CITY, S.D. - As a popular TV chef would say, the Lakota Invitational
Tournament "kicked it up a notch."
match-up between the Pine Ridge Thorpes and the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte
Braves, the top-seeded team for the tournament, was the first meeting
in 15 years for the two teams. They met for the championship and
this year Pine Ridge got its revenge.
took an overtime period to decide the contest. The game was tied
at 56 at the end of regulation, after four quarters of very close
scoring. The two teams were so evenly matched that it was just a
matter of who was ahead when the final buzzer went off.
Ridge managed to manhandle the Braves in overtime partly due the
untimely foul-out of Jordan Mendoza for the Braves, and two very
timely bank shots in overtime by Daelen High Wolf.
the evening of stellar basketball started with the ladies as the
McLaughlin Lady Midgets took on the Todd County Falcons. The Falcons
had to overcome a 10-point deficit late in the game and with two
minutes to play they tied the game.
game stayed too close for some spectators, and it wasnt until
the final two seconds of play with the Midgets ahead by one point
when Sunni Busch picked a loose ball and went for the lay-up that
ended the game with the Falcons ahead by one.
fans were disappointed and upset and not only at the referees. Some
said the team gave the game away.
two teams started out jittery, with not much speed or movement of
the ball early in the first quarter and the Todd County Falcons
pressed McLaughlin hard and early. Turnovers were more prevalent
that points early on but once the teams settled in and picked up
the pace, the game changed composure and it became a game of strategy,
skill and speed.
the second quarter both teams found where someone had hid the basket
and began the scoring drives.
Busch, it may not yet be the game of her life, but she was the driving
force that helped make plays and then she dropped the final bucket.
She said later it happened very fast, she just grabbed the ball
and went for the basket and "it went in."
doesnt get simpler than that.
two lady teams fought through a field of 16 teams to get to the
finals. This is first time a large crowd that nearly filled the
Rapid City Civic Center had seen girls basketball merged with
boys at the LNI.
ladies did not play as a warm up for the boys. They in their own
right have earned a top position in the first ever combined boys
and girls LNI. They proved their worth throughout the tournament
with outstanding basketball and quality sportsmanship.
boys made the crowds stay up way past their bedtimes. In fact a
youth dance that started at 9 p.m. was just ending as the final
buzzer of the night was sounding. The game ended at 11:48 p.m.
Red Cloud Crusaders took third place over McLaughlin with a 75-72
win. Douglas beat Todd County for fifth place. St. Thomas More defeated
Lower Brule in a hot-handed shooting exhibition by 59-48 for seventh
Yates handed Crow Creek a defeat, 57-50 for ninth place; Hill City
beat Little Wound 52-34 for eleventh place. Crazy Horse defeated
Custer, last years LNI champion and runner-up in the state
Class A tournament, 58-36 for thirteenth place and St. Francis overran
Takini 84-71 for the fifteenth slot.
Rapid City Junior Varsity squad took third place away from Pine
Ridge, 64-51. Fifth place was taken by St. Thomas More over Little
Wound, 60-54. Red Cloud defeated Custer 45-43 for seventh place.
The ninth slot was awarded to Hill City over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte
with a 47-33 victory. Crow Creek overtook Douglas 65-51 for an 11th
place finish. Takini beat Lower Brule 41-37 for 13th place and the
15th position was won by St. Frances with a big victory over Crazy