The Milbank Area boys basketball team continues to battle it out on the court in an effort to improve its record late in the season. The Bulldogs came up just short with losses to Sisseton and Canby, MN, this weekend. The locals hold a 4-12 overall record with four regular season matchups remaining.
The Dawgs battled Sisseton down to the wire but came up short at 45-38 Friday, February 5, at the Milbank Armory. Milbank Area held a one-point lead at 12-11. A nice dish from Jonny Ash to Isaac Snaza ended the first period of play. The Bulldogs struggled to produce points in the second quarter and added just four points to fall behind 18-16 at the midway mark.
Milbank Area came out strong in the third quarter. Late in the period, Snaza hit a three-pointer and a field goal to widened the Bulldogs lead to 29-23. Sisseton cut the advantage to three points with its own three pointer, but Nolan Foss tossed in a free throw to give the Dawgs the 30-26 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Bulldogs produced unforced turnovers to start the fourth quarter, but continued to battle on the offensive end. Nate Bien fired in a three midway through the period to give Milbank Area the two-point lead at 35-33. The tides seemed to turn for the locals when Sisseton’s Ethan Kranhold broke free and pounded down the dunk tying the score up at 35-35. The Bulldog bench was then assessed a technical foul in which Kranhold dropped in two free throws. Sisseton went 2-4 from the charity stripe in the next two possessions to widen the gap to 35-39 with two minutes left in the game. Bien cut into the Redmen lead at 38-39 with a big three-pointer and 1:39 on the clock. A solid defensive stance by the Bulldogs forced Sisseton into a shot-clock violation, but Milbank Area was unable to convert the turnover into points on the board. With time winding down, the locals were forced to foul to get the ball back, and Sisseton converted its free throws into the victory.
“I thought we played as close to a complete game as we have all year,” noted head coach Matt Bastian. “The guys did a great job of executing what we asked of them on defense. Offensively, we need to take care of the ball better and that is something we will be looking to clean up heading into tournament play.”
Bien led the Bulldogs with 14 points, five rebounds and four turnovers. Snaza followed closely with 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and one turnover. Foss tallied three points, five boards, one steal and two turnovers. Adding to the totals for Milbank Area were Jacob Jackson, two points, two rebounds and one turnover; Ash, two points, three rebounds, one assist and one turnover; Tanner Gauer, two points and five rebounds, and Matt Lenards, two points, one assist, one steal and two turnovers.
Milbank Area went 14 for 39 from the field for 36 percent shooting on the night. The Dawgs finished the game with 35 rebounds, six steals, two assists, one blocked shot and 11 turnovers.
Sisseton made 26 percent of its shots from the field, making 14 of 53 attempts. The Redmen won the game with 30 rebounds, 11 steals, one blocked shot and seven turnovers.
Milbank Area hosted Canby, MN, Saturday, February 6, at the Milbank Armory and suffered a close 59-52 loss. The teams battled it out throughout the entire game with the lead changing hands 11 times.
The Dawgs trailed by one point at 9-8 end the end of the opening period. The teams were evenly knotted up at 21-21 at the midway mark. Canby poured in 22 points in the third period to overtake the lead at 43-34 heading into the final stanza, but Milbank Area was unable to overcome the deficit.
“I knew this was going to be a difficult game for the guys after the tough loss to Sisseton,” mentioned Bastian. “We didn’t have the same intensity in this game that we had the night before. The guys battled but just didn’t have much in the tank.”
Ash led the Bulldogs with 15 points, two rebounds, two steals, one assist and two turnovers. Bien followed with 10 points, one assist and one turnover. Foss dropped in nine points and snared six rebounds while Jackson added eight points, two rebounds, two steals and two turnovers. Snaza chipped in with six points, one rebound, two assists and one steal on the night. Adding to the totals for Milbank Area were Lenards, two points, one rebound, one steal and one turnover; Gauer, two points, one rebound and one turnover, and Derrick Aho and Mitch Quade, one rebound each.
Milbank Area made 42 percent of its shots from the field, hitting 18 of 43 attempts. The Dawgs finished the game with 21 rebounds, 11 steals, four assists and eight turnovers.
Canby went 19 for 37 from the field for 51 percent shooting in the contest, and secured the win with 33 rebounds, seven steals, one blocked shot and 12 turnovers.
Milbank Area has just one game slated for the upcoming week. The Dawgs will host Webster Area Friday, February 12, at the Milbank Armory.