The Vermillion boys’ basketball team played Sioux Falls Christian last Thursday, Jan. 17, at home. The Tanagers lost 57-68, just one bucket short from being the first team to lose to SFC by single digits this season.

Junior and captain Sam Ward said they played well this game. “We need to focus… and be ready for the next game,” as their next one was planned for the next day but was rescheduled for Saturday (1/19) due to weather.

The game started in Vermillion’s favor as SFC had multiple unforced turnovers, but the Tanagers could only get their largest lead of the game by four because of several missed layups. The first quarter ended with Vermillion down 12-14.

The game remained close throughout the second quarter. Vermillion outscored the competition 18-15 in the second, ending the half ahead by one. Throughout the game, there was a total of 11 lead changes.

In the third quarter, the momentum began to shift towards SFC. Despite the SFC coach receiving a technical for getting rowdy over a charge called against them, the Tanagers were still outscored 21-10.

The opponents had their largest lead by 17 early in the fourth quarter. Vermillion worked to close the gap towards the end with several 3-pointers, but it was not enough to hand SFC their first loss of the season. This game brought the Tanagers to 5-4 after the 57-68 loss.

Junior Max Mayer led the Tanagers with 13 points. Ward had eight points and the team-high six rebounds and six assists. Sophomores Dillon Gestring and Connor Saunders each had nine points. Gestring also had four steals and one block. Jakob Dobney had eight points, and Noah Gilbertson had seven.

SFC had two players with double-doubles and two more scoring in double-digits. Mitchell Goodbary had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Zach Witte had 13 and 10 rebounds. Dawson Mulder had 12, going 4-7 from behind the arc. Mitchell Oostra had 11 and went 3-4 from deep.

Continuing with their demanding schedule, the boys had a quick turnaround as both girls and boys went to Garretson last Saturday (1/19). This past Tuesday (1/22), they had another doubleheader at home against West Central before playing Dell Rapids on the home court this Thursday (1/24) for another with the girls.

“It will be tough, but every game is a new opportunity,” said Ward. “This is a tough stretch, but hopefully we’ll pull games out and get a couple of wins.”

The boys’ next game is this upcoming Saturday for the Dakota XII/NEC Clash in Madison.

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