Girls hold on against Rangers

Jason Ferguson

By Jason Ferguson

The Custer High School girls basketball team took a 12 point lead into the final quarter of last Friday evening’s game against the Hill City Rangers and then held on for dear life in a 48-47 win at Gins Gym in Hill City.
The Wildcats fell behind 12-7 at the end of the first quarter, but used a 20-point second quarter to take a 27-21 lead before adding to that lead in the third quarter.
The Rangers had a last-second shot to attempt to win the game, but were unable to hit the shot and the Wildcats collected the rebound as time expired.
“It was an exciting game. It was a fun atmosphere to play in and a packed gym,” Custer head coach Tobey Cass said. “It was good basketball all the way around.”
The Wildcats were aided by a hot-shooting night from the three-point line, as the Wildcats made eight triples, four of which came from Ally Cass, who was four of five from deep while leading the team with 16 points. Kellyn Kortemeyer was the team’s leading rebounder with eight.
Coach Cass said he felt the Wildcats started to get a little tired toward the end of the game, having just played Red Cloud in an up-and-down game the night before. As such, the Wildcats started to go cold late in the game as the Rangers heated up. The Rangers also made 13 of 20 free throw attempts, while Custer hit on only six of 12 attempts.
“We’ve bee on the low side of free throws, we need to work on that,” Cass said about the team’s recent dearth of free throw attempts. “We also need to make the ones we take.”
Cass said the team’s defensive effort was a big part of earning the victory over the Rangers.
“We pride ourselves on playing hard defense,” he said. “For the most part I think we have done that all year.”
Last Thursday evening the girls traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where they were battered by the 11-1 Red Cloud Crusaders 66-32.
“It was a fun game up and down the court,” Cass said. “Red Cloud has a tough team with a lot of seniors. They are good. They’re going to be a tough team in March.”
Cass said the lopsided score wasn’t necessarily indicative of the way the game went, saying Custer hung in the game until the later stages, adding the Wildcats were able to run with the Crusaders but missed some shots they should have made.
“They were making shots and we weren’t,” Cass said.
Statistics for this game were unavailable as of press time.
The Wildcats began their week of play July 25 at Hart Ranch where they were defeated 70-52 by Rapid City Christian.
It was a far different game from Custer’s victory over the Comets at the Lakota Nation Invitational last December, as the Comets knocked down 11 three-pointers and used an 18-2 second-quarter run to come away with the win. The Comets also hit 10 of their 14 first half free throw attempts.
“They couldn’t miss and we weren’t hitting,” Cass said. “They were shooting them from deep and were just on. We stayed man (defense) to try to combat that. Even with hands in their face they were drilling them.”
Custer mounted a bit of a comeback in the third quarter, cutting the Comet advantage to single digits at 49-41 before the Comets answered with a run of their own to return the advantage to double digits by the end of the third period.
“Generally when we score 50-some points we don’t lose,” Cass said. “The girls played hard. They never give up.”
Cass was again the leading scorer for Custer with 19 points. Josey Wahlstrom added 10 points.
The Wildcats, now 7-6 on the season, look to get a winning streak going this week when they host Hot Springs Thursday evening at 6 p.m. before traveling to Belle Fourche Saturday for an afternoon game that begins at 1 p.m.
The Bison come to Custer sporting a 2-11 record, while the Broncs are 9-5, third in the region and have yet to lose at home.
“Belle Fourche is well-coached. We’ve seen them a lot. It will be a tight one, a back-and-forth type game as well,” Cass said. “They like to press, so we’re going to have to get the ball up the court.”
Next Monday the Wildcats will travel to Rapid City for a matchup with the St. Thomas More Cavaliers, a makeup game from earlier in the year. The Cavaliers are 11-3 and are ranked in the top five in the state.
“They are a tough team, but if the girls come ready to play we can get them,” Cass said. “I honestly believe we can beat anybody if we play, and we can get beat by almost anybody if we don’t.”
Custer    7    20    12    9    —48
HC    12    9    6    20    —47
Custer—Allie Kelley 2-7 0-0 5, Ramsey Karim 3-6 0-0 8, Josey Wahlstrom 2-8 0-0 4, Ally Cass 5-8 2-2 16, Alice Sedlacek 3-8 0-2 7, Bailey Cass 0-1 1-2 1, Kellyn Kortemeyer 2-5 3-6 7. Totals: 17-43 6-12 48
Hill City—Alaina Dean 1-2 0-0 2, Lillie Ross 0-3 3-4 3, Abby Siemonsma 5-13 3-7 15, Maggie Taylor 4-8 1-2 9, Whitney Edwards 5-12 5-6 15, Anna Dean 1-1 1-1 3, Cassidy Moody 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-40 13-20 47.
Three-point goals: Custer 8 (A. Cass 4, Karim 2, Kelley, Sedlacek). HC 2 (Siemonsma 2). Rebounding: Custer 24 (Kortemeyer 8), HC 32 (Siemonsma 7). Steals: Custer 9, HC 5. Assists: Custer 11, HC 12. Turnovers: Custer 17, HC 19. total fouls: Custer 21, HC 13. Fouled out: B. Cass.
Custer    15    7    21    9    —52
RCC    16    20    20    14    —70
Custer—Allie Kelley 1-4 0-0 3, Ramsey Karim 0-4 0-0 0, Josey Wahlstrom 2-9 6-8 10, Ally Cass 8-11 3-5 19, Alice Sedlacek 3-10 2-2 8, Bailey Cass 2-4 0-2 4, Maya Tennyson 0-1 0-0 0, Kellyn Kortemeyer 4-8 0-4 8. Totals: 20-52 8-17 52.
Rapid City Christian—Hayden Thorton 5-7 7-8 19, Abby Thomson 1-2 0-0 3, Nina Wallum 1-1 1-2 3, Savanah Armendariz 1-3 1-2 3, Holliday Thorton 4-7 0-0 11, Millie Selfridge 1-2 0-0 2, Olivia Kieffer 3-9 7-10 15, Sarah Enos 5-8 1-2 14.
Three-point goals: Custer 4 (A. Cass 3, Kelley), RCC 11 (Hol. Thorton 3, Enos 3, Ha. Thorton 2, Kieffer 2, Thomson). Rebounding: Custer 34 (Wahlstrom 8), RCC 24 (Kieffer 8). Steals: Custer 8, RCC 7. Assists: Custer 11, RCC 14. Turnovers: Custer 15, RCC 13. Total fouls: Custer 16, RCC 15. Fouled out: none.

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