RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Eight teams entered Thursday with dreams of becoming state champions, by day’s end, only four remained in the state title hunt.
Top-seed Washington got everything it could handle from 9-seed Aberdeen Central, needing a late Eli Williams basket to help the Warriors outlast the Golden Eagles, 56-53.
“You just a find a way. You find a way this time of the year. It’s Eli and Tahj every dang game. Those two find a way to make a big play. And sure enough it happened again, and we found a way to get a victory,” Washington Head Coach Craig Nelson said.
No team entered the state tournament hotter than O’Gorman, as the Knights came into Thursday having won 9 straight.
“We were nervous because we had the layoff. It’s nobody’s fault but the way were playing we thought, dog gone it, that’s all I need is this two week delay here because we were shooting the ball so well,” O’Gorman Head Coach Derek Robey said.
The Knights rolled past Harrisburg 58-39 in the quarterfinals, setting up a third meeting this season with rival Washington.
“Let’s be honest, they probably are looking forward to playing us. They’re looking for some revenge if you will,” Robey said.
Yankton and Mitchell’s game came down the wire. A late Matthew Mors bucket gave the Bucks a 5 point lead, but a charge he took on Kernels standout Caden Hinker earlier in the quarter, was what his Head Coach called the play of the game.
“You can say all you want about all the points Matthew has scored, that’s one of the best plays he’s ever made,” Yankton Head Coach Chris Haynes said.
Dylan Prouty shined for the Bucks. The junior hit 7 three pointers, and tallied a game-high 25 points in Yankton’s win.
“Dylan’s worked really hard in the gym the last two offseasons and all year last year for moments like this. He shot the ball well for us all year and obviously tonight he came up really big for us,” Yankton Head Coach Chris Haynes said.
Roosevelt took a 28-24 halftime lead over Brandon Valley in the final quarterfinal. The Rough Riders then outscored the Lynx by 13 in the second half en route to a 64-47 victory.
“We know what’s at stake right now. This has been a talk of us all season long. We want to be here. We’re excited, but we’re not satisfied with just winning one game. We’ll take it, but we know there’s more work to be done,” Roosevelt Head Coach Mitch Begeman said.
The semifinals are set. In the first one it will be Washington taking on O’Gorman for the third time. Warriors looking to avenge two earlier season losses to the Knights. That’s set to tip-off at 5:00 Mountain Time. Then following that, it’ll be the 2 vs. 3 matchup between Yankton and Roosevelt. That set for 7:30. Rough Riders looking to avenge a loss to the Bucks while Yankton will look to get back to the State Championship Game.