Fantastic finale: Dykins returns from injury, Beach claims third place
BISMARCK -- Beach senior Kelcee Dykins wasn't going to end her high school basketball career sitting on the bench in street clothes. Dykins, who suffered a right foot contusion on Thursday in the Buccaneers' Class B state tournament quarterfinals...
BISMARCK -- Beach senior Kelcee Dykins wasn't going to end her high school basketball career sitting on the bench in street clothes.
Dykins, who suffered a right foot contusion on Thursday in the Buccaneers' Class B state tournament quarterfinals win against Kindred, ignored doctor's orders to stay off the foot for as many as two weeks and helped the Beach girls basketball team capture the third-place trophy Saturday night at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Dykins was on crutches Friday but had 11 points, five rebounds and made a putback layup to put the 63-58 victory over Shiloh Christian in the bag with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Beach ended its season with a 24-3 record and stretched its record to 79-4 in the last three seasons.
"I'm a senior, I'm stubborn," Dykins said with a smile. "It's my last game and my last time I can be with these girls. We've been family and I just wanted to finish playing on the court, not sitting on the bench."
Dykins' presence did wonders for the Buccaneers, who got a battle from the champion Skyhawks (20-8).
Though Dykins had her struggles adjusting to the up-and-down pace of the game, Beach sophomore Hailee Farstveet, said just having her there did wonders.
"She got us going a lot more, gave us more points on the board," said Farstveet, who scored a team-high 17 points.
Beach had to fight for the win though.
Shiloh senior Kelly Schindler scored nine of her team's 11 fourth-quarter points as the Buccaneers and Skyhawks traded the lead seven times. Schindler had 11 points.
Like Dykins for Beach, Schindler was Shiloh's only senior.
"That's what your seniors should do for you," Shiloh head coach Jim Petrik said. "Last game of the year, she laid it all on the court. You could tell she was tired. But we let her roll this time."
Beach took the lead for good, 57-56, on a Dykins layup with 1:18 remaining.
"It felt good to be out there," Dykins said. "I tried to put the hurt aside. It was my mind over my body. I didn't want to be sitting on the bench. I knew if I didn't want to do that, I just had to push myself."
Beach freshman center Channa Clarin had a career-high 14 points and was money with her mid-range jumper. She said her performance was a sigh of relief.
"I was praying today would be a good game because I didn't have a good game yesterday," Clarin said. "Nothing was going in for anyone. We made up for it today."
Beach led 19-16 after the first quarter, but Shiloh tied it 33-33 at halftime on junior Paige Emmel's deep 3-pointer. Emmel rolled in a running layup as time expired in the third quarter to give the Skyhawks a 47-46 lead.
Emmel finished with 17 points. Junior Mikayla Forness had 15 points and five rebounds for the Skyhawks, but fouled out late in the third quarter when she was whistled for a charge and then tossed the ball, drawing a technical foul and fouling out.
The Buccaneers expect to return everyone but Dykins next season, meaning they'll be the favorite to win Region 7 for a fourth consecutive year and reach the 2013 state tournament.
Though he'd never predict any of that, Beach head coach Bob Waldal said the team benefitted from the trip.
"It's a wonderful experience," Waldal said. "It's a great motivator for our kids to keep working."