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Road Warriors outlast Todd County in two OT thriller
Feb 10, 2017

By Rich Winter

At the start of the basketball week, St. Francis coach Rich Crow Eagle noted just how big the week that was/is was going to be for the St. Francis boys basketball team. 


Four games, all on the road, in the space of seven days with St. Francis needing to win every game to get back in the hunt for home-court in the first-round of the Region 7A playoffs. 


On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Warriors were 7-6

* Feb. 4 - The Warriors defeated Redfield/Doland 69-57 as Thane Witt 22, Jadis Metcalf 18 and Joe LaPointe 10 all reached double-figures on the night.

* Tuesday, Feb. 7 - Trailing 46-45 with 18.2 seconds remaining in a game AT Winner, the Warriors ran some clock before Ty Arcoren, drove, drew the defenders and dished it to an open David Espinoza who nothing but netted a 10-foot baseline jumper that gave the Warriors a 47-45 win. Ty Arcoren led the Warriors with ten points but eight players scored and five of them had six or more points in a hard-fought and tough win over Winner. 


* Friday, Feb. 9 - In the midst of playing their biggest rival, Todd County, the St. Francis guys dug deep, and I mean freaking deep to defeat TC, 71-69 in double freaking overtime.


After trailing most of the second half, and 61-54 late in regulation, Crow Eagle's kids came roaring back. Trailing 64-60, Tay Arcoren drained an ice-in-his-veins trey to close the gap to 64-63. After a missed shot from St. Francis, Warrior big man, Isaac Walker hustled to tie up a Todd County player and retain possession.


With 14.5 second remaining, Mahpiya Horse Looking was fouled. The junior missed the first, made the second and WE headed to OT, tied at 64. 


Arcoren made 1-2 free throws to give St. Francis a 65-64 but Todd County senior, Lucas Iron Heart knocked down a shot on a baseline drive to give Todd County a 66-65 lead. And then, Shane Witt, acting like he's played a million games with his twin brother, Thane, found his brother on a pretty feed that Thane finished to give St. Francis a 67-66 lead. 


But Iron Heart answered with an offensive rebound/putback to give Todd County a 68-67 lead with 1:55 remaining. 


Another Thane Witt bucket gave St. Francis a 69-68 lead. Isaac Walker picked up his fifth foul of the game with 26 seconds left, sending Iron Heart to the line.


The senior made one of two and We headed to a second OT with a nervous buzz permeating Galen Busch court at Ben Reifle.


With players fouled out on both sided and eveyrone in the building exhausted....Niether team scored much in the second OT period. 




David Espinoza, who hit the game winner against Winner took a pass near the free-throw line, powered down the lane and laid up a layup at the 1:17 mark of the second OT.


And that was all she wrote....

And now, St. Francis is 10-6 heading into the final game of the four game road gauntlet, Saturday at CEB. 


The Warriors trail Red Cloud now by percentage points for third place in Region 7A.

Little Wound 45.53 14-3

Pine Ridge 43.88 12-4

Red Cloud 42.88 10-6

St. Francis Indian 42.50 10-6

Winner 41.07 8-7

Todd County 40.76 9-8

Bennett County 38.71 5-12


Crow Eagle, who has seen his share of big games said his guys needed a game in an environment like they saw last night. 


Just that we haven't had that type of intensity and atmosphere in quite a while, I know our kids needed that - it had a postseason type fill to it," Crow Eagle said.


Despite being down most of the second half, Crow Eagle's guys battled back!


"In the second half I think we got it to 2 points right away, then they made a run to get it back up to 8 or 9. We couldn't get it going offensively and had to turn to our defensive pressure in hoping to create some turnovers. It seemed to work well but to get over the hump in our 3rd time out, we just stressed that we need to hit another gear defensively - run and jump to double, to hopefully cause some mental errors. Being positive that all the hard work they do in our defensive drills, is now translating into the game - and if they keep working hard good things will happen for us," Crow Eagle said.


If you haven't seen the Warriors as of late, the team is running their offense, making the extra pass and getting good shots on most of their possessions.


"Over-all happy with getting our 3rd win in a row on the road with one more game tomorrow in Eagle Butte (another tough place to play). Proud of how our kids played hard defensively to get themselves back into the game, and are finding ways to tight ball games (shows were growing)."


Thane Witt led the Warriors with 19 points while Ty Arcoren added 12. All told, ten players scored for the Warriors.

Horse Looking 9, Metcal 2, Shane Witt 8, Eagle Road 6, Espinoza 2 (the game winner), Walker 6, Bear Robe 5, LaPointe 2


After the CEB game Saturday, SF hosts a 13-4 Lower Brule squad on Monday, hosts Crow Creek on Friday and then travels to Red Cloud the following Friday....


Some great games coming up...WHEEEOOOWWWW

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