The Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots used a 19-5 second-half run to get past the Yankton Bucks 60-54 in a Top 5 Class AA matchup at Yankton High School Tuesday.
Bucks head coach Chris Haynes was proud of the way his team competed and believes the team can use the experience down the line.
“These games are good for us,” he said. “We’re going through a tough stretch but all the games in AA are tough. But (with) playing a lot of strong physical teams and our guys are doing a good job competing for 32 minutes, these games will make us better for the long run.
“I’m disappointed in the final result that we came up a little bit short, but I’ve got to give Sioux Falls Lincoln credit for making a couple more plays than we did tonight.”
With the Bucks leading 39-34 late in the third quarter, the Patriots got a layup from Tate Schafer to tie things up at 39 going into the fourth quarter. From there, the 7-foot-1 JT Rock set the tone for the Patriots to start the fourth quarter, scoring six straight points to give Lincoln a 45-41 lead. Lincoln then used its inside-outside game to get its lead into double-digits at 55-44.
“That inside outside combination is tough,” Haynes said. “But if you were told us going into the game that they would have been in in the low 50s with a couple of minutes to go, we would have taken our chances.”
The Bucks showed resiliency, scoring eight straight points made it 55-52 with 15 seconds left.
However, Braxton Mohr would bury two free throws to give Lincoln a 57-52 lead and stole the ensuing inbounds pass, calling timeout as he was on the edge of the sideline with 12.6 seconds remaining.
Trailing 25-22 at halftime, the Bucks started the second half on an 8-2 run. Rugby Ryken did a great job of facilitating the offense in the third quarter, finding Michael Mors in the post for layups. Mors had eight points in the quarter as Yankton held a steady lead.
“We wanted to put Rock in ball screen and dribble handoff situations, let Rugby attack off that and either create for himself or find open teammates,” Haynes said. “He did a good job of that. Michael benefited from a couple there.”
Rugby Ryken added another play to his highlight reel in the second quarter as he popped the basketball up in the air in the defensive zone and outran the trailing Lincoln player.
“That was a great play, a heads-up play and great hussle all the way around,” Haynes said. “You “You won’t see a lot of a lot better high school basketball plays than that one. That’s just Rugby. He’s the ultimate competitor and a high-IQ basketball player. You saw that combination in that play.”
Yankton’s frontcourt of Cody Oswald and Mors led Yankton with 13 points apiece.
“They did a good job on both ends of the floor guarding Rock and trying to keep him off the glass,” Haynes said. “(They were also) being opportunistic on the offensive end, moving without the basketball and attacking the basket when they had opportunities.”
Schafer led Lincoln with 17 points, while Rock had 14 points.
Lincoln improved to 9-1, while Yankton fell to 5-3.
The Patriots host Sioux Falls Washington Thursday, while Yankton looks to bounce back Thursday against Brandon Valley, whose starters are all taller than six feet.
“Their size, length, athleticism and strength are definitely concerns going into the game,” Haynes said.
Lincoln won the JV game 72-68. Yankton had four players in double-figures, with Matthew Sheldon’s 16 points leading the way. Tucker Gilmore added 15 points, Landon Potts added 14 points, while Carson Ness tallied 13 points.
The Patriots won the sophomore contest 74-39. Carson Ness had 12 points for the Bucks in that contest.
Lincoln won the 9A game 66-47. Easton Feser led Yankton with 14 points.
The Patriots won the 9B game 59-31. Abe O’Brien led the Bucks with 10 points.
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