R.C. schools struggle
SIOUX FALLS –– At a time when teams should be peaking for the play-offs, all but one Rapid City team went off the rails last week, low light being the Rapid City Stevens visit to Sioux Falls Washington, Friday night.
Called a “penumbral lunar eclipse,” a gigantic full moon pierced the rain clouds and tree tops over Washington’s campus, and although no valid scientific study has ever found a full moon to influence human behavior, strange events were definitely afoot in the Warrior gymnasium.
The Washington boys outshot, out-rebounded, and out-hustled an on-paper superior Raiders team, 56-37, a Raider team that had already beaten them in the opening game of the season, 59-46.
Raider Head Coach Chris Stoebner made no excuses after the game: “Physically, they just whipped us. We didn’t play with energy, and they had it, and we didn’t match it. We got a target on our backs, we’re a rated team, and teams are coming to get us.”
Stoebner singled out Washington’s explosive power forward, Jack Talley, as the catalyst for the entire Warrior onslaught. Midway through the second quarter, Talley’s soaring slam dunk made it 28- 11, Washington, and Stoebner formed a huge hoop with his arms and said, “Now (Talley) makes the rim this big for everybody.”
The 6-4 Talley cited the folks that got him ready for Stevens: “My friends at school. My coaches in practice, we just had to get this win. We talked a lot about their playmakers, Mason Archambault and Jacob Martin. We thought, we shut those guys down, we’re all right.”
Zach Heins, Washington’s 6-7 junior forward said, “They are one of the best teams in the state, but from our perspective, we brought a lot of energy.”
Talley concluded: “If we keep bringing that same kind of energy, I don’t think any team can play with us.”
Heins summed up the opening season loss to Stevens in Rapid City: “They made us pay for the open shots we gave them.”
Friday night the Raiders had seven fewer shot opportunities than Washington and shot 32% from the floor. Archambault led Stevens scoring with 11 points. The Raiders had zero assists, a big reason they hit few open shots. Cooper Bowman was the one bright spot for Stevens. The 6- 1 junior hustled so hard after a loose ball he burst through an exit door, right out of the gymnasium.
Talley had 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6-6 senior center Isaac Goeman had 11 points and 5 rebounds.
On Saturday afternoon, Stevens traveled across I-25 to Sioux Falls Lincoln, and lost a squeaker, 64-62. The 11-5 Raiders still lead their District, but have lost two power points, and have four games remaining to get in fighting trim before play-offs.
In the first game of the night, the 12-4 Lady Raiders looked to avenge a 69-67 overtime loss to the Lady Warriors in the opening game of the season, but their defense went absolutely porous, and through long, critical stretches, Washington appeared able to score at will, especially driving into the paint, and handily prevailed, 72-62.
Washington took nine more shots and shot 62% from the field. They were 14-14 from the free throw line, and outscored Stevens 13-4 in crucial second chance points. The Lady Raiders were 2-14 from beyond the arc.
Hanna VanDerWerff , the best player on the floor when she wants to be, led Stevens with 16 points. Aly Hammon displayed a lot of grit and hustle in the loss and had 11 points and 3 assists. Mya Hendry also had 11 points and pulled down 5 boards. Lexus Eagle Chasing came off the bench to lead the team with 4 assists.
Big Mahan Shah had 19 points and 5 rebounds for Sioux Falls. Jada Cunningham had 15 points and 6 assists. Taylor VanderVelde had 11 points.
Given one day to recover from such a bad loss, the Lady Raiders could not, and dropped the next game to Sioux Falls Lincoln, 57-42. They still lead District 4, but it was a rough weekend.
Central Boys drop two in Sioux Falls, Girls split
Given how convincingly they had beaten Rapid City Stevens the night before, the Sioux Falls Washington Lady Warriors had to figure visiting Rapid City Central was a beatable opponent Saturday afternoon, but the Lady Cobblers pulled off the only Rapid City win over the weekend, turning back Sioux Falls, 64-50.
On Friday night, the Lady Cobblers took Sioux Falls Lincoln to overtime, before bowing, 65-59, and although they lost to Stevens earlier this season, Central appears to better handle the tall teams that give Stevens trouble.
The Central Boys continue to struggle as they lost to Lincoln Friday night, 71-59. On Saturday afternoon, they loss to Washington, 64-41, shooting only 33% from the field, up ten less shots, and getting outscored 30-18 in the paint.
Nehemiah Baustian had 10 points for the Cobblers, Dylan Hay had 9, and Trey Eberlein had 8 rebounds. Jack Talley paced Washington with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
At the Corn Palace in Mitchell, Saturday afternoon, Rapid City St Thomas More dropped a hotly contested 53- 51 decision to Dell Rapids in Boys basketball.
(Contact James Giago Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org)