Tigers run winning streak to 10 games
By Jay Davis
It wasn’t easy in Eagle Butte on Tuesday. It isn’t supposed to be. The Tigers jumped out early with a big first quarter, but then had to hold on for their lives as the Braves rallied in the second half. The Tigers kept their composure and took control late to beat the Braves 58-52 and win their 10th straight game.
Coach Tim Frederick was pleased with the way his Tigers responded to the pressure of a tight game down the stretch in Eagle Butte.
“Every night is a new night for them,” said Frederick. “For some of these kids that was their first big game in Eagle Butte.”
For eight minutes it looked like the Tigers were going to run away with the game. Daniel Roberts hit four baskets inside and Mitch Heumiller hit four baskets outside, including two three-pointers, as the Tigers jumped out to a 23-13 lead.
“Mitch got us off to a really good start,” said Frederick. “We had the inside-outside team going early.”
The Tigers cooled off in the second quarter, but held their lead and took a 32-22 score to the halftime lockers.
The Braves turned the game completely around with a 12-0 run in the third quarter. Xavier Norris led the run with seven of the points. The Tigers did their part in helping the Braves play catch-up with four turnovers.
Once the Braves had turned a 10-point deficit into a 38-27 lead, the Tigers regrouped. Cody Schaefbauer ended the run with a free throw to tie the game. The Tigers ended the quarter with Pearson Wientjes and Jason Hill baskets before Zach Dockter drained a three to give the Tigers a 45-38 lead.
Norris scored six points as the Braves pulled even at 46-46 with four minutes to play, but then Roberts, who had not scored since the first quarter, hit two straight field goals as the Tigers retook the lead.
The Tigers made their biggest defensive play of the night when Schaefbauer picked off a pass and finished with a layup to give the Tigers a 53-48 lead with two minutes left. The Tigers then, after they had been just three for 13, hit five of six free throws down the stretch to hold on for the six-point win.
“If we hit our free throws and don’t turn the ball over, maybe it’s not such a close game down the stretch,” said Frederick.
Schaefbauer’s steal and basket were not his biggest contribution. He was a major role player in holding Cheyenne-Eagle Butte to just one shot each possession down the stretch. Schaefbauer took over the defensive boards and finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.
“Cody was the man in the second half,” said Frederick. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a kid who was 5’11” dominate the glass in the second half. That was the key to the game.”
Roberts and Heumiller led the Tigers on offense with 15 points each. Dockter hit three three-pointers and added 11 points.
Norris torched the Tigers for 31 points, including 17 in the second half.
“They have a great one in Norris,” said Frederick. “We’re going to play them probably two more times. We’re going to have to do some different things.”
Cray Allen added eight points and six rebounds.
One night after their biggest win of the season, the Tigers found the game to be a bit more of a struggle. The Tigers trailed the entire first half before battling back to beat Sully Buttes 61-53 at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Saturday.
“We were flat, there’s no doubt about that,” said Frederick. “But take a few runs out and our kids held their composure and finished it.”
Shots were falling for the Chargers in the first half, and for the most part they were not for the Tigers. The Chargers built a lead of 10-3 in the first quarter. Their biggest lead in the second quarter was 18-11.
Roberts carried a big load and scored 11 points in the second quarter for the Tigers. They helped the team fight back to take a 24-23 lead near the end of the first half. The lead did not last long as Brayden Wittler finished a huge first half for the Chargers by hitting a pair of free throws that gave the visitors a 25-24 lead at the half. The charity shots gave Wittler a 15-point first half.
Hot outside shooting early in the third quarter by Zach Dockter and Mitch Heumiller got the game turned around for the Tigers. Each guard hit two three-pointers in the third quarter as the Tigers went on an 18-8 run to forge a 42-33 lead.
The Chargers did not back down. They closed the gap to two points twice in the fourth quarter until the Tiger defense cranked up and converted two steals into baskets to put the game away late. The biggest defensive play came when Cody Schaefbauer stepped in front of a pass for the steal, took the ball to the basket and converted the ensuing three-point play to seal the win with 40 seconds left to play.
