Hanstad's career-high lifts DHS to third place

FARGO -- Dickinson High sophomore Joe Hanstad said after Friday night's semifinal loss that he was going to play for his seniors during Saturday afternoon's third-place game.

Clark Weiser
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson High senior Clark Weiser, left, puts up a shot over Bismarck High junior Jalen Finley during the third-place game of the Class A state boys basketball tournament at the Fargodome.

FARGO -- Dickinson High sophomore Joe Hanstad said after Friday night's semifinal loss that he was going to play for his seniors during Saturday afternoon's third-place game.

The 6-foot-4 guard sure stays true to his words.

Hanstad scored a career-high 42 points and flirted with a Class A state boys basketball tournament scoring record as he guided the Midgets to a 65-62 victory over Bismarck High at the Fargodome.

"I just felt good tonight," Hanstad said. "We wanted to end our season on a win so bad."

The career-high wasn't the only milestone he achieved, however.


Hanstad scored the 1,000th point of his high school career on a fast-break layup after stealing the ball at midcourt with 7:25 left in the first half. He now has 1,029 career points.

Hanstad scored 13 of Dickinson's first 17 points and had 19 in the first half. He also grabbed eight rebounds to finish with tournament averages of 25.3 points and 10.5 rebounds.

"It's getting to be really tough to find enough words to say for a kid like that," said Dickinson coach John Wilson, whose team finished with a 15-10 record in his first season as head coach. "He's a leader on the floor. There's tons of words for a kid like that. As he goes, we go, without a doubt."

While that may be true, Hanstad was only the biggest piece of Dickinson's puzzle this season and that held true in its final game.

In a game that was close the entire way, the Midgets turned to its seniors for big shots.

After Bismarck took a 39-34 lead early in the second half, senior Joe Emmerich tied the game at 39 with an up-and-under layup. Hanstad then scored nine unanswered points to give Dickinson a 48-39 lead.

When the Demons chipped away and reclaimed the lead on a pair of Jordan Pintar free throws with 5:57 remaining, sophomore Jarl Abrahamson and senior Cole Baker stepped up.

Abrahamson hit a pair of free throws and Baker knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner to put Dickinson ahead 62-57 with 2:26 remaining. The Midgets never trailed again.


Baker had eight points while Emmerich and senior Clark Weiser each scored four in their final games.

"We finished a lot of easy shots that we missed last night," Hanstad said.

The Midgets lost to Mandan 72-47 in the semifinals. It was the second year in a row they earned the third-place trophy.

The Demons (14-11) were led by juniors Jalen Finley and Esley Thorton. Finley had 13 points and seven rebounds while Thorton had 12 points and four steals. Sophomore Dewayne Liggins came off the bench and made some hard-nosed moves toward the basket to finish with 10 points.

Bismarck coach Steve Miller was happy with what he saw out of his team - especially the underclassmen - but said Dickinson continued to bring out his team's flaws. It was the Midgets' fourth win over Bismarck this year.

"We've got to get better at some things," Bismarck coach Steve Miller said. "We've got to become a more explosive team."

That was the trait Hanstad brought to the floor.

He was 12 of 16 from the field at one point in the game but finished 16 of 27 while going 7 of 7 from the free-throw line and making all three of his 3-pointers.


Hanstad looked poised to break the tournament's single-game scoring record before Bismarck bottled him up late in the second half. His final field goal of the season was an NBA-range 3-pointer from the right wing with 8:35 left.

The tournament record for most points in a game is 47 set by Fargo Shanley's Steve Kuppich in the 1968 third-place game.

Even though he knew he was close, Hanstad said he never thought about scoring his 1,000th point in the first half and didn't realize he may be hovering around his career high.

"I wasn't thinking about it," Hanstad said. "But it definitely feels good."

DHS: Joe Hanstad 42, Cole Baker 8, Joe Emmerich 4, Clark Weiser 4, Nate Moody 4, Jarl Abrahamson 3.

BHS: Jalen Finley 13, Esley Thorton 12, Dewayne Liggins 10, Jordan Pintar 7, Austin Gunderson 6, Jake Miller 6, Dexter Werner 6, Eric Klein 2.

Halftime: BHS 31-30. 3-pointers: Hanstad 3, Baker 2, Thorton 2, Pintar. Free throws: DHS 10-15, BHS 13-19. Total fouls: DHS 15, BHS 15. Rebounds: DHS 43 (Hanstad 8), BHS 40 (Finley 7). Assists: DHS 7 (Moody 4), BHS 3 (Miller 2). Steals: DHS 5 (Hanstad 3), BHS 9 (Thorton 4). Blocks: DHS 2 (Hanstad, Abrahamson), BHS 9 (Gunderson, Werner, Thorton). Records: DHS 15-10, BHS 14-11.


Joe Hanstad
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson High sophomore Joe Hanstad, right, goes up for the layup and his 1,000th-career point against Bismarck High sophomore Leighton Talmadge Saturday at the Fargodome.

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