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Golden Eagles come up short against Sturgis

Aberdeen Central’s Kiana Mounga, center, lays up a shot past Rapid City Central’s Sadie Glade, bottom right, during a game earlier this season at the Golden Eagles Arena. Mounga had 16 points and six rebounds in a setback at Sturgis on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 12/10/2021

STURGIS – It was almost a carbon copy for the Aberdeen Central girls’ basketball team, only in reverse.

One day after a big third quarter fueled a 50-37 win, the Golden Eagles suffered a rough third period in a 50-34 setback to Sturgis on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday, Central outscored Spearfish 20-8 in the third quarter to pull away from a tight game at the half. This time, the Eagles watched Sturgis use a 16-7 third-quarter surge to break away from a close contest at the break.

“The girls played a lot of hard minutes (Friday) and the fatigue showed,” said Central coach Mikalya Arechigo. “It seemed like we were a step behind every rebound and every loose ball.”

That fatigue may have been responsible for Central’s low scoring output as well.

“Usually our guards are able to create offense with their defense,” Arechigo said, “and we didn’t get that done today.”

Kaylee Whatley led a balanced scoring attack for the Scoopers with 15 points. Tatun Ligtenberg added 14 and Joellen Cano contributed 11.

Kiana Mounga paced Central with 16 points and six rebounds. Anna Malchow followed with eight points and Kyra Griese had six.

Arechigo said the Eagles need to figure out a way to keep defenses from collapsing on Mounga in the lane.

“Kiana Mounga is attracting a lot of attenteion,” Arechigo said, “and we need to find ways to alleviate that moving forward.”

Central opens Eastern South Dakota Conference play by hosting Yankton at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Golden Eagles Arena.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL: Taryn Hettich 0 0-1 0, Kyra Griese 1 4-4 6, Kiana Mounga 4 8-9 16, Anna Malchow 3 0-0 8, Sydney Evans 0 0-2 0, Taryn Hermansen 2 0-0 4. Totals 10-43 12-16 34.

STURGIS: Kaylee Whatley 7 1-2 15, Tatun Ligtenberg 4 4-5 14, Sawyer Dennis 3 0-0 6, Joellen Cano 4 0-0 11, Rachael Banks 2 0-0 4. Totals 20-42 5-7 50.

Aberdeen Central 5 20 27 34

Sturgis 9 23 39 50

3-point field goals – Malchow 2; Ligtenberg 2, Cano 3. Fouled out – Banks. Total fouls – Aberdeen Central 12; Sturgis 18. Rebounds – Aberdeen Central 27 (Mounga 6, Hermansen 6); Sturgis 15 (Whatley 4). Turnovers – Aberdeen Central 19; Sturgis 16.

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