Tigers surge late to beat Warriors
By Jay Davis
The Tigers outscored Standing Rock 24-12 over the last five minutes and beat the Warriors 74-52 in Ft. Yates, N.D., on Tuesday.
The game was tied at 50-50 with five minutes to play when the Tigers switched defense, cranked up the pressure and put a double-digit gap in the score. The defensive move helped the Tigers pick up their intensity and put the Warriors back on their heels.
“We switched from zone to a full-court man-to-man,” said coach Tim Frederick. “Jason (Hill) and Mitch (Heumiller) went to work on their kids and pretty much shut them down.”
The rally started with Hill hitting a shot just as the shot-clock buzzer sounded (North Dakota uses a 35-second shot clock). Heumiller followed that up with an offensive put-back and ensuing foul shot making the lead 55-50. A Pearson Wientjes offensive rebound and basket started the Tigers on a 12-2 run that would up the lead to 67-54 with just 1:17 left on the clock. Heumiller scored six points during the run and Hill scored off yet another offensive rebound. As the clock ticked away, Zach Dockter drained six straight free throws, making sure the Warriors would not make a dent in the lead.
“Zach and Pearson played really solid basketball in the third and fourth quarters,” said Frederick. “They dictated the tempo of the game.”
After the Warriors won the rebounding battle for the first three quarters, the Tigers took the boards away in the fourth quarter with a 12-2 rebounding edge.
“We talked at the half about how we needed to focus on rebounding,” said Frederick, “and getting clean rebounds so we could get our running game going.”
By game’s end, the Tigers held a 35-29 rebounding edge. The Tigers also took better care of the ball, committing just 14 turnovers to 21 for Standing Rock.
Dockter used 11 of 13 free throw shooting to lead the Tigers with 21 points. Heumiller scored seven of his 17 points in the final stanza. Wientjes scored six points, including four straight free throws, in the fourth quarter and finished with a 12-point, 10-rebound double double. Hill scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter and grabbed 10 rebounds of his own. Hill was not the only player to come off the bench and contribute. Mason Keller hit a three-pointer and grabbed four rebounds.
“We had very good bench play,” said Frederick.
Three Standing Rock players accounted for all but four of the Warriors’ points. Wyatt Bailey used nine of 10 free throw shooting to score a game-high 23 points. Jalen Lawrence scored 19 and Jalen Steele scored 16.
After opening the season with three straight losses, the Tigers have now won five in a row, including three straight on the road.
The Tigers play the first two games of a four-game home stand on Saturday and Tuesday.
Belle Fourche hits the Bridge City court on Saturday for the nightcap of a Tigers-Lady Tigers double header. The first JV game is set for 2 p.m.
Last year the Tigers beat the Broncs 68-49 in Belle Fourche, tying the all-time series at 4-4. The Tigers and Broncs played once in the ‘50s, four times in the ‘60s and twice in the early ‘70s.
The Tigers will host a return engagement with the McLaughlin Midgets on Tuesday. JV tipoff is 6 p.m.
The Tigers beat the Midgets 73-41 on Jan. 8. Tuesday will be the 150th meeting between the age-old rivals. The Tigers lead the all-time series 80-69.
Mobridge-Pollock (5-3) 15 25 43 74
Standing Rock 15 24 42 62
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 5 11-13 21, Pearson Wientjes 4 4-4 12, Mitch Heumiller 7 3-4 17, Daniel Roberts 3 1-2 7, Cody Schaefbauer 1 0-0 3, Preston Frederick 1 0-1 2, Mason Keller 1 0-0 3, Jason Hill 4 1-1 9, Totals 26 20-25 74.
Standing Rock: Davis Fool Bear 2 0-2 4, Jalen Lawrence 7 3-3 19, Jerome Talley 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Bailey 7 9-10 23, Jalen Steele 6 0-0 16, Totals 22 12-15 62.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 2 (Schaefbauer, Keller); Standing Rock 6 (Steele 4, Lawrence 2). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 35 (Wientjes 10, Hill 10, Roberts 7); Standing Rock 29. Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 5; Standing Rock 7. Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 14; Standing Rock 21 (Steele out). Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 14; Standing Rock 21.