Midgets to face Bismarck St. Mary’s in WDA quarterfinals
Following a season of challenging the very best teams in the state, the Midgets look to take their experience gained into the Western Dakota Association tournament with an eye for a deep run.
BISMARCK — As the Class A tourney begins Thursday, at the Event Center in Bismarck, #5 seeded Dickinson Midgets will square off in their quarterfinal match-up against #4 seeded Bismarck St. Mary’s for a chance at redemption after falling to the Saints 74-72 in their final regular season game on Feb. 22.
An eager Midgets squad are aiming to claim one of the three state qualifying spots, but are heeding the caution of their head coach in taking one game at a time. Coach Dan Glasser said he believes that the timing of the his team reaching their peak perforamance couldn't have come at a better time.
“We are clicking on all cylinders right now,” Glasser said. “They know that they can play with (St. Mary’s) and I think our guys have a bigger goal in mind…We have a game plan and each player knows what they have to do for our team to be successful. They just seem really focused right now in doing their jobs to help the team.”
Glasser said he believes a strong defensive showing will carry the Midgets through tournament play, but noted that success will be dependent upon a collective contribution on both sides of the ball.
“I think it ultimately will come down to defense, because against St. Mary’s we went into the half up by five or seven points and we did a tremendous job on defense, but we lost the second half because we gave up 48 points,” Glasser said. “Last time we played them, Isaac Daley had an unbelievable game… and Alex did what Alex does…We need to have the other guys beside those two get into double digits — getting the other guys involved.”
The Midgets’ late regular season performances saw a heightened skillset and basketball IQ, but for Glasser and his coaching staff it has been a season that has gone beyond the court and into a true fellowship among the players and staff.
“For me and all the other coaches, it has been fun,” Glasser said. “That is what I'm taking away from this year, just how great these kids have been and the amount of effort they put into what the coaching staff wanted. Being able to play hard and play together in every game is something they have done and continue to do.”
With preparations all but complete and the game plan set, the Midgets will now have to transition from the whiteboard and practice court to the main stage on Thursday afternoon.
“The only thing that I could ask of them are the two things — our effort and our attitude. They have done that game in and game out,” Glasser said. “It is a group of individuals that make up a great team and they really care for each other and I think that is why this season has been so much fun. In my coaching experience, the wins will take care of themselves when you have individuals like that.”