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Offensive rebounds propel Washington past Eagles

Aberdeen Central’s Brooklyn Kusler, center, tries to move to the basket between Mitchell’s Sawyer Stoebner, left and Camryn Krogman, right, during Friday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Kusler had 13 points for Central in a setback to Sioux Falls Washington on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 2/26/2021

SIOUX FALLS – The top-rated team turned to their top two players Saturday night.

Sioux Falls Washington used its size to help secure a 44-33 win over Aberdeen Central in a non-conference battle of girls’ basketball powers.

The Warriors, who rely on 6-foot-5 Sydni Schetnan and 6-foot 2 Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda, utilized their dynamic duo to pull away from Central in the third quarter.

The Golden Eagles trailed by just four at the half, but struggled to contain Schetnan and Ndjakalenga in the third quarter.

“The difference in the game was our inability to rebound,” said Central coach Dawn Seiler. “We gave up too many second chances on the offensive glass.”

It was Washington’s top players who scored all of its points in the pivotal period. Schetnan had seven points, while Mwenentanda added four. By the time the quarter was over, the Warriors owned a double-digit advantage.

Again, it was rebounds that paved the way for the Warriors.

“They had nine offensive rebounds that quarter,” Seiler said. “It was the difference in the game.”

Mwenentanda finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Schetnan had 14 points and eight rebounds.

Abby Kopecky paced the Eagles with 14 points. Brooklyn Kusler followed with 13.

Central, 17-3 on the season, will host Spearfish in a SoDak 16 contest on Friday night at Golden Eagles Arena.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL: Melanie Jacobs 2 0-0 5, Abby Kopecky 5 4-5 14, Brooklyn Kusler 4 4-6 13, Kianna Mounga 0 1-2 1. Totals 11-50 9-13 33.

SIOUX FALLS WASHINGTON: Eden Hullinger 1 0-0 2, Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda 6 4-4 17, Brielle Biteler 0 0-3 0, Jaden Warner 0 0-1 0, Sydni Schetnan 6 1-2 14, Alexus Motley 1 0-0 2, Brooklyn Harpe 3 1-3 7, Taylor Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals 18-47 6-13 44.

Aberdeen Central 7 16 20 33

Sioux Falls Washington 8 20 31 44

3-point field goals – Jacobs, Kusler; Mwenentanda, Schetnan. Total fouls – Aberdeen Central 15; Sioux Falls Washington 8. Rebounds – Aberdeen Central 33 (Jordan Hermansen 7); Sioux Falls Washington 40 (Schetnan 9). Turnovers – Aberdeen Central 11; Sioux Falls Washington 8. Assists – Aberdeen Central 5; Sioux Falls Washington 8.

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