For the second game in a row, Breckenridge had a player leave warmups after succumbing to the flu. The latest victim was Jonah Christensen, who is the second-leading scorer and the top rebounder for the Cowboys. Throw in the fact that another starter, Chris Nieto, was out of town and also had to miss the Tuesday, Feb. 11 battle with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Minnesota, things weren’t looking good for BHS.
Despite being shorthanded, Breck came out and gave DGF a run for their money to make it a four-point game at halftime. The Rebels’ shooters found their stroke in the second half to put the Cowboys away, 59-40. In their last meeting back in January, DGF blew out Breck by 34.
“When we were at full strength, we lost by almost 40. They’ve been drilling people by 30-40 (points) every game, they’ve been averaging 80 a game. We played without two starters and we made no excuses,” Breckenridge coach Arly Ohm said. “Other guys stepped up and I’m so very proud of our kids. I thought we competed as hard as we could with what we had.”
The game was a defensive battle in the opening half with both teams keeping each other in check. It wasn’t an offensive showcase by any means as the Rebels led 20-16.
“I thought defensively we did a really good job making them very uncomfortable at times. I think this game was about the green and white playing at the best of their ability tonight,” Ohm said.
Limiting turnovers played a major role in keeping the game tight early on. That didn’t carry over into the second half the way Breck would have liked.
“We did a much better job at times (taking care of the basketball), but in the second half we started turning the ball over. At halftime we were down four and to be honest we should’ve been ahead at half,” Ohm said. “It’s not the way we want to play style-wise, but we have to put our kids in positions to be successful and I thought the credit goes to our kids. They did a heck of a job doing it.”
Perimeter shooting is a big part of DGF’s game and they rained down 3s in bunches to close out the game. A big run ballooned the lead to 20 midway through the second period.
“They hit some shots, too, but to be honest we didn’t cover out of the zone like we’re supposed to. We didn’t do our jobs that way, but that’s what good teams do,” Ohm said.
Anthony Conzemius led the way in points (12) and rebounds (eight) in the loss. Adam Ohm and Cooper Yaggie each chipped in with nine.
Next up for Breckenridge (11-10) is a conference road showdown with Hawley, Minnesota. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Breck plays in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, at the same time the next day.
“We go to Hawley Thursday and then we’ve got a really big one on Friday. We go to Pelican and right now the Cowboys are only three points out of third place,” Ohm said. “We’ve grinded from an 0-4 start to now battling all the way to the third seed possibly in our section. That’s a heck of an accomplishment and that’s why these kids should be proud of themselves.”