supplied a free throw in the final 20 seconds to help preserve a 51-48 win over Dawson County (Mont.) on Friday in their home opener at the DHS gymnasium.
"We've been in this situation before," Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. "Luckily, we've done enough at the end to win games. It's kind of been our thing. We're going to chalk everything up as a learning experience."
The Midgets (3-0) aren't strangers to playing in games that come down to the wire. Dickinson's three wins this season are by a margin of less than four points.
"Having these games at the beginning of the season is going to prepare us for games down the road," Dickinson junior guard Dylan Skabo said.
However, the key matchup in the game was in the paint between Dickinson's 6-foot-5 senior post Jordan Krieg against the Red Devils 6-10 center Bryden Boehning.
Krieg got the best of Boehning, posting 15 points and 20 rebounds. Boehning had 13 points and five rebounds.
"Jordan did a really nice job," Wilson said. "We played in front and behind him a little bit to mix it up."
Dawson County head coach Wade Murphy said having Boehning is a gift not many coaches are able to have.
"It's nice to have a big kids like that," Murphy said. "It's always nice to go in knowing we have that option. No doubt about it."
The other Dawson County player Dickinson had a tough time guarding was Colter Bachmeier. The 6-0 junior had a team-high 15 points and six rebounds.
After a solid first half that ended with a Krieg layup in the closing seconds, the Midgets took a 26-22 lead into halftime.
The fouls were imminent in the Red Devils' 22 points. Dawson County got into the bonus with 13:25 left in the half. Dickinson managed to settle down with the help of Erickson and Skabo. The two combined for 15 points, while Skabo had seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
"We would have liked to jump out and get more of a lead," Erickson said. "I'm happy with the way we started the game. We got the W at the end and that's all that really matters."
The Midgets maintained their lead throughout a majority of the second half. Nonetheless, Dawson County was nipping at Dickinson's heels. The Red Devils tied up the game, 42-42, with 5:19 left in regulation.
Each team responded with baskets, but it was Dickinson senior guard Jaden Kudrna's jumper and 3-pointer in the final two minutes that kept Dickinson's head above water.
"When he's hot late is more exciting to watch than when he hot early," Wilson said. "When he gets that feeling late in a game, he stays locked in. He had some nice things at the end."
Not only did the struggles come at the free-throw line, but from 3-point range as well. Dickinson went 2 of 14 (14 percent) from beyond the arc.
Skabo said they were going fall eventually. Huschka made the first 3-pointer with 7 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game. Kudrna followed more than four minutes later with a trey from the right wing. Kudrna finished with 12 points and Huschka added five.
"The 3-pointers weren't falling at the beginning of the game, but we know if we keep shooting they're eventually going to fall," Skabo said. "We just have confidence in our shooters."
Kudrna's night wasn't done, but it wasn't for the best. After a scuffle for the ball at center court, Kudrna went down holding his left ankle. He was helped off the court by teammates and started walking on the foot while on the sidelines. He did not return in the final 50 seconds, but Wilson said the injury doesn't appear serious.
The Midgets have the toughest test of the season at 5 p.m. today, hosting No. 2-ranked Minot.
Erickson said the team must be clicking on all cylinders.
"We've got to be ready what's coming for us," he said. "All we can do is play Dickinson Midgets basketball."
DC: Colter Bachmeier 15, Gavin McPherson 13, Taylor Schwartz 8, Tanner Phipps 6, Tanner Schwartz 4, Blake Stanhope 2.
DHS: Jordan Krieg 15, Jaden Kudrna 12, Dylan Skabo 9, Mark Erickson 6, Alex Huschka 5, Luke Herauf 4.
Half: DHS 26-22. 3-pointers: DC 0, DHS 2 (Huschka 1, Kudrna 1). Free throws: DC 8-12, DHS 11-22. Total fouls: DC 22, DHS 15. Fouled out: DC, Ryan Hood. Rebounds: DC 35 (Bachmeier 6), DHS 44 (Krieg 20). Assists: DC 2 (Bachmeier 2), DHS 10 (Skabo 5). Steals: DC 5 (Bachmeier 2), DHS 6 (Skabo 3). Blocks: DC 2 (Boehning 2), DHS 1 (Krieg 1). Turnovers: DC 11, DHS 17. Records: DC 4-1, DHS 3-0.