Tigers beat Warriors in Region 6A tourney opener
By Jay Davis
When push came to shove, the Tigers outplayed Winner in the fourth quarter for the second time two weeks. The Tigers used a scoring run to start the fourth quarter and set the stage for a 56-51 win over the Warriors in the opening round of the Region 6A Tournament at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Leading 41-40 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers took control with a 7-0 run to start the final session. Preston Frederick hit two free throws, Mitch Heumiller nailed a three and Mason Keller finished a fast-break with a lay-up to put the Tigers up 48-40 with 5:46 to play. The Tigers took care of business the rest of the way. With Winner forced to put the Tigers at the line, the team took advantage and scored their last eight points from the charity stripe. Winner did cut the lead to three points twice, but the Tigers answered both challenges.
“What you saw was what a basketball team is supposed to evolve into,” said coach Tim Frederick. “After the first quarter we took care of the ball. Preston and Mitch did a great job of not only getting the ball up the court, but also getting themselves and others shots. Noah saw a chance and took advantage. Then we hit our free throws. That’s what it takes.”
Things looked a bit ugly early when the Tigers committed seven turnovers in the first quarter and 10 in the first half. The Tigers were also losing the foul situation. Winner shot 13 free throws (made nine) in the first half, while the Tigers did not shoot a charity shot. The Tigers’ saving grace was outside shooting. Mobridge-Pollock hit six three-pointers in the first half.
Heumiller scored 11 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 18 points, while hauling down nine rebounds. Frederick hit five of six free throws in the fourth quarter and scored 13 points. Keller scored 12 points. Chase hit three treys and scored 10 points. Jason Hill scored just one point, but grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
“You have to believe in each other,” said Frederick. “This team does that.”
Nathan Galbraith led Winner with 13 points and 14 rebounds, but scored just two points after the intermission. Brendan Harter scored 13 points and Dalton Leiferman scored 10.
The Tigers advance to take on the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves in the Region 6A semifinals in Eagle Butte on Thursday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CST.
The 18-2 Braves are 2-0 against the Tigers this season with a 71-35 win in Mobridge and a 68-47 win in Eagle Butte.
Frederick knows his Tigers have their work cut out for them, but he has players with experience playing this type of game. Heumiller, Keller and Frederick were all part of the team that beat the Braves 87-77 in two overtimes in the District 11A championship game last season.
“If we shoot a little better and their role players don’t play perfect games,”
said Frederick, “then we’ll have a chance.”
Winner (7-14) 14 31 40 51
Mobridge-Pollock (12-9) 14 28 41 56
Winner: Nick Hossle 1 0-0 3, Nathan Galbraith 5 5-6 13, Sam Naasz 0 4-4 4, Dalton Leiferman 4 0-0 8, Brendan Harter 4 4-8 13, Dalton Leiferman 3 2-3 10, Totals 15 15-21 51.
Mobridge-Pollock: Preston Frederick 3 5-6 13, Mitch Heumiller 7 2-4 18, Reece Wientjes 1 0-0 2, Jason Hill 0 1-2 1, Mason Keller 4 2-2 12, Noah Chase 3 1-2 10, Totals 18 11-16 56.
3-point field goals: Winner 6 (Galbraith 2, D. Leiferman 2, Hossle, Harter); Mobridge-Pollock 9 (Chase 3, Frederick 2, Heumiller 2, Keller 2). Rebounds: Winner 30 (Galbraith 14, Naasz 6); Mobridge-Pollock 21 (Heumiller 9, Hill 8). Assists: Winner 8 (Harter 3); Mobridge-Pollock (Frederick 2, Heumiller 2). Steals: Winner 9 (Naasz 5); Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Hill 3); Blocks: Winner 3 (D. Leiferman 2); Mobridge-Pollock 4 (Hill 3). Total fouls: Winner 17; Mobridge-Pollock 17. Turnovers: Winner 11; Mobridge-Pollock 15.