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Midgets suffer heartbreaking loss to Watford City to end season

With a minute and 35 seconds left in its play-in game against Watford City, the Dickinson High girls basketball team led 57-44. The Midgets' offense hit a bit of a wall and the Wolves took advantage, tacking on the points. As the clock ran down, ...

Dickinson senior guard Gabby Jung floats up for a breakaway lay-up during a WDA play-in game against Watford City on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Dickinson High Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson senior guard Gabby Jung floats up for a breakaway lay-up during a WDA play-in game against Watford City on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Dickinson High Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

With a minute and 35 seconds left in its play-in game against Watford City, the Dickinson High girls basketball team led 57-44.

The Midgets' offense hit a bit of a wall and the Wolves took advantage, tacking on the points. As the clock ran down, it seemed the visitors wouldn't have time to complete their comeback attempt, but with help from a 3-pointer from senior guard Lindsay Peterson, the gap kept shrinking. With 10.3 seconds left, sophomore guard Emma Mogen drew a foul while draining a 3-pointer, completing the miraculous four-point play to tie the game at 57.

In overtime, Watford City earned the 64-60 win and a trip to the WDA tournament, on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Dickinson High Gym.

"It's a tough one. It's hard to know what to say after something like that happens," Dickinson High head coach James Hayden said. "Our girls were fighting so hard and were playing their tails off the entire game. That's what basketball is. That's why basketball is such an exciting game, is because things like that happen. When it happens to you, it's heartbreaking."

As the teams combated in overtime, three key Midgets players could only sit and watch. Junior forward Audrey Rodakowski fouled out with a minute left in regulation, and with the game tied and 5.6 seconds on the clock, senior guard Gabby Jung committed her fifth foul. Further digging into the Dickinson bench, junior guard/forward Peyton Selle was sent to the bench with 2:12 left in the extra frame.

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With Dickinson's first possession of overtime, sophomore guard Symone Beld put the Midgets on top 60-57 following a corner three.

As Selle fouled out, freshman forward Madison Spacher was sent to the free-throw line, where she made both her attempts, and a basket from Peterson put the Wolves on top for the last time.

"The girls just were really intense," Watford City head coach Thomas Dwyer said. "I like the saying that says, 'Coaches lose games and players win games.' They just played hard, they played good. They played nice defense at the end and forced some turnovers."

If it wasn't clear that Jung can do it all ahead of the game, it certainly was after the first half. Jung scored the first 12 points for the Midgets, going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to give her team an early 4-3 lead. Next, she showed her range, extending the lead to four points with a shot from the three-point line, then used her agility to dodge defenders on a drive to the basket.

It wasn't until junior guard / forward Madison Lindley drained a pair of foul shots to tie the game at 14 with 6:21 to play in the first half, that a Midget other than Jung scored. Meanwhile, she also ripped down defensive boards and made a pair of steals through the early minutes.

The senior finished with a game-high 26 points, while Beld followed with 11 and Selle and Rodakowski contributed nine.

"I couldn't be more proud of Gabby," Hayden said. "Just all the hard work that she's put in, it's second to none. She was in the gym every single day this summer, she made 15,000 shots this summer. Just her work ethic and dedication to getting better to help this team succeed was incredible. She did everything in her power to help will this team to a win tonight."

Watford City 64, Dickinson 60

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WC: Lindsay Peterson 18, Emma Mogen 17, Ashley Holden 11, Sydney Faller 6, Madison Spacher 6, Hayley Ogle 4, Sydney Sanford 2.

DHS: Gabby Jung 26, Symone Beld 11, Audrey Rodakowski 9, Peyton Selle 9, Madison Lindley 2, Sydney Binstock 2, Reese Hauck 2.

Halftime: WC 26, D 25. Regulation: 57. 3-pointers: WC 5 (Mogen 2), DHS 4 (Beld, Jung). Free throws: WC 25-31, DHS 13-20. Total fouls: WC 20, DHS 19. Fouled out: WC, Mogen, Sanford. D, Rodakowski, Selle, Jung. Records: WC 7-15 (5-15 WDA), DHS 6-16 (6-15 WDA).

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