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Brookings rallies past Central

Aberdeen Central’s Kyra Griese, center puts up a shot between Brookings’ AInsley Shelsta, left and Logan Smidt, right, during Thursday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 1/13/2022

Brookings exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points to power past Aberdeen Central Thursday night.

The Bobcats trailed entering the final period before taking control on the way to a 50-40 Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ basketball victory at Golden Eagles Arena.

The Golden Eagles led 31-29 after the third quarter, but saw their lead quickly slip away.

With six minutes remaining, Brookings put together a five-point possession to key a closing surge.

Landree Wilson broke away on a fastbreak and was able to lay it in after being fouled. Wilson missed the free throw, but Brookings recovered the rebound and dished it out to freshman guard Logan Smidt for a three-pointer.

Wilson finished with 15 points on the night, including eight in the pivotal fourth quarter. Smidt finished with three three-pointers to tally a team-high 18 points. Brookings also had a solid inside presence with Ainsley Shelsta finishing with 13 points and five blocked shots on the night.

Kyra Griese led Central with 18 points, knocking three three-pointers. Anna Malchow provided a spark off the bench with 11 points including hitting a trio of three’s as well.

Golden Eagles Head Coach Mikayla Arechigo was pleased with what she saw from their outside shooting.

“I liked seeing our outside shooting finally improving. We got a lot better at getting those inside-outside looks,” Arechigo said. “It seems like the first half of the season we were trying to create shots off the dribble and out on the perimeter, and I think you saw a lot more inside-outside movement which will help us be more successful out on the perimeter.”

Aberdeen Central’s Abby Berry, right, puts up a shot as Brookings’ Logan Smidt, left, closes out on defense during Thursday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 1/13/2022

Although the perimeter kept the Eagles afloat most of the game, Arechigo felt they could’ve gained just a bit more from their low-post offense and free-throw shooting. Central shot 11 of 20 from the charity stripe.

“I was a little disappointed in our post effort. I really thought with our two bigs we would be able to get more accomplished and get points,” Arechigo said. “I was disappointed with our free-throw shooting as well. That is something I think we work on quite a bit. We have to bring more focus to the free-throw line.”

Aberdeen Central is looking towards a Saturday contest at Tea Area. Arechigo is positive the team will continue to grow and focus on the next game at hand.

“We plan to keep building on these games and look to put together a complete game,” Arechigo said. “We played pretty even most of the night, it was just that two-minute stretch where they make that push and we don’t. We have to find a way to make that push.”

BROOKINGS (2-4): Ashton Austreim 2 0-0 4, Landree Wilson 7 2-3 15, Logan Smidt 9 3-3 18, Ainsley Shelsta 5 3-4 13, Jaden Devine 0 0-2 1. Totals 23 8-12 50.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL (1-8): Taryn Hettich 3 0-0 5, Kyra Griese 8 5-6 18,  Anna Malchow 6 1-2 10, Kiana Mounga 1 4-8 6, Taryn Hermansen 0 1-4 1. Totals 18 11-20 40.

Brookings 12 21 29 50

Aberdeen Central 13 22 31 40

3-point field goals – Smidt 3, Wilson 1; Griese 3, Malchow 3, Hettich 1. Total fouls – Brookings 19; Aberdeen Central 13. Rebounds – Brookings 22 (Shelsta 6); Aberdeen Central 30 (Mounga 8). Turnovers – Brookings 19; Aberdeen Central 20. Assists – Brookings 6 (Smidt 2); Aberdeen Central 6 (Griese 2). Steals – Brookings 7 (Wilson 4); Aberdeen Central 9 (Mounga 3).

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