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Dunseith tops TGU for 3rd place

By Staff | Dec 13, 2013

Lori Gronvold TGU senior forward Luke Bacon swats the shot of a Dunseith guard in the Dragons’ 62-45 win for third place at the CNDC tournament in Rugby. Also pictured is TGU sophomore guard Taylor Bailey (30).

The first quarter hasn’t been a problem for the TGU boys basketball team, which is off to a sluggish start. The success found in the early going of games simply hasn’t translated to the second half for the Titans, who suffered two blowout losses en route to a fourth-place finish at the CNDC tournament last week.

First-year coach Michael Corum is emphasizing patience with a talented squad working to grasp new schemes.

“There’s some stuff we’re putting in and these games are really helpful for that,” said Corum, following a 62-45 loss to Dunseith on Nov. 7. “Our game plan was to get it inside. Throughout the tournament, we’ll do it and then we’ll stop doing it. I’m still happy with our defense.”

The Dragons earned third-place by pressuring the stagnant Titans into turnover-plagued second and third quarters. TGU junior guard Eli Luna hit a shot with seven seconds remaining in the first quarter to tie the game at 11, but six Titan turnovers followed in the first five minutes of the second quarter.

The range of Dunseith’s Cory Poitra and Trenton St. Claire proved too much as the pair led the Dragons with a deft touch and game-highs of 18 points apiece. Dunseith opened the half on a 9-0 run and the lead hit 15 points on a Poitra 3-pointer with 1 minute 29 seconds left in the third. Trace Azure connected for two at the buzzer and Dunseith led 47-32 after three.

“We have a lot of guards, so we start pushing the ball and playing our game,” Poitra said.

Poitra was hoping for first in the tournament, but was pleased with the Dragons’ resolve. Dunseith rallied from 21 points down in the third quarter of its first-round win (55-52) over Harvey-Wells County.

Luna led the Titans with 16 points against Dunseith and senior forward Luke Bacon added 13. Bacon showcased nifty talent around the rim on one up-and-under bucket, but didn’t assert his size advantage enough during the final two games of the tournament.

“We just need to get it to our post more and just pound it and that’s gonna be our strengths,” Luna said.

The shifty guard was quick off the dribble and a threat slashing and shooting, but teammates occasionally got caught watching him instead of getting open for the playmaker.

“It’s pretty much the key in basketball, especially against the zone,” Luna said. “You gotta move the ball quickly and get open shots.”

The Titans (2-3) rebounded with a 57-48 win over Rolette-Wolford on Tuesday in Towner. Junior forward Colter Thorp scored a game-high 15 points for TGU and Luna and Bacon chipped in 14 apiece. Senior forward Trevor Gottbreht led the Comets (2-2) with 14 points and classmate Nick Myhre added 12.

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