The Milbank Area Bulldogs stepped up their defense to give the Sisseton Redmen and the West Central Trojans their money’s worth in two high school basketball match-ups. The Dawgs came up short at 48-34 during the Sisseton game on January 5, at the Milbank Armory, but pulled out a 62-58 victory over the Trojans January 7, in Hartford. Milbank Area improved to 4-6 for the season.
In the game with Sisseton, Milbank Area trailed 10-6 at the end of the opening quarter. The Bulldogs maintained intense defense, but continued to trail 21-15 at the midway mark. Sisseton dumped in 17 points in the third quarter while Milbank Area also added 10 points to their total. The score sat at 38-25 heading into the final stanza, but the game ended at 48-34 in favor of the Redmen.
“I think we played pretty well defensively,” stated Bulldog head coach Matt Bastian. “We held them to 35 percent shooting and did a good job rebounding at both ends of the floor. Looking back, I wish I would have used a timeout to change things defensively in the third quarter when they stretched the lead on us. Our offense has not been as crisp as we would like it, but we have time and it is fixable.”
Jonny Ash led Milbank Area with 10 points and 1 rebound. Mitch Quade followed with 8 points and 3 rebounds. Nate Bien chipped in with 4 points, 9 boards, and 1 steal. Matt Lenards added 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.
Rounding out the team totals for the Bulldogs were: Riley Wollschlager, 3 points; Cody Dockter, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal; Preston Morton, 2 points and 1 assist; James Weber, 1 point, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal; and Derrick Aho, 1 rebound.
Milbank Area went 13-of-44 from the field for 30 percent shooting. The Dawgs finished the game with 34 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists, and 11 turnovers.
Sisseton made 35 percent of its shots from the field, hitting 17 of 48 attempts. The Redmen won the game with 33 rebounds, 9 steals, 2 assists, and committed 7 turnovers.
Milbank Area traveled to Hartford Saturday to battle the West Central Trojans. The teams were even at 13-13 at the end of the opening quarter, but the Bulldogs fell behind 31-28 at the midway mark.
In the second half, Milbank Area turned the tide. The Dawgs edged ahead by one point at 46-45 heading into the final quarter. They survived and took home a 62-58 victory.
“We played much better defense in the second half,” stated Bastian. “We made an adjustment at halftime on how we were defending the ball screens and the guys executed it really well. Offensively, we played together as a team. This led to a balanced scoring attack – something we need to be successful. Now, we have time to work on a few things and beat a very good Clark-Willow Lake team.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs. Quade led the charge with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. Bien tallied 11 points, 5 boards, and 2 assists. Ash followed with 10 points and 1 rebound. Dockter added 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
Adding to the totals for Milbank Area were: Lenards, 6 points, 1 rebound, and 4 assists; Aho, 6 points, 1 board, and 3 steals; Morton, 4 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 1 steal; Jake Fox, 2 points and 2 rebounds; Wollschlager, 3 rebounds and 2 assists; and Weber, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist.
Milbank Area made 43 percent of its shots from the field – firing in 23 of 53 attempts. The Dawgs collected the victory with 41 rebounds, 13 assists, 11 steals and 18 turnovers.
West Central hit 21-of-55 from the field for 38 percent shooting. The Trojans ended the game with 26 rebounds, 15 steals, and 18 turnovers.
Milbank Area will travel to Willow Lake Friday, January 13, to take on the Clark-Willow Lake Cyclones.
File photo of Derrick Aho.