High School Boys Basketball

Cossacks shake off rust, beat Deuel in tourney opener

Sioux Valley uses late second-quarter run and big third quarter to advance in Region 2A


VOLGA — The Sioux Valley Cossacks opened their run in the Region 2A Tournament with a win, defeating Deuel 71-33 at the Cossack Center on Thursday night.

The win was the first game for the Cossacks since defeating Garretson in their regular season finale on Feb. 15 and sets up a semifinal matchup with Flandreau on Friday night with the winner going to the Class A SoDak 16.

“Early on, I thought you could tell that we had been off for 12 days,” Sioux Valley head coach Bill Vincent said. “But at the same time once we got going, you could tell we were fresh from that break and I thought we looked really good once we got going.”

The Cossacks were in control for most of the first half but Deuel was able to use some short spurts to stick around. When Sioux Valley opened the game on a 10-3 run, the Cardinals responded with a 7-2 run before trailing 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Deuel continued to remain in an arm’s distance, trailing 23-19 with 3:41 left in the second quarter but Sioux Valley scored the final nine points of the first half to take a 32-19 lead into halftime.

“I thought the end of the second quarter really got us going and fed into our locker room,” Vincent said of the run. “Some guys came off the bench and they were just scrapping on defense. We started to make some plays and that got everybody going.”

Sioux Valley opened the third quarter with a 9-3 run and scored buckets on back-to-back turnovers by the Cardinals to increase the lead to 41-22 with 5:55 left in the third quarter. 

The Cossacks out-scored the Cardinals 27-6 in the third quarter to take a 59-25 lead at the end of the third quarter and used a 12-8 advantage in the fourth quarter to close the game.

Maxwell Engebretson led the Cossacks with 17 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals. Maverick Nelson had 14 points while Alec Squires had 11 points and five rebounds. Hudsyn Ruesink also had nine points.

Trey Maaland led Deuel with 14 points while Troy Jenson had five points and seven rebounds and Caden Finnesand had five points.

Sioux Valley shot 50 percent in the game including 57 percent in the second half. The Cossacks made 8-of-19 (42.1%) 3-pointers and 9-of-12 free throws. Sioux Valley also out-rebounded the Cardinals 35-16 and committed 13 turnovers.

Deuel shot 31 percent in the game including 6-for-25 (24%) on 3-pointers. The Cardinals went 1-of-5 from the free-throw line and committed 20 turnovers.

The win helped the Cossacks improve to 19-2 on the season and bring them one game away from another trip to the SoDak 16, but they’ll need to get past Flandreau in what will be their third meeting of the season.

Sioux Valley won both previous meetings with Flandreau including a 57-38 win in the Big East Tournament final on Jan. 6 and a 44-35 win in Volga on Feb. 1. But both games were a physical challenge for the Cossacks, who will look to fine-tune the edges and advance on Friday.

“That’s always tough to beat an opponent in three straight meetings,” Vincent said. “We’re just going to have to really go to work. That last game at our place, they led the game for three, three-and-a-half quarters and really came at us, so we know it will be a battle anytime you meet them. When you’re in the second round of postseason play, you have to be prepared to battle.”