Winter: MCC basketball teams need to learn how to hold a lead

Star Columnist

When the Miles Community College basketball teams were in Devils Lake, North Dakota, last weekend, they had chances to go 4-0.

The men lost two games in which they led.

“I feel like we let two games get away,” coach Chase Tait said. “We had ample chances both nights to come out on top and just didn’t make the necessary plays to do so.”

His Pioneers were ahead by 14 at halftime of their 102-97 loss to the host Lake Region Royals. They had 25 turnovers in the 92-84 loss to Dakota College of Bottineau, N.D. “Our ball control was our demise,” Tait said. “The turnovers were too much to overcome. Most of those turnovers were unforced and we also missed multiple layups. We had a chance to put them away in the first half, but couldn’t get out of our own way.”

The MCC women also could have won twice, but lost 70-63 to Lake Region after building an early 10-point lead. Foul problems, coach Nate Vogel said, were the difference.

In Game 2, the Pioneers had no trouble overpowering Dakota College 81-41. That meant the average margin of victory in their three wins is 29 points.

MCC will have a busy weekend. The Lady Pioneers play Friday at 5 p.m. Friday against Eastern Wyoming, followed by the men at 7 p.m. against Williston State. Another doubleheader is Saturday against Nueta Hidasta Sahnish, the women playing at 3 p.m. and the men at 5 p.m.


High School Season on the Horizon

Miles City sports fans who haven’t gotten copies of the 2017-18 winter sports schedules for CCDHS can celebrate Thanksgiving and then get ready for the three sports — wrestling and boys and girls basketball — that the Cowboys and Cowgirls compete in. It starts Friday, Dec. 1 for the wrestlers, who will take part in the two-day Sidney Invitational. They won’t wrestle at home until their well-known Cowboy Invitational on Jan. 12-13. On Saturday, Dec. 2 both basketball teams will be in action — the boys playing Williston at home at 4 p.m. and the girls playing at Williston at 3:30 p.m.
Workouts are under way and two new head coaches — Mike Etchemendy in wrestling and Chase Haughian in girls basketball — join veteran Houston Finn for the upcoming season. I can hardly wait to see the games and matches.