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Dickinson defeats top-ranked team in Class A

Dickinson completed the upset over Bismarck Century witnessed by their home crowd.

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Dickinson junior guard Alex Dvorak (1) pumps up the crowd in the second half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

In search to get out of the middle of the pack of the WDA standings, Dickinson had to defend their home court against Bismarck Century, the top team not only in the WDA, but all of Class A. Coming in, the Patriots were the top-ranked team in the latest media poll.

The toppling of the Patriots was as much of a mental battle as it was physical for the Midgets. They were equally hungry as they were focused when the game started Tuesday night. A halftime buzzer-beater by senior guard Britton Cranston gave Dickinson the lead at halftime and would set the tempo for their 85-73 victory.

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As the game draws to a close, Dickinson's bench celebrates a 3-pointer in the second half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

“It's huge. It really is because last year we struggled and I don't know if we really had a big win … It was just fun to watch,” Dickinson head coach Dan Glasser said. “The ball movement, the passing, the unselfishness and people making great effort plays. They wanted it tonight and I think that was with their attitude. I just hope now that these guys believe that we can play with anyone. I have been telling them that all year and I didnt know if they believed, but now they know.”

Tip off was won by Century (9-2, 10-2) and they would put up a 3-pointer to start, but Dickinson (6-6, 7-6) would go on a 14-0 run in response. The Patriots had a clear height advantage on the Midgets and used it accordingly, collecting rebounds to stay close behind.

As the smaller team on the night, Dickinson utilized their quickness and agility to force turnovers. Junior guard Tyrese Annace missed a 3-pointer with the score 18-15, but stole the ball after the missed shot and got fouled attacking the basket and sank both free throws to give them a five-point lead.

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Dickinson sophomore guard Damon Glasser (10) drives to the hoop in the first half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

Century would rally and take a 22-20 lead with 5:30 remaining in the first half, but Dickinson came up with some clutch plays to keep in the fight at 32-31 with four seconds on the clock. Cranston with ball in hand, charged up the court and made a shot from distance to take the lead 34-32. Cranston and the home crowd were ecstatic from the splash in what would be a catalyst for the home team.

“I saw a different Britton tonight. It was the Britton I have been waiting for,” Glasser said. “I know what he is capable of and I don't think he has hit a ceiling yet, but tonight he is starting to get there. He is a great distributor and he gets everyone the ball, but sooner or later people have to give him the ball too because he is a terrific scorer also.”

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Dickinson senior guard Britton Cranston (22) hits the layup in the first half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Racr Archibald / The Dickinson Press

“It felt like an energy booster,” Cranston said. “It gave us energy coming out of the half and to keep playing as a team for the rest of the game.”

The Midgets kept the momentum in the second half going on 14-9 run in the first three minutes. Senior forward Isaac Daley's two points from inside the paint gave Dickinson a 11-point lead and caused Century to take a timeout with 11:25 on the clock.

The Patriots came close to clinching the lead in the final five minutes of the game with the score at 62-60, but Dickinson junior guard Alex Dvorak’s precision at the line and from beyond the arc would keep the lead at arms length from Century.

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Dickinson junior guard Alex Dvorak (1) in the first half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

“Our mindset going into the game was to attack strong right away,” Dvorak said. “Just like what you just saw, we can stick with any team in the state if we just play like that every single day. We learn that from the Mandan game and we just want to keep our streak going and fight for our top spot in this league.”

The Midgets took back a ten-point lead after a 3-pointer by Annace to make it 76-66. Dickinson secured a 13-point lead and their win after going to the line three times in the final minute.

Dickinson's top scorers were Dvorak with 23, Cranston with 21 and Daley with 13. Dvorak was 5-for-6 at the line and Cranston had three 3-pointers and two steals.

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Next up, Dickinson will be at home against Jamestown on Friday, Jan. 28.

“We have Jamestown on Friday and when we went to Jamestown they had 21 offensive rebounds against us,” Glasser said. “So what a great way to practice with a team with that height and that athletic ability just to make sure you are boxing out and going for those boards and we had kids doing that tonight.”

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Dickinson junior guard Tyrese Annace attempts a 3-pointer in the first half against Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Dickinson High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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