(DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE – Dawson Community College’s men earned the season sweep over Bismarck State on Thursday night at the Toepke Center to finish the regular season 23-7 overall and 9-3 in the Mon-Dak Conference which puts them in 2nd place. They will play in the Region XIII Semifinals vs. Lake Region on Saturday, March 3rd in Wahpeton, ND.
On Sophomore Night, DCC’s Brent Finn got the game going with a 3-pointer on their first possession. It was the first of seven he would hit on the night. KyJuan Johnson answered back with a couple of his own from long range. It was a close first half with neither team getting ahead by more than 5 points. Bismarck’s biggest lead was a 4 point lead on a free throw by Brody Nieuwsma. They maintained a lead until the Bucs finally wrestled it away from them with 8:49 left in the first half on a Bret Vester field goal that was assisted by Tyrell Harper. It was one of Harper’s 10 assists on the night. There were six ties and four lead changes in the opening half. Dawson took a five point lead 42-37 on a 3-pointer by Tate Savoie off a pass from Finn. Nieuwsma answered back with a couple of free throws. Finn finished off the half the same way he started it, with another 3-pointer which gave Dawson a 47-43 halftime lead. The Bucs shot 48% from the field and 43% from the 3-point line. They also outrebounded the visitors by 8. Bismarck stayed in the game from the free throw line.
Finn once again got the Bucs going with another 3-pointer to open the 2nd half, but Nieuwsma hit a 3-pointer on the other end. Finn came back down and made another from long range. He made another one a few possessions later to give DCC an 11 point lead and then Aaron Frost also scored from deep. Vester scored inside and Frost followed it with another inside basket. On the next possession, Simon Falokun added a couple of free throws to make it 70-53. Bismarck stayed within striking range by getting to the free throw line 41 times on the night, compared to Dawson’s 18. The lead stayed in double digits until the 5:49 mark in the game when Austin Slaughter made a bucket to draw within 8 points. With 2:52 remaining Tronis McKay hit a 3-pointer to pull the Mystics within 5, but that would be the closest they would get as Finn connected for his 7th and final 3-pointer of the night, and then Falokun scored and Harper followed it up with a nice drive to finish the scoring and give the Bucs a 100-88 victory.
Dawson won the battle of the boards 52-36 and managed to shoot 51% from the field, 43% from 3-point range and 72% from the free throw line. Their bench outscored the Mystics 40-5 and they scored 39 points from their 13 3-pointers on the night. Their defense held the visitors to 43% from the field and 32% from 3-point range.
Finn finished with 27 points, including 7-11 shooting from 3 point range, to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Falokun had 19 points on 8-9 shooting while Tyrel Harper had another double double despite only scoring 5 points. Instead of points and rebounds, this time he had 10 rebounds and 10 assists on the night. Fellow sophomore, Bret Vester, chipped in with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Bismarck State had 5 guys in double figures, led by Slaughter’s 20 points and Nieuwsma’s 21.
DCC Coach Joe Peterson praised his guys, “It was an ugly game tonight with a lot of fouls and a lot of free throws so there wasn’t a lot of flow, but our guys have shown they can win in a lot of different ways this year. Tonight it was the outside shooting and the ball movement against their zone. And all year we have really dominated on the boards. We are long and athletic and our guys go after the ball. Tyler Tanner came off the bench and gave us a good lift. These sophomores have helped us have a great year, but they aren’t satisfied with a good regular season. They are hungry to win the region, compete for the district championship and go to Nationals.
Dawson will have 9 days off before they face off with Lake Region State College in the Region XIII Semifinals in Wahpeton, North Dakota on Saturday, March 3rd at 6:00 pm. The winner of that game will play in the championship game the following day.