Dickinson High boys basketball falls in overtime to Fargo Davies at state tournament

BISMARCK -- It seemed like everything was going Dickinson High's way. After trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, the Midgets went on an exhilarating 9-1 run to force overtime and keep their state championship hopes ali...

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Dickinson High junior guard Aanen Moody, right, drives to the basket against a Fargo Davies defender Thursday at the Bismarck Event Center in the Class A boys basketball state tournament quarterfinals. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

BISMARCK - It seemed like everything was going Dickinson High’s way.
After trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, the Midgets went on an exhilarating 9-1 run to force overtime and keep their state championship hopes alive.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
East Region champion Fargo Davies pulled away from Dickinson, the No. 4 seed in the West, in overtime of their Class A state boys basketball tournament quarterfinal game for a 91-86 win Thursday at the Bismarck Event Center.
“Our whole team fought hard in the end,” Dickinson junior guard Shawn Steffan said. “It was a good job by both teams. To come out with a loss, giving it everything you’ve got, it hurts.”
Steffan nailed a 3-pointer with 21.5 seconds remaining in regulation to cut Davies’ lead to 79-77. Dickinson’s Cam Jorda stole the ensuing inbounds pass and quick kicked to Aanen Moody for the game-tying and overtime-forcing layup.
“I think we did have the momentum, and we were rolling there,” Midgets head coach Dan Glasser said. “They answered and really slowed us down I think.”
Jordan Meidinger hit Dickinson’s first shot in overtime from inside the paint - where he recorded most of his 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks on the defensive end. Then Davies’ Matt Veit hit a layup to even it back up while drawing a foul from Meidinger. Soon after, Veit assisted Jaden Klabo after a quick steal to give Davies (20-5) an 83-81 lead.
But Moody was fouled 20 seconds later on a drive and hit both free throws to tie it again.

Moody showed North Dakota why he leads the state in scoring, notching 37 points on 12 of 22 shooting while going 3 of 5 from 3-point range and 10 of 10 from the foul line. Moody also tied Jorda for eight rebounds to help the Midgets take a 46-34 rebounding advantage.
His effort was despite a trip to the trainer’s room in the first half after he twisted the same ankle that bothered him during the West Region Tournament.
“We came out into the game like we’re going to win by 10 or 15, so we came out into overtime exactly like that,” Moody said. “We just expected to win and get a W, but, I mean, we fought hard.”
With 1:10 to go in the overtime period, Davies’ Jake Paper took back the lead, 85-83, with a driving layup. He ended the night with 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting and was 4 of 8 from 3-point range.
Veit followed with a fast-break layup and got an old-fashioned three-point play after being fouled. That gave the Eagles an 88-86 lead with a minute left. Veit’s free throw gave him a team-high 28 points after he made 12 of 19 shots for the game.
Turnovers hurt Dickinson (16-9) and helped Davies, Eagles head coach Bart Manson said, as Dickinson coughed the ball up 23 times and Davies scored 32 points off those added possessions.
“I think it was our defense down the stretch,” Manson said. “We were able to finally get that lead.”
Steffan hit another 3-pointer - which prompted the Dickinson student section behind that basket to go near ballistic - to cut the Eagles’ lead to 88-86.
“It was just do or die,” Steffan said. “You’ve just got to do anything to help the team win, and if that that means making a shot, getting a rebound or doing whatever you’ve got to do, you’ve got to do it.”
But Conor Rayl banked in a 3-pointer with only a few seconds left on the next possession as time on the shot clock expired to make it 91-86 - a score that would hold up until the end.
“That just killed us,” Moody said. “That was a clutch shot on his part, but we should’ve done more on our end.”
Though it was the Midgets’ first state appearance in eight years, they didn’t show any nerves to begin the game. In fact, after Davies went on a 9-0 run, Dickinson responded with a 13-3 surge over the next 2 and a half minutes to take the lead at 15-12 midway through the first half.
Both teams kept an even pace up until Dickinson senior Wyatt Kainz slammed home a dunk and was fouled. He made the ensuing free throw and put the Midgets up 27-21 with 5:24 left before halftime.
Kainz ended the game with 14 points while going 6 for 8 from the floor.
“That was crazy,” Steffan said. “Heck of a time to come up with his first dunk of the season. He wanted that thing. He was a man with a plan, and he got it done.”
However, the Eagles found their footing in the second half with a 14-2 run over a two-minute span to take a 54-46 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Dickinson would cut that lead down at the end of the second half, but it wasn’t enough to totally come back before the fateful overtime.
Dickinson will play at 1 p.m. today against Bismarck Century in the consolation semifinals. Though Steffan said it would’ve been great to move on, the Midgets are still going to make the most of their tournament experience.
“We’ve got to end the season on a win,” Steffan said. “Now go out and get one tomorrow.”

D: Aanen Moody 37, Cameron Jorda 3, Shawn Steffan 11, Tanner Ouellette 3, Tanner Davidson 5, Wyatt Kainz 14, Jordan Meidinger 13.
FD: Casey Axtman 2, Matt Veit 28, Jaden Klabo 13, Conor Rayl 7, Andy Baer 3, Braydon Olson 12, Jake Paper 26
Halftime: D 37, FD 34. 3-pointers: D 8 (Moody 3, Steffan 3, Davidson 1, Ouellette 1), FD 8 (Paper 4, Klabo 3, Rayl 1). Free throws: D 22-32, FD 9-15. Total fouls: D 19, FD 24. Fouled out: FD, Baer. Rebounds: D 46 (Meidinger 14), FD 34 (Paper 12). Assists: D 18 (Jorda 5), FD 15 (two tied with 4). Steals: D 8 (Moody 4), FD 7 (Veit 3). Blocks: D 8 (Meidinger 7), FD 1 (Klabo 1). Turnovers: D 23, FD 18.

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