The Milbank Bulldogs basketball team is headed to the SoDak 16 for the second consecutive season. Milbank upset the No.1 seed in Region 1A, Groton Area, with a 51-42 victory on Friday, March 5, in Groton.
Milbank’s head coach, Logan Diede, said, “We executed our game plan exactly how we wanted to and had prepared for. Everyone on the team stepped up in more ways than one. It’s a great day, as always, to be a Bulldog! We are thankful for the opportunity to stay in the gym and keep working together toward our goals.”
Milbank enters the tournament as the No. 16 seed. They take on the No. 1 seed, Vermillion, on Tuesday, March 9, at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Tip off is 5 p.m.
At the game in Groton, it was a close battle the entire contest. The score was tied seven times and the lead changed hands seven times.
The Dawgs held a one-point advantage at 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs widened the gap to 22-19 at the midway mark. Milbank maintained their lead at 37-33 heading into the final stanza and held on to bring home the victory.
Bennett Schwenn sparked the offense with 25 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one monster block. Will Cummins followed with 10 points, two rebounds, and two assists. Stevie Ash tallied six points, one rebound, and one steal. Mason Riley added four points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots.
Also contributing to the totals for Milbank were: Justus Osborn, three points and one assist; Wylie Mursu, two points and three rebounds; Carter Hartman, one point, four rebounds, and two assists; and Garrett Mertens, three rebounds.
Milbank connected on 44 percent of their shots from the field, hitting 14-of-32 attempts. The Dawgs grabbed 35 rebounds, had eight assists, 10 steals, and three blocked shots. They committed 17 turnovers.
Groton made 18-of-54 attempts from the field for 33 percent shooting. The Tigers finished the game with 28 rebounds, five assists, 14 steals, and 12 turnovers.
Photo by Logan Diede – Left to right: Ryker Trevett, assistant coach Justin Peters, Kellen Hoeke, Bennett Schwenn, Carter Hartman, Stevie Ash, Mason Riley, head coach Logan Diede, Will Cummins, Aiden Foell, Tanner Mertens, Wylie Mursu, Karson Weber, Justus Osborn, Isaac Schulte, Cade Howard, Tanner Mertens, and assistant coach Jade Miller.