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First place Minot High gears up for rematch against Bismarck

On Jan. 8, the visiting Bismarck Demons (9-2) defeated the Minot Magicians (10-1) 84-76 to give the Magi their first loss of the season. This evening, Minot will take a second crack at the WDA conference foe.

According to MHS boys basketball head coach Dean Winczewski, he expects Bismarck to come out with the same high-octane approach they displayed in the previous meeting. This time around, however, Winczewski wants to his club to improve execution on both ends of the floor in order to produce a different outcome.

“We committed 23 turnovers last time against Bismarck, so we obviously need to protect the ball better,” Winczewski tells The Minot Daily News. “I thought we played a little sloppy at times, and you can’t expect to beat a good team like that. I also thought we gave up too many open looks in the second half, so if we can guard the ball better and not have as many empty possessions on offense, we will give ourselves a great chance to win.”

In the previous matchup with the Demons, Bismarck’s 6-foot-5 standout junior Treysen Eaglestaff registered 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Max Tschosik and Gunner Swanson tallied 15 and 12 points respectively. As Winczewski recognizes the skill level of the opposition’s best offensive weapons, he acknowledges it is Bismarck’s depth which makes them such a challenging matchup.

“They have a bunch of guys that can hurt you, so it’s not just those three players that we have to keep an eye on. Their entire team plays very effectively and efficiently as a unit,” the Minot coach adds.

In order to combat Bismarck’s top offensive threats, senior guard Deonte’ Martinez is expected to have a big performance. Through the first 11 games, Martinez leads the Magi in scoring with 23.2 points per game. He also leads the club in total assists (33) and steals (20).

Minot sophomore Darik Dissette is also expected to make his presence felt in Tuesday’s big showdown. The club’s second leading scorer with 14.3 points per game, Dissette matched Eaglestaff’s point total with 26 of his own the last time these two teams squared off earlier this month. Unfortunately for Magi fans, Dissette’s productive evening came to an premature end as he fouled out of the contest.

While Martinez and Dissette can produce their own offensive opportunities for the Magicians, Winczewski says Minot is at its best when the offense features multiple scoring options. In particular, he feels Kade Butz and Teagan Kinchen will be among the role players that will have a chance to contribute at some point in the game.

“Kade has been playing really well for us lately, and Teagan has proven he can make shots for us when called upon. I think we are really hard to beat when we have four or five guys scoring in double figures, and if we have a balanced scoring night from multiple players while also keeping Bismarck out of the paint, we should be in great shape down the stretch,” Winczewski continues.

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