MINNEAPOLIS - The point in point guard could mean point of emphasis.
Even if a team lacks size, speed and experience a good point guard can mean the difference between a long, successful season and a short, unsuccessful one.
For Class 2A's Crosby-Ironton Rangers, which has size, experience and talent, point guard Trevor Dickie's contributions often go unnoticed. Seniors Bryce Tesdahl and Derek Swanhorst lead most statistical categories for C-I and cast physically large shadows on the court. That's fine with Dickie, who likes to pick his spots to shine.
Trevor Dickie (24) congratulated his teammates after heading to the bench just minutes before the end of the game with Rockford. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Dickie picked a few good spots in Wednesday's Class 2A state quarterfinal victory over the Rockford Rockets at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Like his 3-pointer with 58 seconds remaining in the first half that knotted the score 34-34 and powered the Rangers to a one-point halftime edge.
"I just knew we needed something to get going," said Dickie. "We just weren't rolling like we should have been rolling. Mark (Hoge) drove the baseline and kicked it back out and I had the shot. Then from there we were able to get the one point lead going into the half."
Ranger head coach Dave Galovich said the 3-pointer, C-I's only of the game, got the team rolling.
"We were getting the ball inside to Derek (Swanhorst) and then after awhile Rockford packed their defense into the paint," said Galovich. "Then Trevor hits that 3 and it was huge. It gets the crowd into the game and gets our guys excited. That was big."
Trevor Dickie (24) crouched before shooting. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Dickie finished the game with 12 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals. He played all but the last minute. While he wasn't credited for a block, his defensive stop against Lucas Mernin after a turnover with 6:58 remaining secured the Rangers' 61-57 advantage.
"It was a legit block," said Dickie.
Most important to the Rangers' success was Dickie's ability to handle Rockford's full-court pressure defense. The senior committed just three turnovers, but none in the second half.
He was 5-for-5 from the field, including 1-for-1 from the 3-point. One area where Dickie admittedly needs to improve is at the foul line. Heading into the state tournament he was hitting 63.7 percent, a lower percentage than the three-year varsity starter is used to. Wednesday he was 1-for-6.
Trevor Dickie took to the air for a shot. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
"This feels good. I think it was important to get those first game jitters out of the way," said Dickie. "I didn't have the best game and my free throws were horrible, but it was good to get that first win. Now we know what it takes and we know what the atmosphere is like."
One constant in C-I's state success under Galovich has been a steady, if not spectacular, point guard. In 1987, when the Rangers finished second at state, Mike Nagorski manned the point. In 1993, when the Rangers finished third, Chris Mace ran the offense. Now as the Rangers head into the semifinals, Trevor Dickie is calling the shots.
"He's just solid," said Galovich. "He gets us into our sets and he's strong with the ball. You can't take it away from him and then he'll do the little things. He'll go in and get an offensive rebound and get a put back. He's just a solid performer for us."
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