SALEM– The Flandreau boys’ basketball team won the Big East Conference Tournament on Saturday night topping #2 ranked Sioux Valley 70-40 in the title game.
It was the first conference tourney win for a Flier team since the BEC was formed 19 years ago.
Garretson beat Chester Area 42-38 in the third place game. McCook Central/Montrose topped Parker 47-46 in the fifth place game and Beresford beat Baltic 60-32 in the seventh place game.
Championship vs. Sioux Valley
Flandreau 70, Sioux Valley 40
SALEM – The Fliers used a big second and third quarter to pull away from the Cossacks and win the title.
Flandreau led 12-11 after the first quarter, but outscored Sioux Valley 20-9 in the second to take a 32-20 lead into the locker room. The Fliers blew the game open in the third by outscoring the Cossacks 27-10. They led 59-30 going into the fourth and were able to coast the rest of the way.
Flandreau head coach Brendan Sheppard said it was a big win for his team, but at the end of the day it’s still the regular season.
“We were excited. We played well, hit some shots. I think we kind of caught Sioux Valley on maybe an off night for them. We’re excited and we’ll take the win, but it’s just a regular season game still,” he said.
Flandreau shot 61.4% from the field and was 9-16 from three. Sheppard said, “We attack the basket, so we are a higher shooting percentage team. We don’t really rely on the 3-point shot a ton for our offense. But yeah, we were getting to the paint. We had some good back cuts and some easier shots at the rim, so that helped us,” Sheppard said.
Tash Lunday led the way for the Fliers with 17 points and seven rebounds. Flandreau had four other players score in double figures.
Chase LeBrun had 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Liam Streitz, Alex Anderson and Luke Sheppard each had 10 points.
Coach Sheppard said he liked the balance from his team on Saturday night.
“[Saturday night] we were more balanced. [Lunday] maybe didn’t go off as [much] as he can. Some other guys hit some shots. Maybe Sioux Valley was a little more focused on him. The big change for us this year, or maybe the past two years, is that we’re a much better 3-point shooting team than we have been. So that adds another level for us with scoring,” he said.
Sioux Valley shot 35% from the field and was 8-25 from three. Sioux Valley head coach Bill Vincent said his team just couldn’t get it going offensively.
“… We seemed flat and out of rhythm. It really seemed like Flandreau did a good job of controlling the paint both offensively and defensively. That slowed us down. We didn’t get a lot of good looks. Everything was challenging and tough hard looks at the rim,” he said.
Oliver Vincent led Sioux Valley with 13 points. Hayden Ruesink and Dylen Milton each had six points.
Flandreau won the rebound battle 28-24. The Fliers were 6-10 at the free throw line and the Cossacks were 4-10.
This was Flandreau’s seventh-straight win. The Fliers fell to Hamlin 60-56 in their season opening game, but bounced back and have won every game since. Sheppard said his team was not happy with how they played against Hamlin.
“We’re good and we knew we’re going to be good. We said as long as we can stay healthy, we have a chance to be right there [at the end of the season]. We were obviously very disappointed with our opening loss to Hamlin. We thought we played pretty poorly, but we didn’t sulk on it and turned things around and have been rolling pretty good.”
Sioux Valley dropped to 5-2 on the season. Bill Vincent said his team needs to work on getting better and get over the loss.
“We want to continue to improve each night out and through our practices. We need to understand that [Flandreau] is another really good team that’s as good as anyone in Class A basketball. We need to get ourselves prepared for the next one,” Coach Vincent said.
Flandreau plays at Madison on Thursday. Tip off is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Flandreau 55, Garretson 34
GARRETSON – The Fliers dominated in the second half to secure their spot in the championship.
Flandreau led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter and 24-20 at halftime. The Fliers then outscored the Blue Dragons 17-10 in the third quarter and 14-4 in the fourth to come away with the 55-34 win.
Flandreau shot 39% from the field and was 19-32. The Fliers were 9-12 at the free throw line.
Lunday had 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Fliers. Anderson 12 points. Chase LeBrun and Streitz each had seven points. LeBrun had nine rebounds.
First round- Thursday
Flandreau 63, Parker 52
Lunday topped all scorers with 29 points with LeBrun adding 20 and Streitz, 10 as the Fliers took the opening night win over the Pheasants, 63-52.
Flandreau found themselves down after one period of play, but outscored Parker 52 to 37 in the other three stanzas to earn the win.
Anderson gave out six assists and had two steals.
“Slow start for the Fliers as they didn’t come out with enough intensity early on. After the first few minutes we settled in and played a nice game the rest of the way. We have been shooting the ball well as of late. If that continues, combined with our defense should lead to some good results.”