Magicians No. 5 dominate undefeated Bismarck 79-67 | News, Sports, Jobs


Ryan Ladika/DND Darik Dissette fights through a defender on a layup try during the first half of Minot’s Friday night tilt.

Although Magi head coach Dean Winczewski preached to his players before the whistleblowing to treat their Friday night tilt like any other, a sold-out crowd, the presence of the entire Minot group High for pre-game contributions and a packed student section spoke for his collective. self.

In an early-season rematch of last year’s West Dakota Conference Championship game, the No. 5 Minot Wizards took out the top-ranked and previously undefeated Bismarck Demons by a final score of 79-67 at Magic City Campus.

Stopping Treyson Eaglestaff, who averaged more than 30 points per game heading into Friday’s action and produced a 52-point night in Bismarck’s last game, was central to the team’s pre-game plan. Magi, and throughout the first half Minot executed it to perfection.

“We definitely have to hand it to our coach, but I think the most important thing is that we’re all high school basketball players. No one is God there,” said Eric Wentz. “I think the most important thing is that we lock ourselves in defensively like we know how to do, and we can tie up anybody.”

The Magicians held Eaglestaff to six points in the first half, both on three-pointers in the final 30 seconds, and imposed their will on the Demons with apparent ease throughout the opening 18 minutes.

Logan Conklin and Brice Domsteen scored the first four points of the night for the Magi in a 7-4 Bismarck opener run, and made from beyond the arc by Darik Dissette and Jaeger Gunville a kicked off a 15-11 streak that gave Minot a 19-18 lead with 7:58 left in the first half.

A Dissette lay-up with 7:17 remaining sparked an incredible 21-0 Minot run that saw the Magicians hold Bismarck off the scoreboard for 5:26 of playing time. demons of Eaglestaff and couldn’t hurt the other side, trailing by seven points from Dissette among five different markers.

By the time Ethan Stotz finally broke Minot’s run with a converted free throw with 2:32 on the clock, Minot held a 40-19 lead in front of a raucous crowd who just couldn’t get enough of what they were seeing.

“It’s just a matter of being in control, mentally as well as physically, and understanding that if they have two guys guarding one, we have someone open somewhere,” said Winczewski. “You have to be able to recognize that and trust that people are going to be where they’re supposed to be.”

Both teams traded baskets on pace for a 10-9 halftime run that gave the Magicians a 56-39 advantage, and Minot’s offense quickly gained ground again.

A five-led 14-5 run from Gunville opened the Magi’s lead wide, pushing home five ahead by a whopping 68-44, and the Magi held off a late Demons rally 19-4 with a quartet of free throws from Wentz and two more from Gunville and Conklin, sealing the victory in 12 points from Minot.

Dissette’s 22 points marked a game-high, and Wentz, Gunville and Conklin all joined it in double digits with 17, 14 and 13, respectively. Minot held Eaglestaff to just 12 points on the night, and George Gillette scored 16 more for Bismarck.

“It says we’re ready to take on as many guys as possible, and we’re definitely going to be a problem,” Wentz spoke about the win. “We’re not going to be a team people want to play later in the year just because we’ve got so many guys bought out.”



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Brian L. Hartfield