ABERDEEN — A back-and-forth matchup had the De Smet Bulldogs down by two points at 1:20 in the game, but they rallied for seven unanswered shots for a 60-55 win over the Jones County Coyotes during the opening rounds of the State “B” Boys’ Basketball ‘Tournament Thursday afternoon at NSU Barnett Center in Aberdeen.
The Bulldogs carry a 22-2 record into the championship semifinals tonight against Viborg-Hurley, while Jones County move on to the consolation game with a dropped record of 19-3 to face top-seeded White River.
De Smet were firing to the net from far, with five deep three’s recorded in the opening quarter as the Bulldogs controlled the entire first, but the determined Coyotes trailed close behind.
First on the scoreboard was De Smet’s Cody Cavanaugh, with an early three-pointer after the handoff from, 6-foot, 6-inch senior Trevin Holland.
Freshman guard Rett Osthus made a long bucket, a drive for two plus another couple free-throws, combined with back-to-back shots from three-point territory by Holland for a score of 18-11 for De Smet, and the biggest lead of the game for either team.
The Coyotes cut the lead down to 21-18 to start the second period, before the team’s first lead was claimed midway through the quarter with Alec Whitney for two at the free-throw line for Jones County, ahead at a 25-23 score. Holland was quick on the rebound and took a deep three to reclaim a 27-25 Bulldogs’ lead, before Austin Olson tied it up at 27-27 with a two-point buzzer beater at half-time.
Coming back from the locker rooms, a triple-threat of layups by 6-foot, 1-inch freshman Kalen Garry, sent the Coyotes into a time-out at 31-29 for De Smet, with 6:11 to go in in the third. It was a two-point chasing game throughout most of the quarter, going into the fourth at a 44-42 Bulldogs’ lead.
Jones County gave the Bulldogs a scare in the last moments, with shot for three by Austin Olson followed by a drive for the layup to take a 53-49 Coyotes lead. But De Smet refused to give up the game.
An Osthus bucket put De Smet ahead at 56-55 with 16 seconds to play in the game, before three players crowded Holland and sent the 6’6 forward to the free-throw line for another two. With four seconds to go Garry claimed another two from the Coyotes’ foul, ending the game at 60-55.
De Smet was led in scoring by Garry, a 6-foot, 1-inch senior, with 24 points, while Osthus and Holland each added another 14 for the win.
Olson tallied 23 points to lead the Bulldogs, Morgan Feddersen had 12, while 10 were totaled by Whitney in losing efforts for Jones County.
De Smet 21 6 17 16 — 60
Jones County 18 9 15 13 — 55
De Smet (22-2): Kalen Garry 8 7-9 24; Rett Osthus 4 4-4 14; Trevin Holland 4 2-2 14; Ethan McCune 2 0-0 5; Cody Cavanaugh 1 0-0 3. Totals: 19 13-15 60.
Jones County (19-3): Austin Olson 9 2-2 23; Alec Whitney 5 2-2 12; Morgan Feddersen 4 2-2 10; Kade Brost 3 0-0 8; Riley Rankin 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 6-6 55.
FG: DS — 19-50 38%; JC — 22-51 43%. 3-pt FG: DS — 9-26 (Holland 4, Osthus 2, Garry, Cavanaugh, McCune); JC — 5-15 (Olson 3, Brost 2). Rebounds: DS — 30 (Holland 10); JC — 29 (Olson 10). Fouls: DS — 13; JC — 11. Turnovers: DS — 5; JC — 8.