Beavers score 70 in first half of season opening win

By 
J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Beaver Basketball is Back, Baby.

A year after Dillon weathered a losing record in boys basketball for the first time this century, any thoughts of a program slump were put to rest by a dominating performance on the road at Livingston The Beavers posted a 39-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter and led 70-11 at halftime en route to the season opening victory.

“It was special. I haven’t been a part of very many halves that were executed quite like that,” said Dillon coach Terry Thomas. “It was in a real flow, and every person that went into the game did a quality job of executing their responsibility. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. That was as good an effort as a team could give.”

As would be expected, Dillon dominated in every single statistical category. It was Dillon’s defense that got the momentum moving in a postive direction early in the game.

“We had a lot of steals to start with which we were then able to convert into easy baskets,” said Thomas. “The kids ran the floor quickly and they were able to find the open guy with unselfish passes.”

Running the floor and unselfish play have been keys to Dillon’s success in the past and will be so this season. All 13 Dillon players were able to take the floor in the rout and even with a continuous clock running in the second half due to the lopsided scoring margin, the Dillon players maintained the integrity of the Dillon game plan.

“The way that everything fell together, it was just one of those special nights that just doesn’t come around that often,” said Thomas.

Dillon’s top scorers were senior Cole Truman and junior Jonathan Kirkley with 16 each, and junior Connor Curnow with 12. 11 of the 13 players that took the court were able to score.

Thomas marveled at Truman’s smooth play and noted that the 6-5 forward had greatly elevated his play from a year ago. Truman added 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists and a blocked shot to his scoring line.

Kirkley came on strong towards the end of last year as a sophomore and has continued his development this season. He defends the top of the 1-3-1 zone defense when the Beavers move to that strategy. Kirkley nabbed 2 steals, 3 assists and a block.

6-7 Callahan Hoffman ripped down a team-high 7 rebounds, scored 8, and blocked 3 shots. Thomas noted that the junior tweaked his ankle at Livingston and it was unknown at press time if he would play this week.

Daxon Graham and Jace Fitzgerald each dished 5 assists and combined for 15 points.

Sophomore Tyler Lagunas ripped down 6 rebounds in one quarter of garbage time in the second half. Livingston scored 12 points through three quarters, and then erupted for 19 in the fourth quarter.

“The energy from the kids, the excitement and just how hard they’re playing will make it fun any night for anybody that gets a chance to watch us,” concluded Thomas. “Whether we execute that well or don’t, they’ll still be getting after it playing hard, running the floor, and trying to play unselfish basketball.”

The Beavers continue their season opening road swing with a game at Stevensville Thursday (7:30 p.m.), and a game at always tough Butte Central on Saturday (4 p.m.).

DILLON 35, LIVINGSTON

Dillon scoring – Jonny Reiser 6, Kee Christiansen 4, Daxon Graham 4, Caden Hansen 0, Max Davis 3, Eli Nourse 6, Tyler Lagunas 0, Cole Truman 16, Jonathan Kirkley 16, Connor Curnow 12, Callahan Hoffman 8, Jace Fitzgerald 9, Kale Konen 4. Halftime – 70-11, Dillon. Dillon three-pointers (6-13) – Christiansen 0-2, Graaham 0-1, Hansen 0-2, Daivs 1-1, Nourse 1-1, Truman 2-2, Kirkley 1-1, Fitzgerald 1-3. Rebounds (39) – Hoffman 7, Lagunas 6. Steals (16) – Graham 5. Assists (7) – Fitzgerald 5, Graham 5. Turnovers (8). Blocks (5) – Hoffman 3.

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