The Milbank Area Bulldogs take on the Webster Area Bearcats in the opening round of the Region 1A basketball tournament beginning Tuesday, February 28, in Webster. The two teams face off in the third game of the evening. Tipoff is at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Milbank Area holds a 7-14 regular season record and is the No. 5 seed. Webster Area’s record is 9-11 and they are the No. 4 seed. The two teams met on the court earlier this season when the Bulldogs cruised to a 59-34 victory.
“Webster is a completely different team now compared to when we played them early in the season,” stated Bulldog head coach Matt Bastian. “Some guys are shooting the ball with confidence – those types of teams are scary to play in the post season. If we win this game, it will be because we contested shots and didn’t give them second chances.”
According to Bastian, his post season goals focus on teamwork. “My goal is to have all our guys play to their potential. I’m not sure we have played our best ball, so that is my goal. I want to see all of our guys play well and have fun.”
Bastian also says, “We developed more mental toughness throughout the year.” “I like how we battled against really good teams late in the season. Early on, I felt we folded after getting down at the start of some games.”
The opening game of the tournament pits No. 2 seed Aberdeen Roncalli against No. 7 seed Tiospa Zina at 4:30 p.m. The second game features No. 3 seed Groton Area against No. 6 seed Britton-Hecla at about 6 p.m.
The winner of the Milbank Area/Webster Area game matches up with No. 1 seed Sisseton in the semi-final round Thursday, March 2, in Webster at 6 p.m. The winners of the other two games on Tuesday battle in the second semi-final game at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The boys Class A uses the newly-designed Sweet 16 format to determine who advances to the state tournament. The two winners remaining from the Region 1A tournament play one Sweet 16 game on Tuesday, March 7.