High School Boys Basketball

Cossacks finish season strong with consolation title at State Tournament

Sioux Valley earned wins over Groton Area and Pine Ridge to finish the season with a record of 23-3.


RAPID CITY – The Sioux Valley Cossacks put the finishing touches on a strong season, winning their final two games to claim the consolation championship at the State Class A Boys Basketball Tournament.

“I thought we saved our best basketball of the season for last,” Sioux Valley head coach Bill Vincent said. “It was a thrilling season and a great group of kids to coach. This group just came to practice each day ready to do the work and they would do anything for the team.”


Sioux Valley 67, Groton Area 58

After opening the state tournament with a double-overtime loss to Rapid City in the state quarterfinals on Thursday night, the Cossacks regrouped for Friday’s consolation semifinal against Groton Area.

The Tigers didn’t have an answer for Alec Squires early as he scored nine points in the first quarter and had 19 points and seven rebounds by halftime to give the Cossacks leads of 14-12 after one quarter and 35-28 at halftime.

The Cossacks continued to stay in front in the second half even as Maverick Nelson left the game with an injury. Maxwell Engebretson finished with 13 points in the game to lead the perimeter and the Cossacks turned a 51-45 lead at the end of the third quarter into a 65-58 victory and a trip to Saturday’s consolation championship.

Jace Christensen also had eight points in the win and Hudyn Ruesink and Boden Schiller each had seven points.

Ryder Johnson led the Tigers with 19 points and seven rebounds while Tracy Keegan had 17 points and Lane Tietz had 11 points. Jacob Zak also had nine points for Groton Area.

The Cossacks shot 50 percent in the game including 2-for-13 (15%) on 3-pointers. Sioux Valley made 21-of-27 (77%) free throws, grabbed 33 rebounds and committed 17 turnovers.

Groton Area shot 36 percent from the floor including 7-of-26 (26%) on 3-pointers. The Tigers made 15-of-17 (88%) free throws, grabbed 25 rebounds and committed 15 turnovers.


Sioux Valley 69, Pine Ridge 51

The Cossacks finished the season by defeating Pine Ridge in the consolation championship on Saturday afternoon.

The game was another strong one for Squires, who finished his All-Tournament team performance with 21 points and 17 rebounds. After the win, Squires finished as Sioux Valley’s all-time leader in career rebounds, dunks, blocked shots and field goal percentage.

While Squires helped lead the way, it was a team effort that helped lead the Cossacks to victory. The Cossacks held a 41-20 advantage on the glass and held the Thorpes to just 31 percent shooting while taking a 24-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.

While Pine Ridge made it a 35-27 lead at halftime, Sioux Valley used its balanced attack at the beginning of the third quarter to pull away for a 42-27 lead going into the fourth quarter and a 16-12 advantage in the final frame.

“We rebounded extremely well and that helped us make up for some of the turnovers that Pine Ridge was forcing us into,” Vincent said. “We had to overcome injuries and foul trouble in each round and Boden Schiller and Brock Christopherson were ready for the challenge.”

Schiller finished with three points and five rebounds in the victory while Christopherson scored two points in nine minutes.

Ruesink had 13 points and five rebounds while Christensen scored 13 points. Nelson scored eight points while battling through an ankle injury and Engebretson finished with seven points.

Marvin Richard III finished with 19 points and four assists for Pine Ridge while Jaylin Rouillard had 12 points and Anthony Steele had nine points.

It was a fitting conclusion for Sioux Valley, who finished with a 23-3 record. Of their three losses, one was a double-overtime loss in the state quarterfinals and the others came to Class B runner-up De Smet and Class A champion Hamlin, who pulled off an overtime upset over previously undefeated Sioux Falls Christian on Saturday night.

To finish the year, Vincent complimented his assistant coaches, whom he called some of the best around, and a class of five seniors that included Engebretson, Christensen, Ruesink and Squires.

All five seniors were All-Academic All-State selections and helped Sioux Valley make five straight trips to the state tournament.

“As we say goodbye to some great seniors that were part of five great state tournament teams, our goals remain the same as we prepare our underclassmen for next year’s run,” Vincent said.”