The Cavaliers pulled away from Warner 59-48 on Saturday at the Aberdeen Civic Arena in a high school boys’ basketball contest. Roncalli came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat Sisseton on Friday night. The Cavaliers out-scored the Redmen 22-14 in the final period on Friday. Roncalli out-scored the Monarchs 21-14 in the final period on Saturday.
“It is a big confidence boost,” Roncalli junior Zach Andera said about closing games. “They are always close in the state tournament — and that is why we try to play for. It is always good closing in the fourth quarter.”
Roncalli held a slim 38-34 lead going into the final eight minutes. The Cavaliers pulled ahead 45-35 after opening the fourth on a 7-1 run. The Monarchs were forced to burn two early timeouts in the opening moments of the fourth due to the full court pressure of the Cavaliers.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well in the first half,” Roncalli coach Todd Neuendorf said, “but we stayed with it on the defensive end and in the second half the shots started falling and I thought (Warner) really struggled getting the ball up the floor.”
The Monarchs cut the lead to 45-39, but Roncalli stretched the lead back to 52-41 with 3½ minutes left. The Cavaliers then made 7-for-10 free throws in the final two minutes to come earn the win.
“When we run and jump them the whole game, we tire them out,” Andera said. “We think that is what works.”
Kory Schwan paced the Cavaliers in scoring again with 18 points, while Andera added 10 points. Warner brothers Jarrod and Derrek Tuszka powered the Monarchs with 15 points and seven boards apiece.
“They are going to get their points,” Andera said. “We can’t let other people get theirs and I think we did that tonight.”
That was simply the game plan defensively for the Cavaliers entering the game. It worked as the two 6-foot-4 brothers combined for 30 of the 48 points. The next high scorer for Warner was Tennison Easton with six points.
“I thought we moved them off their spot and made them take some difficult shots,” Neuendorf said about the Tuszkas. “Our focus was making sure the other guys didn’t do something they weren’t supposed to.”
The contest was close early as there were five lead changes in the first quarter. Warner led 14-13 after the first period, but Roncalli led 27-26 at halftime. The game was tied one more time in the third quarter at 29-all with 6½ minutes left. The Cavaliers then pulled ahead 38-34 after the third period.
Warner (8-2) will host Langford Area on Monday in a Lake Region Conference boys’ basketball game. Aberdeen Roncalli (10-3) will host Miller on Monday at 8 p.m. at Roncalli Gym in another non-conference boys’ basketball game.
ABERDEEN RONCALLI: Kory Schwan 6 3-4 18, Kendal Deutsch 4 1-1 9, Zach Andera 3 4-4 10, Brayden McNeary 2 2-6 7, Dominic King 1 0-0 2, Layne Holzer 1 0-1 2, Zach Schaefbauer 2 2-2 7, Lucas Lorenz 0 4-4 4. Totals 19 16-22 59.
WARNER: Mitch Boesl 1 1-2 3, Clay Rozell 1 0-0 3, Tennison Easton 2 0-1 6, Derrek Tuszka 7 1-4 15, Jarrod Tuszka 7 1-5 15, Dirk Backman 1 0-1 2, Ryan Heilman 0 4-4 4. Totals 19 7-17 48.
Aberdeen Roncalli (10-3)…13…27…38…59
3-point field goals — Schwan 3, McNeary, Schaefbauer, Rozell, Easton 2. Total fouls — Roncalli 19; Warner 19. Rebounds — Roncalli 23 (Andera 6); Warner 23 (D. Tuszka 7, J. Tuszka 7). Turnovers — Roncalli 7; Warner 14. Officials — Jay Kusler, Lee Johnson, Steve Markley. B Game — Roncalli 58-21.