Bismarck showed some offense in Friday's season-opening 79-36 boys basketball victory over Dickinson, but the bells and whistles weren't Ian Schafer's cup of tea.
Schafer, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, was talking defense after leading the Demons in scoring with 16 points.
"Coach (Jordan Wilhelm) has really been preaching defense all preseason. Everyone knows we can score, but it all comes down to stops," Schafer said.
There were stops aplenty. The Demons held the visiting Midgets to 20 percent shooting (9-for-44). Even more impressively, BHS limited Dickinson to just one second-half field goal until just 3:52 remained in the game.
Schafer scored 11 points and Bismarck's man-to-man defense limited the Midgets to five field goals as BHS opened a 35-21 halftime lead.
BHS turned up the heat right away after the intermission, outscoring Dickinson 27-2 in the first nine minutes of the second half.
The final nine minutes were academic as Wilhelm flooded the game with reserves. All told, a dozen players scored for the Demons. Behind Schafer came Tanner Davis and Canyon Stonecipher with 14 apiece. Stonecipher pulled down eight rebounds to lead BHS to a 43-28 advantage on the boards.
Crew Mathern paced the Midgets with 13 points and six rebounds.
Schafer said the 44-point victory was a bit of a surprise, but knew the ingredients were there if everything fell into place.
"You never go into a game expecting to blow a team out, but we knew if we shared the ball and came up the stops we did that we'd come out with a pretty strong victory," he noted.
The BHS girls started the evening with a 63-39 win over Dickinson.
Both schools have a week off before returning to action. Bismarck visits St. Mary's next Friday and Dickinson visits Belcourt to take on Turtle Mountain.
Bismarck 63, Dickinson 39
Bismarck took command early and cruised past Dickinson by a comfortable 24-point margin.
The Demons dominated the first half, opening a 39-15 lead with solid man-to-man defense. Dickinson shot just 14 percent in the first period and turned the ball over 15 times.
Dickinson played to a 24-24 standoff in the second half, but was unable to make up any of the ground it had lost in the first half.
Gabrielle Jung of Dickinson was the dominant figure after intermission, sinking five 3-pointers and scoring 19 of her 21 points.
Cadee Ryckman paced Bismarck with 22 points and Mady Mosolf added 16, all in the first half. Ryckman yanked down a dozen rebounds to lead BHS to a 53-36 advantage on the boards.
BHS coach Bill Shetler said he liked the results of the Demons full-court pressure in the first half, but he didn't enjoy the price they paid.
"We just got in foul trouble and had to back out of it," Shetler said. "We just have to play it clean and keep our players on the floor."
Shetler said that the second half, even though Dickinson never got closer than 19 points, wasn't a very good exhibition of basketball.
"We were stagnant offensively and let one girl (Jung) make maybe six 3s in the second half," he observed. "But, she's a heck of a player."