The Killdeer Cowboys battled the Solen Sioux for most of the game, but it wasn’t enough to keep the winless Dunn County squad from picking up its ninth straight loss this season by a 53-44 margin.
By Brad Mosher
Daylon Danks led all scorers with 18 points, but it was a balanced scoring attack by the Sioux which allowed the team to win.
The Sioux went on a 9-0 scoring spree to pull away for the win in the final minutes.
The Sioux attack was led by Keenan Yellow Hammer’s 14-point effort, while Brenden Dogskin added 13. Jayce Red Water and Jayce Thunder Hawk both scored 11 points, giving the Sioux four players in double figures.
Danks, who scored a pair of three-point shots, was followed by three players – Tyler Hansen, Kacen Gartner and Kadin Nodland – all with six points. Kostner Benz-Weber and Dawson Schneider each added four points.
The Cowboys was able to hold an 11-10 lead by the end of the first quarter, thanks to a six-point effort by Danks.
They held that advantage through the first half (23-22).
But it was in the second half where the Sioux turned things around.
Solen started with a third quarter where they outscored the Cowboys by a 15-8 margin.
Inthe final quarter, the Sioux kept up the pressure with a 16-0 edge in scoring.
Danks got 14 of his 18 points in the first half of the game Saturday.
After a strong first quarter start, the Cowboys allowed the other team to get back in the game, according coach Andy Murphy.
“We made a valiant effort when we came out with a 10 point lead, then we got complacent.
We got used to it and kind of let our guard down. They came back on us,” the Killdeer coach said after the game.
“It was good to see the kids fight back and finish the gam,” Murphy added.
“They fought back and got the lead, then I think they ran a little bit out of energy there.
“We have got to learn how to finish a game,” he added.
The problems are fixable, according to the coach. “We missed a significant amount of layups. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds – about 18 offensive rebounds.
“You are not going to many games giving up 18 offensive rebounds,” he added.
In spite of the loss, Murphy said he found some bright spots.
“I thought our defense was a lot better.
“And our offense… we actually played a lot better. I thought it was our best team game on offense because we got everyone involved.
“Grented, we missed a bunch of layups, but we were in the right spot. We made the right pass. We made the right cut. We just have to follow that through,” the coach explained.
“It is promising to see that we don’t have to rely on two people to score. We can get everyone involved,” Murphy added.
The team will travel to Beach Friday play a 6:30 p.m. game, then follow with a Jan. 21 trip to New Town.
The Cowboys will host Bowman County Jan. 25 in Killdeer, with the game slated to start at 7 p.m.