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Dickinson High Midgets boys basketball have chance to make state with win over Bismarck Legacy

BISMARCK -- Dickinson High's zone defense was the difference as the Midgets eliminated Bismarck Legacy from the West Region boys basketball tournament.

BISMARCK - Dickinson High’s zone defense was the difference as the Midgets eliminated Bismarck Legacy from the West Region boys basketball tournament.

The Midgets limited Legacy to 18 percent first-half shooting en route to a 31-12 halftime lead and never let the Sabers get closer than nine points the rest of the way as Dickinson won 61-42 at the Bismarck Event Center in the West Region Tournament consolation semifinals.

“We did an excellent job defensively,” Dickinson head coach Dan Glasser said. “I think our defense today was our best offense. We did a great job of maintaining our traps and stepping into passing lanes. That really led to some easy baskets for us. Whenever you’re able to get a steal that leads to an offensive bucket, I think that’s one of the best plays in basketball you can make.”

Dickinson (15-8) advances to face Mandan at 3:15 p.m. today in a state-qualifying game having won six of its last nine games. Legacy’s first varsity season concluded at 7-17.

“I could stay up all night and watch film is what I’m going to do,” Glasser said. “I’m going to be as prepared as possible as I can for these kids. They give me everything on the court that they have, so I’m going to do the same.”

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Mandan came into the tournament seeded sixth and beat No. 3 seed Bismarck High 56-53 in the quarterfinals Thursday before losing to No. 2 seed Minot 86-56 Friday in the semifinals.

The Braves (10-13) have given Dickinson fits all season, though the Midgets won in both of their regular-season matchups. First, Dickinson needed a last-second shot to win 61-60 at Mandan on Dec. 19. Then the Midgets took a 93-84 win in overtime at DHS gymnasium on Feb. 16.

“We know right now that if we win tomorrow, it’s going to because of our defense,” Glasser said. “Defense has to set the tone, and we have to get defensive rebounds and we have to take away what they want to do.”

Fourth-seeded Dickinson closed out Friday’s game in that same manner, holding Legacy to one point in a six-minute stretch late in the second half. That defensive display gave birth to a 10-1 run that put the Midgets in the driver’s seat 55-37 with 4:47 to play.

Midgets junior guard Cam Jorda took game scoring honors with 14 points, 12 of those in the first half. Junior center Jordan Meidinger added 12 points for the Midgets.

“He did a tremendous job of getting to the rim,” Glasser said of Jorda. “He hit his free throws and kicked some passed out to his teammates. Cam was an all-around good basketball player today.”

Jorda said the first half was probably as well as Dickinson, which forced the Sabers into 19 turnovers, has played defensively all season.

“We had stretches earlier in the year when we played pretty good defense … but nothing this extreme,” he said.

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Jorda said the Midgets didn’t do anything fancy - just a straight zone with a half-court trap thrown in during the last few minutes of the first half.

“It was just hustle,” he said. “It’s all about mentality. You don’t have to be talented to play defense. It’s hard work and heart.”

Junior forward Grant Edison’s nine points paced Legacy, which shot 25 percent for the game.

Dickinson junior guard Aanen Moody, who leads the state in scoring at 33 points per game, was limited to six points off the bench due to a sprained ankle and foul trouble. But senior center Wyatt Kainz and junior center Eli Jung both scored six points apiece to help the offensive cause.

Though Moody expects to be in the same role today, Glasser hopes his team can rise to the challenge once again and make it to the state tournament.

“It’s just going to be a very physical, grind-it-out (West Region) basketball game that the winner goes to state,” Glasser said. “It means that much more. The kids know that, and they're really looking forward to a chance at the berth at the state tournament. That’s been the goal since day one. I think the way the kids played together, they really showed that.”

BL: Cole Svihovec 1-4 1-4 3, Austin Wolf 3-11 0-1 8, Tyler Boone 0-7 2-2 2, Jason Hoekstra 2-10 1-2 5, Hunter Humann 1-4 -2 3, Devin Beck 2-5 2-2 8, Grant Edison 4-8 0-0 9,  Braxton Erhardt 1-4 2-2 4, Jack Markle 0-0 0-0 0, Koby Bosch 0-1 0-0 0, Brayden Traxel 0-0 0-0 0, Darren Wilke 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Morrison 0-0 0-0 0, Matthew Kraft 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 14-55 8-15 42.

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D: Wyatt Kainz 3-6 0-0 6, Jordan Meidinger 3-9 6-7 12, Cameron Jorda 5-8 4-4 14, Tanner Ouellette 1-4 2-2 4, Shawn Steffan 2-5 0-0 5, Aanen Moody 2-7 2-2 6, Conner Hoenke 1-2 1-2 3, Tanner Binstock 0-1 1-2 1, Tanner Davidson 0-4 4-5 4, Eli Jung 2-3 2-2 6, Chase Ballard 0-0 0-0 0, Colin Roller 0-0 0-0 0, Isaac Egli 0-0 0-0 0, Krew Mathern 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Weidner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-50 22-26 61.

Halftime: D 31, BL 12. 3-pointers: BL 6-22 (Beck 2, Wolf 2, Humann 1, Erhardt 1), D 1-11 (Steffan). Fouls: BL 23, D 18. Fouled out: BL, Edison. Rebounds: BL 38 (Svihovec 10), D 42 (Meidinger 14). Turnovers: BL 19, D 17. Assists: L 8 (Wolf 4), D 8.  

Records: Legacy 7-17, Dickinson 15-8.

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