Midgets rally past Roughriders

FARGO -- Dickinson High coach John Wilson didn't like that his team needed to pick up its game to get a win Thursday night. But he's not complaining about it.

Joe Emmerich
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson High senior Joe Emmerich, right, puts up a shot in the paint while being defended by Grand Forks Red River junior Dawson Hahn during Thursday's Class A state tournament quarterfinal game at the Fargodome.

FARGO -- Dickinson High coach John Wilson didn't like that his team needed to pick up its game to get a win Thursday night. But he's not complaining about it.

After struggling to control the pace in the first half of their Class A state tournament quarterfinal game against Grand Forks Red River, the Midgets perked up.

Dickinson scored eight unanswered points to open the second half and turned to sophomore Joe Hanstad to help break open a close game late, sending the Midgets to the state semifinals for the third consecutive year with a 75-66 victory over the Roughriders at the Fargodome.

"That's kind of how it's been all year," said Wilson, in his first season as head coach. "It seems like we get to a point where we feel like we've got it taken care of and we have that little slide and someone's got to slap us in the face and get us going again."

Red River issued the figurative slap by hindering Hanstad for much of the first half while establishing a 35-34 halftime lead.


The 6-foot-3 guard, who is the state's leading scorer at 27 points per game, scored just four points in the first half but heated up as the game wore on and finished with a game-high 21 points while grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.

Hanstad scored nine points in the final 3½ minutes to turn a small lead into one the Roughriders didn't have enough time to cut into.

"We knew we had to get him going," Wilson said of Hanstad.

When the Roughriders (13-10) limited Hanstad early on, his teammates found ways to keep the Midgets (14-9) in the mix.

Sophomore point guard Jarl Abrahamson scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half and made some uncharacteristic shots in the paint while being guarded by Red River junior Luke Schreiner.

"I like working in the post a little bit and it was nice to have a shorter guy on me for once," said Abrahamson, who is listed at 5-foot-8.

Abrahamson and senior center Joe Emmerich each had big games. Emmerich finished with 15 points and five rebounds.

"We got it in the paint a lot, so that helped us," Abrahamson said. "We got a lot of easy shots. We just talked about outhustling them on the defensive end. We got that done when we needed to."


Red River did everything it could to frustrate and outhustle Dickinson.

Schreiner and Tyler Thompson each scored 19 points and Tanner Bommersbach added 17 while going 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line.

Bommersbach brought Red River within three points at 59-56 with 9:38 left in the game.

But, Emmerich's 3 from the right wing and layup a few minutes later gave the Midgets a bit of breathing room at 65-59. They then turned to Hanstad in the final minutes to seal the win.

The Roughriders had two players foul out, including Thompson, while trying to limit Hanstad after he found his groove in the second half.

"When you get down against a team like that, a player like that, it's pretty hard," Red River coach Jason Gregory said. "The only thing you can do is try to keep it out of his hands, I guess. I thought we tried."

While they got to the free-throw line often, the Midgets downright struggled trying to get the free ones to fall in the cavernous arena.

Dickinson shot just 13 of 30 and Hanstad, an 87-percent free-throw shooter, was 7 of 12.


They were 13 of 32 (41 percent) from the field in the first half and 16 of 29 (55 percent) in the second half.

It doesn't get easier for Dickinson either. The Midgets play No. 1-ranked Mandan at approximately 7:30 p.m. today. The Braves (22-1) have defeated Dickinson all three times they've met this season.

The challenging matchup isn't bringing down the Midgets' spirits though.

"In the state tournament, you're going to have to play good teams every night, so it's just the next good team we have to play," Wilson said.

DHS: Joe Hanstad 21, Jarl Abrahamson 18, Joe Emmerich 15, Nate Moody 9, Cole Baker 6, Tim Kessel 4, Clark Weiser 2.

GFRR: Luke Schreiner 19, Tyler Thompson 19, Tanner Bommersbach 17, Zach Soleim 7, Alex Hickel 2, Matt Lee 2.

Halftime: GFRR 35-34. 3-pointers: Emmerich 2, Baker, Abrahamson, Bommersbach 4, Thompson 3, Schreiner. Free throws: DHS 13-30, GFRR 4-8. Total fouls: DHS 14, GFRR 24. Fouled out: Thompson, Battle. Rebounds: DHS 46 (Hanstad 10), GFRR 48 (Soleim 11). Assists: DHS 7 (Hanstad 4), GFRR 13 (Schreiner 5). Steals: DHS 7 (Kessel 2, Moody 2), GFRR 4 (four with 1). Blocks: DHS 2 (Hanstad, Baker), GFRR 1 (Hahn). Records: DHS 14-9, GFRR 13-10.

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