The Milbank Bulldogs earned two big victories in high school boys basketball action this past weekend to improve their record to 5-6 on the season.
The Bulldogs defeated Hamlin 52-46 Friday, January 19, before rolling past West Central 64-48 Saturday, January 20, with both games played in front of their home crowd at the Milbank Armory.
“The guys are just starting to really get bought into the process,” stated head coach Logan Diede. “Our toughness is getting better each and every day. The more they buy in to what we are teaching and see good things happen, we will continue to move in the right direction.”
Milbank trailed Hamlin throughout the entire first half. The Bulldogs were behind 16-12 after the opening quarter and 29-21 at the midway mark. Milbank came back strong in the third quarter and fired in 17 points while holding Hamlin to just four points, giving the Dawgs the 38-33 advantage heading into the final stanza. Even play ensued, and Milbank held on for the 52-46 victory.
“We didn’t change anything,” said Diede. “We just kept focusing on winning each possession and playing tough and together. Our problem has been doing this from start to finish. I think the guys now realize what can happen and what is possible when we put two full halves of basketball together.”
Jake Fox led the Dawgs with 17 points, four rebounds and one steal. James Weber tallied nine point, one rebound and one assist while Jonny Ash added eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Bulldogs. Derrick Aho contributed seven points, four boards, three assists and one steal, and Mitch Quade had four points, three rebounds and two assists.
Also contributing for the Dawgs were Jordan Riley, three points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal; Preston Morton, two points, three rebounds and two assists, and Max McCulloch, two points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.
Milbank went 18-for-49 from the field for 37 percent shooting in the contest. The Bulldogs brought home the win with 33 rebounds, 13 steals, 12 assists and 12 turnovers.
Hamlin made 37 percent of their shots from the field, making 17 of 46 attempts. The Chargers ended the game with 33 rebounds, 11 steals, one assist and 14 turnovers.
Milbank 64, West Central 48
Milbank controlled the game with West Central from the start Saturday night. The Bulldogs led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter and 32-24 at the halfway mark. A big third quarter widened the gap to 45-32 heading into the final stanza where they cruised to the finish.
“We feel good about how we played all weekend,” added Diede. “But now that is ancient history. We have another huge week this week with challenges in store. I’m excited for the opportunity our guys have this week.”
Four players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs. Aho led the way with 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Quade followed closely with 11 points, five boards and two assists. Riley and Weber tallied 10 points each. Riley also grabbed three rebounds and had one steal while Weber had two rebounds and a steal on the night. Ash chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds two assists and one steal. Fox contributed seven points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot in the contest.
Also adding to the totals for Milbank were McCulloch, four points, one rebound and one steal; Morton, two points, two boards and two assists, and Braden Brandriet, one assist.
The Bulldogs made 44 percent of their shots from the field, hitting 21 of 48 attempts. The locals secured the victory with 31 rebounds, 13 assists, 10 steals, one blocked shot and just eight turnovers.
West Central went 18-for-46 from the field for 39 percent shooting. The Trojans finished the game with 30 rebounds, six steals, five assists, one blocked shot and 12 turnovers.
Pictured is senior Preston Morton.