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First-half run carries Mandan Braves over Dickinson High Midgets girls basketball

For most of their game Tuesday, the Dickinson High girls basketball team and Mandan went stride for stride.But for the last 7 minutes of the first half, the Braves were tough to stop.Mandan pulled away with a 24-3 run to take a 75-49 West Region ...

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Dickinson High junior guard Megan Erickson goes up for a layup against Mandan Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

For most of their game Tuesday, the Dickinson High girls basketball team and Mandan went stride for stride.
But for the last 7 minutes of the first half, the Braves were tough to stop.
Mandan pulled away with a 24-3 run to take a 75-49 West Region victory at DHS gymnasium.
“That last 7 minutes was just a whirlwind,” Dickinson head coach Alysia Barman said. “We couldn’t get a defensive stop. I think once we started hitting a couple shots in the second half, our defensive intensity increased a little bit.”
Dickinson (2-17, 1-15 West Region) was paced by sophomore guard Raegan Linster’s 21 points - all of which came in the second half - on 8 of 23 shooting and 3 of 11 made 3-pointers to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Mariah Mortensen came off the bench and hit 5 of 8 shots for 11 points.
Mandan (12-7, 11-5) was led by junior forward Mackensi Higlin’s 17 points on 7 of 15 shooting from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Senior forward Miranda Lowman added 11 points, while freshman guard Kennedy Harris had 10 points.
“In the first half, I thought our shots didn’t really fall that much, so that kind of just got us out of our game,” Linster said. “We didn’t play as hard. Then in the second half, we were just more upbeat with it and played harder.”
After a couple 3-pointers from the right wing to start off the game, Mandan jumped to an early 6-0 lead. Then after holding a 23-13 lead with 5:41 left in the first half, Mandan found some rhythm.
The Braves went on the 24-3 run over the next 5 minutes in order to take a 47-17 lead by the half.

Mandan held the Midgets to a single field goal over that span, which came with 3:24 before halftime.
“Early, I thought we were doing a good job of stopping dribble penetration by stepping in and helping,” Barman said. “I thought in that last 7 minutes, we stopped doing that.”
After the first half, Mandan had shot 16 of 39 (41 percent) from the field while Dickinson was 6 of 23 (26 percent) and 5 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Higlin led all players at the half with 14 points. By halftime, Harris had eight points with five assists and three steals. Senior forward Alicia Weiand and freshman forward Megan Zander both came off the bench to score seven points in the first half and finished the game with eight and seven, respectively.
Dickinson was led by Jayde Lawlar who had five points, while senior forward McKenzie Mortensen, Mariah and junior guard Megan Erickson all had four points. Erickson and McKenzie each finished with those four points, and Lawlar finished the game with nine.
A key factor, Barman said, was turnover differential, as Dickinson had given up the ball 15 times to Mandan’s seven. The Braves had nine steals at intermission.
“We knew we just had to take care of the ball. They were getting touches on passes, so we had to pass around them,” Linster said. “We had to make sure where they’re at so we don’t turn it over.”
Dickinson found some offense in the second half and went on a 21-13 run to cut Mandan’s lead to 22 points. But the Braves were able to stay on even pace with the Midgets for the rest of the way.
“We didn’t do a very good job in that second half of maintaining that intensity,” Mandan head coach Abby Thomas said. “We sat them down and said this game isn’t over because even if we were up 30 it wasn’t a gimme. You have to play two good halves of basketball.”
Dickinson continues its season with a road game against Jamestown at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
“We have to make sure we put a full game together,” Barman said. “You take away that 7 minutes, it’s a different basketball game. The biggest thing is we have to play a full game.”

M: Mackensi Higlin 17, Miranda Lowman 11, Kennedy Harris 10, Alicia Weiand 8, Hannah Hanson 7, Megan Zander 7, Courtney Olson 7, Karli Pazdernik 3, Sharlee Assel 3, Nikyla Anderson 2.
D: Raegan Linster 21, Mariah Mortensen 11, Jayde Lawlar 9, McKenzie Mortensen 4, Megan Erickson 4.
Halftime: M 47, D 17. 3-pointers: M 7 (Higlin 3, Lowman 1, Weiand 1, Pazdernik 1), D 4 (Linster 3, Mortensen 1). Free throws: M 16-31, D 7-21. Total fouls: M 16, D 19. Rebounds: M 48 (Lowman 13), D 43 (Lawlar 8). Assists: M 21 (Harris 7), D 14 (Linster 5). Steals: M 13 (Harris 4), D 10 (Taylor Privratsky 4). Blocks: M 1 (Assel 1), D 2 (Privratsky 2). Turnovers: M 15, D 22.

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