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Bismarck Century ends Dickinson High’s season in consolation round of Class A Tournament

BISMARCK -- After a crushing overtime defeat in Dickinson High's first state boys basketball tournament game since 2008, the Midgets wanted to play with pride the rest of the way.

2384811+0312 Wyatt Kainz web.jpg
Dickinson High senior Wyatt Kainz, left, hugs teammate Eli Jung after exiting the game against Bismarck Century Friday in the consolation round of the Class A State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

BISMARCK - After a crushing overtime defeat in Dickinson High’s first state boys basketball tournament game since 2008, the Midgets wanted to play with pride the rest of the way.

Head coach Dan Glasser believes his team did more than that - Dickinson went out with its guns blazing.

Bismarck Century, the No. 2 seed from the West Region, started on fire and led by 14 points at halftime en route to defeating Dickinson 83-69 in their Class A state tournament consolation semifinals on Friday afternoon at the Bismarck Event Center’s Exhibition Hall.

The Midgets’ loss ended their season and the high school careers of five seniors.

“These kids don’t fold,” Glasser said. “They haven’t folded all year and that’s why we’re here. They’re a special group of kids and they kept competing.”

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Junior guard Aanen Moody led Dickinson (16-10) with 31 points on 13 of 25 shooting from the field. Junior center Jordan Meidinger had 12 points and five rebounds.

But the Patriots (24-3) dominated in almost all aspects of the game, as they shot 18 of 33 (55 percent) from the field in the first half and 33 of 63 (52 percent) for the game. Century also outrebounded the Midgets 39-33 and scored 16 second-chance points and 13 points off turnovers.

Senior guard Dalton Feeney led Century with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting while going 2 for 3 from 3-point range with five rebounds and seven assists while senior center Luke Leingang backed him up with 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting with five boards and two steals.

“We wanted (the seniors) to come out, put a smile on their faces and enjoy -- if it wasn’t going to be their last game, one of their last games,” Century head coach Darin Mattern said. “I’m sure coach Glasser would say the same thing.”

Glasser made sure each of his seniors touched the floor.

Guard Collin Roller (two points, three rebounds), forward Wyatt Kaniz (five points, two rebounds), guard Tanner Davidson (five points, two rebounds, three assists), forward Tanner Binstock (two points, one rebound, one steal) and forward Jake Weidner (three points, two rebounds, one steal) all made contributions to the game - and more importantly, Glasser said, to the program.

The first-year head coach said he was especially proud of players like Jake Weidner and Collin Roller, who “showed up to practice every day, not knowing if they were going to even get into the game.”

“They came in and made us better every day at practice,” Glasser said. “Those five seniors set the foundation for us. From there, we’ve just got to build up.”

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The Midgets turned the program around this season under Glasser. Dickinson went 9-15 overall and 7-9 in the West Region last season.

“Setting the foundation? That’s a lot of credit to give just to five seniors,” Kainz said. “It wasn’t just us, it was the whole team. … We just stuck to the system, kept pulling through and we happened to make it work.”

The Midgets were ranked as high as fourth in Class A media rankings this season and earned the fourth seed in the West Region Tournament. After losing to Jamestown in the opening round, they rallied and made a run into the state tournament with wins over Bismarck Legacy and Mandan.

Dickinson nearly advanced in the state tournament after a 91-86 overtime loss to Fargo Davies, the East’s No. 1 seed, on Thursday.

“To finish out like this, it feels great,” Davidson said. “After the Mandan game, I was crying then too. I was excited and relieved knowing that we were going to state together.”

While Dickinson will lose five seniors, the Midgets return the state’s leading scorer in Moody, a North Dakota State verbal commit in the 7-foot Meidinger, as well as a solid cast of juniors and underclassmen.

At least Mattern thinks so.

“When you look on paper of returning players,” he said, “obviously you would have to pick Dickinson as one of the teams at the top of the league.”

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After being picked to finish eighth in the West Region, Kainz said, it’s been a heck of a ride to prove that selection wrong.

“And who woulda thunk we would make it to state?” Kainz said. “It’s been really crazy. It’s been a crazy ride.”

Davidson added: “These guys have been like my brothers. I’ve been with them ever since I think second grade when we first started playing. They mean a lot more to me. I really hope that they do well in the future. I don’t know what to say. I’m kind of surprised it’s over with, honestly.”

These seniors aren’t done being around Dickinson basketball. Kainz said he’ll next become a fan in the DHS gymnasium bleachers.

“I’ll be keeping my eye on them,” he said.

D: Colin Roller 2, Aanen Moody 31, Cam Jorda 2, Shawn Steffan 4, Wyatt Kainz 5, Connor Hoenke 3, Jake Weidner 3, Jordan Meidinger 12, Tanner Binstock 2.

BC: Sam Leidholm 3, Michael Olson 5, Luke Leingang 16, Adam Geiger 9, Dalton Feeney 18, Lucas Mayer 9, Josh Sipes 7, Andrew Holen 10, Kade Amundson 2, Alex Horner 4.

Halftime: BC 46, D 32. 3-pointers: D 5 (Moody 2, Davidson 1, Hoenke 1, Weidner 1), BC 8 (Leidholm 1, Olson 1, Geiger 1, Feeney 2, Sipes 1, Holen 2). Free throws: D 6-11, BC 9-13. Total fouls: D 14, BC 12. Fouled out: D, Kainz. Rebounds: D 33 (Meidinger 5), BC 39 (three tied with 6). Assists: D 9 (Davidson 3), BC 13 (Feeney 7). Steals: D 6 (Moody 3), BC 4 (Leingang 2). Blocks: D 1 (Meidinger 1), BC 2 (Mayer 2). Turnovers: D 8, BC 10.

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