High School Boys Basketball

Sioux Valley drops double-overtime thriller at state tournament

The Cossacks will face Groton Area in the consolation semifinals on Friday night.


RAPID CITY – The Sioux Valley Cossacks lost their first game in the state tournament as a 3-pointer by Julius Frog late in the first overtime and three free throws by Simon Kieffer in the final 12 seconds of the second overtime helped sixth-seeded Rapid City Christian earn a 75-72 victory in the quarterfinals of the Class A State Boys Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.

“It was an instant classic but we were just on the wrong side of it,” Sioux Valley head coach Bill Vincent said. “We had to keep a mindset of next play basketball and neither team would give an edge because we both knew each other really well.”

Thursday’s game was a rematch of Sioux Valley’s 71-65 win over the Comets on Jan. 20. Rapid City Christian led by a score of 13-12 at the end of the first quarter but the Cossacks went on a 6-2 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 29-25 lead into halftime.

Sioux Valley led by as many as six points in the third quarter but an 8-3 run helped the Comets cut the lead down to 43-42 going into the fourth quarter. Sioux Valley also struggled at the free throw line missing seven straight free throws that allowed Rapid City Christian to get back into the game.

The Comets took the lead on a layup by Benson Kieffer midway through the fourth quarter but both teams continued to battle back and forth until a pair of jumpers by Maxwell Engebretson and Maverick Nelson gave Sioux Valley a 52-48 lead with 3:10 left in regulation. 

The Comets fought back with five straight points, taking a 53-52 lead on a 3-pointer by Benson Kieffer with 2:16 to go but the Cossacks took the lead after Engebretson and Hudsyn Ruesink each went 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

With the Cossacks leading 54-53, Benson Kieffer hit a free throw to tie the game with 57 seconds left and both teams couldn’t score on their final possession of regulation, which sent the game into overtime.

Sioux Valley took control of the extra period when a pair of free throws by Christensen gave the Cossacks the lead and Boden Schiller came up with a steal and score to put Sioux Valley ahead 60-56 with 2:37 left. 

The Cossacks extended their lead to five points on two free throws by Christensen with 1:01 to play but Simon Kieffer made a pair of free throws, the Comets forced a turnover on the next possession and Frog hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to send the game to a second overtime tied at 64-64.

Neither team was able to find separation until Schiller’s lay-up put Sioux Valley up 70-68 with 1:04 to go but Frog gave the Comets a 71-70 lead on a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining.

Alec Squires put Sioux Valley in front on a layup with 37 seconds to play and the Cossacks had a chance to put the game away with a stop on the defensive end but Schiller fouled Simon Kieffer with 13 seconds left and the junior knocked down both free throws to give Rapid City Christian a 73-72 lead. 

Engebretson missed a jumper on the opposite end that would have given Sioux Valley the lead and Simon Kieffer knocked down two more free throws with four seconds to play to put the Comets ahead 75-72.

Nelson tried to throw the ball the length of the court on the ensuing inbounds pass but it was intercepted by Wilson Kieffer, who killed the final seconds and sent the Comets to the semifinal.

Engebretson led Sioux Valley with 20 points while Squires finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and five assists. Schiller finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Ruesink finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Benson Kieffer finished with 25 points and five rebounds for the Comets. Simon Kieffer had 23 points and eight assists. Frog finished with 17 points and seven rebounds and Wilson Kiefer had five points and six rebounds.

Sioux Valley shot 45 percent in the game including 7-of-17 (41%) on 3-pointers. The Cossacks went 11-of-19 (57%) from the free throw line, had 40 rebounds and committed 16 turnovers.

Rapid City Christian shot 34 percent from the floor including 13-of-39 (33%) on 3-pointers. The Comets made 12-of-16 free throws, grabbed 43 rebounds and committed eight turnovers.

The loss dropped the Cossacks to 21-3 on the season but Sioux Valley will have two more games including one with Groton Area in the consolation semifinals at 2:45 p.m. CT on Friday. While the loss stings, the Cossacks remain focused on finishing the year strong.

“It’s one of those things where you’re back in the locker room with no regrets,” Vincent said. “Our effort was off the charts…it just didn’t go our way. You’ve got a lot to play for in terms of program history and things like that and when there’s still hardware on on the line. We always have a mindset that we don’t want to lose two in a row and we’ll have to take that approach and bounce back.”