The Roncalli Cavaliers shook off a slow start and slowly rolled to a 52-32 win over Pine Ridge on Friday afternoon in a consolation semifinal game at the State A Boys' Tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Arena.
After a disappointing loss to Mobridge-Pollock in the opening round on Thursday, the Cavaliers were hoping to rebound.
"In the first half, we were shooting 22 percent," said Roncalli coach Todd Neuendorf. "The kids were trying to make shots. I told the kids the three-point shots we shoot are like a home run hitter in baseball. When they're going in, you're knocking them out (of the park) left and right. When you're not knocking them out, you're striking out."
Roncalli shot 27 percent from three-point range (3-11) in the game and Pine Ridge missed all six attempts.
The Pine Ridge Thorpes took an early 8-4 lead in the first quarter as the Cavaliers struggled to make shots. Pine Ridge still led 18-12 right before half on back-to-back field goals by Jeff LeBeaux and Jacob Dreamer.
Roncalli found its home run stroke as Kory Schwan and Zach Schaefbauer drained consecutive threes to tie the game at 18-all at halftime.
"The two threes that ended the first half were huge," said Neuendorf. "We changed our offense a little bit in the second half and moved Zach (Andera) up to the top of the key and it opened up some things. He stayed up there and was a continual screener. That helped. We got some stuff going to the basket and we got some free throws."
Roncalli center Dominic King also pointed out the made threes before half as a turning point.
"Near the end of the half we were starting to pick it up," he said. "We made those threes and started to make shots."
As shots started to fall, the Cavaliers slowly gained control of the game in the third quarter. Pine Ridge player LeBeaux hit a field goal at the 7-minute mark to pull the Thorpes within one point at 21-20. Roncalli scored eight unanswered points for a 29-20 lead.
Once again LeBeaux responded and pulled Pine Ridge to within 31-26 with three minutes left in the third stanza. Schaefbauer connected on an old fashioned three-point play (field goal and free throw) followed by two free throws by Andera and another field goal by Schaefbauer to make the score 38-26. The Cavaliers outscored the Thorpes 20-10 in the third quarter to lead 38-28.
Pine Ridge managed just four points in the fourth quarter as Roncalli pulled away for a win.
The Thorpes were led by LeBeaux with 12 points and six rebounds. He was the only double figure scorer for the team.
"I was happy with our defense," said Neuendorf. "That LeBeaux kid is a load inside and I thought Dominic did a great job on him. Brayden McNeary was right there (in front). He (LeBeaux) made some tough shots. He is good. He's as good a post as you're going to play. Dominic is giving up some size to him."
LeBeaux is listed at 6-feet-5 and King at 6-6.
"We have a lot of big kids in our area," said King. "We tried to use the same formula; to try to get around him and be quicker. Everyone was coming over and trying to help me out."
King topped the Cavaliers with 17 points and nine rebounds. Schwan added 10 points.
I told the kids afterwards it would have been easy just to mail it in after yesterday. I'm really proud of the way we came back and battled. When we win, we win as a team. When we lost, we all lost. That was a group loss last night (Thursday) and today (Friday) was a group win," said Neuendorf.
Aberdeen Roncalli (17-5) plays Clark-Willow Lake (22-1) in the fifth place game today at 1:45 p.m. MST in a matchup of Northeast Conference foes. Roncalli lost by 11 points to C-WL during the regular season. The fifth place game will matchup the top two seeds in the tourney.
PINE RIDGE: Jesse Brown 1-2 1-2 3, Jacob Dreamer 4-7 0-0 8, Jacob Brown 2-8 2-2 6, Derek Tyon 0-3 0-0 0, Jeff LeBeaux 6-19 0-2 12, Mike Brings Plenty 1-6 1-2 3, Corey Cedar Face 0-1 0-0 0, Ki-Jana Gray Grass 0-2 0-0 0, Gabe Chief Eagle 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-49 4-8 32.
ABERDEEN RONCALLI: Kory Schwan 3-9 2-3 10, Kendal Deutsch 1-3 2-2 4, Zach Andera 1-2 4-4 6, Brayden McNeary 1-2 2-2 4, Dominic King 7-13 3-4 17, Dalton Cox 0-0 2-2 2, Zach Schaefbauer 3-5 1-1 8, Lucas Lorenz 0-0 1-2 1, Nolan Schlosser 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-36 17-20 52.
Pine Ridge (14-10)…8…18…28…32
Aberdeen Roncalli (17-5)…7…18…38…52
3-point field goals — Pine Ridge 0-6 (Jesse Brown 0-1, Jacob Brown 0-3, Tyon 0-2); Roncalli 3-11 (Schwan 2-6, Deutsch 0-1, McNeary 0-1, Schaefbauer 1-3). Total fouls — Pine Ridge 17; Roncalli 9. Rebounds — Pine Ridge 27 (Jacob Brown 6, LeBeaux 6); Roncalli 31 (King 9). Assists - Pine Ridge 10 (Jacob Brown 5); Roncalli 12 (Deutsch 4). Steals — Pine Ridge 10 (Jacob Brown 4); Roncalli 15 (McNeary 4). Blocked shots — Pine Ridge 3; Roncalli 3 (King 3). Officials — Aaron Entringer, Scott Mack, Lee Johnson.