Saturday’s city showdown/season finale between Washington and Roosevelt could generally be described as competitive and even — save for one glaring disparity.
Washington attempted 26 free-throws; Roosevelt, just three. Add up the extra scoring opportunities and the Warriors had enough to stave off the Riders for a 52-48 win.
“We can’t send them to the foul line 26 times and we shoot three and expect to win,” said Roosevelt coach Derris Buus. “We’re close. But we just need to be tougher in some areas and clean up some simple mistakes.”
Cold late-game shooting didn’t help things for the Riders, who held a 29-24 lead at the break but managed just 19 second-half points. Playing to one of the team’s strengths, Roosevelt was able to get contributions up and down the lineup — five players had seven or more points, including three off the bench. But the Riders shot just 8-for-25 from the field in the second half while the Warriors connected at a 50 percent tick and hit on 8-of-11 free throws.
Washington’s inside emphasis was a big part of the turnaround.
“That’s why we struggled in the first half,” said Coach Craig Nelson. “We were shooting 16-to-20 footers with 25 seconds on the shot clock, and not making them work defensively. So we needed to either get post touches or our guards driving into the paint and drawing more fouls. As the game wore on, we are able to do that more.”
On the flip side, Buus said that for all the good Roosevelt did, at times there were errors not locating the open man.
Roosevelt led 39-37 going into the fourth quarter, and the teams traded big shots. Jack Talley, who led all scorers with 14 points, had connected at the glass and made good on a pair of contested jump shots. Over the same stretch, Roosevelt’s Tristan Teichmeier knocked in an open 3-pointer (set up by a drive and kickout from guard Alex Fiegen), while sophomore Christophe Bwanya knocked in an elbow jumper.
Washington’s Zach Heinz tied the game at 46-all with 1:55 left in the game, and with the double-bonus at the team’s back, the Warriors made it a foul-line game to the finish.
The Riders (10-10) had difficulty setting up a play, wasting valuable seconds inside the game’s final 20 seconds.
With the win, Washington (16-4) finished the season on a 12-game winning streak.
“We’re proudest of our guys in the Brandon Valley win and the Roosevelt win” Nelson said, “maybe more so than wins like against Sioux City East, where you put up a ton of points and look really good. Finding a way to win those hard-fought games — we’re proud of that.”
Roosevelt, meanwhile, has had eight of their 10 losses come within 10 points or less.
“We’re not very far off. I thought we controlled this game for a good portion of it,” Buus said. “We’re close.”
WASHINGTON 52, ROOSEVELT 48
Talley, Jack 7-12 0-1 14; Siganos, Sam 2-5 3-4 7; Keller, Carter 2-6 1-2 6; Uttecht, Logan 1-5 5-7 7; Goeman, Isaac 2-4 2-7 6; Gezehagne, Sam 1-2 0-0 2; Arroyo, Angel 1-3, 0-0 2; Heins, Zach 2-6 4-5 8. Totals 18-44 15-26 52.
Teichmeier, Tristan 5-11 1-2 12; Fiegen, Alex 1-3 0-0 3; Thune, Jett 3-8 0-0 7; Shariff, Omar 1-8 0-0 3; Bwanya, Christopher 4-13 0-0 8; Christopher, Manny 3-3 0-0 7; Dufy, Chase 3-4 1-1 8. Totals 20-53 2-3 48.
3-point goals—SFW 1-8 (Keller, Carter 1-3), SFR 6-18 (Fiegen, Alex 1-1; Thune, Jett 1-5; Sharif, Omar 1-3; Teichmeier, Tristan 1-3; Christopher, Manny 1-1; Duffy, Chase 1-1). Fouled out—SFW-None, SFR-None. Rebounds—SFW 19 (Uttecht, Logan 8; Heins, Zach 6), SFR 31 (Teichmeier, Tristan 8). Assists—SFW 4 (Siganos, Sam 1; Talley, Jack 1; Uttecht, Logan 1; Heins, Zach 1), SFR 7 (Thune, Jett 2; Bwanya, Christophe 2). Total fouls—SFW 12, SFR 19.