Sioux Falls, SD
Roosevelt currently sits at 3 and oh in the early stages of their 20-12 campaign after knocking off number one ranked Pierre. The riders were down 17 to 5 in the beginning but with their half court press were able to end up with a 60 to 58 victory over the Govs.
"We knew it was going to be a battle for 32 minutes. That's what we keep telling our kids, every game is 32 minutes. Whether it works in the first half or it doesn't work we know it's 32 minutes and we approach every game like that. We want to dictate the tempo, we want them to feel the pressure, we want them to play our game, and hopefully over the course of a game we'll get it to work towards our favor which we ended up getting that opportunity against Pierre," said head coach Lee Taylor.
The game was special for another reason other than the fact it was number one verses number two. The Riders as a team came up with an idea to help Conrad Adam, a Pierre player who is suffering from a rare bone disease, by raising money and wearing green in honor of Conrad's Clan. The team raised over $2,500 and presented a check to the Governors before the game.
Taylor had this to say, "I was really hoping it was, just for the event that we had for Conrad and being able to do that for a tremendous benefit for him, who's a great kid. "
Senior Brandon Boggs added this, "he lives in Pierre, but he's still in South Dakota and were all in south Dakota, so we thought it would be nice to contribute the game to him and help out with the problems he's having at this moment."
Roosevelt is lead by 10 seniors and 5 juniors. With all that depth, experience, and athletism it's easy for the Riders to press the way they do and create turnovers.
Coach Taylor said, "What we lack in height we can make up for with athletism, hard work, our press. You know, it's not a hidden secret anymore."
Senior Lucas Wilbur also added, "We have a lot of team quickness, team speed, so if we just put pressure on the opponents hopefully we'll get some steals and easy buckets."
So how do the Riders feel being on top this early in the season?
"As far as us being ranked number one, that's just a number. It doesn't mean anything to us. We approach everyday the same way we approached the first day of the off-season. We work our butts off, we push eachother as hard as we can, we're great teammates, and then we let the rest take care of itself," responded Taylor.