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Yankton edges Golden Eagles in SoDak 16 contest

Aberdeen Central’s Sam Rohlfs, center, moves to the basket between Yankton’s Rugby Ryken, left, Mac Ryken, right and Dylan Prouty, far right, during Saturday’s SoDak 16 game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 3/5/2022

Yankton executed on both ends of the floor in the final 90 seconds and eliminated Aberdeen Central in a Class AA boys’ basketball SoDak 16 contest on Saturday afternoon.

The Bucks scored out of a timeout to take the lead, stopped Central on three straight possessions and made two key free throws in a 47-44 victory at Golden Eagles Arena.

“We had the lead and they called timeout and we missed a switch. They get a layup and then we come down and we don’t make our shot,” said Central coach Brent Norberg. “Our kids played hard enough to win, we just didn’t make enough shots.”

Trailing by one, Yankton coach Chris Haynes called time with 1:30 left. When play resumed, Rugby Ryken spotted Jaden Kral for an uncontested layup to give the Bucks a lead they would not relinquish.

“Don’t make coaching too hard,” Haynes said. “Just get the ball in Rugby’s hands and let him go make a play and that’s all we did. Jaden had a great cut and Rugby found him for a layup.”

From there, Yankton stopped one Central possession on a steal, and after both teams missed an attempt, the Eagles were forced to foul. Dylan Prouty made both free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining. Central had one last shot, but a potential game-tying three-pointer was just off the mark.

“I thought both teams competed extremeley hard and played extremely hard. We were just fortunate today to make a couple more shots,” Haynes said. “Aberdeen, they defended really well and rebounded. They’re a really tough basketball team. Like I said, we were just fortunate to make a couple more plays.”

The contest was tight the entire way. The biggest spread came with Yankton on top at 29-20 with 5:50 left in the third quarter. However, Central erased that deficit going on a 12-1 run to grab a brief lead. Spencer Barr keyed that surge with seven straight points.

Aberdeen Central’s Spencer Barr, center, goes up with a shot attempt between Yankton’s Mac Ryken, back left and Jaden Kral, right, during Saturday’s SoDak 16 game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 3/5/2022

The visitors had a pair of four-point leads in the final period before Central grabbed a one-point lead on Alec Voegele’s three-pointer with 4:16 left. Voegele’s free throw with 1:37 left broke a 43-43 tie and set up the final game-deciding sequence.

The contest was much different from an earlier game when Yankton scored 74 points in a 31-point win over the Eagles.

“I knew defensively we’d be OK. We can lock down when we need to and have the right attitude and effort, which they did today,” Norberg said. “Offensively, is just where we struggled. We tried to work all week in getting better movement and more stuff, and it just didn’t happen in the first half and by the time it did, we just couldn’t dig all the way out of the hole in time.”

Ryken led a balanced Yankton attack with 11 points, followed by Dylan Prouty with 10, Cody Oswald with nine, Kral with eight and Mac Ryken with seven.

Sam Rohlfs topped Central with 12 points. Barr contributed 11 and Voegele 10.

The Eagles ended their season with 12-9 record. The contest marked the final game for a decorated group of seniors (which included all five starters on Saturday) who have meant a lot to the Central program.

“To say they’ve meant a lot is an understatement. It’s so hard to talk about them, because I just didn’t think I’d have to do that today,” Norberg said. “The amount of the things that I could say, I don’t have the words for how much I care about those guys, and like those guys, and love those guys for what they’ve done for our program and for me, individually, and the fun we’ve had the last two-three years. It’s just too bad it’s over. I have a hard time grasping that we don’t get to go to practice.”

YANKTON (13-8): Mac Ryken 3 0-0 7, Rugby Ryken 5 0-0 11, Dylan Prouty 3 2-2 10, Cody Oswald 3 3-4 9, Jaden Kral 3 2-2 8, Michael Mohrs 1 0-0 2. Totals 18-50 7-8 47.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL (12-9): Alec Voegele 4 1-2 10, Jackson Dorsett 1 0-0 2, Sam Rohlfs 6 0-0 12, AJ Hase 1 0-0 2, Brady Rohrbach 1 0-0 2, Noah Behrends 2 0-0 5, Spencer Barr 5 1-4 11. Totals 20-49 2-6 44.

Yankton 8 22 36 47

Aberdeen Central 6 16 32 44 3-point field goals – M. Ryken, R. Ryken, Prouty 2; Voegele, Behrends. Total fouls – Yankton 11; Aberdeen Central 13. Rebounds – Yankton 32 (R. Ryken 11); Aberdeen Central 32 (Voegele 9). Turnovers – Yankton 9; Aberdeen Central 10. Assists – Yankton 10 (R. Ryken 5, Kral 5); Aberdeen Central 9 (Barr 4). Blocked Shots – Yankton 1; Aberdeen Central 4 (Voegele 3). Steals – Yankton 6 (M. Ryken 4); Aberdeen Central 3.

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