Espinoza’s Game Winner In Over-Time lifts Warriors over Falcons 71-69
MISSION—It was Game Time for the delayed Rosebud Shootout between the St. Francis Boys and the Todd County Boys Basketball Teams. Snow caused the rescheduling of the game to February 9 at the Ben Reifel Auditorium. Extra bleacher seating was brought in to seat the crowds who came to watch the games.
The fans were not disappointed as the Rivalry continues between these two top notch schools. St. Francis came out and shot long range, scoring 16 in the first quarter on 4 three point shots with a couple of free throws and a layup. Todd County was right in there too scoring 13 points as Gavin Spotted Tail and Aiden Bizardie both hit on drives for 4 points each and Lucas Iron Heart hit for 2 and Loren Dragg hit for 2 and a free throw.
In the second quarter St. Francis guard Shane Witt caught on fire, scoring 8 points and Aiden Bizardie answered for Todd County hitting 4 three pointers and a couple of 2 pointers. At half time the score was 37 for Todd County and 31 for St. Francis. But everyone in the gym knew that this was not gonna be a blowout by either team.
At the end of regulation play, St. Francis and Todd County were tied up at 64, and the game went into its first overtime. Free Throw Shooting was becoming critical for both teams. By the end of regulation Todd County had shot 21 free throws and made 9. St. Francis had shot 30 free throws and made 20.
Fouls were also really hitting both teams as Aiden Bizardie, Gavin Spotted Tail, and Tristen Shaw all fouled out for Todd County and Jaylen Bear Robe and Isaac Walker both fouled out for St. Francis. With both big players fouled out for St. Francis, Todd County tried to pound the ball inside. But with no outside shooters left for TC, the Warriors filled the paint with players making it hard for Lucas Iron Heart and Weston Frazier to get solid shots inside.
In the final overtime, Lucas Iron Heart scored a basket and covered one free throw, with Loren Dragg putting in a bucket for 2. But St. Francis answered with scoring by Thane Witt, and a Game winner by David Espinoza. Final score was St. Francis 71, Todd County 69.
As everybody left the gym to head home, this highly anticipated game was enjoyed by family and friends of both teams. This game will be remembered and talked about by players and fans of both teams for many years.
You cannot predict Rivalry Games.
(Editor’s Note: Head on over to B2 for all the action photos.)