The Bulldogs defeated the Pheasants, 62-32, on the court in Redfield on Thursday, January 12. Garrett Mertens kept the Pheasants guessing when he fired in 27 points, including five three-pointers. The Pheasants stuck to him like glue in an unsuccessful attempt to thwart his hot streak, but the only result was to make him the lone Bulldog to stand at the free-throw line during the entire game. He made them count by hitting six of eight for 75 percent.
Mertens was backed up with killer shooting and fierce defense from his fellow teammates. Jaxson Wildung dropped in 16, including two three-pointers. He also scooped up six rebounds. Joe Schulte put up 10 points, including two three-point bombs. Schulte also took control of seven rebounds. Yohanna Ajwanga added six points and grabbed three rebounds.
Braylen Bowsher dropped in three points. Mertens and Aiden Ludvigson each contributed two rebounds. Graham Lightfield and Max Lightfield claimed one rebound apiece.
Logan Diede, head coach for Milbank, said, “The boys have really started playing with the level of confidence we need to be successful by being vocal, catching it ready to shoot, and trusting in their abilities. Garrett, Jaxson, and Joe have added another dimension to our offense in the past two games with their outside shooting and scoring and in protecting the ball. All three have made a big impact with their rebounding and leadership. Our big guys –Tice Mursu, Yohana, and Eli Johnson– had a really good week on defense, protecting the paint and cleaning up loose balls.”
Redfields’s top scorers were Mitchell Mack with nine points and Justin Ratigan with seven. The duo also led the Pheasants in rebounds. Mack got six and Ratigan came away with five.
Milbank shot 49 percent to Redfield’s 27 percent. The Bulldogs were on target 40 percent of the time from beyond the arc. The Pheasant’s hit just 15 percent from long range.
I’m proud of the boys for their focus in practice — for preparing and executing our game plans,” Diede commented. “We play some of the better teams in the state in our next handful of games, and we look forward to continuing to build as a group against great competition. We steadily improve as we quickly approach the second half of the season. Go Bulldogs!”
Score by Quarters: Milbank– 23/15/15/9 – 62 Redfield–9/5/8/10 – 32
What’s next for varsity basketball? The Bulldogs defeated Dell Rapids on Saturday, January 14. Keep up with The Valley Express for detailed results. On Tuesday, January 17, the Bulldogs will play on their home court. Milbank hosts a double header.
JV GameMilbank 36 vs. Redfield 19
The Bulldogs’ JV team flushed the Pheasants, 36-19, on Thursday, January 12, in Redfield. Josh Pederson led with eight points. Two of his buckets were from three-point range. He also added two rebounds.
Mason Meister and Bryan Meyer each dropped in six points and pulled down two rebounds. Este Abrego-Gonzalez had four points and seven rebounds. Emmett Hanson nabbed five rebounds and put up two points. Ryan Keeton and Braylen Bowsher each scored four points. Keeton had four rebounds; Bowsher had two.
Hanson and Sebastian Hooth chipped in two points apiece. Jack Howard had three rebounds. Hooth, Howie Zemlicka, and Layten Osowski each chipped in a rebound.
The Bulldogs hit seven of 12 from the line for 58 percent. Keeton led the way by knocking down two of two. Overall the Bulldogs shot 34 percent. They hit 27 percent from beyond the arc.
Tristan O’Daniel led the Pheasants with six points and five rebounds. Kevin Weller made four points and secured eight rebounds.
Score by Quarters: Milbank–10/5/11/10 – 36 Redfield–4/4/8/3 – 19
What’s next for JV basketball? The Bulldogs faced Dell Rapids on Saturday, January 14. Keep up with The Valley Express for detailed results. On Tuesday, January 17, the Bulldogs will play on their home court. Milbank hosts a doubleheader.
Photos: Garrett Mertens puts up three of his 27 points. Bottom – Jaxson Wildung drives in for a layup while Eli Johnson holds off a defender.