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Christian reaches SoDak 16 for first time with region win

The Aberdeen Christian girls basketball team celebrated reaching the SoDak 16 with their win over Waubay-Summit Thursday night at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 2/25/2021

The Aberdeen Christian girls came up clutch down the stretch to earn their first trip to the SoDak 16 in program history. The Knights turned back Waubay-Summit 43-34 in Region 1B girls’ basketball action at the Aberdeen Civic Arena Thursday night.

“Our girls just brought it. I thought defensively they just brought it the whole game,” said Christian coach Michael Rohrbach. “We were able to prepare for their zone. Just executed down the stretch and just really proud of how we played.”

The Knights played with the lead for most of the evening, but were clinging to just a one-point edge heading into the final period.

“We just had to move into attack. Our shots weren’t really falling the whole game. So we just had to reestablish our inside game,” Rohrbach said. “Really the emphasis was on getting to the hoop and getting easy baskets that way.”

It was an outside shot though that started the closing flurry. Joy Rohrbach’s three-pointer with 6:50 left ignited a surge that left Christian in control the rest of the way. The junior also made four straight free throws in the final minute.

“That three was huge and then her free throws down the stretch were big,” said Coach Rohrbach.

As important as Rohrbach’s offense was, it was her defense that played an equally pivotal role, containing Waubay-Summit sharp-shooter Zoe Wohlleber.

“She’s really good,” Joy Rohrbach said. “She’s probably one of the best I’ve guarded this year.”

It was Christian’s defense, led by Rohrbach, which allowed the squad to advance to next week’s SoDak 16.

“She’s just an awesome defender and just a weapon to have on the defensive end,” said Coach Rohrbach of his sister. “To shut a team down like that, they have so many guard that can shoot, I’m proud of all of our girls defensively. They executed the game plan almost to perfection.”

Mallory Miller led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points for the Knights. She also grabbed a dozen rebounds. Joy Rohrbach and Hanna Miller each followed with 11 points, and Grace Kaiser added nine.

The Knights, 12-8 on the season, had plenty of reason to celebrate following the victory.

“It’s just super exciting,” Joy Rohrbach said. “We’ve never made is this far, so it’s just really exciting to do it now. People didn’t really have much expectation, but we’re proving everyone wrong.”

ABERDEEN CHRISTIAN: Joy Rohrbach 3 5-7 11, Hanna Miller 11, Grace Kaiser 9, Mallory Miller 12.

Waubay-Summit statistics not reported

Aberdeen Christian 13 19 27 43

Waubay-Summit 7 14 26 34

Rebounds – Aberdeen Christian 24 (M. Miller 12, H. Miller 9). Turnovers – Aberdeen Christian 12. Assists – Aberdeen Christian 8. Steals – Aberdeen Christian 9 (H. Miller 4).

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