SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Roosevelt will put his undefeated record on the line when he crosses paths with Yankton in the KELOLAND.com Game of the Week on Friday, Jan. 21.
For the first time in six years, Yankton is without Matthew Mors, who graduated last year as one of the most decorated players in South Dakota history.
“Obviously a transition for our coaching staff and players to learn how to play without him now. I think the guys are hanging on and have done a good job so far,” the coach- Yankton chief Chris Haynes “The positive thing for our guys this year is that they knew there would be more opportunities, with more roles and expanded roles and things like that.”
Despite losing Mors, the Bucks still have a 5-5 start. This strong start can be attributed to Yankton’s ability to create balance on offense.
“Balance is definitely a word we talk about a lot. We’re not asking anyone to do what Matthew did and we’re not going to replace all that production with one guy, so it has to be in committee,” said Haynes “Everyone has to do their part and do their bit.”
Roosevelt won the 2021 Class ‘AA’ State Championship. The Rough Riders are building on that momentum this season as they go a perfect 7-0, thanks to the leadership of their ten seniors.
“We’re senior led by all of our guys playing for us right now. It really is a fun group to coach. They do a lot of really good things, but they’re just a very selfless bunch and I’ve told people time and time again, all they want to do is win,” the Roosevelt head coach said. , Mitch Begeman.
Senior Marcus Phillips leads the Rough Riders in scoring with over 15 points per game. However, Roosevelt’s success stemmed from their offensive depth. 13 players score at least one point per game, including five players who average more than five points per game.
“When you try to defend us night after night we have a different guy who can step in and we’ve been very lucky to have several guys who play well in a lot of games,” Begeman said. “When you do that, you become hard to defeat.”
Roosevelt will host Yankton on Friday in the KELOLAND.com Game of the Week as the Bucks look to eliminate number one.
“We will have to be able to manage their defensive pressure, especially up there on the road. If we turn the ball over and give them easy baskets or they get lay-ups from turnovers, that’s going to give them momentum and get the crowd into the game,” Haynes said. “For us, we’re definitely going to have to take care of the basketball and deal with that defensive pressure.”
“We have to be able to defend these types of teams because they can score quickly. If you can’t defend those shooters and they land shots, they can beat you and we know that,” Begeman said. “We’re going to try to stay within our offensive pattern and system of play, but we know defensively we’re going to have to protect these guys and really get our hands up and challenge those shots.”
The Bucks and Rough Riders will give a tip at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 21. You can stream the action on KELOLAND.com.
Play-by-play will be provided by Grant Sweeter of KELOLAND.com