Bismarck Century Patriot boys basketball limits Dickinson High Midgets' offense

BISMARCK -- If you can trust the old saying that says defense wins championships, the Bismarck Century boys basketball team is on the road to titletown.The top-ranked Patriots limited No. 4 Dickinson to eight field goals Thursday night to salt aw...

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Bismarck Century guard Andrew Holen, center, looks to make a move against Dickinson High senior guard Tanner Davidson, left, and senior center Wyatt Kaintz Thursday in Bismarck. (Photo by Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune)

BISMARCK - If you can trust the old saying that says defense wins championships, the Bismarck Century boys basketball team is on the road to titletown.
The top-ranked Patriots limited No. 4 Dickinson to eight field goals Thursday night to salt away a 73-25 victory over the visiting Midgets.
Dickinson had a nightmarish offensive night, with plenty of help from Century’s swarming man-to-man defense. The Midgets hit just 8 of 55 shots for a 15 percent showing. That included 2 for 20 from outside the arc.
In addition, Century forced 16 turnovers while surrendering the ball just 10 times. With Dalton Feeney and Adam Geiger combining for 21 rebounds, the Patriots dominated the boards 49-36.
Dickinson guard Aanen Moody, who entered the game averaging 32 points, had a particularly forgettable evening. The 6-foot-3 junior swished just three of 15 shots for 11 points.
That was due in large part to the presence of Century’s Andrew Holen, who dogged Moody’s every step. Holen, a 6-foot senior who is used to getting a shooter as his defensive assignment, said he enjoys the challenge.
“I grew up with my brother (Ben) playing defense, and the challenge is there for me now,” Holen said. “... (Coach Darin Mattern) usually has a few guys who can cover shooters. I just happened to be starting on Moody tonight.”
Moody hit just one of seven shots - a 3-pointer - in the first half and connected on two of eight after intermission. Holen played close but clean, permitting Moody just four free-throw attempts. The Century senior said there’s more to defense than point totals, though.
“It can be as simple as points, but Aanen got frustrated and then the whole team got frustrated,” Holen said.” It’s not so much the points on the scoreboard as the attitude on the court.”
On offense, Holen contributed eight points, all in the first half, without missing a shot.
Century’s offense came from all points of the compass. Dalton Feeney led the way with 14, followed by Mike Olson with 12, and Luke Leingang and Adam Geiger with 10 each. Geiger, Feeney, Holen and Olson connected twice each as the Patriots sank 10 3-pointers.
Moody was the only player to reach double figures for the snake-bit Midgets, who had their most modest offensive output of the season. Century, meanwhile, had its most stingy defensive effort.
“I thought we had a pretty good scout prep-wise and the kids were extremely locked in,” Mattern said of his team’s defense. “Our objective coming in was to make everything difficult for then and I thought we did that. Rebounding we wanted to make it one-and-done and we accomplished that.”
The centerpiece of Century’s defense was a 40-second spurt late in the first half.
Feeney banked in a 3-pointer 3:39 before intermission, Olson came up with a steal and layup 13 seconds later and Leingang duplicated that feat with 2:59 left in the half. That put the Patriots in charge 32-14. They went into the break with a 41-14 advantage.
In the second half, Dickinson went over 15 minutes without a point as Century boosted its lead from 44-16 to 58-16 with 9:05 to play. Over that stretch of futility, the Midgets missed eight shots, turned the ball over four times and misfired on two free throws.
Century won for the 14th straight time, improving to 14-0 in the West Region and 16-1 overall. Dickinson diped to 10-5 in the region, 12-6 on the year and lost for just the second time in nine games.
Mattern likes where his team is sitting as tournament time looms on the horizon.
“The last two or three weeks I think we’ve improved ... and that’s what you want to see this time of year,” he said.
Century’s girls also produced a brilliant defensive effort, defeating Dickinson 65-37 in the first game of the night.
D: Aanen Moody 11, Shawn Steffan 5, Tanner Binstock 2, Cam Jorda 4, Connor Hoenke 2, Jake Weidner 1.
C: Luke Leingang 10, Andrew Holen 8, Adam Geiger 10, Dalton Feeney 14, Michael Olson 12, Sam Leidholm 7, Lucas Mayer 2, Alex Horner 3, Jayden Hauff 2, Kade Amundson 5.
Halftime: Century 41, Dickinson 14. 3-pointers: D 2 (Moody 1, Steffan 1), C 10 (Geiger 2, Feeney 2, Olson 2, Holen 2, Leidholm 1, Horner 1). Fouls: D 20, C 14. Technical fouls: Dickinson bench. Rebounds: D 36 (Steffan 6), C 49 (Feeney 12). Turnovers: D 16, C 10. Records: Dickinson 10-5 West Region, 12-6 overall; Century 14-0, 16-1.

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