History doesn’t always repeat itself, especially in the playoffs.
In a game that was full of runs and lead changes, it all came down to this:
Dickinson State trailed Waldorf by three points, 11 seconds remaining and after a missed free throw got the rebound and darted down the court. The Blue Hawks were in the same position only days ago against the Warriors. Same building, same scenario. Different outcome. Instead of Scott Gymnasium bursting with excitement with a tied 3-pointer, the only sound that could be heard was the buzzer after two missed treys ended the game, and season, for the Dickinson State Blue Hawks.
“(Waldorf) is really good, all of our games with them are like that,” head coach Josh Vaughan said. “We knew it was going to be close and be one or two possessions all the way through, and I think that we just made some silly plays, just mentally, and they made some really good plays.”
Dickinson State was led by senior forward Malcohlm Hill who ended with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth consecutive double-double. Senior Kenny Jackson finished with 17 points, Donte Walker with 15 and Montel Carlow with 13.
As for Waldorf, senior Demitrius Martin helped carry the team with 23 points and six rebounds. Warriors center Gabriel Munoz also dropped 23 and recorded eight rebounds. Both players stepped up at clutch times throughout the contest and bring the team the victory in the end.
“It seemed like they got all the loose balls when it mattered and the rebounds when it mattered,” Vaughan said.
From the very tip, both teams played like it was their final game, it was going to be if they lost. Both teams made plays when they needed to be made and hit key baskets when the situation presented itself. However, Martin never waivered for the Warriors and continued to be aggressive for the Warriors, keeping the game close and giving Waldorf the lead at the end of the first half with a 38-37 lead. Still, Dickinson State continued to fight.
Hill led the Blue Hawks in the second half, starting with a breakaway thunderous two-hander that may have not shattered the backboard, but the eardrums of the fans in the student section. and helping the team obtain a 14-4 run.
Eventually, with the Blue Hawks leading 51-46 with 14 mins remaining in the second half. Waldorf needed a bucket, Martin drained a 3-pointer to get the ball game back to two, Melvin Martin then assisted his brother by tying the game at 53 with a contested layup which then gave the momentum to the Warriors. Dickinson State was able to obtain an eight point lead, the best of the game, but Martin and Munoz's hard play helped rally the team and silence the gym.
With only seconds remaining, down three it looked as if Dickinson State was going to need another "Cinderella story" to take the win. They would need another missed rebound and a 3-pointer to tie and go into overtime. Last time it was Demetrius Martin at the free throw line, this time, it was Melvin. Melvin missed the free throw, Dickinson State obtained the rebound, the fans perked up. It looked as if it was an instant replay of what happened on Feb. 7 when Ajdin Toskic drained a 3-pointer to go into overtime.
But this time, on Feb. 25, all the fans saw was the ball bounce off the rim after a 3-pointer by Jackson and a 3-pointer by Donte Walker.
The buzzer dropped harder than the fan’s hopes of rallying back. The "Cinderella story" was just like the season, over.
For Hill, Jackson, Walker, and Nick Wurm, it was their final game as Dickinson State Blue Hawks.
“We had some highs and lows (this season) I don’t think we totally reached our expectations for ourselves,” Vaughan said. “We’re going to miss those four seniors, they all impacted the Dickinson community and our team greatly. They will be missed.”