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Dickinson High Midgets girls basketball gets off to hot start, ultimately falls to Watford City Wolves

Despite a good start, the Dickinson High girls basketball team didn't get the good finish it needed Tuesday night.After an onslaught of efficient scoring at the beginning of the first half, Watford City turned the game around and beat the Midgets...

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Dickinson High senior forward Taylor Privratsky, left, keeps the basketball away from a Watford City defender while looking to pass to DHS sophomore forward Mariah Mortensen, right, Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

Despite a good start, the Dickinson High girls basketball team didn’t get the good finish it needed Tuesday night.
After an onslaught of efficient scoring at the beginning of the first half, Watford City turned the game around and beat the Midgets 54-44 at DHS gymnasium.
Katie Mogen put up a game-high 19 points for Watford City (4-1), the No. 10-ranked team in Class B.
Sophomore forward Mariah Mortensen scored a team-high 17 points for the Midgets (2-4, 0-4 Class A, West Region), while junior forward Jayde Lawler added 14 points.
“Our effort was really good tonight compared to the other games we’ve played,” Mortensen said. “The only thing going through my head was to turn and face and go up strong.”
DHS started the game with a considerable lead thanks to 41 percent shooting from the field in the first half.
“I thought we started the game out better than any game so far this year,” DHS head coach Alysia Barman said. “I was pleased with that. We’ve been talking a lot about those first 5 minutes and just our effort.”
Mogen gave the Wolves a much-needed lift, however, when she hit a jump shot from the left elbow to tie the game at 20-20 with 5 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first half.
Watford City closed out the first half on an 8-1 run, as Dickinson’s only scoring in the final eight minutes of the game came on a free throw.
DHS ended up shooting 6 of 13 from the free-throw line and Watford City was 13 of 30.
Barman, however, said the real issue was turnovers -especially in the second half. The Midgets turned the basketball over 39 times to the Wolves’ 32.
“Our strength is being able to press and trap,” Watford City head coach John Zenz said. “We really wanted to try and come out to force them into some turnovers, which I think we did quite a bit of.”
But Mortensen gave DHS a lift right back. She scored on back-to-back bunny jumpers to close on the 26-21 halftime lead. Lawler made a jump shot from the left short corner to tie the game at 31-31 with 14 minutes to go.

But Watford City jumped back with a 12-0 spurt that included a jump shot from Ricki Lindley and an incredible baseball-like pass from the half-court line from Lindley to Mogen.
DHS sophomore guard Alexus Meduna made a 3-pointer from the right wing with 10 minutes to go to disrupt that run.
“We kind of got ahead of ourselves a little bit,” Mortensen said. “I thought we played good otherwise, but turnovers and things just took over. We played good for most of the game. The effort was there.”
Another DHS 3-pointer cut the Wolves’ lead to eight points with 9 minutes to go. Taylor Privratsky also cashed a 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining that brought Dickinson within eight.
But the Midgets couldn’t close out the game, despite aggressive defense and rebounding - DHS finished with a 41-31 rebounding advantage to show for it.
“We keep telling the kids that we want to win obviously, but as long as everyone is giving 100 percent, it’s a lot easier to stomach some of those losses,” Barman said. “I thought every girl that stepped on the floor tonight definitely gave us everything she had.”
Dickinson’s next game will be a West Region matchup with Williston (2-4, 0-4) on Jan. 5 at DHS gym.

WC: Ricki Lindley 8, Katlyn Grimes 8, Katie Mogen 19, Mackenzie Sparby 7, ReiAnn Lindley 4, Avery Sundeen 1, Krystal Wold 1, Alli Mogen 6.
D: Alexus Meduna 5, Megan Erickson 5, Mariah Mortensen 17, Taylor Privratsky 3, Jayde Lawler 14.
Halftime: WC 26, D 21.3-pointers: WC 1 (Ri. Lindley 1), D (Meduna 1, Erickson 1, Privratsky 1, Lawler 1). Free throws: WC 13-30, D 6-13. Total fouls: WC 15, D 22. Fouled out: D, Erickson. Rebounds: WC 31 (Ri. Lindley 5), D 41 (Lawlar 7). Assists: WC 11 (Arndt 3), D 11 (Dvorak 3). Steals: WC 10 (Ri. Lindley 5), D 10 (Mortensen 3). Blocks: WC 2 (two tied with 1), D 3 (Privratsky 3). Turnovers: WC 32, D 39. Records: D 2-4 (0-4 West Region).

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