Sports

Titans too much for Bulldogs – for now

Coach Steve Shahan was very humble before the game as he looked to play the fourth-ranked Dickinson Trinity Titans.

Posted Dec. 21, 2012

By DICK NUNEZ

Special to the Pioneer

“We are excited for the opportunity to play such a talented team. I have seen them play; they deserve the ranking they have,” Shahan said. “The Regional Tournament is here, which makes this a valuable experience.”

Both teams started out slowly. The Titans eventually jumped to a 6-2 lead. The Bulldogs came back, tying it at 6-6 as Colter Braaten, a 6’0” senior; hit a 12 foot jump shot with 3:34 left in the period. The Titans responded taking a 10-8 lead with just seconds remaining. They came down court trying to hit a last second shot before the quarter ended, but Brandon Fischer, a 6’2” senior; would have none of that. He rose up and slammed the ball to the floor with a “thunderous” block.

The momentum from Fischer’s block seemed to carry over to the second quarter. Michael Palczewski, a 6’0” senior, tied the game at 13-13 with a 3-pointer, he followed it with another 3-ball giving the Bulldogs a 16-13 lead with 3:37 left until halftime. Tanner Fischer, a 6’2” junior, hit a baseline jumper to give the Bulldogs an 18-13 lead. The Titans are not used to playing from behind on their own court. They came storming back behind Jesse Kubik, a 6’7” senior, whose mass will lead him to playing college football, and Jacob Volk, a 6’3” senior guard, and one of the best guards in the state. Kubik was too much for the smaller Bulldogs who easily gave up 100 pounds. He scored at ease once he planted himself in the key. The Titans went on the 13-2 run, taking a 26-20 lead at the half, as the Bulldogs seemed to have problems hanging onto the ball.

In the second half, the Titans found numerous chances at uncontested lay-ins as the Bulldogs seemed to lose steam. Palczewski shut Volk down with stellar defense for most of the 1st half, but Volk showed why he is who he is hitting several tough shots with Palczewski all over him. The Titans extended their lead to 45-31 at the end of 3. One positive note: Orcutt, Moran, and T. Fischer were having better success holding Kubik out of the lane.

In the final quarter, the Bulldog fans were in anxious anticipation as both B. Fischer and Palczewski were all alone on a breakaway. Fischer had the ball with Palczewski trailing. Fischer seemed to hesitate as he pondered whether to give the ball to Palczewski or take it himself. The two athletes are the Bulldogs best jumpers, and both are likely to break the 3-year drought of anyone dunking for the Bulldogs. Palczewski had his chance in the fourth quarter Tuesday, but hit too still legged on his take-off, causing him to settle for laying the ball over the rim. Fischer decided it was his turn. Unfortunately, his steps seemed to be slightly off. Instead of a slam dunk, it was more of a slim dink. The Titans closed out the game 62-42.

The Bulldogs did prove they can play at this level, and although they did not finish, their time may come soon. Shahan had a real positive reflection after the game. ’We did a lot of things we wanted to do, but we had a few bad stretches. In the third quarter we had three or four turnovers that helped them extend their lead. At times we moved the ball well and moved to the open areas, that’s when we got good looks at the basket. When we went to the sidelines or baseline, we got into trouble.” Shahan continued; “Our intensity was good, I thought Orcutt and Moran did a good job contending with Kubik. That is the best either has played thus far.” Shahan concluded; “All in all, it is only December and that was a fun game to play. Now we need to learn from it and get stronger and better conditioned.”

Bowman County: Palczewski 11, Braaten, 8, Orcutt 6, Moran 6, Chandler Braaten 4, B. Fischer 4, T. Fischer 2

Dickinson Trinity: Kubik 14, Binstock 13, Volk 11, Gordon 11, Meyer 9, Deichert 4