“Even though we didn’t shoot the ball well, we played with a lot of zest,” said Frederick. “
Foul trouble was a major problem for the Tigers. Dockter picked up three fouls in the first three and a half minutes of play and spent the rest of the first half on then bench. Schaefbauer and Roberts were both forced watch the game from the sideline when they picked up their fourth fouls.
Losing their point guard so early made it tough for the Tigers to find a rhythm.
“When Zach is out there, he makes everybody better,” said Frederick.
Roberts and Heumiller combined for at least 40 points for the second night in a row. Roberts scored 21 points and had four steals. Wientjes came up big inside with 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. Schaefbauer added six steals and four assists.
Wittler led Sully Buttes, and all scorers with 24 points, but the Tigers held him to just two in the fourth quarter. Scott Senftner scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half. Wittler and Cody Nelson pulled down eight rebounds each.
Chamberlain hit the Tigers with their best shot on Friday, but the Tigers withstood the volley and battled back to beat the Cubs 63-47 at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Friday.
“In the first quarter, Chamberlain executed well and recognized things in our matchup zone,” said Frederick. “Our kids did a great job after we made some adjustments. After that, the tempo of the game definitely swayed in our favor.”
The Cubs were hot early. They hit six three-pointers and took a 28-14 lead early in the second quarter. After a time out the Tigers started fighting their way back. They pulled to within six at 34-28 by the half. The Tigers took their first lead of the second half at 36-35 on a Jason Hill basket at the 2:26 mark and led 41-29 after three quarters.
The Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter. A Mitch Heumiller steal and basket made the score 49-41. Zach Dockter came up with a steal and pitched the ball ahead to Heumiller to give the Tigers their first double-digit lead at 58-47. The Tigers took it home from there, scoring the last six points and taking home the 16-point win. After falling behind by 14, the Tigers outscored the Cubs by 30 the rest of the way.
“We didn’t get caught up in the emotions of the game,” said Frederick. “We played like veterans.”
The Tigers got contributions from across the board. Daniel Roberts ignited the second half with nine points in the third quarter. He finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Heumiller scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 19 points and six steals. Dockter scored 14 points, including hitting seven of eight from the free throw line. Pearson Wientjes scored just three points, but pitched in with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Cody Schaefbauer did not score, but played a big part in Chamberlain’s Skyler Bertram being shut out in the second half.
Frederick said teamwork has played a major role in the Tigers’ eight-game surge.
“I think that’s why we on a roll right now,” said Frederick. “We’re getting quality minutes out of everybody.”
Bertram and Reuben Estes led Chamberlain with 11 points each, but combined for 18 of their 22 in the first half. Gage Basting scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds. Dalton Andera led the Cubs with nine caroms.
The Tigers have another busy week ahead. They will play back-to-back double headers with the Lady Tigers on Friday and Saturday before hosting a return game with Standing Rock on Tuesday.
Mobridge-Pollock is in Ipswich on Friday. The Tigers and Ipswich will play the last game of a slate that starts at 4 p.m. Todd County comes to Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Saturday. The Lady Tigers will tip off at 3 p.m. Parents’ Day festivities will be taken care of between games before the Tigers and Falcons play.
The Tigers and Ipswich will be meeting for the 97th time on Friday. The series started way back during the 1921-22 season. With last year’s 85-56 win, the Tigers have won four in a row and hold a 65-32 mark in the all-time series.
The Tigers and Falcons do not have nearly as rich of a history. The teams started playing during the 1969-70 season. Todd County won that one 56-55. The series, and moset games, have been close ever since. Todd County won 75-74 last season but the Tigers lead the series 21-16.
The Tigers and Standing Rock have met just 28 times in the past, but that will add quickly now that the teams are playing a home-and-away series every year. The Tigers beat the Warriors 74-62 in Ft. Yates on Jan. 14.
