The Tigers brought the end of the regular season to an end with a flourish, delivering a 62-39 win over Belle Fourche on the Bronco’s home court in Belle Fourche on Friday.
Coach TJ Knudson said the team’s defensive effort played a big role in the 23-point win.
“On defense we finally just hustled to the point where we were making them throw passes they’ve never thrown before,” said Knudson. “From that we were getting turnovers and scoring off transition points right from the start.”
The start included a 13-3 run to begin the game. Zane Reinert got the Tigers going with two straight baskets before Cayden Eisemann scored on a three-point play. Reinert followed with a three-point play and Eisemann scored to give the Tigers an 18-5 lead before the Broncos scored last to make the score 18-7 after one quarter.
A quick start to the second quarter, which also featured Reinert and Eisemann baskets, pushed the lead to 24-10. Ashton Pfitzer and Gavin Reinert hit three-pointers as part of a late run, leading to the Tigers taking a 15-point, 34-19 lead to the halftime intermission.
Bryston Goehring and Zane Reinert hit back-to-back threes to start the second half to give the Tigers a 21-point lead. Late in the quarter, two Goehring steals and ensuing layups ignited the Tigers on a 14-1 run to end the quarter and put the game away at 56-26.
On the offensive end, the key was the Tigers’ ability to beat the Broncos on the first step and get to the basket for easy baskets.
The Tigers were 20 for 31, shooting 64.5% on two-point field goals. They outscored the Broncos 15-2 on transition points and 21-12 on points off turnovers.
“We knew they weren’t used to seeing a team of athletes and having to defend everybody on the floor,” said Knudson.
Zane Reinert and Eisemann scored nine points each in the first half and led the Tigers with 14 and 11 points, respectively, combining to hit 12 of 14 field goal attempts. Goehring scored seven of his nine points in the third quarter and led the team with six rebounds and five steals. The Tigers got points from up and down the team with Pfitzer scoring six points, Brady Bauer scoring five, Trace Cerney, Caelan McCollam and Jack Faehnrich scoring four each, Gavin Reinert scoring three and Chaseten Myers scoring two.
Anthony Budmayr scored nine points, while Aiden Giffen had eight points and six rebounds to lead Belle Fourche.
The No. 2 seed Tigers host the No. 3 seed Stanley County Buffaloes in the Region 6A semifinals at Mobridge-Pollock High School on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Tigers edged the Buffaloes 52-48 in Fort Pierre two weeks ago.
“We’re going to have to play our game and not play theirs,” said Knudson. “What we want to learn from that game is we need players scoring on a more consistent basis.”
Knudson said the Tigers were seemingly taking turns being the player who got to try and score in the first meeting.
“We can’t share too much,” said Knudson.
The Tigers and Buffaloes are meeting for the 10th time in the postseason and 45th time overall.
The Tigers are one up on the Buffaloes in the postseason with a 5-4 record. Mobridge-Pollock has won the last two, a 64-62 win in Region 6A in 2017 and 60-53 in District 12A in 2013.
The Tigers hold a 33-11 lead in the all-time series.
MPHS (14-5) 18 34 56 62
Belle Fourche (9-11) 7 19 26 39
Mobridge-Pollock: Bryston Goehring 4 0-1 9, Zane Reinert 6 1-1 14, Cayden Eisemann 5 1-1 11, Trace Cerney 2 0-0 4, Caelan McCollam 2 0-0 4, Gavin Reinert 1 0-0 3, Ashton Pfitzer 2 0-0 6, Jack Faehnrich 2 0-0 4, Brady Bauer 2 0-0 5, Chaseten Myers 0 2-2 2, Blaise Thompson 0 0-0 0, Totals 26 4-5 62.
Belle Fourche: Gage Kracht 0 0-0 0, Gabe Heck 1 0-0 3, Anthony Budmayr 3 2-2 9, Lan Fuhrer 1 0-0 3, Aiden Giffen 3 2-5 8, Brextin Garza 1 1-2 3, Ryker Audiss 2 3-3 8, Anthony Staley 0 1-2 1, Logan Goeders 2 0-1 4, Totals 13 9-15 39.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 6 (Pfitzer 2, Goehring, Z. Reinert, G. Reinert, Bauer); Belle Fourche 4 (Heck, Budmayr, Fuhrer, Audiss). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 32 (Goehring 6, Cerney 5, McCollam 5); Belle Fourche 26 (Giffen 6). Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 13 (Eisemann 4, Goerhing 2, Z. Reinert 2, G. Reinert 2); Belle Fourche 8 (Fuhrer 3). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 11 (Goehring 5); Belle Fourche 4. Blocks: Mobridge-Pollock 3 (Z. Reinert, McCollam, Thompson); Belle Fourche 4. Fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 19; Belle Fourche 10. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 11; Belle Fourche 16.