Roosevelt Uses Frenzied Atmosphere, Remain Perfect at Home
Roosevelt's boys basketball team celebrated Senior Night in front of a rowdy, passionate final regular-season home crowd on Friday in a 63-49 victory over cross-town rival Lincoln.
It was senior Jeremiah Clark's second half play that was most valuable and most clutch. He scored 19 second-half points to lead all scorers with 27 on the night.
In the first half, the Rough Riders shot only 30 percent from the floor but were not discouraged by the looks they got.
"At half we said to our guys to stay confident, stay aggressive, those shots will fall in the second half and that's exactly what happened," said Roosevelt coach Lee Taylor.
The Riders trailed 19-18 late first half and went on a 12-0 nothing run to grab a 30-19 lead inside the first two minutes of the third quarter. Lincoln got within six points at 48-42 early in the fourth period, but the Riders used a 15-7 run down the stretch to win. The Riders showed the type of poise in the second half you’d expect from the top-ranked Class "AA" team.
The environment was deafening at times in the second half as the Riders collected six three-pointers in the third quarter alone with Clark nailing three in that period including a buzzer-beater.
Roosevelt's defense was baiting Lincoln (10-10) into one extra pass or a quick shot most of the night and caused a lot of turnovers too.
The win improves Roosevelt's record to 19-1 and 11-0 at home and the number one seed overall in seed points going into Tuesday's first round of the playoffs.
"The frustrating part of the season is that this team can play with anyone," said Pats head coach Jeff Halseth. "Sometimes we are all on the same and play well and some nights we don't seem to be on the same page and we are not playing as well."
Roosevelt senior Lucas Wilbur played such a gutsy game too. He missed Thursday's practice and missed school Friday and didn't arrive to the gym on Friday night until about hour before he took the court because his grandpa passed away, but he played very inspired basketball diving on the floor often and battled for rebounds and loose balls all game long.
Lee Taylor on players that contribute something valuable everyday or every game that the fan may not see but he does.....
"Just our scout team….bottom end Seniors who when we went through roster cuts at the beginning I laid it out for them that opportunities to play would not be there often. If they wanted to be a part of the team this year, their focus would be getting the guys that play ready for every contest. That means running scout team and taking ownership of that role. They have done a great job of learning all the other teams offenses and concepts through out the year to get us ready for games. Creighton Thompson, Jason Nelson, Ogeydh Tor, Zach Ekeren, Ty Warkenthien have been the main guys who have done scout team! Without their dedication to that part we would not be where we are today plus busting their butt in practice everyday in drills and scrimmaging even though they don’t normally play."
First-round pairings boys District tournament:
O'Gorman at Roosevelt
Watertown at Brookings
Washington at Brandon Valley
Yankton at Lincoln