Cowboys look to future as season winds down

Kacen Gartner is one of the seniors closing out his prep career with the Killdeer basketball team. File photo

It started off close, with both Killdeer and visiting Trinity tied at eight points after one quarter.

But the regular season finale for both teams took decidedly different paths for the remaining three quarters as the Titans grabbed a 48-25 victory Feb. 22 in Killdeer.

By Brad Mosher
The Herald

The Titans built up a quick lead in the second quarter, holding their hosts to just two points, while scoring nine to take a 17-9 advantage into halftime.

In the second half, the Titans added another 31 points while holding the Cowboys to just 15 points.

Matthew Stafford led the Titans in scoring with 18 points, while Aric Knopik added 10.

The Cowboys got 11 points from junior Daylon Danks, along with five from senior Kacen Gartner and four from Jamie Keller.

There was bright spots, according to coach Andy Murphy.

“I thought boys played hard on the defensive end. We held Trinity to 17 points in the first half which is tough to do.

“We knew coming in that Trinity has some very good athletes in the middle. We took the paint away forcing them to shoot outside shots.”

The game changed after halftime, according to the coach. “After halftime, we came out a little flat and Trinity amped up their intensity.

“Overall, I thought we played a nice game.

We have grown a lot over the past couple weeks and I believe we are playing our best basketball right now which is the perfect time to do so with the regional tournament coming up,” the coach added after the home loss.

Visit Hazen

Even with the loss giving the Cowboys an 0-20 regular season record, the team had one more shot at its first win of the season with the play-in game at Hazen Tuesday.

“Last time we played, Hazen won 64-30. We were shorthanded with injuries and sickness but still not an excuse for to not compete. They took it to us on both ends,” the coach said.

“We have to get hands up and close out on their shooters and keep the their guards out of the paint. We will need to have our best defensive game of the season.

After the game, I told them boys I would like another chance at them because I know we can compete better than how we played.

“Hazen has two very good players in Garrett Ward and Isaac Doll. Both can get to the rim and finish and can also knock down outside shots.

“Their roles players are very good shooters from the outside. They made ten three pointers, five in the first quarter, the first time we met,” Murphy added.

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