The Milbank Area Bulldogs gave fans their money’s worth at the semi-final Region 1A high school boys basketball game Thursday, March 2, in Webster. No. 5 seed Milbank Area met No. 1 seed Sisseton. The Bulldogs eventually fell 51-44 to end their season.
“I think the faithful Bulldog fans that made the trip to Webster left awfully proud of our guys,” said Bulldog Head Coach Matt Bastian. “We played our tails off and that is all you can ask for.”
Milbank Area battled on both ends of the court the entire game. The Dawgs trailed by just one point at 12-11 at the end of the opening quarter. They remained behind at 26-22 at the midway mark. In the second half, Sisseton built up an 11 point lead and led by 9 points at 41-33 heading into the final stanza. The Bulldogs continued to apply aggressive defense pressure which caused a scoring drought for Sisseton the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Milbank Area cut the lead to just two points and outscored the Redmen in the final period, but it was not enough to secure the victory. They were defeated 51-44.
“Unfortunately, we came up a bit short,” said Bastian. “I think the guys will look back at this game and be proud of how they performed. The improvement in this team throughout the year was how they learned to fight when things weren’t going their way. This game was a great example as we fought back from a 11-point deficit in the second half.”
Leading scorers for the Bulldogs were: Cody Dockter 13 points and 2 rebounds; Jonny Ash 9 points and 5 rebounds; Mitch Quade 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 assist; and Matt Lenards 6 points and 2 boards. Also contributing for Milbank Area, were: Nate Bien, 4 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals; Jake Fox, 4 points and 1 rebound; and James Weber, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist.
Milbank Area went 16-of-43 from the field for 37 percent shooting. The Bulldogs counted 33 rebounds, 9 steals, and 2 assists. They committed 13 turnovers. Sisseton also made 37 percent of its shots from the field – 17 of 46 attempts. The Redmen secured the win with 28 rebounds, 12 steals, and 1 assist. They committed 11 turnovers.
Five seniors played their last high school basketball game Thursday night. Wrapping up their careers, were: Nate Bien, Cody Dockter, Matt Lenards, Riley Wollschlager, and Tanner Gauer.
Photo: Senior Cody Dockter