Tigers whip Buffs for fifth straight win
By Jay Davis
After getting off to a sluggish start, the Tigers poured it on to defeat Stanley County 73-42 at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
After the big road win in Onida on Monday, the Tigers started flat against Stanley County. Mobridge-Pollock opened the game by missing six straight outside shots and falling behind 9-0 in the first four minutes.
“The kids struggled a bit out of the gate, but we kind of expected that after playing so well on Monday,” said coach Tim Frederick. “But give the kids credit. They got it going. They hit some threes and got Jason (Hill) going inside. It took off from there.”
Things turned around quickly after that. The Tigers scored the last 12 points of the first quarter to take a 12-9 lead and then scored the first nine points of the second quarter for a 23-0 run and a 14-point lead. As the missed outside shots from early in the game started to rain in, the Tigers ripped off 30 points in the second quarter and led 42-20 by the end of the first half.
The Tigers hit seven three-pointers in the second quarter with Mitch Heumiller hitting three and Preston Frederick and Mason Keller hitting two each.
Just to be sure the Buffaloes would not make a run and create a competitive second half, the Tigers opened the third quarter with a 22-7 run to take a 62-27 lead. Heumiller and Keller combined for four more three-pointers during that run.
The Tigers got big production from the starting lineup. Heumiller finished with six three-pointers and a game-high 22 points. Jason Hill dominated the inside with 17 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots and four steals. Keller hit four three-pointers and scored 17 points. Frederick hit three treys and scored 11 points. Reece Wientjes did not score, but led on the boards with a game-high eight rebounds.
The five-some did most of their damage in the first three quarters. The rest of the team took care part of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter.
“The kids who came in did a good job,” said Frederick. He cited Tyler Villbrandt, Ethan Kettering and Jordan Bachmeier as players who did their jobs well in the fourth quarter.
Colton Drageset led Stanley County with 15 points. Damon Hoftiezer scored 10 points. Brevin Klemann added seven points and six rebounds.
The Tigers’ fourth straight victory was an important 67-57 win over Sully Buttes in Onida on Monday. It was the first time the Tigers beat the Chargers in Onida since the 1995-96 season, a span of five straight losses.
“The kids played so well on Monday,” said Frederick. “They rebounded well, moved the ball well and took good care of the ball. This was one of those games where our kids played a great game of basketball at both ends of the court.”
The Tigers survived the Chargers’ opening rush and trailed 21-17 after one quarter before rallying to tie the game at 32-32 at the half.
The Tigers took control of the game after the intermission. Frederick scored six points, while Keller and Hill scored five points each as the Tigers took a 10-point lead with a 19-9 run in the third quarter. Using ball control, the Tigers committed just six turnovers; the team was able to hold Sully Buttes at bay in the fourth quarter.
“We found Reece early and that got us going,” said Frederick. “The kids were willing to make the extra pass. We’re a pretty good team when we do that.”
Frederick led the Tigers with 18 points and five rebounds. Heumiller got the Tigers going early and finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. The duo combined for seven three-pointers. Hill and Keller added 11 points each.
Bradyen Wittler hit six treys and led Sully Buttes with a game-high 23 points. Lewis Hofer scored 16 points and Scott Senftner scored 11.
“Wittler got his points, but defensively it was our best game of the year as far as talking,” said Frederick. “They were calling each other off and forcing contested shots.”
The Tigers close out the regular season with a pair of games against old Big Dakota Conference rivals. Winner comes to the Bridge City on Friday before the Tigers head to Eagle Butte on Monday.
Friday’s game will be the 51st meeting between the Tigers and the Warriors. While the Tigers lead the all-time series 27-24, the Warriors have won the last three, including a 70-55 win in Winner last season. The rivalry began during the 1957-58 season when the Tigers beat the Warriors 48-37.
While Winner is just 6-12 and sitting in fifth in the region, the 10-8 Tigers have nearly secured the fourth spot and a home game in the first round of the Region 6A tournament, but Frederick and his Tigers are not content.
“We need to win these games,” said Frederick. “We’re looking at winning the rest of our games. We’re looking at Miller’s spot (third in region at 11-7), not Winner’s.”
The Tigers will be looking for some redemption in Eagle Butte on Monday in the season rematch with the Braves. Cheyenne-Eagle Butte beat Mobridge-Pollock 71-35 in Mobridge on Feb. 4. The 36-point margin was the widest margin of defeat the Braves have ever handed the Tigers.
The Tigers are 60-50 all-time against the Braves in a series that began as Mobridge vs. Cheyenne Agency back in the 1939-40 season.
Stanley County (1-16) 9 20 32 42
Mobridge-Pollock (10-8) 12 42 64 73
Stanley County: Blake Onken 1 0-0 2, Brevin Klemann 1 4-8 7, Austin Brown 0 2-2 2, Damon Hoftiezen 4 2-2 10, Colton Drageset 7 0-0 15, Seth VanDenHemel 1 0-0 2, Trey Montana 1 2-2 4, Totals 15 10-14 42.
Mobridge-Pollock: Preston Frederick 4 0-1 11, Mitch Heumiller 8 0-2 22, Reece Wientjes 0 0-0 0, Jason Hill 7 3-3 17, Mason Keller 6 1-2 17, Tyler Villbrandt 1 0-0 2, Gary Wollman 1 0-0 2, Jordan Bachmeier 1 0-0 2, Totals 28 4-8 73.
3-point field goals: Stanley County 2 (Klemann, Drageset); Mobridge-Pollock 13 (Heumiller 6, Keller 4, Frederick 3). Rebounds: Stanley County 19 (Klemann 6); Mobridge-Pollock 22 (Wientjes 8, Hill 7). Assists: Stanley County 7 (Onken 3); Mobridge-Pollock 15 (Hill 4, Heumiller 3). Steals: Stanley County 3; Mobridge-Pollock 12 (Hill 4, Heumiller 3). Blocks: Stanley County 1; Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Hill 5). Total fouls: Stanley County 8; Mobridge-Pollock 14. Turnovers: Stanley County 18; Mobridge-Pollock 7. JV Game: Mobridge-Pollock 38-18.
Mobridge-Pollock (9-8) 17 32 51 67
Sully Buttes (12-5) 21 32 41 57
Mobridge-Pollock: Preston Frederick 6 2-3 18, Mitch Heumiller 5 4-6 17, Reece Wientjes 3 0-0 6, Jason Hill 5-12 11, Mason Keller 3 4-6 11, Tyler Villbrandt 0 1-2 1, Noah Chase 0 4-4 4, Totals 22 15-22 67.
Sully Buttes: Brayden Wittler 7 3-5 23, Scott Senftner 4 2-2 11, Lewis Hofer 4 5-8 16, Cody Nelson 1 1-2 3, Josh Lamb 1 2-2 4, Totals 17 13-19 57.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 8 (Frederick 4, Heumiller 3, Keller); Sully Buttes 10 (Wittler 6, Hofer 3, Senftner). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 23 (Frederick 5, Heumiller 5); Sully Buttes 19 (Hofer 5, Lamb 5). Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 10 (Heumiller 4); Sully Buttes 7 (Wittler 4). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 6; Sully Buttes 4; Blocks: Mobridge-Pollock 2; Sully Buttes 0. Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 13; Sully Buttes 17 (Lamb out). Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 6; Sully Buttes 12. JV Game: Mobridge-Pollock won. C Game: Mobridge-Pollock won.