Aberdeen Christian proved it doesn’t necessarily need to hold an opponent under 40 points to win.
The Knights went to Ipswich on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and held on for a 67-63 boys basketball victory, their eighth straight.
Four of Christian’s starters went for double figures, led by Brooks Bosma’s 22 points. He knocked down all five of Christian’s three-pointers. Joey Johnson added 18 points. Brooks Jett had a dozen, while Ellis Russell chipped in with 11.
It was the first time during the winning streak the Knights gave up more than 40 points.
“We needed our offense to show up tonight and it did,” said Christian head boys coach Aaron Moeller. “Ipswich can really shoot lights-out, and even though I felt we were in good position defensively, it didn’t seem to affect their shooters. They’re extremely well-coached.”
Moeller feels his inexperienced squad, now 9-4, is playing its best basketball.
“I kept telling people we’d be a better team in February than December. When you have a younger team, sometimes it takes time to grow and tonight I thought this group showed a lot of poise,” Moeller said.
In what Moeller felt was one of his team’s better defensive efforts, Christian knocked off Class A McLaughlin 50-35 Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Heritage Classic at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
Christian allowed one made field goal in the first quarter while scoring 16 points to take a commanding lead. Jett led Christian with 17 points.
“Brooks (Jett) played really well for us (Saturday),” Moeller said. “He is reaping the benefits of teams focusing on Joey Johnson in the post for us. There’s so much attention given to him that Brooks is able to roam through the lane and find scoring opportunities.”
McLaughlin had averaged scoring 57 points in its six games before Saturday.
“It was just another great team effort defensively. It’s our seventh-straight game holding an opponent under 40 points. I’m just really proud of our guys. They showed a lot of poise down the stretch to close this game out,” Moeller said.
It was defense and balanced scoring that led the Christian boys basketball team to a 68-35 win over Northwestern Feb. 1 at the Aberdeen Civic Arena.
Bosma led three Knights in double figures with a game-high 21 points. Konnar Furman added 16, while Johnson chipped in 15.
“One thing we did tonight that we haven’t done with a whole lot of consistency is our inside-outside game,” Moeller said. “We had games where we’ve shot the ball well, but tonight Becker Bosma had a good night from the outside, and Joey Johnson did his thing in the middle. (Northwestern was) really focused on the interior of our offense, which led to us getting some open looks and we knocked them down.”
“Our goal is always (holding the other team) under 40, and anytime you hold a team under 40 points you have a great chance to win the basketball game. Even on nights when you may not be shooting well, it gives you a chance. I told them after the game tonight, ‘Guys, one word. Defense.’ Our team defense was the difference in this game,” Moeller said.
The second half was a struggle for the Wildcats, who scored just two points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth.
Northwestern was led by Nathan Melius with 19 points. Lincoln Woodring added a dozen.
“There’s no quit in this group. That’s what I love about my players, they always work hard. It’s all we ask of them, work hard and don’t give up, and that’s exactly what they’ve done all year,” said Northwestern head coach Tony Redman. “We’re just waiting for the storm to get over right now, and we know there’s light coming when that storm ends. It’s a good life lesson, and the guys keep fighting and keep playing hard.”
Aberdeen Christian and Aberdeen Roncalli play at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Civic Arena.
Central boys fall at No. 1 Mitchell, upend No. 2 Harrisburg
Aberdeen Central fell to Class AA’s top-ranked squad Mitchell 68-56 Tuesday at the Corn Palace.
The Eagles trailed by as many as 16 in the third quarter, but cut the deficit to 40-32 with just more than three minutes to go. Grant Fritz and Parker Lemer both had 14 points for the Golden Eagles.
Marcus Talley had 21 points for the Kernels, while Colton Smith added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Mitchell won the battle on the glass out-rebounding Central 35-23.
Friday, Feb. 2 was a special night for the Golden Eagles.
That’s how Central head boys basketball coach Brent Norberg described his team’s 56-54 win over then-second-ranked Harrisburg at Golden Eagles Arena.
Central and Harrisburg traded baskets throughout the first quarter, with Central getting a late three-pointer by Camden Fauth to take an 18-16 lead after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter saw the shooting percentages of both teams fall off as they combined for 15 total points and the Eagles led 25-24 at the break.
As was the case in the first quarter, the teams swapped hoops in the third. Harrisburg’s Camden Phipps, who finished a team-high 20 points, scored on a put-back to put the Tigers up 30-27.
The star of the game proved to be Fritz. He scored a career-high 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting, He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and was, according to his coach, “a beast tonight.”
“Grant has worked incredibly hard in the weight room and in the gym to be able to have a night like this,” Norberg said. I didn’t have to do anything. That kid has earned everything he is accomplishing. It’s just all from his work ethic.”
Jett Carlson added 11 points and knocked down three of Central’s six three-pointers.
Jacoby Mehrman added 17 points for Harrisburg.
The Golden Eagles are now 7-8 and host Huron Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
Roncalli gets OT win at Miller, drops home contest to Milbank.
