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The Red Cloud Crusaders stormed to a 2nd place finish at Lakota Nation, have endured some injuries, but appear to be healthy heading into the heat of their schedule.

Is a healthy Red Cloud boys squad the team to beat in Region 7A?
Jan 25, 2017

By Rich Winter

On Jan. 7, Christian McGhee's Red Cloud boys basketball team was on top of the world. The Crusaders marched to a 2nd place finish at the Lakota Nation Invitational, beat Pine Ridge @ Pine Ridge and were coming off a 61-36 dismantling of Belle Fourche.


McGhee's club was 6-1 and looked poised to run rough-shod through Region 7 and perhaps make a crack at the top-10 rankings in Class A boys basketball in South Dakota.


But, Mcghee's guys had some adversity to deal with!


Starters Ale Rama and Russell Leader Charge were sidelined with stress fractures and 6-foot-3 inch junior, Louis Her Many Horses missed a game, or two, with a severely sprained ankle. 


That's a lot of firepower missing, and it showed as the Crusaders got clobbered by Little Wound, 91-57 and despite Rama's return and a yoemen effort from Wakinyan Luta Forney (25 points, 10 rebounds), the Crusaders lost a second consecutive game, 79-76 (OT) @ Todd County.


6-1 turned into 6-3 and the Saders couldn't do a whole lot except wait for their arsenal to get healthy. 


They're healthy!


Red Cloud pummeled CEB, @ CEB, 75-48 and crushed Custer, in Custer, 69-46. 

Just about half-way through the boys basketball season in South Dakota and it's a crowded mess on top of the Region 7A boys standings.

Region 7Seed PointsW-L
Little Wound 44.15 10-3
Pine Ridge 43.73 8-3
Red Cloud 43.45 8-3
St. Francis Indian 41.18 6-5
Winner 40.64 6-5
Todd County 40.45 5-6
Bennett County 38.25 3-9


Despite those back-to-back losses, the Crusaders are getting healthy as they head into the back half of their season. 

Thursday's game with a bad Lead/Deadwood squad should have promising results, but then, we'll find out exactly what this club is made of.


Lead-Deadwood Red Cloud        
Jan 31 7:30 p.m. MT Hill City Hill City        
Feb 04 12:30 p.m. MT Sisseton Sioux Falls- Pentagon        
Feb 07 7:30 p.m. MT St. Thomas More Red Cloud

Last time I checked, Sisseton was 9-2 and having a heck of a season and on Feb. 7, the Red Cloud boys get a crack at No. 1 St. Thomas More.


I wonder, in some capacity, if the spate of injuries the Red Cloud guys have gone through, ultimately won't make this team better going down the stetch. With Rama and Leader Charge out, other players, Forney and Garnier were forced to step forward, and even deeper down the bench, other players were forced to step up.


And that makes Red Cloud a really interesting team coming down the stretch. 

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