Dakota State rallies to beat JC men for A.I.I. crown; Hoge scores 36Mark Hoge was virtually unstoppable.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun
Mark Hoge was virtually unstoppable.
But Dakota State kept chipping away.
Despite a huge day from the Jamestown College junior star, the Trojans overcame a 23-point first-half deficit to wins its second straight A.I.I. tournament title, rallying past the Jimmies 78-76 Sunday at the Civic Center.
“We had a great tournament, a great weekend in a lot of ways, but we really wanted that one,” said Hoge after a monster 36-point performance, which included making nine of 11 3-point attempts. “It’s big for our confidence. I don’t think many people thought we’d be going to nationals, but we are. We’ve proven we can play with people and beat them. … We’re disappointed, but we’re not done.”
Hoge’s 22-point first half, which included three straight 3-pointers at one point, keyed a 51-point frame that had the Jimmies up by 18 at the break.
“Hoge’s a great player. Best we’ve played all season,” said Dakota State coach Gary Garner. “You look at it, we’re similar teams. We’ve both been up and down a little, but we’re coming on at the right time. Jamestown, they’re much, much better than they were early in the season.”
As for the comeback, Garner deadpanned about the plan.
“Get down big at half, I guess,” he said. “Not the best way of going about it. But, we didn’t quit.”
Read Monday's print edition of the Sun for JC coach Justin Wieck's analysis of his team's strong weekend.