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Midgets girls basketball holds off Watford City for first win

The Dickinson High girls basketball team on Tuesday executed at the end of the game in a manner it had not done all season. This time, the comeback was completed. The Midgets trailed Watford City, which is ranked No. 10 in the Class B basketball ...

Dickinson High sophomore Gabby Jung, right, looks to pass against Watford City sophomore Sydney Sanford on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High sophomore Gabby Jung, right, looks to pass against Watford City sophomore Sydney Sanford on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson High girls basketball team on Tuesday executed at the end of the game in a manner it had not done all season.

This time, the comeback was completed.

The Midgets trailed Watford City, which is ranked No. 10 in the Class B basketball polls, by as many as eight points in the second half, but some timely steals and clutch shots put Dickinson back in the lead for good, securing a 49-44 victory at DHS gymnasium.

"This team, it really hasn't had a lot of opportunities where it's been down to really fight back, make a comeback and pull off a win, and we found a way to do that tonight," said head coach James Hayden, who picked up his first win as head coach of the Midgets. "The resiliency that they showed, for them to come back and stay positive, it was exciting."

Sophomore Gabby Jung sparked the comeback by hitting three 3-pointers in the second half, including one that cut the Wolves' lead down to 40-37.

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A Peyton Selle steal and layup cut that advantage to 40-39 with 6 minutes to play, and a 3-pointer from Sarah Dobitz with 5:10 left put Dickinson (1-4) ahead for good at 42-40. Watford City's Avery Sundeen hit a bucket to tie it at 42, but the Midgets retook the lead shortly thereafter and held off the Wolves from there.

Jung finished with 11 points to be one of three Midgets in double-figures.

"My teammates were there with the good passes," she said, "and I was just down and ready to fire."

Junior Mariah Mortensen joined Jung with 11 points, and Dobitz, a senior, tallied 12.

Sundeen led the Wolves (4-2) with 17 points, and Mackenzie Sparby followed with 14.

"(Sundeen) shot the ball well. She got in the seams for some short jump shots and made a few perimeter shots as well," Watford City head coach John Zenz said. "It was nice to get some points from her because we kind of lost (Sparby) as the game went on. She only had four points in the second half. We needed to get her in the flow a little bit more."

Dickinson was mostly in control of the first half, but the Wolves methodically worked back into it with a few half-court traps and led 21-20 at halftime.

"We worked on it in practice all day (Monday), but it's totally different in the game," Hayden said of breaking the press. "They slowed us down at first, but once we figured it out, we kind of regained control of the game."

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Watford City was unable to maintain its lead in large part to 30 turnovers, according to statistics Zenz' staff kept.

"Unfortunately, there were too many times in the half-court offense when we turned the ball over so we never did really get some good looks," Zenz said. "When we were patient, we were able to force them to follow us a little bit. But down the stretch we didn't execute very well. The turnovers got to us this evening."

 

Dickinson High 49, Watford City 44

WC: Avery Sundeen 17, Mackenzie Sparby 14, Sydney Faller 5, Emma Mogen 5, Lindsay Peterson 2, Kaylin Monsen 1.

DHS: Sarah Dobitz 14, Gabby Jung 11, Mariah Mortensen 11, Jayde Lawlar 4, Lexi Jordheim 4, Megan Erickson 3, Jaycee Ludwick 2, Peyton Selle 2.

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