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Girls Basketball

Knights collect eighth consecutive victory

Aberdeen Christian’s Mallory Miller, left, lays up a shot past Wakpala’s Anaya Otter Robe, center and Tyrianna Hawk Bear, far right, during Thursday night’s game at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. In the background are Wakpala’s Antania Otter Robe, far left and the Knights’. Kaylee Block, back right. Photo by John Davis taken 1/13/2022

Aberdeen Christian worked the ball inside in the half court, got out in transition in the full court, and rolled to its eighth straight girls’ basketball victory Thursday night.

The Knights, who had a height advantage at nearly every spot on the floor, grabbed a 61-39 non-conference victory over Wakpala.

Christian opened the game by patiently executing its half-court offense which resulted in a 14-8 lead. The Knights’ two inside players, 6-foot-4 center Mallory Miller and 5-9 forward Grace Kaiser, combined for all 14 points as Miller had eight and Kaiser six.

“We have an inside advantage a lot of times,” said Christian coach Michael Rohrbach. “We’re always trying to move it to get the ball inside, because that really ignites our offense. Once we get the inside going then it can open everyone else up for us.”

The Knights started to get out on the break in the second period which helped to extend the lead to 15 points at halftime. Christian then produced eight points in transition on the way to scoring 22 third-quarter points to put the game out of reach.

“The goal is to get out and run in transition, get the points we can,” Kaiser said. “If it’s not there, just make sure to get it out and move it because we can get open buckets if we move it like that. I thought we were pretty well balanced that way.”

It took a while for the Knights to pull away because Wakpala made a variety of long-range shots, led by Ceymore Eagleman with four three-point field goals.

“They scored 79 their last game, so we knew that they could shoot,” Rohrbach said. “They can shoot the ball well, so that keeps them in the games.”

Mallory Miller finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Hanna Miller followed with 12 points, and Kaiser added nine points, six rebounds and a couple of nifty interior passes that led to open layups for teammates.

“I think that’s the goal here, because we have really talented players,” Kaiser said, “but if we move we’ll do better things than we can do by ourselves.”

Aberdeen Christian’s Joy Rohrbach, center, puts up a shot as Wakpala’s Antania Otter Robe, right, defends during Thursday night’s game at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 1/13/2022

That balanced attack is crucial for the Knights, according to Rohrbach.

“That’s the biggest thing, if we play unselfish. We’re so tough to stop when we move the ball,” he said. “We just have five people that are just so tough to guard. When we can move the ball, it opens up shots, it opens up driving lanes, it opens up our inside game and even our flashes. That’s just a key for us all year.”

Eagleman topped Wakpala with 20 points. Tryianna Hawk Bear contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.

Christian puts its unblemished record on the line Tuesday in a key Lake Region Conference showdown against Faulkton at the Aberdeen Civic Arena.

“I think Faulkton is going to be a huge test for us to see really where we are,” Rohrbach said. “They’re a very tough team. That will be a huge game for us on Tuesday.”

WAKPALA (4-5): Antania Otter Robe 1 0-0 2, Anaya Otter Robe 2 2-2 6, Ceymore Eagleman 8 0-0 20, Tyrianna Hawk Bear 3 3-4 9, Tylene Hawk Bear 0-0 1. Totals 15-59 5-6 39.

ABERDEEN CHRISTIAN (8-0): Joy Rohrbach 2 0-0 5, Bailey Englund 0 0-2 0, Kaylee Block 1 1-1 3, Hanna Miller 6 0-0 12, Mallory Miller 10 0-0 20, Chloe Holt 1 0-0 3, Grace Kaiser 2 5-8 9, Sophie Bosma 1 0-0 2, Chloe Bosma 2 1-2 5, Sophia Fogerty 1 0-0 2. Totals 26-53 7-13 61.

Wakpala 8 14 27 39

Aberdeen Christian 14 29 51 61

3-point field goals – Eagleman 4; Rohrbach, Holt. Total fouls – Wakpala 13; Aberdeen Christian 7. Rebounds – Wakpala 33 (Anaya Otter Robe 10, Tyrianna Hawk Bear 10); Aberdeen Christian 43 (M. Miller 12). Turnovers – Wakpala 12; Aberdeen Christian 11.

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