The Milbank Area Bulldogs showed improvements in the opening half, but eventually suffered a 47-34 loss to the Britton-Hecla Braves Friday, January 15, in the final game of double header basketball action. The Dawgs fell to 2-6 on the season with the loss.
Milbank Area started off with solid play in the first quarter and secured a 13-8 advantage. Jonny Ash provided a spark for the Dawgs with a long three-pointer to wrap up the scoring in the opening period. Britton-Hecla fired in some three-pointers of their own. The Bulldogs were caught a little off guard and struggled to control the ball, missed key free throws and gave up untimely turnovers, but maintained a one-point advantage at 21-20 at the midway mark.
“We had a great start to the game at both ends of the floor,” noted Milbank Area head coach Matt Bastian. “Our execution on offense was crisp, and I felt we defended better in this game than any other this year.”
The Bulldogs suffered a scoring drought in the third quarter. Milbank Area tallied just four points with a free throw by Nate Bien and Jacob Jackson. Jackson dropped in a field goal with just 25 seconds left in the quarter to the locals only scoring of the period and trailed 35-25 heading into the final stanza where they could not recover.
“Unfortunately, we had a tough stretch at the end of the first half,” said Bastian. “And it continued through the third quarter.”
Five players recorded points in the scorebook for the Bulldogs. Kyle Montag, Ash and Nolan Foss each produced eight points apiece to lead the way for Milbank Area. Montag had two steals, one assist and two turnovers while Ash grabbed seven rebounds and had one steal and one turnover. Foss snared four boards in the contest. Jackson followed closely with seven points, seven rebounds, one steal and four turnovers. Bien chipped in with three points, three rebounds, one assist and three turnovers. Matt Lenards and Tanner Gauer contributed one rebound each for the Dawgs.
Milbank Area went 12 for 34 from the field for 35 percent shooting on the night. The locals finished the contest with 29 rebounds, six steals, two assists and 13 turnovers.
Britton-Hecla made 36 percent of its shots from the field, hitting 20 of 56 attempts. The Braves secured the victory with 32 rebounds, 11 steals and seven turnovers.
Milbank Area has a busy week of action this week with three home games. The Bulldogs will host Tiospa Zina Tuesday, January 19, and Hamlin Friday, January 22. The team will wrap up the week by playing West Central Saturday, January 23, in double header action. The boys basketball team will also host its annual chili cookoff during the West Central game Saturday.