Tigers fall short in season-opening road games
By Jay Davis
The start was strong one night, the finish strong the next, but both were losses as the Tigers opened the basketball season with two straight road losses.
The gym at Roncalli is always a snake pit for opposing teams and Monday was no different as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter and held on to beat the Tigers 70-59.
“We played hard and played well as a team,” said coach Tim Frederick. “We’re starting to understand who we are.”
Early on it looked like it might be a long night. The Cavaliers came out hitting shots inside and out. Kyle Schwan got them started with a pair of three-pointers to get the home started. A pair of Brayden McNeary baskets made the early score 13-4. When Kendall Deutsch hit a three-ball, the Cavalier lead was 22-11. The Cavs led 24-11 after one quarter.
Schwan and McNeary combined for seven quick points as the second quarter score quickly jumped to 30-13. The Tigers finally figured the Cavs out once the lead reached 27 points. They played even ball the rest of the half, but went to the locker room down 43-26.
The Tigers started showing signs they might come back in the third quarter. Mitch Heumiller hit a three and Daniel Roberts a two as the Tigers cut the lead to 14 at 45-31. Pearson Wientjes scored three straight to cut the lead to 45-34, but the Cavs hit back-to-back threes to push the lead back to 17.
The Tigers took a chunk out of the lead early in the fourth quarter with six straight points to make the score 59-48, but Roncalli held the Tigers off with timely free throw shooting the rest of the way. The closest the Tigers got was seven points at 66-59 with less than a minute to play.
“We did a great job of getting back in the game,” said Frederick. “They knew we weren’t going away.”
One of the keys to fighting back and not getting blown out after the Cavaliers’ quick start was the Tigers playing hard defense and forcing the home team into more turnovers than the Tigers committed.
“Sometimes it’s going to be ugly,” said Frederick. “Our defense will be scrappy with guys diving around.”
Heumiller led the Tigers with 14 points and six points. Daniel Roberts scored 13 points and Cody Schaefbauer scored 10. The Tigers received points from eight players.
McNearly scored a game-high 16 points to lead Roncalli. Schwan finished with three treys and 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nolan Schlosser scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Dominic King added 10 points.
The season opener in Britton was just the opposite as the Tigers played neck-and-neck with the Braves until fading in the fourth quarter.
“Had we not gotten in foul trouble we would have had a chance to win,” said Frederick.
The Tigers trailed 40-36 at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Braves started the final quarter with a 7-0 run to up the ante. The Tigers answered back with Jason Hill and Heumiller, but then Heumiller and Schaefbauer fouled out and the Tigers let the Braves pull away for the 57-43 win. Britton-Hecla ended the game on a 12-3 run.
“We weren’t sharp,” said Frederick, “on offense or on defense.”
Heumiller had a big game in his first start, hitting three three-pointers and scoring a team-high 17 points. But no teammate could match his production as Roberts scored eight points and Zach Dockter scored seven. Roberts led the rebounding with seven.
Dallas Goedert was a presence for the Braves. He had an NBA block on one end and an NBA dunk on the other, while leading Britton-Hecla with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Landon Olson scored 13, Preston Holland 11 and Kyle Werner 10.
The Tigers will host Potter County in their home opener on Saturday and then host Sully Buttes on Tuesday.
The Tigers will use their developing deep team to try and pick up two wins and square their pre-Christmas record at 2-2.
“We have found that we can play possibly 12 kids on any given night,” said Frederick. “Our defense is going to improve, and with better decisions our shooting should too.”
While this is the first time Mobridge-Pollock has faced a team called Potter County, the Tigers and Battlers have a series that dates all the way back to the 1925-26 season when the Battlers won a 15-5 game. Things changed quickly as the Tigers won the next 15 games. The Tigers have been on a recent roll against the Battlers. Last year’s 73-58 win gave the Tigers an eight-game winning streak and a 63-28 lead in the all-time series.
Tuesday will mark the 60th meeting between the Tigers and Chargers, where the Tigers lead the series 39-20. The first meeting was in the 1933-34 season when the Tigers won 33-21. The home team has won each of the last four meetings with the Chargers winning a 65-50 game in Onida last year.
Mobridge-Pollock (0-2) 11 26 42 59
Aberdeen Roncalli (1-0) 24 43 57 70
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 2 0-4 5, Pearson Wientjes 1 2-3 4, Cody Schaefbauer 3 3-4 10, Mitch Heumiller 5 3-8 14, Daniel Roberts 6 1-2 13, Cody Hanson 2 0-0 4, Jason Hills 2 4-4 8, Alex Greger 0 1-2 1, Totals 21 14-27 59.
Aberdeen Roncalli: Kory Schwan 6 0-0 15, Kendal Deutsch 2 0-1 5, Zach Andera 1 1-2 4, Brayden McNeary 4 6-8 16, Dominic King 5 0-2 10, Zach Schaefbauer 1 2-2 4, Lucas Lorenz 1 2-4 4, Nolan Schlosser 4 2-4 10, Layne Holzer 1 0-0 2, Totals 25 13-23 70.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 3 (Dockter, Schaefbauer, Heumiller); Aberdeen Roncalli 7 (Schwan 3, McNeary 2, Deutsch, Andera). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 22 (Heumiller 6); Aberdeen Roncalli 45 (Schlosser 12, Schwan 10). Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 22; Aberdeen Roncalli 25 (Deutsch out). Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 11; Aberdeen Roncalli 15. JV Game: Aberdeen Roncalli 48-35.
Mobridge-Pollock (0-1) 16 25 36 43
Britton-Hecla (1-0) 18 31 40 57
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 3 0-0 7, Pearson Wientjes 0 2-2 2, Cody Schaefbauer 0 2-2 2, Mitch Heumiller 7 0-1 17, Daniel Roberts 3 2-4 8, Preston Frederick 1 0-0 2, Jason Hill 0 2-2 2, Mason Keller 1 0-2 3, Totals 15 8-13 43.
Britton-Hecla: Landon Olson 4 2-4 13, Jadrian Guy 1 0-2 2, Kyle Werner 4 0-0 10, Dallas Goedert 7 2-5 19, Preston Holland 3 4-6 11, Kaleb Wenz 1 0-0 2, Totals 20 8-17 57.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 5 (Heumiller 3, Dockter, Keller); Britton-Hecla 9 (Olson 3, Goedert 3, Werner 2, Holland). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 24 (Roberts 7); Britton-Hecla 25 (Goedert 10). Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 18 (Schaefbauer, Heumiller out); Britton-Hecla 12. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 16; Britton-Hecla 19. JV Game: Mobridge-Pollock 34-26.