CORSICA, S.D. (KELO) — The Winner Warriors are the third ranked team in class ‘A’ girls basketball, despite owning an 8-1 record.
On Thursday, the Warriors continued their tough schedule as they crossed paths with class ‘B’ #1 Corsica-Stickney.
Winner has won fifty-four of their last fifty-five games and held a 49 game winning streak until their 53-43 loss to West Central back on December 18, 2020.
On the other side of the court, Corsica-Stickney put their 33 game winning streak on the line.
The Warriors came out to a slow start allowing back-to-back threes from the Jaguars, which forced coach Larry Aaker to take a time with two minutes to play in the first quarter and his team down 13-8.
“It was the effort defensively, we weren’t getting back. We were also lacking in execution on defense as well,” Aaker said. “We were rattled and the timeout was more of a calm down and regroup, more than making any adjustments.”
Following the timeout, the Warriors started an 8-2 run which game them a 16-15 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw a big run by the Warriors that put some distance between the two talented teams.
It started with an 11-0 run which was fueled by two players for Winner, including Swedlund and Kalla Bertram.
“The biggest thing for us was a lack of communication and just not doing our job,” Aaker said. “In the second quarter, the press was better, we had some tips and steals and once we got that momentum, we rolled with it.”
The run carried into a 22-7 run, giving Winner a fourteen point half time lead.
The Warriors would get outscored by the Jaguars in the third quarter, despite six points from Swedlund who totaled 15 in the second half.
“She had a great game, but she had a couple of nice passes in that second quarter where she found the open player in the post,” Aaker said. “She had a really nice game!”
Winner would outscore the Jaguars in the fourth quarter on their way to a 67-52 win over Corsica-Stickney, ending the Jaguars 33 game win streak.
Swedlund tallied a game high 28 points, but was closely followed by Winner senior Kalla Bertram who scored 22.
“She (Kalla Bertram) is like the energizer bunny on the floor and she just attacks the basket so well,” Aaker said. “She may have struggled in the first half, but she got it going out of the (first quarter) timeout.”
Bertram and Swedlund each played the full thirty-two minutes and they contributed 50 of the team’s 67 points.
“They really feed off of each other which makes it easier for themselves,” Aaker said.
The offense wasn’t the only side of the ball that saw success in Thursday’s win.
The Warriors defense allowed Corsica-Stickney standout sophomore, Avery Broughton, to score just 18 points.
“When she (Broughton) had the ball, we couldn’t let her shoot,” Aaker said. “We tried to force her to pass the ball. She gets a lot of points from offensive rebounds and for the most part, we did a great job of not allowing her to get offensive rebounds.”
Despite their fifteen point win, coach Aaker would still like to she his team start a little stronger.
“We have to get a better start to the game. I felt we came out a little flat and it looked like we were lost or a little shell shocked,” Aaker said.
Winner’s next action is set for Saturday, January 16 as the Warriors will meet Ethan in the Hanson Classic.
Corsica-Stickney will look to get back into the win column as they meet class ‘A’ #1 St. Thomas More on Saturday in the Hanson Classic.