Magi grind out win
Dickinson’s physicality was enough to slow down fleet-footed Minot.
It wasn’t enough to deter the third-ranked Magicians, who grinded out a 63-52 win over the Midgets on Saturday night at Magic City Campus.
Brandon Van Dusen pumped in a game-high 20 points – including a back-breaking 3-pointer down the stretch – to lead Minot (13-2, 11-1) in the West Region contest.
“Any West Region win is a good win for us,” said Van Dusen, who also pulled down nine rebounds. “All the teams in the league are pretty good, so you have to play hard and grind it out like this.”
The Magicians, who’ve now won six straight, used a 14-5 spurt in the second half to pull away from Dickinson (7-7, 4-7).
Austin Frank (10 points), Colter Hustad (12 points) and Van Dusen keyed the run, which ended when Van Dusen’s 3 gave Minot their first double-digit lead at 58-48.
Until that point, though, the Midgets made it a point to get the ball inside to all-West Region post Jordan Krieg.
The bullish forward was able to help give Dickinson an early lead, but a pair of offensive fouls forced him to be less assertive.
Dickinson then went to its guards and Minot took advantage.
“We had a about a five-minute span where we didn’t get the ball inside,” said Krieg, who had a team-high 16 points. “And that’s where it starts with us. We had a mental lapse.”
Minot held just a 32-30 lead at the break and it was play of the Midgets’ Jaden Kudrna that made it a two-possession contest most of the evening. Kudrna (13 points) hit a pair of second-half 3s, the last to cut Minot’s lead to 36-35.
Dickinson wouldn’t get any closer.
“(Dickinson) came in and battled,” Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. “They’re very physical and make you earn your baskets. I thought we did a good job on (Krieg) for the most part. (Van Dusen) had a huge night for us.”
The Magicians were just 4 of 14 from 3-point range, but shot an impressive 15-for-16 at the free-throw line.
Caleb Albertson doled out six assists for the Magicians, who travel to Bismarck St. Mary’s on Thursday.