BROOKINGS – The Moody County matchup turned into a rout as Flandreau beat Colman-Egan 61-42 in the 23rd annual Boys’ Michael J. Entringer Scholarship Classic on Saturday afternoon at Bob Jostad Gymnasium.
“It was a good win,” said Flier coach Brendan Sheppard. “We played Dakota Valley on Thursday and that was a really big game for our boys, so I was a little bit concerned coming in here, the intensity level is not quite as high.
“But we played good defense. (Bodee) Groos was really hot in the first half. We changed up some stuff and locked him up. It was good for us.”
The Fliers used stingy defense and a solid performance on offense to take control early. They led 13-7 after a quarter and 29-15 at halftime.
The Hawks shot just 31.5-percent (17-of-54) for the game, including 27.3 percent (6-of-22) in the first half.
“We’ve been really working on our defense in practice and working on our intensity, because last year we struggled on defense,” said junior Dylan LeBrun, the game’s MVP. “We’re just trying to apply more ball pressure and stuff like that.”
LeBrun scored 13 of his game high 18 points in the first half. He finished 7-of-11 from the field and also grabbed nine rebounds.
Groos scored 11 of his team’s 15 points over the first 16 minutes but managed just two markers in the third stanza as Flandreau extended its lead to 47-22.
“They’re a good team; they played hard,” said CE coach Jeff Larsen. “We have to be able to match their intensity; we didn’t quite do that today – no ifs, ands or buts about it, we didn’t match their intensity.
“We struggled offensively. Our execution was not there. I need to do a better job making sure we’re executing in practice, so that one’s on me.”
Flandreau’s Xavier Pavlis totaled 13 points and seven boards.
Nathan Cloud scored seven points off the bench. Dalyn Bakkedahl had six points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Connor LeBrun added six points and Teddy Taylor four.
The Fliers have won their first five games and are heading into another big week.
They play host to the first two rounds of the Big East Conference Tournament, beginning with a first-round matchup against Baltic on Thursday at 8 p.m. The semifinals are Friday, followed by the place games Saturday in Garretson.
“We’re off to a good start,” Sheppard said. “We have some nice wins over Chester and Dakota Valley. We’re rolling well right now as long as we stay healthy. The kids have bought into what we’re trying to do here; we’re looking good.”
LeBrun, a third-team All-State selection as a sophomore, agreed.
“I like it a lot,” he said of the team’s progression. “We’re doing well and we just need to keep it up, keep going.”
Colman-Egan, which won the Class 9A state football title in the fall, is 3-1 on the hardwood.
“We have to keep getting better every day, as you can see,” Larsen noted. “I like our group; I love our boys; we work hard.
“We’ve got a good group here to work with, and we’re going to put this behind us and we’re going to move forward.”
The Hawks travel to Baltic on Tuesday.