Aberdeen Roncalli needed an extra five minutes, but the Cavaliers came away with a 52-50 overtime road win Tuesday at Miller.
Keegan Stewart led the way for Roncalli with a game-high 23 points.
“(Miller) played solid defense and didn’t give us many good looks. It was a defensive struggle tonight. Fortunately, we gave up two less points than they did,” said Roncalli head boys coach Dan Gallagher.
A late defensive stop helped Milbank claim a 51-45 boys basketball victory Friday at the Roncalli Gym.
Roncalli led 22-21 at the half, however rebounding and second-chance points by Milbank kept the Bulldogs in the game.
Yohana Ajwanga scored on an offensive rebound that helped Milbank outscore the Cavaliers 12-4 in the third quarter.
“We just didn’t box out. Even if a team is bigger than you, like Tiospa Zina was with us the other night. They had us height-wise in most positions, but we boxed out and won most rebounds. We just came up too lackadaisical on that aspect tonight,” Gallagher said.
Defensively, Gallagher thought both teams got after it.
“That was the best defense I think we may have played this year, both teams, actually, because the amount of times the shot clock got under 15 seconds was, you know, more than a few. There was a reason it was a pretty low-scoring game,” he said.
Milbank opened the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to push its lead to seven points before the Cavaliers defense got them back in it with back-to-back-to-back steals. Those led to a pair of layups and an Aiden Fischer three-pointer to tie the game.
Stewart led the way for Roncalli with a game-high 23 points. Fischer added 12 and Maddox Miller 10, but they were the only Cavaliers to score.
“We need to find balance,” Gallagher said. “Caden (Shelton) got into some foul trouble so he had a rough time working back (offensively). Brody (Weinmeister) was a good facilitator and had a bunch of assists. Free throws are a way to make it in (the scorer’s book), but we did not make free throws tonight.
The Cavs made just three of eight from the charity stripe. Milbank made 17 of 22 free throws.
Garrett Mertens paced the Bulldogs with 15 points while Ajwanga and Joe Schulte chipped in 14 and 13 respectively. Only four players scored for Milbank as it improved to 9-5.
The Cavaliers, now 10-6, play Aberdeen Christian at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Civic Arena.
Roncalli girls get two wins in three games
Despite what head coach Derek Larson felt was an inconsistent effort, Aberdeen Roncalli picked up a 60-48 road win in girls basketball at Miller Tuesday.
Ava Hanson led Roncalli with 22 points, while McKenna O’Keefe added 13.
For spurts during the game Larson said Roncalli had no answers for Miller’s Morgan Kolda, who scored a game-high 31 points.
“I thought we turned the ball over too much and really let Kolda get going in the second half. She seemed to get to the rim at will after halftime,” he said.
Saturday, Vermillion built a 21-7 lead in the first quarter and eased to a 75-41 victory over Roncalli in Madison at the Dakota XII/Northeast Conference Clash.
Jenaya Cleveland led four Tanagers in double figures with a game-high 17 points.
Hanson led Roncalli with 13 points. Gabby Thomas came off the bench to add 11.
On Feb. 1 in Milbank, four starters reached double figures as the Cavaliers grabbed a 57-41 triumph.
Roncalli outscored Milbank 16-9 in the first quarter. Hanson, who finished with a team-high 14 points, notched nine of those points.
Three-point shooting proved to be an advantage for the Cavaliers as they hit seven shots from behind the arc. Camryn Bain led the charge by knocking down three. Maddie Huber and Hanson both made two.
Bain finished with 11 points, while Huber scored 10. Rylee Voeller added 12 points for the Cavaliers.
Roncalli (13-3) returns to action against Aberdeen Christian at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Civic Arena.
Central girls drop fifth straight
It’s getting to be a familiar scenario for the Aberdeen Central girls basketball team — facing pressure defense from opponents.
Central was forced into 27 turnovers by No. 2 Mitchell, including 17 steals, and lost its fifth straight, 51-39, Tuesday at Golden Eagles Arena.
“If we take care of the basketball, it’s absolutely a different story because it gives us a chance to score more and takes opportunities away from them,” Central head girls coach Mikayla Arechigo said. “It’s just frustrating trying to limit turnovers against a team that we know we can play with.”
Mitchell led by as many as 12 points in the second half. The Eagles trimmed the deficit to two on two different occasions, but couldn’t get over the hump.
Lauren Burckhard led Central with 17 points.
“With our guards having as many turnovers as we’ve had, we have to look to our bigs to get our low-post offense going until (the guards) can handle the basketball better,” Arechigo said.
Central struggled from the floor and lost its fourth straight game, 46-40, Friday at Harrisburg.
Central scored 11 points in the first half and trailed by 14 at the break. Caydi Withers led the Golden Eagles with 12 points, all coming via three-pointers. Burckhard added 11 points.
Harrisburg led by 13 after three quarters.
“We didn’t shoot well, and didn’t rebound well offensively until the fourth quarter. If we had that effort in the first half, the game looks a little different despite not shooting well,” Arechigo said.
Jaylee Hofer paced the Tigers with 16 points.
