The number two seed Sioux Falls Christian Chargers proved too much for the 15 seed Tigers on Tuesday at Huron Arena. Sioux Falls Christian took over after the first quarter to defeat the Tigers 56-33 in the Class A Boys SoDak 16.
The Tigers stood up to the number two seed Chargers on defense in the first half, but scored just 13 points, while falling behind by 12 points at the intermission.
Staying close in the second half was not going to happen. Sioux Falls Christian outscored the Tigers 22-7 in the third quarter to put the game away. The Chargers led 47-23 at the end of the third quarter.
Tiger coach TJ Knudson said Sioux Falls Christian, who won state in 2016, took third last year, and is the number two seed in state this season, is all they were cracked up to be.
“They are big, strong and fast,” said Knudson. “They played an aggressive man-to-man defense. Their guards were big, long and quick. They were able to stay right with us. We struggled to get anything done on offense.”
With the Chargers starting 6-foot-7 Zach Witte, 6-5 Mitchell Goodbary and two 6’3 guards, the Tigers had to compete against the tall trees of the forest all night. When shots were missed, the Chargers outrebounded the Tigers 40-26.
The Tigers did do their job on defense. Take away the third quarter, they held the Chargers to 34 points. The 2-3 zone did its job getting to the wings as Sioux Falls Christian was just one for 20 from beyond the arc.
“We definitely got out and defended that,” said Knudson. “We were happy with holding them to 25 points in the first half.”
It was the other end of the court that put the Tiger season to an end. The Tigers did not score double digits during any eight-minute span until scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter.
“Nobody got hot. Nobody hit two baskets in a row,” said Knudson. “It was a game where you needed to score to win and we couldn’t do it.”
Noah Feyereisen led the Tigers with nine points and five rebounds, but scored seven of his nine in the first quarter. Bryston Goehring scored six points and grabbed a team-leading six rebounds. Braden Goehring hit two threes for six more points.
Goodbary led Sioux Falls Christian with a game-high 15 points. Parker Nelson came off the bench to pick off four steals and score 13 points. Witte added nine points and 11 rebounds.
Knudson said that while the end of the season is here and the careers of five seniors are over, it’s time to go into offseason work.
“We were really successful this year at getting in the gym, getting things done and getting better,” said Knudson. “Now it’s time to get in the weight room and get bigger, stronger and faster.”
The Tigers earned their first trip to the SoDak 16 with a 43-41 win over Chamberlain in the Region 6A semifinals on Chamberlain on Friday.
Earning their first-ever postseason win over the Cubs (the Tigers were 0-3 in region games against Chamberlain) was not easy.
“It was a defensive game,” said Knudson. “It was a wild game. Some unusual things happened.”
The Tigers held a 41-33 lead with 2:35 to play after Albers hit two straight driving baskets and then found Caden Halsey open for a layup.
The Cubs started cutting into the lead. After the Cubs hit three free throws, Drayton Priebe hit a three-pointer to cut the Tiger lead to 41-39 with 1:30 left.
The Tiger offense committed two turnovers, missed a free throw and a jump shot over the last three minutes, but the defense made up for it. Chamberlain was looking for the tying or go-ahead points when Reese Cerney came up with a steal at the 41-second mark. Feyereisen rebounded a Chamberlain miss with 32 seconds left, and hauled in another when Chamberlain missed with 10.3 seconds left. Bryston Goehring was quickly fouled when the Tigers brought the ball inbounds following a timeout. The sophomore stepped to the line (after a Chamberlain timeout in an attempt to ice him) with 8.2 seconds left and knocked down both free throws to seal the Tiger win.
After Chamberlain took a 5-0 lead to start the game, The Tigers went on a 10-1 run and led 10-9 after the first quarter.
Chamberlain hit a three to start the second quarter. The Tigers tied the game on a Reese Cerney basket and took the lead on the next possession when Noah Feyereisen hit a three. The Tigers would never trail again. The Tigers’ largest lead of the half was 25-17, stemming from Albers scoring five straight points. His three-pointer gave the Tigers their eight-point lead with 25 seconds left in the half. Chamberlain answered just before the buzzer to cut the Tiger lead to 25-19.
