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Fast start helps lead Sisseton past Aberdeen Roncalli

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddox May, left, passes the ball around Aberdeen Christian’s Brent Ekanger, right, during a game earlier this season at the Roncalli High School gym. The Cavaliers season came to an end with a loss at Sisseton Tuesday night. Photo by John Davis taken 2/18/2021

SISSETON – Sisseton set the tone early, played with the lead the entire night and ended Aberdeen Roncalli’s season with a 65-39 boys’ basketball victory during Region 1A action Tuesday night.

“We didn’t get off the bus to start the ball game. We got behind and we were fighting it all night,” said Roncalli coach Rick Kline. “Sisseton was ready to play. They were focused. We really weren’t as ready to go as we needed to be and they got us from the opening tip.”

Roncalli managed just five points in the first quarter and eventually trailed by 19 at halftime.

“They moved the basketball around and we were about a half step slow on everything,” Kline said. “And then on the offensive end we had a hard time putting the ball in the basket.”

A big key in the contest, according to Kline, was Sisseton’s physicality which the Cavaliers were unable to match.

“They came out and punched us in the nose. We weren’t able to respond,” Kline said. “They got after us. They beat us on the boards. When we beat them in Aberdeen I think we out-rebounded them. Tonight it was probably 2-1 in their favor. They’ve improved. They’ve fixed up some little things that were maybe causing them some challenges early in the year. They’ve corrected them. Coach (Jared) Groos has done a nice job.”

Andrew Kranhold scored a game-high 19 points to lead Sisseton. Xavier Donnell and Dylan Goodhart each added 13.

Gray Imbery finished with 14 points and Micah Dohrer added 10 for Roncalli, which concluded its season with a 9-12 record.

“Overall, we finished the season pretty strongly. We won some games the second half of the year that maybe early on we might not have won,” Kline said. “The kids did the best they could, but tonight was not our night.”

Kline was proud of the effort the Cavaliers showed during the second half of the season after a rough start to their campaign.

“We could have folded up the tent early when we were 3-9 and we ended up with nine wins on the season,” Kline said. “All things considered it was a pretty good year for the kids.”

ABERDEEN RONCALLI: Micah Dohrer 4 1-2 10, Zee Mounga 1 0-0 3, Gray Imbery 3 8-14 14, Maddox May 3 0-0 6, Keegan Stewart 1 0-0 3, John Reynen 1 0-0 3. Totals 13 9-16 39.

SISSETON: Xavier Donnell 5 0-0 13, Andrew Kranhold 7 4-5 19, Anthony Tchida 2 1-2 5, Dylan Goodhart 4 3-4 13, Levi Greseth 2 0-0 4, Kye Goodsell 0 2-2 2, Jesi Thin Elk 1 0-0 2, Mikah Hamm 1 0-0 3, Ty Langager 1 0-0 2, Hunter Gaikowski 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 10-13 65.

Aberdeen Roncalli 5 13 30 39

Sisseton 14 32 44 65

3-point field goals – Dohrer, Mounga, Stewart, Reynen; Donnell 3, Kranhold, Goodhart 2, Hamm. Total fouls – Aberdeen Roncalli 26; Sisseton 13.

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