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Stevens slips past Golden Eagles for girls’ win

Aberdeen Central’s Sydney Evans, left, moves with the ball as Layni Stevens, right, defends during a game last season at the Golden Eagles Arena. Evans led the Eagles with 15 points in a setback at Rapid City Stevens on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 1/25/2022

RAPID CITY – Aberdeen Central had opportunities to snag a victory, but couldn’t take advantage of the right ones in a 55-52 girls basketball loss to Rapid City Stevens Saturday in Rapid City.

Central, now 0-2 to begin the season, was just 10 of 23 from the free throw line and finished the game with 32 turnovers in the loss.

“We had too many turnovers and missed too many free throws,” said Central coach Mikayla Arechigo. “That said, the girls responded well after a tough game (Friday) night. We rebounded well and had a much better start to the second half.”

Central scored just two points in the opening quarter, but rallied to take a slim lead by the end of the third quarter. Stevens, however, outscored the Golden Eagles 16-12 in the final stanza to eke out the victory.

Sydney Evans led the Golden Eagles with 15 points, while Caydi Withers and Lauryn Burckhard had double-digit scoring efforts off the bench.

Central was playing without senior point guard Taryn Hettich, who was injured in Friday’s season-opener.

“There were multiple girls who stepped up with Taryn being out,” Arechigo said. “Ayrlie Waldo did a great job of organizing our offense. Sydney Evans brought the intensity on the defensive end. Caydi Withers stepped up on the boards. The outcome isn’t what they worked for, but progress was made.”

While Central struggled from the free throw line, Stevens made the most of its 28 trips to the stripe, converting on 23 of them. Taaliyah Porter was the ringleader, going 14-for-17 from the line and leading all scorers with 20 points.

Central returns home to host Spearfish and Sturgis next Friday and Saturday, respectively.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL (0-2): Anna Malchow 1 2-2 5, Sydney Evans 6 0-0 15, Grace Kuch 2 2-2 6, Taryn Hermansen 0 0-2 0, Madison Miller 0 1-2 1, Caydi Withers 6 2-5 14, Lauryn Burckhard 4 3-9 11. TOtals 19-45 10-23 52.

RAPID CITY STEVENS (1-1): Izzy Higgins 1 1-3 3, Macey Wathen 5 2-2 15, Brittany Jones 1 0-0 3, Hailey Oswald 3 5-6 14, Taaliyah Porter 3 14-17 20. Totals 13-50 22-28 55.

Aberdeen Central 2 18 40 52

Rapid City Stevens 6 23 39 55

3-pt FG – AC 4-10 (Malchow, Evans 3); RCS 7-24 (Wathen 3, Jones, Oswald 3). Rebounds – AC 42 (Withers 11, Burckhard 8); RCS 28 (Higgins 11, Wathen 7). Fouls – AC 21, RCS 25. Fouled out – AC, Evans; RCS, Jones. Assists – AC 10 (Evans 4); RCS 8 (Higgins 2, Wathen 2, Porter 2). Turnovers – AC 32, RCS 21. Blocks – AC 2 (Taryn Hermansen, Withers); RCS 1 (Wathen). Steals – AC 9 (Evans 6); RCS 13 (Wathen 3, Porter 3).

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