The Tigers opened their biggest lead of the game midway through the third quarter. Reese Cerney and Albers hit baskets followed by Trace Cerney making two free throws. The 6-0 run gave the Tigers a 31-20 lead at the 4:50 mark of the third quarter.
“The kids made some plays leading up to that big lead,” said Knudson.”
Albers was the only player in the game to reach double figures. He led the Tigers with 17 points.
“Braxton had the best game out of any player on the court,” said Knudson.
“The kids did not want to lose that game. Every player did something to help win that game.”
It’s evidence by the spreading of the rest of the wealth. Feyereisen had five points and his back-to-back defensive rebounds. Reese Cerney, Trace Cerney, Bryston Goehring and Caden Halsey had four points each. Reese Cerney and Halsey tied for team honors with five rebounds each. Bryston Goehring had a game-leading four steals. Braden Goehring and Kregen Norder had key first-half baskets while scoring three and two points, respectively.
Louie Running Horse led Chamberlain with nine points and five rebounds. Priebe finished with eight points.
With the win, the Tigers have beaten Chamberlain twice in one season for the first time in the rivalry between the two schools. As for the postseason, the Cubs were 3-0 against the Tigers before Friday with wins in the 2006, 2007 and 2017 Region 6 tournament.
Mobridge-Pollock (12-11) 9 17 23 33
Sioux Falls Christian (19-2) 13 25 47 56
Mobridge-Pollock: Reese Cerney 0 0-0 0, Noah Feyereisen 3 2-3 9, Braxton Albers 1 1-2 3, Trace Cerney 2 1-2 5, Bryston Goehring 2 2-4 6, Braden Goehring 2 0-0 6, Caden Halsey 1 0-0 2, Kregen Norder 1 0-0 2, Totals 12 6-11 33.
Sioux Falls Christian: Mitchell Goodbary 6 3-6 15, Mitchell Oostra 4 0-0 9, Gavin Schipper 1 2-4 4, Xavier Van Beek 0 0-0 0, Zach Witte 4 1-1 9, Collin Reitsma 2 0-0 4, Parker Nelson 6 1-2 13, Noah Van Stedum 1 0-0 2, Totals 24 7-13 56.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 3 (Braden Goehring 2, Feyereisen); Sioux Falls Christian 1 (Oostra). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 26 (Bryston Goehring 6, Feyereisen 5); Sioux Falls Christian 40 (Witte 11, Schipper 8). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 6 (R. Cerney 2); Sioux Falls Christian 8 (Nelson 4). Fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 8; Sioux Falls Christian 14. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 15; Sioux Falls Christian 10.
Mobridge-Pollock (12-10) 10 25 35 43
Chamberlain (10-11) 9 19 28 41
Mobridge-Pollock: Reese Cerney 2 0-0 4, Noah Feyereisen 2 0-1 5, Braxton Albers 7 1-4 17, Trace Cerney 1 2-2 4, Bryston Goehring 1 2-2 4, Braden Goehring 1 0-0 3, Caden Halsey 2 0-0 4, Kregen Norder 1 0-0 2, Totals 17 5-9 43.
Chamberlain: Hayden Evans 1 2-2 5, Drayton Priebe 3 1-2 8, Brant Gullickson 0 3-4 3, Louie Running Horse 3 2-4 9, Cameron Caldwell 2 1-2 6, Jazz Dominguez 1 0-0 2, Keyshaume Thigh 2 0-2 5, Sellyck McManus 1 1-2 3, Totals 13 10-18 41.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 4 (Albers 2, Feyereisen, Braden Goehring); Chamberlain 5 (Evans, Priebe, Running Horse, Caldwell, Thigh). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 21 (R. Cerney 5, Halsey 5); Chamberlain 25 (Running Horse 5, Caldwell 5). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 7 (Bryston Goehring 4); Chamberlain 4 (Priebe 2). Fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 16; Chamberlain 12. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 11; Chamberlain 16.