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High school notebook: Cowboys prepare for crunch time

The Killdeer boys basketball team is 10-3 in its last 13 games. Yet, the three losses in that span were handed to them by Region 7 opponents. Killdeer has three Region 7 games left in the regular season and head coach Andrew Murphy said the team ...

Hayes LeMieux
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Killdeer junior forward Hayes LeMieux, back, goes up for a shot against New England senior forward Daniel Prince during the semifinals of the Roughrider Tournament on Dec. 18 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

The Killdeer boys basketball team is 10-3 in its last 13 games.
Yet, the three losses in that span were handed to them by Region 7 opponents.
Killdeer has three Region 7 games left in the regular season and head coach Andrew Murphy said the team is in crunch time.
The final three Region 7 games for Killdeer (12-5) won’t be a cakewalk, either.
“We knew at the end of January that all the top teams that were rated in the preseason were coming up,” he said. “We were going to have a tournament-like feel to our season for about a month before regionals start.”
Killdeer begins its final stretch by traveling to No. 5-ranked New England, which is 9-0 in the region and needs one more win to lock up the top seed at the Region 7 Tournament, at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Cowboys also host Richardton-Taylor at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Dickinson Trinity at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27. Killdeer is 6-3 in Region 7 and is a half-game behind Dickinson Trinity for the No. 3 seed. Sandwiched between Region 7 games against the Raiders and Titans is a nonconference game against Watford City at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
“We know that we are going to have to come and play on Friday against New England,” Murphy said. “Richardton-Taylor is a much-improved team and Trinity is, of course, always good. We know we have to show up the next three region games, because it’s going to affect our regional seedings.”
The New England and Killdeer game is a matchup between the top two defensive teams in Region 7. The Tigers allow 42.8 points per game while the Cowboys give up 44.4 and are averaging 52.4 ppg.
The Cowboys hope to have senior guard Trenton Rohr back by tournament time. He suffered a fractured eye socket against Powers Lake on Jan. 17.
“He has a doctor appointment on Monday to see if he’s cleared to play or not,” Murphy said. “He’s been practicing by doing some light drills, but that’s all he’s been done.
“He’d be a big addition to our run, considering the fact that we didn’t think we would have him when it first happened. We would like to have him back, because we could definitely use him on both sides of the ball.”

Midgets ready for regular season finale

The Dickinson High gymnastics team is on its final leg before the postseason.
Dickinson hosts Bismarck High and Bismarck Century at 5:30 p.m. today for the regular season finale.
Midgets head coach Kent Van Ells said the hope for the final meet in the regular season is to become more consistent.
“This is a short week of practice and it’s meant to be that way, so they have a longer break between their last meet and WDA,” he said. “It also means you don’t have as much time for preparation.
“We’ve been going where one meet, they’ll mostly stand on beam and the next meet, they’ll mostly fall off. It’s hard to gauge why that’s happening. It’s a consistency thing with hitting more routines.”
Though the Midgets finished runner-up behind Minot on Friday - the fourth time this season that happened - Van Ells said it was good experience. Dickinson edged the Majettes during the first meet of the season by 1.300 points on Dec. 5.
Minot and Dickinson hold the top two team scores in the state at 147.275 and 144.325, respectively.
“(Minot) has more depth than we do,” Van Ells said. “If we both hit - between Minot and Dickinson - it will be really hard to beat them, but things don’t always happen that way.”
The Midgets hold three of the top five spots in the all-around. Dickinson junior and three-time state all-around champion Acacia Fossum holds the top spot with an average of 38.142 points. Minot’s Madison Reiter and Hannah Werchau are Nos. 2 and 3 at 37.675 and 37.542, respectively. Dickinson seventh-grader Ayanna Fossum - Acacia’s younger sister - is fourth with 36.942. Dickinson junior Keana Kudrna is fifth at 36.225.
The regular-season finale is an important meet for Kudrna, who will compete in her third all-around this season - the minimum number needed to qualify for state. The automatic state qualifying mark is 35.750.

Hettinger-Scranton keeps focus

The Hettinger-Scranton wrestling team has already claimed a spot in the team duals portion North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament.
However, the work for the state tournament isn’t over yet.
The Night Hawks travel to the Region 4 individual tournament on Saturday at Standing Rock High School in Fort Yates.
“One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to make sure that we got an opportunity to go to the state dual tournament and we are proud of that fact,” Hettinger-Scranton head coach Randy Burwick said. “We made it 14 out of 15 years that they have been having it. That’s a big feat for our guys.
“We explained to the guys on Monday that it’s time to think about yourself. It’s all about the individual side. We are in some tough weight classes where the guys are going to have to wrestle really well. Physically, we are prepared well. Now it’s just making sure the mind is right.”
In the Class B state dual tournament, Hettinger-Scranton is scheduled to wrestle Region 2’s Pembina County North in the opening round for the second straight year. The Grizzlies defeated the Night Hawks 46-27 in last year.
Burwick knows it won’t be easy against Pembina County North.
“We feel pretty good about the draw,” he said. “They are a very quality team. All eight teams are very good. Like on all duals, we talk about bonus points are extremely valuable, competing hard for six minutes and trying to get matchups where we feel that we have the best opportunities to get some wins.”

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McGregor is the sports editor of The Dickinson Press. Call him at 701-456-1214 and tweet him at SirRoyal.

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