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Fourth-quarter surge carries Tigers past Roncalli boys

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Aiden Fisher, right, tries to get past TIospa Zina’s Mike Smith, left, as Fisher moved the ball up the floor during a recent game at the Roncalli High School gym. Fisher scored 16 points in a setback at Mobridge-Pollock Monday night. Photo by John Davis taken 1/17/2023

MOBRIDGE – Mobridge-Pollock produced at crunch time Monday night and collected a boys’ basketball win over Aberdeen Roncalli.

The Tigers scored 20 fourth-quarter points and were automatic at the free-throw stripe in the closing minutes to fuel a 58-51 non-conference victory.

Mobridge-Pollock missed just two free throws in the entire game and made their last nine in the final two minutes to stay in control.

“When you go 15 of 17, it’s a recipe for success,” said Roncalli coach Dan Gallagher. “It’s not like we shot free throws poorly, but they hit them when they had to hit them and did a good job there.”

Roncalli jumped out to 7-0 lead on seven quick points from Maddox Miller. However, that lead was short lived as the Tigers owned the advantage by the end of the first quarter.

“We kind of went to some of the old habits,” Gallagher said, “where maybe a pass isn’t necessarily there and we tried to force one and turned the ball over.”

The Tigers built a nine-point lead on two different occasions, but Roncalli stayed in touch thanks to the outside shooting of Aiden Fisher. The sophomore scored eight straight points during one stretch of action.

“He’s someone that we’ve been pressuring and pressuring to start shooting the ball more,” Gallagher said. “He’s always been kind of the point-guard, facilitator type where he wants to get other guys their shots, but today he recognized shots had to be taken and he was willing to do it. He kept us in the game and played some solid defense, too.”

In the end though, the Cavaliers had a tough time dealing with Shane Henderson. The Mobridge-Pollock big man converted a big three-point play to give the Tigers a six-point lead with 1:14 remaining. He finished the contest with 17 points.

“He has such skill and a lot of finesse at the basket,” Gallagher said. “He had made us pay and not just on the offensive end. On the defensive end he was disrupting everything.”

The Tigers then finished off the win with spot on accuracy at the line as Michael Wald and Kobe Good Shield each made four straight foul shots.

“We fouled when we had to,” Gallagher said. “Again, a credit to them. They shot their free throws well.”

Wald had 14 points, Good Shield 11 and Jackson Eisemann 10 for the Tigers.

Milller and Fisher both finished with 16 points for the Cavaliers, who slipped to 8-6 on the season. Roncalli hosts Potter County this evening at Roncalli Gym. Gallagher is hoping that his players can learn from Monday night’s contest.

“We have to move on and we have to be ready for (Tuesday),” Gallagher said. “Tonight we made some mistakes that are easily correctable, but we have to learn from those and not just forget about this one, because we do have to think back on some of the things that we can correct and then start focusing on how we can play better (Tuesday).”

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (8-6): Maddox Miller 6 2-2 16, Caden Shelton 2 3-4 7, Aiden Fisher 6 4-4 16, Jayden Munroe 0 1-2 1, Maddox May 1 0-2 2, Darwin Gambler 1 2-2 4, Zane Backous 2 0-0 5. Totals 17 11-16 51.

MOBRIDGE-POLLOCK (4-6): Holden Eisemann 1 0-0 2, Jackson Eisemann 3 1-2 10, Michael Wald 4 4-4 14, Shane Henderson 6 5-6 17, Kobe Good Shield 3 5-5 11, Simon Fried 1 0-0 2, Coy Hinsz 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 15-17 58.

Aberdeen Roncalli 14 25 40 51

Mobridge-Pollock 16 32 38 58

3-point field goals – Miller 2, Fisher 3, Backous; J. Eisemann 3, Wald 2. Total fouls – Aberdeen Roncalli 19; Mobridge-Pollock 17. Rebounds – Aberdeen Roncalli 27 (Miller 5, Fisher 5); Mobridge-Pollock 22 (Good Shield 7). Turnovers – Aberdeen Roncalli 19; Mobridge-Pollock 8. Assists – Aberdeen Roncalli 3; Mobridge-Pollock 11 (Wald 4).

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