Beach deliver Heart River first blemish in Region 7 play
“The game of basketball is created to make mistakes. As long as we don’t overdo it, I’m alright,” said Beach head coach Al Swanson.
BELFIELD, N.D. — Before Tuesday night’s game against Beach, the Heart River boy’s basketball team was 3-0 in Region 7 play, looking to continue their hot streak against the Buccaneers on their home floor.
From the opening tip, Beach were physical and established their presence inside as they took the victory 53-37 at Belfield High School.
Buccaneers junior center Trey Swanson made his impact early, sinking six shots for 12 points in the first quarter, helping Beach (2-0, 7-1) to a 21-11 lead. The Cougars (3-1, 7-4) sent extra defenders over to help, but it wasn’t enough to slow Swanson down.
His production slowed after the first quarter, scoring seven points the rest of the way, but the extra attention he drew down low freed up space on the perimeter where junior guard Dane Farstveet and senior forward Ray Steiner took advantage.
They combined for three threes in the first half, two coming from Steiner, as the offense opened up, leading 32-17 at the half.
As good as the Buccaneers defense was, they had a tendency to foul and send Heart River to the free-throw line. The Cougars had ten attempts in the first half, making four.
Beach lacked some firepower in the second half, some of which can be attributed to tired starters, who played virtually all of the first half, minus a few short breaks.
That didn’t stop them from keeping the Cougars out of harm's way, outscoring them 21-20 in the second half. Heart River’s usual leading scorer, senior forward Braden Obrigewitch had just four points, struggling much of the night with Beach senior guard Tevin Dietz matched up on him. Junior guard Austin Buckman led the Cougars with 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers.
The Buccaneers held on to a 45-23 lead in the second half, but seemed to be stuck on that number for longer than Swanson would have liked. Heart River was still giving it their all and caused multiple turnovers to keep the game from getting out of hand.
“One thing we have to clean up, making the easy path,” Beach head coach Al Swanson said. “Instead of trying to dribble through traffic. We talk about it, hard to coach it because we see a lot of that run and jump type defense, so the kid a lot of times to beat that is to dribble. Hard to coach that because I imagine as a player it’s very hard to make that right decision.”
Eventually, the visitors pulled away for the win. Swanson totaled 19 points while Dietz finished with ten. Farstveet and Steiner had nine and eight, respectively.
Not only did Beach maintain their lead, but their energy and confidence on the court was consistent throughout. It’s a group of players that Al Swanson said has really come together since the beginning of the season, and reminded them of why they play the game.
“I said ‘Guys, this is meant to be a fun game, so let’s try to enjoy it, work our tails off, and let the chips fall where they do,” Al Swanson said. “That’s the kind of defense we got to play and if there’s mistakes made, so be it. We’ve worked on if some of them are beating themselves up a bit, I bring them to the bench and say ‘Hey, you should be on the floor but we have to calm you down.’ They get mad they have to sit there for two or three minutes but they come out of it and seem like, in the last two weeks, do a much better job of forgetting about it.”
Beach have two more games ahead of them this week, at Killdeer on Thursday and home to Dickinson Trinity on Saturday, who also currently are undefeated (3-0) in Region 7.
Heart River has a pair of non-region games this week, traveling to New Town on Friday and home to Kidder County on Saturday.
Scoring - Beach: Trey Swanson 19, Tevin Dietz 10, Dane Farstveet 9, Ray Steiner 8, Elijah Holkup, Jonas Oech, Kaden Volk 2; Heart River: Austin Buckman 11, Cayden Kling 9, Beaudon Krueger 8, Tarence Dillinger 5, Braden Obrigewitch 4.