Saints drain 13 threes, upset Midgets boys basketball in region opener

BISMARCK -- In most respects, it was not an ideal start. The Dickinson High boys basketball team, seeded second in the West Region Tournament, was upset by seventh-seeded Bismarck St. Mary's in the quarterfinals on Thursday at the Bismarck Event ...

BISMARCK - In most respects, it was not an ideal start.

The Dickinson High boys basketball team, seeded second in the West Region Tournament, was upset by seventh-seeded Bismarck St. Mary's in the quarterfinals on Thursday at the Bismarck Event Center in the highest-scoring game in tournament history, 99-95.

With such a high score, offense was not the problem for either team - the Saints shot 58.3 percent and the Midgets hit 57.4 percent of their shots.

After being tied at 35 at halftime, Dickinson (19-3) allowed 64 second-half points, leading to their downfall and sending them to the loser-out round for a 2:45 p.m. (CT) matchup Friday with Mandan. With a West Region championship not on the table anymore, the Midgets will now have to win their next two games to advance to the state tournament.

"We're just going to have to make it to the dance in a different path from what we originally thought we were going to," senior guard Aanen Moody said.


As the game grew older and the Saints (11-12) held onto a six- or seven-point cushion for much of the second half, Moody started to take the game into his own hands. After being limited to just six points in the first half, he exploded for 36 in the second to finish with 42 points on 14 of 24 shooting, including six three-pointers.

"Aanen showed a lot of heart. He didn't want to go down without a fight, that's the kind of kid he is," Dickinson head coach Dan Glasser said.

Moody's 42 points were a tournament record for the first round.

"Any time you're playing against the leading scorer in the state of North Dakota's history and you hold him to six points at half, he's going to be hungry to come out and get points," St. Mary's head coach Brent DeKok said. "He came out firing, and he made a lot of tough shots. He's an unbelievably great player, but we did a decent job of making him make tough shots."

The Saints - playing with heavy hearts after DeKok was diagnosed with cancer during the season - never relented, though.

To build their lead, they hit 8 of 14 three-point attempts in the second half - led by senior forward Matt Guenther's 5 of 6 showing. And to keep their lead, they hit 14 of 17 free throws in the second stanza - including junior guard Luke Kambeitz's 13 of 16 performance for the game.

"He's been a guy all year for us that when we've gotten into those situations and we need to make free throws down the stretch, he's the guy we want to get the basketball to," DeKok said.

Dickinson senior center Jordan Meidinger did not miss a shot from the field, going 11 for 11 for 22 points with 10 rebounds. He had 14 points in the first half, helping the Midgets keep pace in the early going.


By the end, however, six Saints had scored and five of them had 12 or more points. Kambeitz led the way with 25, and Guenther was next with 23. Ben Schmidt had 19, Cole Gendreau scored 18 and John Nordberg added 12.

"Our defensive pressure wasn't there today. Our help defense wasn't there. Defensively, we just kind of fell apart," said senior forward Eli Jung, the only other Midget in double-figures with 10 points. "They shot so well. And it's really tough playing defense against a team that feels like it can't miss."

Dickinson's goal coming in was to win the West Region championship. Now it is simply to win two games in two days.

"We need a sense of urgency," Glasser said. "There were times they went right by us for layups and there was no sense of urgency. You try to challenge the kids to step up and get a stop, and no one did. ... What I'm looking forward to (Friday) is the way they perform when they know they have to perform."

Bismarck St. Mary's 99, Dickinson High 95

BSM: Luke Kambeitz 25, Matt Guenther 23, Ben Schmidt 19, Cole Gendreau 18, John Nordberg 12, Hudson Bradley 2.

DHS: Aanen Moody 42, Jordan Meidinger 22, Eli Jung 10, Chase Ballard 8, Shawn Steffan 7, Cam Jorda 6.

Halftime: Tied 35-35. 3-pointers: BSM 13-26 (Guenther 5-6, Schmidt 3-8, Gendreau 2-6, Kambeitz 2-2, Nordberg 1-3, Bradley 0-1), DHS 9-18 (Moody 6-8, Ballard 2-4, Steffan 1-2, Ouellette 0-4). Free throws: BSM 16-22, DHS 16-19. Total fouls: BSM 17, DHS 20. Fouled out: BSM, Guenther, Nordberg; DHS Jorda. Technical fouls: DHS, Jung. Rebounds: BSM 20 (Guenther 6), DHS 35 (Meidinger 10). Assists: BSM 8 (Gendreau 3, Guenther 3), DHS 13 (Moody 5). Steals: BSM 8 (Gendreau 4), DHS 2 (Jung 1, Jorda 1). Blocks: BSM 1 (Guenther 1), DHS 0. Turnovers: BSM 11, DHS 16.

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