Connect with us
Subscribe Today!

Boys Basketball

Late surge secures Christian win over Mustangs

Aberdeen Christian’s Malek Wieker, center, looks to pass the ball as he drives the baseline as he is surrounded by Waubay-Summit’s J Gulbraa, far left, Jackson Wohlleber, left and Damon Opdahl, right, during Thursday night’s game at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 1/20/2022

Aberdeen Christian was tough under fire when it mattered most Thursday night.

The Knights erased a seven-point deficit with 14 unanswered points down the stretch to grab a 57-50 non-conference boys’ basketball victory over Waubay-Summit.

Trailing 48-41, Christian played lock-down defense, converted big shots on offense and turned the game around.

Christian coach David Rohrbach was proud of the way his team closed out the game on both ends of the floor.

“I thought we hit some huge shots with multiple guys,” Rohrbach said. “Our biggest thing was just our attention to detail on defense. Our switches were where they needed to be. We rotated well. We were kind of razor sharp on the defensive end which is what you have to be to rally and close out games.”

The Mustangs led 48-45 before Ethan Russell hit a three-pointer to tie the score and Malek Wieker hit a three to put the Knights in front to stay. From there, Wieker made four free throws and Jackson Isakson two in the final 35 seconds to ice the victory.

Waubay-Summit rallied from an early deficit and took the lead in the second quarter.

“The first half they kind of got into the lane at will,” said Rohrbach, who had a message for his players at the break. “We really challenged them at halftime that they needed to kind of man up in the second half and take one in the chest and square guys up a little more defensively, just do a better job of keeping people in front and then rotating. I thought the last three and a half minutes boy they just put on a clinic of how to close out a game.”

Wieker finished with 25 points and Russell added 14. Isakson contributed 12, including a key three-pointer at the buzzer to close out the half that gave Christian a one-point lead.

“Drew (Brennan) made a really nice attack to the basket, kick to Isaskson,” Rohrbach said. “Isakson buried a three right at the buzzer. It gave us a little momentum going into the second half. That was a big play, a big shot.”

Aberdeen Christian’s Andrew Brennan, right, reaches for the ball after forcing a turnover on an inbound pass to Waubay-Summit’s Damon Opdahl, left, in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 1/20/2022

Jonathon Johnston had 14 points to lead the Mustangs, who lost for just the second time in 10 outings. J Gulbraa and Damon Opdahl each added 10.

The victory was the third hard-fought battle in the past week for the Knights, who also defeated Potter County and Faulkton.

“We are definitely happy to have won all three. It’s definitely been a grind. A lot of really really tough teams,” Rohrbach said. “I think it’s really good for guys to be in these environments where we’re having to make plays in crunch time, in stressful situations, having to step up in situations where it’s win the game or lose the game type of scenario.”

Christian, 8-2 on the season, has another tough one on Saturday when it faces fifth-rated Platte-Geddes in the Hanson Classic at 4 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

“We expect a battle,” Rohrbach said. “We’re going to need to play really good basketball to come out with a win.”

He said the players enjoy going to classics.

“Our guys will be ready to go,” he said. “Hopefully, we can put together a really good effort.”

WAUBAY-SUMMIT (8-2): J Gulbraa 5 0-0 10, Jackson Wohlleber 1 4-4 7, Damon Opdahl 4 2-2 10, Seth Gaikowski 3 2-2 9, Jonathon Johnston 6 0-0 14. Totals 19 8-8 50.

ABERDEEN CHRISTIAN (8-2): Jackson Isakson 4 2-2 12, Ethan Russell 5 2-2 14, Malek Wieker 8 5-5 25, Kaden Clark 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 9-9 57.

Waubay-Summit 9 27 44 50

Aberdeen Christian 16 28 41 57

3-point field goals – Wohlleber, Gaikowski, Johnston 2; Isakson 2, Russell 2, Wieker 4. Total fouls – Waubay-Summit 10; Aberdeen Christian 12. Rebounds – Waubay-Summit 22 (Johnston 7); Aberdeen Christian 24 (Isakson 9). Turnovers – Waubay-Summit 9; Aberdeen Christian 9. Assists – Waubay-Summit 11 (Johnston 5); Aberdeen Christian 7. Steals – Waubay-Summit 7; Aberdeen Christian 10 (Isakson 5).

Purchase a Photo

Browse By Category

Browse By Month

More in Boys Basketball

Subscribe Today!