SPEARFISH — Spearfish’s varsity girls’ basketball team dropped two games in its season-opening weekend at the Spearfish High School gym.
The Spartans fell 53-35 to Yankton, Friday night. Spearfish came up short 63-52 against Brandon Valley on Saturday afternoon.
“On offense, we felt a little bit rushed,” Spearfish assistant coach Bryan Heck said. “I thought we made a lot of the right reads, but we just had trouble finishing.”
Yankton jumped out to a 14-3, first-quarter lead on Molly Savey’s 3-point field goal.
Hannah Schoon’s layup and Erin Rotert’s three-point play sandwiched a Yankton basket and brought Spearfish within 16-8 when the first quarter ended.
Spearfish stayed within 19-12 in the second period on a Stella Marcus basket. The visiting Gazelles scored the next nine points; Savey’s layup made the score 28-12.
Lily McCarty’s 3-point field goal brought the Spartans within 28-15. Schoon converted a layup to keep Spearfish within 30-17 at the break.
The Gazelles claimed a 9-5 scoring edge in the third quarter and led 39-22 with eight minutes left.
Jordynn Salvatori completed a three-point play in the fourth quarter to keep Yankton ahead 42-28. Spearfish got within 12 points on three occasions, with the last instance at 47-35.
Schoon’s 11-point effort enabled her to top Spearfish’s scoring charts. Marcus chipped in with 10 points.
Yankton received a game-high 22 points from Ellie Karolevitz and 10 points from Salvatori.
The Spartans trailed only 51-50 with three minutes left but managed just two points the rest of the way.
“In the fourth quarter, we were late on a couple of close-outs,” Spearfish assistant coach Bryan Heck said. “They (Lynx) made big shots when they needed to.”
Spearfish led 9-7 after one quarter but trailed 27-20 at halftime and 39-36 after three periods.
Hannah Schoon’s fourth-quarter free throw pulled the Spartans within 39-37. Erin Rotert’s driving layup and Maria Bouman’s basket off a free throw miss gave Spearfish a 41-39 edge.
Brandon Valley moved ahead 43-41, but Anna Engen’s basket allowed Spearfish to forge a 43-43 tie. The Lynx claimed a 46-45 leadon a Taylor Stemen free throw.
Kylie Stalder netted two free throws to put Spearfish up 47-46. Brandon Valley took a 49-47 lead on Hilary Behrens’ 3-point field goal, but two Stella Marcus free throws allowed the Spartans to tie matters at 49.
With Brandon Valley leading 51-49, Rotert added a free throw to bring Spearfish within 51-50. That set the stage for the final minutes.
Marcus scored 13 points to pace the Spartans. Stalder chipped in with 12 points.
“She came in and did a good job of recognizing mismatches,” Heck said of Stalder. “She was patient, and then stepped up and knocked down free throws.”
Heck added Stalder provided a good energy boost when the team needed it.
Spearfish will host Aberdeen Central this Friday, Dec. 18.
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