The Dawson Community College Buccaneers have had a bad habit of getting down in the first half and then coming from behind in the second half during their 7 game winning streak. On Thursday night at the Toepke Center, they found themselves down by 21 points in the first half. Lake Region came out smoking from the field with their two guards leading the way. Cedric Boone scored 14 in the first half and Jordan Bolton had 17. Their 31 points combined kept the Buccaneers on their heels. Lake Region’s biggest lead came at 45-24, but the Bucs closed out the half strong with a 17-7 run to draw within 11.
Once again, Dawson came out in the second half and began to chip away one possession at a time. Point guard Travon Hamilton took control of the game with great defense on Bolton and he started being more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball by driving it to the basket. Taylan Barrett also gave the Bucs some momentum with a few clutch 3-pointers and several drives. Tyrel Harper also got into the action with some good post moves inside. DCC took the lead for good with one of Harper’s baskets with 7:58 remaining. The biggest lead the Bucs had on the night was a 7 point cushion on Barrett’s 3-pointer and a steal by Harper who fed Hamilton for the lay-up. Lake Region made a free throw on their next possession and Barrett answered with a free throw of his own. Boone made the final field goal of the night with 3 seconds remaining to pull them within 3, but Hamilton iced the game with 2 free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock.
The two halves were complete opposites with Lake Region shooting 58% in the first half and outscoring Dawson by 11. In the second half, Dawson shot a blistering 67% and outscored the visitors 60-40. All ten Buccaneers scored and gave significant contributions to the victory. They were playing without leading scorer and rebounder, Simon Falokun, who is ill. They were also playing for the third straight game without starter Reece Green who is recovering from a concussion. The Buccaneers bench outscored the Royals 36-8.
Boone finished with 31 points and Bolton scored 23. The Bucs had 4 players in double figures with Hamilton pouring in a career high 20 points, Harper scoring 19 and pulling in 8 rebounds to go along with 3 assists and 3 steals, Barrett also had 19 and Bret Vester scored 10 points. It was truly a team effort that moves Dawson to 21-6 on the year and 7-2 in the league. They are still in 2nd place in the Mon-Dak standings. They are only 1 game behind 1st place NDSCS and 2 games ahead of 3rd place Lake Region.
DCC Coach Joe Peterson commented, “I wish I could tell you why we keep getting down in the first half, but I can’t figure it out. If anybody knows, then please give me a call. It might just be that we always get everyone’s best. They know we are good and teams get up to play us and usually come out gunning. We have to start with that same intensity. But what I do know is that when we buckle down and play defense, we can be a really good team. And there is never a time when I feel like we are out of a game. Our guys have a strong belief in our system and each other and they know we will make the plays to win the game, no matter what the score is.”
The Bucs will play their third game this week when they travel to Bismarck to play United Tribes Technical College on Sunday at 3:00 pm MST. They will close out the regular season with home games on the next two Thursdays. This Thursday they will face Dakota College Bottineau.