The Bulldogs traveled to Aberdeen on Friday, February 25, and came home with a 51-47 victory, but the Roncalli Cavaliers didn’t make it easy. At one point, Aberdeen led by 11 points and the Cavs continued to hound the Dawgs from one end of the court to the other. Once again, it all came down to crunch time.
Roncalli unraveled under the pressure of the final two minutes and turned over the ball twice. With 22 seconds remaining, Stevie Ash hit two critical three throws to close the deal.
Ash ended with 13 points, including three three-point buckets. He had three steals. Garrett Mertens also put up 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Bennett Schwenn led the Dawgs in scoring. He made 16 points. Schwenn also grabbed six rebounds and added two assists. Justus Osborne contributed four points and four rebounds. Kellen Hoeke canned one from three-point land and pulled off two steals. Karson Weber hit both of his free throws.
The Bulldogs connected on 43 percent of their field goals and dropped in 71 percent from the charity stripe to put up a “W” in the last regular game of their season.
Roncalli’s leading scorers were Keegan Stewart with 15 points and five rebounds and Zee Mounga with 14 points and seven rebounds. The Cavaliers hit one third –16 of 48 — of their field goal attempts. They were 56 percent from the line.
Scores by Periods: Milbank 11 13 13 14 Total 51 Roncalli 18 8 13 8 Total 47
What’s next for the Bulldogs? Milbank travels to Groton and neutral territory to start the Region 1A Tournament of the 2022 SDHSAA High School Boys Basketball Playoff Brackets on Tuesday, March 1. The Bulldogs, who sit at 9-11 overall take on the Florence Henry Flyers, who sit at 8-12. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
Milbank is 5-2 in the region; Florence-Henry is 2-3. The Bulldogs defeated the Flyers by a score of 47-44 on January 21 in Milbank.