Surge to semis

BISMARCK -- Bismarck High may have hit nine 3-pointers against Dickinson High on Thursday, but the only 3-pointer that wound up mattering was Cole Baker's game-winner.

Joe Hanstad
Press Photo by Chris Aarhus Dickinson High sophomore Joe Hanstad shoots over Bismarck High junior Jalen Finley in the second half of their West Region quarterfinal game Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center. The fifth-seeded Midgets upended the fourth-seeded Demons 56-53.

BISMARCK -- Bismarck High may have hit nine 3-pointers against Dickinson High on Thursday, but the only 3-pointer that wound up mattering was Cole Baker's game-winner.

The 6-foot-2 senior drilled a trey from the right wing with 1 minute, 25 seconds remaining and the fifth-seeded Midgets used stifling defense to hold on to a 56-53 victory over No. 4 Bismarck High in a West Region Tournament quarterfinal game at the Bismarck Civic Center.

Dickinson moves on to the semifinals where it meets top-ranked, top-seeded Mandan at 4:30 MST today for a berth in the championship game, which would also lock up a spot in the Class A state tournament.

"We're going to keep on pushing," Baker said.

Baker had just two points at halftime as the Midgets trailed 29-20. They fell behind by as many as 13 with less than a minute to go, but scored the final four points of the half to cut it to single digits.


"We were standing around offensively," Dickinson coach John Wilson said. "We didn't have any flow. We'd make one pass and stop."

Dickinson's play improved, but not significantly enough to hold off Bismarck High junior Jalen Finley, who had a game-high 20 points. He carried Bismarck High for most of the second half and gave them a 49-41 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in the game on a jumper in the lane.

However, Dickinson's defense buckled down by finishing the game on a 15-4 run that started when Baker hit 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. He finished with eight points during the run including the game-winner when the contest was tied at 53.

"They (stuck) on me pretty well," Baker said. "They played against me in a couple of games so they know how I play."

The Demons lost Baker for the final eight minutes of the game and paid for it dearly. Bismarck High coach Steve Miller said his team wasn't getting to the basket enough. They went 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

"Way too many jump shots," Miller said.

The final minute featured both teams going up and down the court as Dickinson sophomore Joe Hanstad stole the ball at the top of the key and ran down for a layup, only to watch it roll out. Nonetheless, Hanstad finished with a team-high 19 points.

"I thought we did a pretty good job on him," Miller said. "What hurt is when he went back inside. We were just fouling him."


Wilson said he was pleased to see the defensive effort by his squad, which had beaten Bismarck (11-9) twice this season in close games, both of which were high-scoring affairs.

Dickinson (12-8) has only held two opponents to 53 points this season and neither were North Dakota teams.

"I'd say the second half was our best defensive effort of the season," Wilson said. "We stayed in and were in the right defensive positions."

D: Joe Hanstad 19, Jarl Abrahamson 13, Cole Baker 12, Clark Weiser 9, Nate Moody 3.

B: Jalen Finley 20, Jordan Pintar 8, Jake Miller 8, Esley Thorton 7, Austin Gunderson 4, Nick Jolliffe 3, Caley Fox 3.

Halftime: Bismarck 29, Dickinson 20. 3-pointers: Abrahamson 2, Baker, Finley 2, Miller 2, Pintar 2, Thorton, Jolliffe, Fox. Free throws: D 15-19, B 2-2. Total fouls: D 12, B 16. Fouled out: Joe Emmerich. Rebounds: D 29 (Weiser 7), B 37 (Finley 8). Assists: D 7 (three with 2), B 9 (Miller 3). Steals: D 14 (two with 2), B 7 (three with 1). Blocks: D 0, B 0. Turnovers: D 11, B 15.

West Region Tournament

At Bismarck Civic Center


Games Thursday

Mandan 52, Jamestown 48

Dickinson 56, Bismarck High 53

Williston 56, Bismarck St. Mary's 53

Minot 63, Bismarck Century 50

Games today (all times MST)

Consolation semifinals

at Exhibit Hall


Jamestown vs. Bismarck High, noon

Bismarck St. Mary's vs. Bismarck Century, 1:45 p.m.

Championship semifinals

at Main Arena

Mandan vs. Dickinson, 4:30 p.m.

Williston vs. Minot High, 6:15 p.m.

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