Basketball is a game of runs, but Dickinson got on the wrong end and ran out of time trying to come back.
Despite going into the half with a 31-26 deficit, the Midgets seemed to be on the verge of coming back, but the Braves proved why they are the third-best in the WDA, earning a solid 65-51 victory. Seniors Peyton Selle and Audrey Rodakowski, along with junior Symone Beld, attempted to help the Midgets fight. Selle and Rodakowski combined for a total of 22 points while Beld connected on two 3-pointers and got to the line numerous times for Dickinson, ending with 11.
“I just think that there was a six-seven minute stretch early in the second half where we just kind of (beat) ourselves,” head coach James Hayden said. “We were (very) close from playing a complete game, and when we put a complete game together, I mean, we can compete with anybody.”
The Midgets contested the Braves throughout the night, not giving up easy shots and stayed close. The team got to the line 30 times in the game, but only hit 15 points from the line. The team was also able to outrebound their foes in the contest.
The Midgets had the lead early on in the first half, but a brief run by the Braves, including connecting from 3-point range, allowed the team to take a five-point lead into halftime. The Midgets seemed to be ready for action in the second half, tying the game early at 36 and forcing a timeout by the Braves. From there, things turned south for the Midgets.
Following the timeout, Mandan torched Dickinson from the field by connecting from 3-point range and forcing turnovers, bringing the score to 44-36 before extending the contest at one point to a 15-point deficit. Dickinson continued to fight and nearly got the game back to single digits. But in the end, Mandan’s key runs helped them take the road victory.
“I never really counted us out of (the game) to be honest,” Hayden said. “I know it really hurt us, and kind of when you dig yourself into a hole like that, it’s definitely a lot harder to work your way out, it feels like quick sand a little bit. But I never counted us out, the way that these girls compete all the time, it’s just really impressive. We’re just going to keep fighting.”
Despite the loss, the Midgets’ chemistry continues to grow and develop, something every coach hopes to see throughout the regular season.
“I thought we came together really well tonight,” he said. “After a really tough battle (against Bismarck High) last week, they just fought, they just played together. They did the little things really well, and we just need to keep believing in each other and fighting for another night.”
The Midgets time to dwell on the loss will be short lived as they prepare to go on the road and play against Watford City on Thursday.