Buccaneers win 5th in a row
Once again, the Dawson Community College Buccaneers executed well down the stretch and made the plays to pull out another close game. During their five-game winning streak, three of their games have come down to the final minute and the Bucs have earned the victory each time.
On this night, it was some clutch free throw shooting by Simon Falokun, Tyrel Harper and especially Brent Finn. Finn went 10-10 from the free throw line in the game. It was a close game throughout the 2nd half and Williston’s Mychael Paulo nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 69 with 2:12 remaining. Travon Hamilton answered back for the Bucs with a pull-up jumper from the right side. The Tetons made a free-throw on the other end before Hamilton found Taylan Barrett under the basket for a tough lay-in to regain a 73-70 advantage. Then Hamilton made a free throw to give DCC a four point lead. Michael Vandall answered back with a quick three, but Harper nailed two free throws, Falokun made one and Finn salted the game away with two more. The final score was 79-75.
Early on it didn’t look like it would be a very close game. The Buccaneers welcomed their visitors by jumping out to a 13-3 lead. Falokun scored the first five, Harper scored the next four and then Barrett scored and followed it up with an assist to Harper for another bucket. Williston battled back and eventually took the lead in the final five minutes of the half on the back of O’Shane Taylor-Douglas.
They went up by as many as 9 points, but Hamilton and Barrett closed the half with buckets to cut the deficit to 5 at 33-38. Both teams went 11-18 from the free throw line and both teams struggled from the 3-point line in the first half. Dawson was 0-6 and Williston was 1-6 from long range. Williston gained an advantage by forcing 14 turnovers and scoring 15 points off those turnovers, though the Bucs held the advantage on the boards 25-20. Nobody for either team finished the half in double digits.
The home team hung tough and finally tied the ball-game up halfway through the 2nd half when Finn hit a 3-pointer and Harper scored inside on the next possession. Harper scored again on an assist from Hamilton and gave DCC their first lead since the opening half at 56-54. After that, there were five different times the score was tied, but Williston could never move ahead. The Bucs started taking care of the ball better down the stretch and closed it out from the free throw line. They made 24 free throws on the night and outrebounded the Tetons 46-36. Dawson’s big three performed well with Finn leading the way with 23 points. Harper finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds while Falokun had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Four players were in double figures for the visitors.
DCC Coach Joe Peterson had this to say, “I like how we seem to find different ways to win each night. Sometimes it’s in a shootout and other times in a defensive battle, but when we defend well and control the boards, we can play with anyone.”
The win moves Dawson’s record to 19-6 on the season and 5-2 in conference play. They will travel to Wahpeton, North Dakota to face North Dakota State College of Science on Monday. The three time defending conference champions beat the Bucs in a close contest in early January in Glendive. They are 7-0 in league play so far.
DCC’s next home game will be Thursday night against Lake Region State College.