For the first 16 minutes, Heart River got a glimpse of what type of team the Cowboys can be. With a ball-hawking, trapping defense and opportunistic offence, the Cowboys led the highly-regarded Cougars 28-22.
DUNN COUNTY HERALD
But in the third quarter, the Cowboys got a glimpse of what type of team the Cougars have that resulted in a 53-41 victory.
“We knew that Heart River is a very good defensive team. They clamped down on defense and we weren’t prepared for it at all,” said Killdeer head coach Andy Murphy.
The Cougars broke the game open by holding to two points in a 17-2 stanza that erased the deficit and open a 39-30 lead.
“We came out flat in the second half,” said Murphy. “We’re still not 100 percent confident in handling the press. We’ve got to get better at that.”
They did in the fourth quarter, going nip-and-tuck with the Cougars, but the third-period problems were too much to make up.
Heart River had three players in double figures, led by 15 from Zane Besler, 14 from Dion Madler and 11 by Jayden Krivorchka.
Killdeer was paced by its one-two punch of Alex Sadowsky and Garrett LeMiuex. Sadowsky made 6 of 7 shots, including a pair of 3-point bombs on his way to 18 points. LeMiux added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, including three offensive boards.
Although disappointed in the outcome, Murphy said there was some positives his squad showed against what he called “one of the better teams in Region 7.”
“It’s promising to see what we can do, but we just can’t talk about it. We have to put it into play consistently,” Murphy said.