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There were tears of joy and tears of sorrow after the North Dakota state gymnastics meet's team competition ended Friday night. The Minot gymnastics team were the ones crying tears of joy after coming away with its fourth straight state championship at Dickinson High School gymnasium. "It always comes down to the wire here in Dickinson," Minot co-head coach Marisa Upton said. "It was close going in and the girls stepped up on floor really well.
The Dickinson High gymnastics team has been on the cusp of being state champions for the last three years. Falling runner-up to Minot High in the last three state meets, the Midgets are ready to end the Majettes run as they host the North Dakota state gymnastics meet starting today at DHS gymnasium. The team competition begins at 4 p.m. today and the individual championships start at noon Saturday. "We definitely want this," Dickinson senior Shalesa Wariner said.
Climbing to varsity status for any athlete can be a long and tiresome. But for senior Shalesa Wariner, the path was a little rocky. After much progression since her seventh-grade year, Wariner is now an integral part for the Dickinson High gymnastics team that hosts the North Dakota state meet beginning today at DHS gymnasium. "When I first started, I definitely wasn't one of the better ones," Wariner said. "I don't think they were expecting me to be one of the better ones either, but I really wanted to be good at this sport.
Tanner Halter picked the perfect time to have the best game of his senior season. The Dickinson High boys basketball team overcame a tough second half to defeat Williston 56-47 in the West Region Tournament play-in game on Thursday at the DHS gymnasium. "The guys hit some shots when we had to," Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. "We've just been talking about our mental toughness. We have to learn about tight situations. Good teams don't change what they are doing." In the last three games, the Midgets (8-12) have had trouble in the second half.
When Belfield district game warden Jerad Bluem started in 2009, he might not have expected to be honored this quickly. Bluem was presented the North Dakota Wildlife Officer of the Year award in the annual North Dakota Game and Fish Department staff meeting in December at Bismarck. "I was pretty shocked," Bluem said. "It's not an award that they give out every year. It was a little unexpected." Accepting the award in front of the all the game wardens in North Dakota is an experience that Bluem will never forget. "They do all the awards at one time and I got it presented then," he said.
The ceiling has been set high for the No. 9-ranked Beach girls basketball team. After losing six seniors from last year's team, the Buccaneers have found major success with a squad comprised of mostly underclassmen. "We lost six seniors last year," Beach head coach Bob Waldal said. "Our bench (from last year) is the kids that are basically playing this year. We've been real pleased." Beach has one senior on the team this season, Kelcee Dykins. She leads the team with 17.4 points per game.
The first 18 minutes couldn't have gone smoother for the Dickinson High boys basketball team. The second 18 minutes was a different story. The No. 3-ranked Mandan climbed out of a nine-point deficit in the second half en route to an 81-68 win over Dickinson in West Region game Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. "If we look at our season stats, we are outscoring our opponents in the first half," Dickinson head coach John Wilson said. "We were up nine and they ended on a 31-9 run. The same teams are out there.
Whatever the message the Mandan girls basketball team received at halftime seem to pay dividends for the remainder of the game. The Braves picked up the pace in the second half to defeat Dickinson High 55-38 in a West Region game and regular-season finale for both teams Tuesday at the DHS gymnasium. "We were lethargic in the first half," Mandan head coach Len Stanley said. "That's not taking anything away from Dickinson. Dickinson played well.
Hazen's performance in the first quarter of its Region 7 boys basketball tournament told the story of how the final game of the quarterfinal was going to play out. The Bison jumped out early and defeated Bowman County 75-38 on Monday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "The big thing that we talked about was coming out with some intensity on defense," Hazen head coach Randy Johnson said. "I think that if we did that defensively our offense would work." Johnson's observation was correct. The points did come and they came fast.
The No. 5-ranked Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team knew it couldn't allow Mott-Regent to stick around in the game, even with Wildfire senior center Nate Fries on the bench in street clothes. The Titans stepped up the defensive pressure in the second half en route to a 69-54 win in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 tournament on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "You've got to give credit to Trinity," Mott-Regent head coach Wayne Heckaman said. "We're a well-balanced team and I think we got wore down a little bit in the second half.