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Bulldogs hold Blue Jays to one point in final quarter for 7th place finish at state

After being outscored 14-5 in overtime against Shiloh Christian on Friday, Bowman County clamped down on defense against Stanley in the 7th place game.

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Bowman County sophomore guard Bohden Duffield.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

MINOT, N.D. — The Bowman County Bulldogs won’t leave the state tournament empty-handed.

The first two days of the Class B state tournament resulted in two losses for Bowman County. On day three, they flipped the script.

In the 7th place game against Stanley, they combined the positives from their first two games into their final game of the season and prevailed over the Blue Jays 49-40.

On Friday against Shiloh Christian, sophomore guards Bishop and Bohden Duffield were excellent, combining for 41 points in the overtime loss . Against Kindred on Thursday, the Bulldogs had to battle against the extreme height of the Vikings .

Bowman County were able to get back to their aggressive style of defense and it paid off. They had 17 steals and forced Stanley into 29 turnovers. There was very little room for the Region 8 side to operate.

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"We picked them up full court and took then out of what they wanted to do," Bowman County head coach Nick Walker said. "It took a lot of energy for our guys. We didn't have much left in the tank today after yesterday, but couldn't be prouder of our guys to lace them up one more time and play that way."

This wasn’t the first matchup between the two. They met in Dickinson on January 15 for Class B day, with the Bulldogs taking that contest as well.

They also finished the game much better than Friday where they surrendered a 24-10 run to Shiloh Christian towards the end of the fourth quarter and overtime. On Saturday afternoon, they held Stanley to a single point in the fourth quarter.

“Our kids gave everything they had,” Walker said. "We didn't shoot the ball well, we had some tired legs at the end of the third and fourth quarter. We willed our way with defense."

Similar to their Friday game, the Bulldogs were in control for a majority of the game. The Blue Jays only had a lead for 37 seconds and had it tied for 4:33. Bowman County led the rest of the way.

The 29 turnovers forced was the main reason why the Bulldogs won despite shooting worse (34 percent) than Stanley (39 percent). Bohden Duffield led with 20 points, followed by Bishop with 16. Only two other players scored for the Bulldogs, one being sophomore forward Roman Fossum off the bench. He had nine points on 4-of-7 shooting along with 4 steals. Bohden Duffield had five steals.

It led to Bowman County having 23 points off turnovers.

The main victim of the tenacious Bulldog defense was Stanley sophomore guard Josh Hetzel. He finished seven points on 3-of-11 shooting and 11 turnovers.

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Despite dropping their first two games in the tournament, the Bulldogs were able to finish their stellar season on a high note. The 2021-22 season saw the Bulldogs capture their first Region 7 title since 2009, the emergence of the Duffield twins and other sophomore contributors and earned valuable state tournament experience that will carry over for the next few years for a sophomore-heavy team.

“It was a fun year," Walker said. "I'm proud of our assistant coaches, our kids, our fanbase, it was a really fun 15-week year to watch our team grow and be able to be apart of this run to the state tournament."

BOX SCORE

Q1Q2Q3Q4F
Stanley111315140
Bowman County151314749

BOWMAN COUNTY: Bohden Duffield 20, Bishop Duffield 16, Roman Fossum 9, Teigen Marmon 4
STANLEY: Drake Schlosser 11, Tristen Barstad 10, Josh Hetzel 7, Trystan Johnson 5, Cal Sorenson 4, Tucker Gorder 3

Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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