Mobridge-Pollock (10-3) 23 32 45 58
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (5-8) 13 22 38 52
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 4 0-0 11, Pearson Wientjes 2 1-2 5, Cody Schaefbauer 1 1-4 3, Daniel Roberts 6 3-5 15, Mitch Heumiller 6 3-8 17, Preston Frederick 1 0-0 3, Jason Hill 2 0-0 4, Totals 22 8-19 58.
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte: Cray Allen 3 1-2 8, Xavier Norris 12 4-6 31, Nolan Keckler 3 0-0 6, Cory Knight 0 1-2 1, Wyatt Knight 1 0-3 2, Seven Annis 1 0-0 2, Jacob LaPlante 1 0-0 2, Totals 21 6-13 52.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Dockter 3, Heumiller 2, Frederick); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 4 (Norris 3, Allen). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 35 (Schaefbauer 12, Wientjes 8); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 29 (Allen 6, LaPlante 6). Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 16 (Schaefbauer 5, Heumiller 5); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 7. Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 15 (Schaefbauer 4); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 11. Blocked shots: Mobridge-Pollock 2; Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 1. Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 13; Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 18 (Allen out). Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 23; Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 19.
Sully Buttes (6-6) 10 25 39 53
Mobridge-Pollock (9-3) 7 24 46 61
Sully Buttes: Scott Senftner 3 5-6 11, Lewis Hofer 1 2-4 5, Brayden Wittler 9 5-7 24, Cody Nelson 0 1-2 1, Josh Lamb 2 3-4 7, Reed Feller 1 0-0 2, Conner Archer 0 3-6 3, Totals 16 19-29 53.
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 2 0-0 6, Pearson Wientjes 2 0-0 4, Daniel Roberts 10 1-3 21, Cody Schaefbauer 1 1-1 3, Mitch Heumiller 8 1-2 20, Mason Keller 1 0-1 3, Jason Hill 2 0-0 4, Totals 26 3-7 61.
3-point field goals: Sully Buttes 2 (Hofer, Wittler); Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Heumiller 3, Dockter 2, Keller). Rebounds: Sully Buttes 36 (Wittler 8, Nelson 8); Mobridge-Pollock 27 (Wientjes 13, Hill 5). Assists: Sully Buttes 5 (Senftner 4); Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Schaefbauer 4). Steals: Sully Buttes 6; Mobridge-Pollock 15 (Schaefbauer 6, Heumiller 4). Blocked shots: Sully Buttes 2; Mobridge-Pollock 8 (Wientjes 5). Total fouls: Sully Buttes 12; Mobridge-Pollock 22. Turnovers: Sully Buttes 23; Mobridge-Pollock 15.
Chamberlain (9-4) 22 34 39 47
Mobridge-Pollock (8-3) 12 28 41 63
Chamberlain: Reuben Estes 4 2-2 11, Skyler Bertram 4 0-0 11, Davis Carson 3 0-3 6, Gage Basting 3 1-5 8, Dalton Andera 0 4-6 4, Lane Shroyer 1 4-6 7, Totals 15 11-21 47.
Mobridge-Pollock: Zach Dockter 3 7-8 14, Pearson Wientjes 1 1-2 3, Cody Schaefbauer 0 0-0 0, Daniel Roberts 9 3-3 21, Mitch Heumiller 7 5-8 19, Jason Hill 1 3-4 5, Preston Frederick 0 1-2 1, Totals 21 20-27 63.
3-point field goals: Chamberlain 6 (Bertram 3, Estes, Basting, Shroyer); Mobridge-Pollock 1 (Dockter). Rebounds: Chamberlain 31 (Andera 9, Basting 6); Mobridge-Pollock 32 (Roberts 9, Wientjes 8). Assists: Chamberlain 7 (Carson 3); Mobridge-Pollock 7 (Roberts 4). Steals: Chamberlain 8; Mobridge-Pollock 8 (Heumiller 6). Blocked shots: Chamberlain 1; Mobridge-Pollock 8 (Wientjes 3). Total fouls: Chamberlain 21 (Basting out); Mobridge-Pollock 18. Turnovers: Chamberlain 20; Mobridge-Pollock 16.