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Waverly-South Shore rallies past Langford Area

Langford Area’s Bryce Peterson, center, tries to move to the basket between Waverly-South Shore’s Austin Appelhof, left and Carter Comes, right, during Tuesday night’s Region 1B tournament game at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 3/2/2021

Waverly-South Shore coach Joe Dalton didn’t need to deliver a big halftime speech. His players did it for him.

Trailing by two at the break, the Coyotes came out clicking and dominated the second half en route to a 65-46 win over Langford Area in Region 1B action at the Aberdeen Civic Arena Tuesday night.

“They got on each other. I didn’t have to say a whole lot,” Dalton said of his players at halftime. “They were like, ‘Guys we’re not playing the way we can.’ It was self-determination. I didn’t have to get after them at all, really.”

The Coyotes found a seam in Langford’s zone defense and took advantage of it, turning a seven-point first-half deficit into a double-digit lead in the third period.

A variety of players contributed to a 24-7 third-quarter surge.

“We’ve been working a lot with their 2-3 (zone),” Dalton said. “(Langford Area coach Paul) Raasch always has their 2-3 salty. We had to penetrate the middle. The first half we didn’t do that. And then we kicked it out and got Tanner (Fonder) going and Aden (Comes) hit a couple and they broke down a little bit, and Austin (Appelhof) could get in the middle better.”

Waverly-South Shore consistently made the extra pass and didn’t settle on offense. The result was 65 points, the second most Langford had given up all season.

“We’ve been preaching that all year long,” Dalton said of his team’s ball movement and unselfish play. “We just screamed it in the locker room. Like, you guys finally believe in the system. Good things happen. I think they like it too, a pat on the back for all that hard work.”

All five W-SS starters scored in double figures. Aden Comes scored 16 points, Fonder and Carter Comes each added 14, Appelhof followed with 11 and Davin Quail finished with 10.

Benton West’s 15 points led Langford Area.

Waverly-South Shore now meets Aberdeen Christian at 6 p.m. Friday at the Civic Arena with a chance to advance to the SoDak 16.

“They’re a good team. We’re going to have to be ready,” Dalton said.

He noted that the Knights qualified for the state tournament last year before it got canceled. “In my opinion (they) would have been fighting for the title,” Dalton said. “They lost a couple of good kids, I know that, but they’re still good.”

LANGFORD AREA: Benton West 5 0-0 15, Zander Widener 3 2-4 8, Colin Frey 3 1-4 7, Kade Larson 3 0-0 6, Bryce Peterson 4 1-2 9. Totals 18 4-10 45.

WAVERLY-SOUTH SHORE: Aden Comes 6 2-4 16, Davin Quail 4 2-2 10, Austin Appelhof 5 1-1 11, Tanner Fonder 4 3-4 14, Carter Comes 6 2-3 14. Totals 25 10-14 65.

Langford Area 12 26 33 45

Waverly-South Shore 13 24 48 65

3-point field goals – West 5; A. Comes 2, Fonder 3. Total fouls – Langford Area 16; Waverly-South Shore 10.

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