Blue Hawks take another close one over Valley City

Very quickly, it went from absolutely catastrophic to maybe not-at-all-that-bad. Up a single point on Friday after Valley City State's Jayden Ferguson hit a desperate three-pointer with 9.1 seconds left, Dickinson State (15-7, 7-2 NSAA) inbounded...

Dickinson State's Terrell Butler attempts a shot against Valley City State on Friday at Scott Gymnasium. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

Very quickly, it went from absolutely catastrophic to maybe not-at-all-that-bad.

Up a single point on Friday after Valley City State's Jayden Ferguson hit a desperate three-pointer with 9.1 seconds left, Dickinson State (15-7, 7-2 NSAA) inbounded the ball.

First to Terrell Butler, then back to Dontae Clark, then-uh-oh-into the hands of a Valley City player.

He made his way toward his hoop with a chance for a game-winner.

In stepped Butler, and suddenly, the ball was back in his hands.


"Number 22 got the steal. It was a bounce pass to number 14. I just slid over. I wanted to rip it out of his hands," said Butler, who celebrated his 21st birthday Friday. "I ended up getting it, just held it until they blew the whistle. Didn't think. Just tried to react."

It was a clean enough rip that no jump was called - which was important, because the arrow pointed toward the Vikings - and once the whistle did blow, Butler sank both free throws, and after an ill-fated full-court heave by Valley City State with .8 seconds left, it was a 60-57 win for the Blue Hawks at Scott Gymnasium.

The victory completed a season sweep of the Vikings (12-11, 4-5), who scrapped with the Blue Hawks in both Monday and Friday's game until the very end, dropping both by a combined four points.

"This week has knocked maybe seven years off my life," said head coach Justin Wetzel, with a strained laugh. "I hope this group, whenever it is, shows up whenever my service is and says, 'OK, he could have lived maybe seven years longer."

Such has been recent life for the Blue Hawks, who have been eking out close wins, making, to use Wetzel's favorite cliche, "winning plays," and doing just enough to hold onto their sliver of a lead over Bellevue in the North Star standings.

This one, in particular, was an ugly one.

The Blue Hawks played "one of the worst halves all year," noted Wetzel, shooting just 9 of 32 in the first 20 minutes for a deficit entering the locker room of 32-23.

The light finally went off for DSU about three minutes into the second half, when, down 11, it went on a five-minute 13-2 run to knot the score at 40.


On a night where leading scorer Marcus White battled foul trouble and ended with 10 points on 4 of 14 shooting (also adding 14 rebounds), DSU was forced to get creative in how it found points.

Butler hit the one three-pointer of the game off a nice corner pass from Jerry Shevlin to make it 40-38, then euro-stepped his way in transition to a layup and the tie.

Jake Buck scored his only two baskets down the stretch on a rebound tip-in, despite being the smallest player on either team, and on a breakaway layup off a steal.

Ryan Clark added a quiet 14 to lead DSU, and Reggie Fields Jr. added seven on three field goals, including a jump shot in the final minute.

The points were scarce, but when they came, they came by committee.

"Right around those two baskets that I had is when I think we decided, 'Alright, this is where it has to happen," Buck said. "We just rode the momentum out. They're a tough team - reason why the games were close. It showed a lot about us, though, to close out these games."

The Blue Hawks held the Vikings to just 8 of 27 in the second half, forcing nine turnovers. Gilberto Shojgreen Jr. patrolled the paint in the final minutes and had four second-half blocked shots, including one in the last minute.

The winning plays were again present, none bigger than Butler's steal.


"We need to start a little better so it didn't keep coming down to the wire," Butler said. "But as long as we keep grinding out and pulling out games I can't complain."

Dickinson State 60, Valley City State 57

Valley City: Jayden Ferguson 23, Rashad Satahoo 21, Austin Dunbar 9, Ellwood Ellenson 2, Denzel Kennedy 2 . Totals: 20-54.

Dickinson State: Ryan Clark 14, Terrell Butler 11, Marcus White 10, Reggie Fields Jr. 7, Gilberto Shojgreen Jr. 5, Jerry Shevlin 5, Jake Buck 4, Dontae Clark 2. Totals: 25-60.

Halftime: 32-23, VCSU. Total fouls: VCSU 13, DSU 21. Fouled out: Marcus White. 3-point goals: VCSU 4-15 (Satahoo 3-7, Ferguson 1-2, Chase Carpenter 0-1, Dunbar 0-2, Jason Ralph 0-3), DSU 1-16 (Butler 1-4, D. Clark 0-1, RJ Magar 0-1, R. Clark 0-2, White 0-3, Konnor Goettsche 0-5). Rebounds: VCSU 28 (Ferguson 6), DSU 47 (White 14). Assists: VCSU 2 (Dubar, Satahoo 1), DSU 10 (Shevlin 4). Steals: VCSU 7 (Ferguson, Dunbar 3), DSU 9 (Shojgreen Jr. 3). Blocks: VCSU 2 (Dunbar 2), DSU 6 (Shojgreen Jr. 5). Turnovers: VCSU 16, DSU 18.

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