With six minutes and 18 seconds remaining in a nip-and-tuck battle against Turtle Mountain Community High School, the Dickinson High boys basketball team held a 62-56 lead and possession as head coach Dan Glasser called for a timeout.
The Midgets had a six-point advantage just moments earlier, so the timeout was signaled in an effort to capitalize on the chance to put the Braves away.
Out of a sidelines, out-of-bounds play following the timeout, junior center Tallon Klatt broke free and established deep position on the low block. As soon as he caught the ball, Klatt turned to shoot and was fouled on his attempt. The 6-foot-6 junior missed the front end of a 1-and-1 at the foul line, but senior forward Cody Maier pulled down the offensive rebound and put up a floater that expanded the home team's edge to eight.
Dickinson broke free from its opponent, using a 10-2 run late in the second half en route to a 81-68 victory over the Braves on Friday, Feb. 8, from the Dickinson High Gym.
The Midgets shot 16-for-28 from the field in the second half after going 13-for-26 in the first.
"I thought we showed what we could be capable of that second half," Glasser said. "We're just having a rough time on offense, moving and keeping the ball moving. We seem to be a little stagnant at some points and stuck in one spot, we make ourselves really easy to guard. I thought we saw in the second half how successful we could be on the offensive end if we do things the correct way."
Following a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Tristin Davis, Turtle Mountain entered halftime with a 40-38 advantage. That lead climbed to five early in the second half before 9-0 run gave the home team a lead they would not relinquish.
After baskets from Maier and sophomore guard Jayden Hocker, Klatt rebounded a Hocker miss from three-point territory and scored on a putback, putting the home team in front 44-43. Maier added to the lead with a three-point play.
While the offense was starting to get in sync, the defense did a better job in the second half slowing down the Braves, bringing a help-side defender sooner to cut off drives and cleaning up the glass to not allow many second-chance points.
After Turtle Mountain went 15-for-31 from the field in the first 18 minutes, the visitors closed the game going only 8-for-31
"I think we played great defense tonight," junior guard Jaiden Wright said. "We let them drop 40 points in the first half and coach kind of told us to 'get up in them.' We had a few guys foul out, but that was only because we were being aggressive. All of my teammates played great defense and that's how I think we held them to only 20 for most of the second half."
While the team collectively executed on the defensive, it was Wright who flourished the most with the ball in his hands. On the strength of five 3-pointers, the junior led all scorers with 27 points, 19 coming after the half.
"Coach told us to be aggressive if they are going to sit back in the zone, and get them in foul trouble because they don't have a very deep bench," Wright said. "My teammates got me all great looks and they were supportive too, so I credit them with that."
The Midgets built as much as a 15-point lead in the second half. Junior guard Kobe Krenz had 18 points while Klatt added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. His prettiest play came in the latter stages of the contest when after holding the ball in the mid-post, Klatt spun off a drop-step and connected with a right-handed hook shot while being fouled. The junior finished off the three-point play, giving Dickinson a 72-58 lead.
Senior forward Julian Parisian had 20 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore forward Wyatt Enno chipped in 18 points for a Turtle Mountain team that has lost five in a row.
"We just quit playing defense. We let the shooters get to their spots, they got open and they hit shots. Kudos to them," Braves assistant coach Brian Lindstrom said. "We just didn't hit shots. We're struggling right now, we're in a rut and we've got to learn to get out of it."
Dickinson High 81, Turtle Mountain Community 68
TMC 40 28
D 38 43
TMC: Julian Parisien 20, Wyatt Enno 18, Tristin Davis 10, Grant Birkland 9, Terrance Wallette 4, Tanner Manette 3, Darrick Fredrick 2, Diego Chavez 2.
D: Jaiden Wright 27, Coby Krenz 18, Tallon Klatt 16, Jayden Hocker 9, Cody Maier 9, Alex Praus 2.
3-pointers: TMC 4 (Birkland 2), D 6 (Wright 5). Free throws: TMC 18-25, D 17-24. Total fouls: TMC 22, D 22. Fouled out: 3 (TMC: Chavez. D: Praus, Isaac Gjerde). Rebounds: TMC 33 (Parisien 10), D 43 (Klatt 8). Assists: TMC 7 (Chavez 3), D 7 (Wright 2, Maier 2, Hocker 2). Steals: TMC 8 (Birkland 3, Davis 3), D 8 (Krenz 4). Blocks: TMC 0, D 3 (Klatt 3). Turnovers: TMC 12, D 14. Records: TMC 5-12 (West Region 5-11), D 5-12 (West Region 5-11).