Garrett Mertens and Bennett Schwenn combined to score 40 points in the Bulldogs’ victory over Florence-Henry in the first round of Region 1A basketball action in Groton on Tuesday, March 1. Milbank dominated throughout the game. They took an early lead and never relinquished it to the Falcons. The final score was 57- 45.
Logan Diede, Milbank’s head coach, said, “I’m very proud of my guys and how hard they played. Florence-Henry hit a ton of tough shots. But, our guys didn’t waiver. They did what I asked of them and got the job done. We have a locked-in group.”
Along with Mertens’ 19 points, he also pulled down eight rebounds. Wylie Mursu matched his eight rebounds and added eight points to the Bulldogs’ total. Justus Osborne put up five points. Kellen Hoeke and Joe Schulte added two apiece.
Although the Dawgs were not hitting from outside, they found other ways to win. One game-changer was the Bulldogs’ ability to get to the free throw line and sink their shots. In the first half, they hit 100 percent of their free throw attempts, but only got two opportunities. In the second half, they made it to the line 15 times and dropped the ball in 13 times. Garrett Mertens and Wylie Mursu finished with four of four. Bennett Schwenn made five of six, and Kellen Hoeke, two of three.
The Falcons top scorers were Andrew Schroeder with 17 points, including five three-pointers, and Ethan Paulson with 13. Merki Keller had eight points, five rebounds, and six assists.
The Bulldogs netted 43.5 percent of the their field goal attempts. The Falcons ended at 40 percent. Florence-Henry made 75 percent from the charity stripe. They put in three of their four attempts. From beyond the arc. MIlbank was two of 12 and Florence-Henry fared a little better at eight of 21.
Score by Periods: Bulldogs 15 10 12 20 Total 57 Falcons 10 7 17 11 Total 45
Coach Diede said, “We are elated to have more time together in the gym this week to get better. We then go to compete against a good Groton team on Friday. Go Dogs!”
Other scores from the opening round of Region 1A include: Groton 57 vs. Sisseton 38
Clark-Willow Lake 62 vs. Webster 47
Tiospa Zina 49 vs. Redfield 43