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Monday, March 19, 2018

Anthony Varriano photo

DCC alums give Bucs a game

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Dawson Community College men’s basketball team must have been surprised to be down five at halftime to DCC alumni team at Toepke Center, Saturday night. 

The Buccaneers were without Victor Henriquez, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot sustained over the summer. He was just cleared to play two weeks ago, but the DCC Alums rotated half as many players and managed to go into halftime with a lead.

Evan Jones returned to Toepke Center and showed he can still ball, hanging in the air after a baseline drive to make it 6-4 DCC. He followed it with a three to give the Alums their first lead. Jones hit again from long range, watching the ball rip the net from his back to make it 10-6 alums.

DCC point guard Brendon Chevannes answered with a three, and fellow point guard Tyrick Thompson drained a trey after a strong drive and finish to make it 22-16 DCC.

A step-back three by Jones got the alums within one possession, and Christian Kappel hit threes from each corner to tie it at 27. Kappel then found Josh Stickel for a reverse layup in transition to tie it at 32.

It was back and forth from there, with Alex Rivas showing off a pretty spin move in the lane to tie it at 34. Then Jones made a beautiful pass in transition to Stickel for a two-point alumni lead. 

Kappel took over the game with two consecutive strong finishes in traffic to make it 40-35 Alums. Another Kappel drive and layup gave the alums a 42-37 lead at halftime. 

The Alums turned the ball over just three times in the first half, and DCC head coach Joe Peterson wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort.

“Our two keys are defending and rebounding, and I wasn’t very happy with that part of the game,” Peterson said.

Lance Harrison took over the scoring for the Alums in the second half. He made it 47-42 with a three and then hit another from the opposite side of the court to extend the alumni lead to seven points. 

Peterson started trapping the ball-handler, resulting in fastbreak opportunities for DCC, one of which Daniel Shedden elevated and flushed despite a foul to make it 50-49.

The “Mailman” delivered another three to make it 53-49, but DCC newcomer Kolton Wall tied it at 53. 

Harrison hit his fourth straight trey, and fastbreak points by Kappel made it 58-53 Alums. He finished with 13 points on 50-percent shooting from long range.

Brent Finn of Big Timber found his stroke with a three to make it a one-possession game, but Kappel found Jones in transition with a beautiful bounce pass, forcing a Peterson timeout at 63-56 Alums. Peterson was hot and addressed his team’s effort running the floor.

Another Finn three gave DCC its first lead in a long time, and then he hit another to force an alumni timeout with DCC up 74-68 with 6:29 left to play.

“He came in in the second half and knocked down a couple shots, but even better than that was I love the way he dove on the floor and picked up some loose balls. He made a few good passes, too,” Peterson said.

DCC pulled away as the Alums’ legs tired. It was 80-71 DCC with 5:04 to play. Shedden flushed another through a foul after a few rolls around the rim to make it 85-71, and JoMarri Gable stopped the bleeding with a floater before picking up his sixth and then seventh foul.

“I’ve got more fouls than their whole team,” he joked to a ref while walking off the court. 

LJ Davenport hit his first field goal from long range to make it 96-85, and it ended 96-86. Jones finished with 32 points going 12-for-21 from the floor to lead all scorers, and Kappel added 24 points for the Alums.

“Both Christian and Evan had a lot of opportunities, but both decided they didn’t want to play this year. I think Christian has been dealing with some foot issues ever since he was born,” Peterson explained. “He’s always in a lot of pain, and I think just getting through last season was tough for him.”

For the current Bucs, Wall quietly led the scoring with 19 points on seven-of-12 shooting from the field and five-of-eight shooting from the charity stripe. 

“I really like how Wall played,” Peterson said. “He can attack the rim and knock down some shots.”

Shedden finished with 14 points, Chevannes added 13, Finn had 12, and Stefan Stubbs recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

The Bucs are at Jamestown next Wednesday and New Town the following Tuesday.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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