PIERRE – A shaky second quarter cost the Fliers as they lost to St. Thomas More, 58-45, in the Class A SoDak 16 matchup at T.F. Riggs High in Pierre, March 5.
Flandreau netted just five points in the second quarter as the Cavaliers led 35-17 at halftime as Caden Casey scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the first half.
The Fliers battled back to within eight points with 4 minutes to play and were on the line for a pair of free throws that could make it a six-point game.
But they couldn’t convert the charity tosses and the Cavaliers pulled away to the 13-point win to punch their ticket into next week’s Class A State Basketball Tournament to be held in Sioux Falls.
Tash Lunday led Flandreau with 16 points and seven rebounds. Nate Kneebone added 11 points and five boards, while Connor LeBrun chipped in with 11 points as the Fliers finished with a 13-10 record.
“We only scored five points in the second quarter and that cost us,” said Flier head coach Brendan Sheppard. “We went too fast on offense and turnovers led to some easy baskets.
“I was proud that the boys battled back to get within eight with four minutes left.”
“Overall it was a great season for us. We improved dramatically during the course of the year. If you look at the teams that made the Class A and B state tournaments many of them were on our schedule and we played them tough,” concluded Sheppard.
PIERRE – Five-time defending Class A state champion St. Thomas More pulled away in the second half to defeat Flandreau, 56-42, in a SoDak 16 girls’ basketball matchup March 7 at T.F. Riggs High School.
The 10th-seeded Fliers led by as many as seven points in the opening quarter before settling for a 17-16 advantage after 8 minutes.
“We started the game off strong, but unfortunately lost some of that energy and sharpness as the game progressed,” Head Coach Megan Severtson said.
“I thought their defensive pressure got to us and really took us out of the rhythm and flow of any offensive set we tried to run. STM is a good team with a strong tradition of winning and while we showed that we can compete, we came up short of our season goal,” she added.
The seventh-seeded Cavaliers opened the second period with a 12-1 run to move ahead 28-18. However, Flandreau rallied late to cut the deficit to 30-28 at halftime.
STM’s lead reached 11 points in the third, and the Cavaliers were up 44-35 heading to the fourth.
The Fliers’ Ashtyn Bertram buried a 3-pointer early in the final stanza.
The Cavaliers answered with four consecutive points as Skylar Sullivan turned a steal into a layup in transition and Haleigh Timmer added a bucket to make it 48-38 with 6:40 showing on the clock.
Hannah Parsley and Madie Hursey made free throws to cut the deficit to 48-40 with 3:40 remaining.
Timmer weaved through the defense for a layup and then scored again with 2:20 to go as STM took control, leading 52-40 with 2:20 left.
Parsley went 2-for-2 at the line at the 1:54 mark. Sullivan made one foul shot on the other end, leaving the score at 53-42 with 1:41 to play.
STM’s Ciara Benson made 1-of-2 free throws. Timmer grabbed the rebound on the miss and her putback provided for the final margin with 1:14 remaining.
Timmer scored a game-high 22 points – one above her season average – for St. Thomas More, which improved to 18-5.
Sullivan added 15 points. She hit four 3-pointers in the opening half.
Parsley paced Flandreau with 13 points.
“Thank you to all the fans who made the trip to Pierre,” said Severtson. “We had a great crowd and because of you we were able to play in a big-game atmosphere similar to that of a state tournament.”
The Fliers finished the season with a 16-6 mark.