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Wacky opener

The Dickinson High girls basketball team took its players, coaches and fans for a rollercoaster ride on Thursday. Dickinson senior guard Lynn Messer nailed an off-balanced, awkward-looking 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, a...

The Dickinson High girls basketball team took its players, coaches and fans for a rollercoaster ride on Thursday.

Dickinson senior guard Lynn Messer nailed an off-balanced, awkward-looking 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, and the Midgets rode momentum from there as Dickinson stunned Dawson County (Mont.) 61-54 in double overtime in the Midgets' season opener at the Dickinson High School gymnasium.

Messer, guarded heavily at the right wing, leaned to her right side to get around her defender and threw up a prayer. The shot was nothing but net.

"I knew time was ticking down," Messer said. "I just, kind of, got around her. It just happened."

The shot helped the Midgets erase a 16-point deficit they faced with 6 minutes remaining in the game. Trailing 43-27, Dickinson used a ferocious comeback, going on a 16-0 run to end regulation, which was capped by Messer's buzzer-beater. Messer finished with 12 points.

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"We set up a play to get a 3," Dickinson coach Greg Jung said. "In a sense, we did execute. She did what she had to do. We got a miracle shot, but it's happened to us on the other end as well."

Both teams stalled in overtime as they combined for just 10 points.

Double overtime, however, was a different story. Dickinson High stormed out of the gate as freshman Jess Herauf opened scoring with a layup, and sophomore Justine Braunagel drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Midgets a five-point cushion. Though Dawson County closed the gap to within four points, it lost 6-foot-2 sophomore Carly Selvig when she fouled out with less than 2 minutes remaining. Selvig finished with 12 points.

Selvig's loss was felt. Dickinson held the Devils without a field goal in the second overtime as they converted on 6 of 8, but couldn't rally.

"We didn't have the manpower to keep people fresh," Dawson County coach Richy Powell said. "I had to play some girls who didn't have any varsity experience. The effort was there."

Dickinson came out of both halves extremely slow. Dawson County jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first half as the Midgets scored just two points in the first 11:17 of the game. They ended the half on a 17-8 run.

It was a similar case in the second half. The Devils held Dickinson to just four points in the opening 12:12 before the Midgets ended with their strong run.

Dawson County's Kalli Stanhope scored 15 points to lead her squad.

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Dickinson (1-0) was led in scoring by Brigette Uttech's team-high 13 points. Herauf added 11.

"We had kids who stepped up and made plays when it counted," Jung said. "We chipped away. It was a series of big shots and we finished well in (double) overtime."

Dickinson High 61,

Dawson County 54 (2OT)

DC 20 43 48 54

DHS 19 43 48 61

DC: Kalli Stanhope 15, Carly Selvig 12, Blair Milne 8, Kyla Johnson 6, Abbey Dufner 5, Jessica Zander 5, Nocona Frame 3.

DHS: Brigette Uttech 13, Lynn Messer 12, Jess Herauf 11, Justine Braunagel 7, Ashley Krieg 6, Shaunda Dvorak 5, Whitley Abrahamson 3, Celeste Miller 2, Brie Lynch 2.

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3-pointers: DC, Frame 1, Stanhope 1. DHS, Messer 2, Braunagel 1. Free throws: DC 12-19, DHS 8-17. Total fouls: DC 19, DHS 21. Fouled out: Selvig, Dvorak. Rebounds: DC 37 (Milne 6), DHS 47 (Herauf, Uttech 7). Assists: DC 5 (Selvig, Stanhope 2), DHS 14 (Abrahamson 4). Steals: DC 8 (Dufner 3), DHS 8 (Herauf, Dvorak 2). Turnovers: DC 18, DHS 19. Records: DHS 1-0.

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