Dickinson High junior guard Kobe Krenz is the arguably the team's best shooter, and against Bismarck St. Mary's, his featherly touch from the outside was on full display.
However, it was a seldom-used reserve that clinched the Midgets' first victory of 2019.
Freshman guard Luke Mavity scored two key baskets in the final minutes, as Dickinson held on for a 60-57 victory over the Saints on Tuesday, Jan. 8, from the Dickinson High Gym.
Late in the second half, Mavity missed on a reverse layup attempt, but snatched down the offensive rebound and laid in a putback, giving Dickinson a 57-54 advantage.
"I just got the rebound and wanted to put it back up and make a big bucket for the team," Mavity said. "It kept us ahead and it all worked out."
After Saints junior guard Jaxson Wiseman tied the game with a 3-pointer with under a minute remaining in the game, Mavity again was in the right place to capitalize. The ensuing inbounds went to Krenz, who slowing walked up the floor as he surveyed the Bismarck St Mary's defense from the back court. From there, he spotted Mavity wide open underneath the basket and delivered a dangerous, yet gutsy pass from more than 50 feet away. Mavity finished the layup, pushing the lead back up to two with 49.5 seconds left.
"I wasn't expecting it at first, but when I saw Kobe look up at me, I knew he was going to pass it to me," Mavity said. "Nobody was close to me. Then when I shot it, I was so happy that it went in."
Bismarck St. Mary's senior guard Ben Schmidt had an opportunity to give his team the lead, but his 3-pointer for the corner bounced off the back of the rim. Krenz grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 22.9 seconds on the clock, splitting a pair of free throws.
After the road team called a timeout with 8.1 seconds left, Schmidt had a chance from the outside, breaking free on an Iverson cut across the lane, but his game-tying fadeaway 3-pointer rimmed in and out. The Saints gobbled up the offensive board, but time expired before they could get off another shot.
"We had two looks at it at late in the game, we had one out of the far-left corner and then one right here in front of our bench," Saints head coach Brent DeKok said. "Got our best player the ball with an opportunity to score, but it just didn't go down."
After both teams entered the halftime break tied at 24, the Saints gained control of the game early in the second half, pulling out to as much as a 44-36 advantage. Dickinson stayed in it, chipping into the deficit until Krenz took over.
The 5-foot-10 junior tied the game at 52 with a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing. After Dickinson got a stop on the defensive end, Krenz put the home team ahead with a quick catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
He finished the night with a game-high 24 points, including five makes from behind the arc.
"Once I make two in a row, then I just know that a couple of them are going to fall," Krenz said.
Wiseman carried the Saints' production, leading his team with 22 points and five steals, while Schmidt was next with 14 points.
Midgets junior Tallon Klatt had a solid game with 14 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. Entering the night as the team's leading scorer, junior guard Jaiden Wright struggled with nine points on 3 of 12 shooting, but pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds.
As for Mavity, his two baskets that sealed the game when the only points he scored during the night, but the fact he was on the floor late in a tight contest shows the kind of confidence Dickinson head coach Dan Glasser has in him.
"We talk about our attitude and our effort, and there's not other person that's at a high level at those two things than that freshman," Glasser said. "He never quits, he's 100 percent grit and that's all I ask from any of my players. It doesn't matter what grade they are in, if they are going to give me that kind of effort, they are going to find their way on the floor."
Dickinson 60, Bismarck St. Mary's 57
BSM 24 33
D 24 36
BSM: Jaxon Wiseman 22, Ben Schmidt 14, Drew Dosch 5, Holten Bradley 5, Andrew Nagel 4, Isaac Armstrong 4,
D: Kobe Krenz 24, Tallon Klatt 14, Jaiden Wright 9, Luke Mavity 4, Cody Maier 4, Jayden Hocker 3, Issac Gjerde 2.
3-pointers: BSM 8 (Wiseman 4), D 7 (Krenz 5). Free throws: BSM 5-16, D 15-23. Total fouls: BSM 20, D 18. Fouled out: 1 (BSM: Armstrong). Rebounds: BSM 35 (Armstrong 10), D 55 (Wright 17). Assists: BSM 9 (Bradley 4), D 10 (Wright, Krenz 3). Steals: BSM 15 (Wiseman 5), D 6 (Mavity 2). Blocks: BSM 3 (Schmidt 1), D 4 (Klatt 2). Turnovers: BSM 16, D 25. Records: BSM 2-8 (West Region 2-7), D 3-6 (West Region 3-5).