By Rich Winter
Fresh off their 2nd place finish at Lakota Nation, Bob Boyd’s Lady Falcons ran into some serious competition over the holiday break.
The Falcons dropped a 71-63 decision to Red Cloud on Wednesday, Dec. 30. After a long road trip to Eagle-Butte on Saturday, Jan. 2, the Lady Falcons dropped a 60-51 decision to the Lady Braves. Todd County was 5-3 heading into Tuesday’s road game at Winner.
Red Cloud 71 Todd County 63
While Todd County was storming to the LNI Championship game, last year’s Region 7A champs, Red Cloud struggled, losing to White River in the quarterfinals, eventually finishing 6th in their bracket.
The Crusaders, who never seem to have trouble knocking down shots in Todd County, blistered the nets at Ben Reifle, jumping out to a 43-29 lead at halftime.
Despite trailing by 14, Boyd’s team showed no quit, cutting the lead to four late in the third period.
Red Cloud extended that lead to eight with 5:25 remaining, but again Boyd’s girls came back, trailing by five with four minutes to play.
Although Todd County cut it to four several times, they could get no closer as Red Cloud improved to 3-4 on the season.
Trista Merrivel led Red Cloud with 24 points.
CEB 60 Todd County 51
After a four hour bus ride Saturday, the Lady Falcons were handed their third loss of the season.
Team and scoring stats not available by press time.
While the losses dropped Todd County to 4-3, Lady Falcon coach Bob Boyd knew it was going to be a tough holiday stretch.
“Red Cloud and Eagle Butte are two of the top teams in Indian country. Both made the State tournament last year and have pretty much everyone returning. We knew this would be a good test for our team, especially going on the road to Eagle Butte on Saturday,” Boyd said. “The last three teams we’ve played have experienced and top-notch guards, so it was nice to see our freshmen back-court compete against them. We lost three consecutive games but against some really good teams. All three games were close and a play here or there and we have a chance to win them.”
While the youth of this year’s team has shown itself at times early in the season, Boyd said the girls are working hard and improving every day.
“All phases need to improve, but defensively is where we need improve the most. It was easier last year when we had multiple players, who understood and executed our defensively philosophies,” Boyd said. “This year, with many inexperienced players, we are going through a steep learning curve. We have to teach and reteach and explain and re-explain all of our concepts. They will get it. Just takes game experience to understand. They work their butts off but sometimes are in the wrong positions on the floor. I just need to do a better job of communicating and teaching. It will be better by Regions.’
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