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Second-quarter surge powers Cyclones past Roncalli

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Caden Shelton, left, goes after a ball on the floor with Clark/Willow Lake’s Cole Heiman, right, during Thursday night’s game at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 2/3/2022

Clark-Willow Lake exploded for a 27-5 second-quarter surge and stormed past Aberdeen Roncalli Thursday night at Roncalli Gym.

The Cyclones trailed after the opening quarter before turning things around on the way to a 67-36 Northeast Conference boys’ basketball victory.

Roncalli got off to a solid start and led 9-7 after the opening eight minutes of action.

“We played extremely well on the defensive end in the first quarter. We were cutting off their cuts to the basket, working our rotations, had great close outs,” said Roncalli coach Dan Gallagher. “The second quarter was a different story.”

Led by Tyler O’Neill, who scored 12 of his 19 points during the pivotal period, the Cyclones went a scoring tear that left them with a 20-point halftime advantage.

While the Cavaliers struggled to score on offense, Gallagher pointed to the team’s inability to stop Clark-Willow Lake on the other end of the floor.

“Yes we struggled to score, but we allowed far too many open looks for them. Against a solid shooting team like Clark, you can’t allow that to happen,” Gallagher said. “They were bound to start making shots, but we made them easier by struggling to rotate and not closing out onto shooters.”

As a result, the Cyclones went off, scoring on nine straight possessions to open a double-digit advantage.

“It seemed like we were just out of sync in a lot of ways during that period,” Gallagher said. “When they drove, it seemed like we were late to help. On threes, it seemed like we were stuck in the lane.”

Kaplan Felberg added 17 points to the Clark-Willow Lake total and Brady Jordan contributed 12. The Cyclones connected on 10 three-pointers in the contest.

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddox May, left, moves the ball up the floor around Clark/Willow Lake’s Brady Jordan, right, during Thursday night’s game at the Roncalli High School gym. In on the play are the Cavaliers’ Zeezrom Mounga, back far left and Jayden Munroe, back right, At far right for the Cyclones is Kaplan Felberg. Photo by John Davis taken 2/3/2022

Maddox Miller and Maddox May both finished with 10 points to pace the Cavaliers.

Roncalli, 4-11 on the season, is idle until Thursday when it plays at Britton-Hecla in another NEC contest.

CLARK-WILLOW LAKE (7-5): Cole Brenden 0 2-2 2, Brady Jordan 4 4-6 12, Kaplan Felberg 6 2-4 17, Tyler O’Neill 7 1-1 19, Noah Boykin 3 0-0 7, Wyatt Anderson 1 0-0 3, Mitchell Larsen 1 0-0 2, Jack Bratland 1 0-0 3, Hunter Bratland 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 9-13 67.

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (4-11): Maddox Miller 4 1-2 10, Zee Mounga 2 0-0 5, Keegan Stewart 2 0-0 4, Jayden Munroe 1 0-0 2, Maddox May 5 0-0 10, Darwin Gambler 1 0-0 3, Brody Weinmeister 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 1-2 36.

Clark-Willow Lake 7 34 53 67

Aberdeen Roncalli 9 14 26 36

3-point field goals – Felberg 3, O’Neill 4, Boykin, Anderson, J. Bratland; Miller, Mounga, Gambler. Total fouls – Clark-Willow Lake 8; Aberdeen Roncalli 13.

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