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Century wins battle, holding off Midgets late

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High junior guard Dylan Skabo tries to drive past Bismarck Century junior Robert Hutchins on Tuesday night during a West Region boys basketball game at the DHS gymnasium.

The Dickinson High and Bismarck Century boys basketball teams were in for a rough-and-tumble battle -- one each head coach knew was coming.

The Patriots buckled down on defense in the second half and made important free throws down the stretch to defeat Dickinson 60-57 in a West Region game on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

"Anytime you go on the road in the WDA, it's always going to be a dogfight," Century head coach Darin Mattern said. "Dickinson is very athletic. It was just a heck of a high school basketball game."

Despite the loss, Dickinson head coach John Wilson was proud of the team's overall effort.

"It was a fight from the opening tipoff," Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. I'm very proud of our kids. Our kids play so hard."

After a back-and-forth second half, Century's Tyler Rudolph made 4 of 5 free throws in the final minute. Rudolph finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Meanwhile the Patriots (4-3, 3-1 West) locked-in defense caused Dickinson to commit 17 turnovers. Century, on the other hand, had eight turnovers.

"Tyler has some pretty good length, so we're going to ask him to guard each team's best post player," Mattern said. "(Dickinson senior center Jordan) Krieg is very difficult to handle inside."

Wilson told The Dickinson Press on Monday that he expected limited minutes from senior guard Jaden Kudrna, who suffered a high ankle sprain in final 50 seconds against Dawson County, Mont., on Dec. 21. Kudrna returned to practice Monday and Wilson said he made every shot he took in the first five minutes of the team's shootaround.

"He was moving around and cutting well," Wilson said.

Instead of playing in spurts, the senior played more than 32 minutes and supplied 11 points with a pair of 3-pointers.

"It's good to be back on the floor," Kudrna said. "It would have been better if we would have got the win, so it's a bittersweet comeback."

Century held a 26-21 lead at halftime and the Midgets were still within striking distance. Wilson was impressed with the defensive performance his team put up in the first half.

The only area the Midgets lacked in the first half was 3-point shooting. However, they were just getting warmed up.

Dickinson went 5 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half and 7 of 19 (37 percent) in the game. Senior guard Alex Huschka supplied a game-high four 3-pointers and 14 points.

Krieg, Rudolph's nemesis in the paint, had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Dickinson junior forward Levi Jordheim supplied eight points and five rebounds.

"In my opinion, Krieg is one of the best players in the WDA," Wilson said. "The kid is unstoppable. I think tonight we could have asked him to be a little more selfish.

"Levi keeps things alive. He's so athletic. He's so quick."

The Midgets took the lead once in the second half, 40-38, after a pair of Krieg free throws.

Dickinson hopes to learn from the loss as its season continues at Jamestown at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

"My message to them after the game was, 'This is the type of game we are going to have to win to get to state,'" Wilson said. "I know that's a goal the kids have set. I think we can get better, because the kids play so hard all the time."

CHS: Tyler Rudolph 16, Dalton Feeney 11, Robert Hutchins 10, Ben Holen 10, Kyle Connor 5, Tim Wegner 4, Ramey Schatz 3, Hunter Walsh 1.

DHS: Alex Huschka 14, Jaden Kudrna 11, Jordan Krieg 10, Levi Jordheim 8, Dylan Skabo 6, Mark Erickson 5, Luke Herauf 2, Parker Egli 1.

Half: 26-21. 3-pointers: CHS 3 (Feeney 1, Connor 1, Hutchins 1), DHS 7 (Huschka 4, Kudrna 2, Erickson 1). Free throws: CHS 9-18, DHS 8-11. Total fouls: CHS 13, DHS 18. Rebounds: CHS 27 (Rudolph 8), DHS 39 (Krieg 13). Assists: CHS 1 (Wegner 1), DHS 9 (Krieg 2, Skabo 2, Erickson 2). Steals: CHS 4 (Feeney 2), DHS 2 (Skabo 1, Erickson 1). Blocks: none. Turnovers: CHS 8, DHS 17. Records: CHS 4-3 (3-1 West), DHS 3-2 (1-2 West).