With under two minutes left in the Dickinson boys basketball game vs. Mandan on Tuesday night, senior Jaiden Wright raced up the court and senior Kobe Krenz found him in the open floor for a contested layup to make the score 56-53. Wright was also fouled, and he hit the free throw that was the game-winning point in the Midgets’ 57-56 win.
Moments later, Mandan had the ball with 30 seconds left with a shot to win after a clutch 3-pointer by Tyler Thilmony.
Mandan dribbled the clock down to only a few seconds left as the gym roared anxiously waiting for one shining moment and the thrill of a contest that was going down to literally the last shot.
After a timeout, the Braves attempted to inbound the ball to 6-foot-8 center Elijah Klien, but he was not open, and with only 4 seconds left Jayce Lowman caught the inbound pass with one of the biggest shots of his career.
His three-point attempt hit back iron and Wright rebounded the ball to secure a dramatic win for Dickinson.
The win improved Dickinson to 7-4 overall and 7-3 in WDA play.
“Once I saw the setup that they were in, I kind of had an idea of what they may do,” said Dickinson head coach Dan Glasser. “I thought they would go to (Klein), who has had an amazing career. It seems like he has been there for 12 years. … If I was coaching, I’d want to get it to him. I figured he’d set a screen and then try and get open. We were able to talk that away. They did get a good shot, but it wasn’t Klein, and that was the plan.”
Despite Wright’s triumphant and 1 late in the game, Mandan’s opportunity to win was partly due to two late miscues.
With 56 seconds left, he was called for an offensive foul that gave Mandan a shot to take the lead, but after a defensive stop on the ensuing possession by the Midgets, Wright turned the ball over trying to advance it up the court to center Tallon Klatt on a fastbreak.
Dickinson went on an 8-1 run early in the contest that forced Mandan to call a timeout as the score stood at 11-4.
The Braves raced back to make the contest tight for the whole game.
Dickinson led 27-23 at halftime behind 14 points by Krenz on 12 shots.
Mandan then took a 39-33 lead, but Krenz gave the Midgets the lead for good when he nailed a three to make the score 44-43 with 6:40 left in the game.
“(Our kids) are tremendous and an amazing group,” said Glasser. “I am blessed and lucky to be able to coach them. We were preseason No. 8 in the WDA and we made it through the first round and we are 7-3. I think we are the number seed. To lose only three games through the first round shows the resilience of not just this particular game, but the team has done an amazing job and continued to get better every day.”
Krenz finished the game for Dickinson with 24 points, and Wright had 18.
Klatt and Krenz both had six rebounds.
Klein had 18 points for Mandan and Jaxton Wiest finished with 14.
The Midgets travel to Watford City on Thursday night for another WDA contest.