By Jay Davis
After falling behind by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers fought back but fell short in a 53-50 loss to Standing Rock at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gym on Monday.
“The comeback was huge, because we didn’t have subs,” said coach Lindsey Kramer. “The girls on the floor played most of the third and fourth quarters. They dug deep and kept fighting.”
The Lady Tigers played the game without seniors Kaitlin Good Shield and ReAnne Kohlus, who had to be at a school-related function at the same time as the game.
After the teams played neck-and-neck with Standing Rock forging a 23-30 halftime lead, the visiting Lady Warriors, and namely Ashlynn Sandland, came out firing in the third quarter. Sandland scored 12 points and hit three three-pointers during a Lady Warrior 17-9 third-quarter run.
“She was making those shots from beyond 20 feet too,” said Kramer.
When Syanne Young Bird hit a three to open the fourth quarter, the Lady Warriors led by 14 points at 43-29.
The Lady Tigers rallied back, cutting the lead to 47-42 on a Naomi Stroeder basket with 3:15 to play. Lauren Henderson hit two straight shots to cut the lead to 49-46 with 2:49 left on the clock. Standing Rock answered with Ariana Gates hitting a basket and free throw wrapped around an Alexa Schaefbauer basket and led 52-48 with 1:15 to play. The Lady Tigers forced a Standing Rock turnover at the 22-second mark and cut the lead to 52-50 on a Grace Wollman basket, but there were only seven seconds left. Charlie Bailey hit one of two free throws with 2.6 seconds on the clock to preserve the win for the Warriors.
Despite the loss, Kramer was proud of the Lady Tigers’ effort.
“They had a lot of fight,” said Kramer. “That’s the kind of basketball we have to play. I hope we can keep doing it.”
Schaefbauer and Henderson had huge games for the Lady Tigers.
Schaefbauer scored 17 points and picked off six steals, while playing the entire game up until her injury.
“Alexa didn’t come out once,” said Kramer. “She showed great leadership.”
The extent of Schaefbauer’s knee injury is not known as of yet.
“We’ll rest her and play it by ear,” said Kramer. “Hopefully it’s not too bad.”
Henderson scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-high 20 points and led the Lady Tigers with seven rebounds.
“She stepped up for us,” said Kramer. “She took good shots and made them. She is only going to get better.”
Stroeder scored five points and Wollman scored four. Sam Good Shield and Autumn Schlomer scored two points each. Good Shield and Wollman had five rebounds each. Wollman added four assists.
Sandland finished with five three-pointers and 24 points to lead Standing Rock. Gates scored 11 points. Bailey scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Megan Molash tallied seven points and a game-high eight rebounds.
The Lady Tigers have two games this week against Big Dakota Conference opponents. They host Crow Creek on Thursday before heading to Eagle Butte on Saturday for the rematch against the Braves.
“We’re not overlooking Crow Creek, but Saturday’s game against Cheyenne-Eagle Butte is the big one,” said Kramer.
The Braves beat the Lady Tigers 44-36 in the season-opener in Mobridge. They have won seven in a row over the Lady Tigers, including three times last year, but none of the four losses in Kramer’s tenure have been by more than eight points.
The Braves are off to a hot start with eight wins in nine outings. Their only loss was to Pine Ridge at the Lakota Nation Tournament in Rapid City.
“It’s going to be a battle,” said Kramer. “We have to take care of the ball and execute in transition. We missed too many bunnies against Standing Rock. We have to correct that.”
The Lady Tigers hold a 34-23 leading entering the 58th meeting with the Braves, but have not won since a 42-40 win during the 2012-13 season.
Crow Creek comes to Mobridge struggling through a 1-8 start. The Lady Tigers and Lady Chieftains are playing for the 18th time in a series that dates back to 2000. The Lady Tigers lead the series 13-4 and won two games last season. The Lady Tigers won a 70-25 game during the regular season and a 76-42 game in the opening round of the Region 6A tournament.
Standing Rock (4-4) 14 23 40 53
Mobridge-Pollock (3-4) 12 20 29 50
Standing Rock: Charlie Bailey 2 3-4 8, Ashlynn Sandland 8 3-3 24, Megan Molash 1 5-7 7, Ariana Gates 5 1-3 11, Syanne Young Bird 1 0-0 3, Totals 19 12-17 53.
Mobridge-Pollock: Lauren Henderson 9 2-2 20, Grace Wollman 2 0-2 4, Naomi Stroeder 1 3-4 5, Alexa Schaefbauer 5 6-9 17, Taylor Brekke 0 0-0 0, Sam Good Shield 1 0-0 2, Autumn Schlomer 1 0-0 2, Totals 19 11-17 50.
3-point field goals: Standing Rock 7 (Sandland 5, Bailey, Young Bird); Mobridge-Pollock 1 (Schaefbauer). Rebounds: Standing Rock 36 (Molash 8, Bailey 7); Mobridge-Pollock 28 (Henderson 7, Wollman 5, Good Shield 5). Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 10 (Wollman 4). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 12 (Schaefbauer 6). Fouls: Standing Rock 19; Mobridge-Pollock 16. Turnovers: Standing Rock 18; Mobridge-Pollock 14.
JV Game: Mobridge-Pollock 50-42.