Central, now 8-6, travels to Huron Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Christian girls fall to Ipswich, Herreid/Selby, Northwestern
Ipswich raced to a 17-4 first-quarter lead and never looked back in defeating Aberdeen Christian 40-24 Tuesday in Ipswich.
Jalyssa Hutson led a balanced attack with 10 points as the Tigers picked up their second victory of the season.
Ipswich out-rebounded the Knights while forcing 22 turnovers.
Jolie Fogarty’s eight points led Christian.
Herreid/Selby Area slowly pulled away from the Aberdeen Christian girls Friday en route to a 58-34 victory in Herreid.
All three of Katie Allbee’s baskets were from three-point range as she scored 12 points and Steph Allbee added 13 to lead the Wolverines.
Chloe Bosma scored 12 points to pace the Knights and Chloe Holt finished with 10.
Tara Blachford and Adriana Ratigan combined for 30 points to boost Northwestern over Christian 47-33 Feb. 1 at the Civic Arena.
Northwestern out-rebounded the Knights 41-25.
At 6-foot-2, Ratigan was effective on both ends of the court, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ashley Haven chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds. Blachford’s 17 points led the way.
Bosma and Holt scored 12 and 10 points respectively for the 2-14 Knights, who play Roncalli at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Civic Arena.
Tuesday, Feb. 6
- Ratigan scored 21 points and Blachford 14 as the Northwestern girls came away with a 53-37 triumph against Webster.
- Warner led 19-6 after the first quarter and improved to 17-1 with a 52-24 girls basketball victory against Redfield. Kyra Marcuson’s 11 points and Carda’s 10 powered the Monarchs.
- Brodey Sauerwein scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help boost the Warner boys to a 59-24 win against Redfield.
- Webster built a hefty halftime lead and rolled past Northwestern 67-33 in boys basketball action. Ian Lesnar finished with 23 points for the victorious Bearcats. Lincoln Woodring scored 17 for Northwestern.
Monday, Feb. 5
- Noah Kippley poured in 25 points as Leola/Frederick downed Ellendale (N.D.) 71-59. The Titans trailed by one at the end of the first quarter before pulling away. Brayden Sumption added 10 points for the 16-1 Titans.
Saturday, Feb. 3
- Noah Kippley and Sumption combined for 35 points to power Leola/Frederick past Jones County 64-52 in boys basketball action. Sumption finished with four three-pointers and 16 points.
- A 15-6 third-quarter scoring advantage resulted in Waubay-Summit securing a 63-39 boys basketball victory over Northwestern. Traveion Neilan had a game-high 19 points for the Mustangs. Melius and Carson Ewalt finished with 18 and 10 respectively for Northwestern.
- Waverly/South Shore held off the Warner boys to grab a 44-40 victory. Brady Eschen had 18 points to lead the Coyotes. Zach Evans led the Monarchs with 17.
- The Warner girls outscored Waverly/South Shore 20-4 in the first quarter en route to a 58-15 win. Carda finished with 16 points for the winners.
- Blachford and Ratigan scored 16 points apiece as Northwestern cruised to a 54-47 girls basketball triumph against Waubay/Summit. Haven added 14 for the Wildcats.
- The Elk Point/Jefferson girls outscored Groton 34-9 after halftime in picking up a 44-23 win. The Huskies were paced by 12 points from Cera Schmitz, while Jerica Locke had eight for the Tigers.
Friday, Feb. 2
- Lane Titez scored 22 points and Jacob Zak 18 for the Groton boys, however it wasn’t enough as Vermillion picked up a 60-51 win. Four Tanagers reached double figures, led by Trey Hansen’s 16 points. The Tigers led 18-11 after the first quarter, but Vermillion outscored them 38-21 over the next two quarters.
- Britton-Hecla picked up its fourth boys basketball victory of the season, pulling away from Langford Area for a 64-38 win. The Braves, who led 33-24 at halftime, were powered by 23 points by Dawson Treeby. Rennan Bruns finished with 18 for Langford.
- Sterling Brassfield scored 11 points to help lead Britton-Hecla past Langford Area 44-29 in girls basketball action. Megan Gustafson finished with 10 points for the Lions.
Thursday, Feb. 1
- The Leola-Frederick boys outscored Warner 22-8 in the fourth quarter to overcome a one-point deficit and claim a 49-36 win. Kippley netted 18 points, Brayden Sumption 12 and Milo Sumption 11 for the Titans. The Monarchs were led by Sauerwein’s 14 points.
- Miller overcame a four-point halftime deficit in picking up a 75-59 boys basketball victory over Ipswich. Alex Schumacher and Isaak Hunter paced the Rustlers with 24 and 23 points, respectively. Jace Konsor scored a game-high 27 points for Ipswich, followed by 13 from Trevor Heinz.
- Lauren Marcuson’s 17 points helped boost the Warner girls over Leola-Frederick 57-51. Kyleigh Schopp added 11 and Ava Nilsson 10 for the winning Monarchs. Laura Sumption scored a game-high 19 for the Titans, while Sofi Losure added 11.