Dufault explodes for 38 points to lead Killdeer over Hazen
HAZEN -- When his team needed him most, Killdeer senior Austin Dufault was there - and he was on. Dufault was electrifying, knocking down 12 of 19 shots and going 11 of 11 at the free-throw line to finish with an astounding 38 points while grabbi...
HAZEN -- When his team needed him most, Killdeer senior Austin Dufault was there - and he was on.
Dufault was electrifying, knocking down 12 of 19 shots and going 11 of 11 at the free-throw line to finish with an astounding 38 points while grabbing 16 rebounds in Killdeer's 60-56 win over Hazen in the District 14 tournament semifinals Saturday at Bison Arena.
Second-seeded Killdeer plays fourth-seeded Dickinson Trinity in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Hazen drops into a regional qualifier against Glen Ullin-Hebron at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
"We had it written down on the board before the game that if we worked hard, we'll win," Dufault said.
It showed as Dufault did most of his damage in the paint, driving to the hoop and getting to the free-throw line.
The 6-foot-8 guard scored 25 of Killdeer's 32 second-half points, including a run of 12 straight Killdeer points to end the third quarter.
In the fourth, he had 11 straight points, attempting to stave off a feisty Hazen squad that continuously answered Killdeer's offense output.
Killdeer coach Rich Dufault said he was worried about Hazen forwards Chad Marshall and Brian Sorensen, and their ability to get offensive rebounds.
"Marshall and Sorensen offensive board so well," Dufault said. "We had to board."
Did they ever.
The Cowboys out-rebounded Hazen 36-24 and held a 16-8 advantage on the offensive. Killdeer had 13 second-chance points to just six for Hazen.
"We knew they were a good rebounding team," Austin Dufault said. "It came down to us working hard. We worked hard at getting second-chance opportunities."
Hazen coach Randy Johnson agreed with his coaching counterpart.
"Their number of offensive rebounds killed us," Johnson said. "That's a credit to them. They did a fantastic job."
The Cowboys trailed 45-44 going into the fourth quarter and fell behind even more when Marshall opened up quarter scoring with a jumper.
However, the strong play of Killdeer senior point guard Michael Wagner shown through as he hit a jumper and went to the hole for a layup on two straight possessions to give his team a 48-47 lead.
Wagner finished with 17, and combined with Dufault for 55 of their 60 total points.
"Michael Wagner got some key baskets," Wagner said. "He worked on a lot of things over the summer and has gotten better.
"At some point and time, the winter asks what you did in the summer."
Wagner's two straight buckets gave the Cowboys a lead it didn't relinquish, despite Hazen sticking around.
Hazen point guard Jacob Erhardt drove the left side and laid in a floater to bring his team within one with 30 seconds to go.
However, Dufault came back with two free throws and Gartner went 1 of 2 from the line with eight seconds remaining to seal it for the Cowboys, who will be trying for their fourth district championship in more than 30 years.
Hazen was led in scoring by Marshall's 21 points. Erhardt finished with 12 points.
"We talked before the game about what we needed to do," Johnson said. "We didn't quite do that."
Killdeer 60, Hazen 56
Hazen 13 28 45 56
Killdeer 15 27 44 60
H: Chad Marshall 21, Jacob Erhardt 12, Clay Brinkman 9, Brian Sorensen 6, Colton Burr 4, Baylee Carr 2, Brent Sorensen 2.
K: Austin Dufault 38, Michael Wagner 17, Drew Gartner 3, Gabe Fettig 2.
3-pointers: Marshall 2, Erhardt 2, Dufault. Free throws: H 2-6, K 13-18. Total fouls: H 17, K 10. Fouled out: Brian Sorensen. Rebounds: H 24 (Erhardt 5), K 36 (Dufault 16). Assists: H 21 (Brian Sorensen 6), K 17 (Wagner 7). Steals: H 13 (Burr 6), K 13 (Wagner 4). Turnovers: H 13, K 15.