MITCHELL – Aberdeen Christian battled second-seeded White River to the end before falling short in its first girls’ basketball SoDak 16 appearance 49-37 at the Corn Palace Thursday night.
The Knights jumped out to a 6-2 lead and were tied with White River at 13-13 after the opening quarter.
The Tigers started gaining a bit of control in the second period and opened a 25-19 halftime lead thanks in part to 14 points from standout Caelyn Valandra-Prue.
While Christian didn’t go quietly, they could never get over the hump in the second half.
“We gave it a good run tonight. I was really proud of our girls’ effort and the way they fought,” said Christian coach Michael Rohrbach. “White River is a tough team and we stayed with them til the end. We had a few chances to cut into the lead late, but just couldn’t convert.”
The Knights found points hard to come by against a stout White River defense.
“Give them credit, they’re a really good team and they play really good defense,” Rohrbach said. “They full-court pressured us the whole game and made it difficult for us to move the ball and get into our offense. They worked hard to take away the looks we wanted.”
Grace Kaiser led the Knights with 12 points. Joy Rohrbach and Mallory Miller each contributed eight. Miller also grabbed 14 rebounds.
Valandra-Prue topped all scorers with 20 points to pace White River.
Christian conclude its season with a 12-9 record.
“All in all, I’m super proud of this team,” Rohrbach said. “They’ve come a long ways in a short amount of time and I’m super thankful to have been able to coach this group.”
ABERDEEN CHRISTIAN: Grace Kaiser 12, Joy Rohrbach 8, Kaylee Block 6, Hanna Miller 3, Mallory Miller 8. Total 37.
White River statistics not available
Aberdeen Christian 13 19 31 37
White River 13 25 42 49
Rebounds – Aberdeen Christian 31 (M. Miller 14). Turnovers – Aberdeen Christian 11. Assists – Aberdeen Christian 9 (Rohrbach 3, H. Miller 3).
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