VOLGA – In a battle of two of the top teams in Class A, the Sioux Valley boys’ basketball team came out on top, beating Sioux Falls Christian 80-70 Saturday night.
The Cossacks outscored the Chargers 25-14 in the final 11 minutes of the game. SFC led 56-55 and Sioux Valley went on a 15-2 run spanning the final 3 minutes of the third quarter and the first 2 minutes of the fourth.
“The kids believed in the next play, the next best action,” said Sioux Valley head coach Bill Vincent. “I thought our guys handled adversity in the first half where [SFC] shot extremely well. We hung around and hung around. Waiting for them to cool off a bit and for us to go on a run. Colby Gatzke’s defense was great once again. That’s back-to-back nights where he’s been getting after it defensively for us. Just lots of little plays along the way.”
It was a back and forth affair in the first quarter with SFC getting the advantage and the Chargers led 25-22 at the end of one. The Chargers went up 39-32 with 3 minutes left in the first half. The Cossacks then went on 7-0 run to tie the game, but Noah Van Donkersgoed hit a jumper at the buzzer to give the Chargers a two-point lead at halftime. SFC shot 56.7% from the field in the first half and was 7-for-10 from 3-point range.
The two teams traded baskets the first half of the third quarter. Sioux Valley went up 55-50 with 3:56 left in the third and SFC went on a 6-0 run to take the lead back. That’s when the Cossacks took control.
Sioux Valley shot 60% from the field for the game and the Cossacks were 13-for-22 from 3.
Kelton Vincent led the Cossacks with 30 points and seven rebounds. Oliver Vincent scored 27 points and had five assists. Parker Puetz knocked down four triples and had 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
“When you think of Colby defensively, you think of Kelton the same way offensively. Just two seniors that have been working for these moments and then Oliver, Parker and Hayden [Ruesink] got going in their spots. That first half the minutes we got out of Carson Chrsitopherson there in the second quarter was really huge for us as well. Damian Danzeisen banged up his leg a little bit during the JV game, but said ‘hey I’m willing to go and give it my all.’ Then just the energy from the Cossack crazies and our bench. All of that kind of led [to the win]. [SFC] is just a really good team and that could go either way each time these two teams play,” Vincent said.
The Chargers shot 42.2% for the game and was 13-for-29 from deep.
SFC was led by was led by Van Donkersgoed, who had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. Xavier Van Beek had 24 points. Jaden Witte and Brooks Nelson each had nine points.
Sioux Valley won the rebound battle 24-23. The Cossacks had nine turnovers and the Chargers had eight.
Sioux Valley finished the regular season 19-1 while SFC is now 14-4. The Cossacks will have a bye in the quarterfinals of the Region 2B Playoffs. Even though this was a big win, Vincent said it was just another win because the Cossacks have bigger things ahead of them.
“[This win] doesn’t really do much other than the same mind set of 1-0 and now teams will be even hungrier. But this is what we’ve talked about. Use these games to get ready for postseason play and we feel like it will benefit us for postseason play,” Vincent said.