Central snaps nine-game streak while Roncalli, Christian suffer first losses this season

·4 min read
Aberdeen Central's Kiana Mounga (42) goes up for a shot over Pierre's Reese Terwilliger (15) and Ayvrie Kaiser (21) inside Golden Eagles Arena on Jan. 25, 2022.
Aberdeen Central's Kiana Mounga (42) goes up for a shot over Pierre's Reese Terwilliger (15) and Ayvrie Kaiser (21) inside Golden Eagles Arena on Jan. 25, 2022.

Aberdeen Central used a double-double performance by Kiana Mounga to snap a nine-game losing streak, defeating Pierre 44-28 Tuesday night at Golden Eagles Arena.

Here are a couple of takeaways from the game.

Mounga, post play big in win

Senior center Kiana Mounga led the way for Central with 21 points and 15 rebounds. From the field, Mounga made eight of nine shots. Of her 15 rebounds, six of them were offensive and gave Central extra possessions.

That was part of the game plan, said Central head coach Mikayla Arechigo.

"That was definitely something we talked about is not forcing Kiana and Taryn (Hermansen) to rely on those rebounds, but really trying to find them on the perimeter by creating some angles by dribbling down, stepping out a little bit more when we're looking to make top-down looks with that post and just being patient on the offensive end," Arechigo said.

Hermansen also contributed inside the paint with six points and six rebounds.

In the first half, the Golden Eagles mostly relied on their guard play and entered halftime down 19-17. That's when Arechigo said she noticed a difference.

"In the second half, it felt like we really made some better connections with our posts, and they continued to be relentless on the boards. That was one of our keys to the game that we talked about is just being relentless the entire game and having poise to really handle that pressure from Pierre," she said.

Central would go on to outscore Pierre 27-9 in the second half. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded Pierre by 11 and had 15 offensive rebounds.

Central holds Pierre to lowest scoring total this season

Coming into the game, Pierre's lowest scoring total was a 74-33 loss to Rapid City Central. Aberdeen Central keyed in on Pierre shooters and made that a focus on defense.

"We talked a lot about making sure that we know where those shooters are and bringing up our posts so that she could cover the high post so our guards weren't having to cover four girls," Arechigo said.

The Eagles held Pierre to one for 19 shooting from three-point range. In the second half, Central held Pierre to just 18% shooting from the field.

Central entered the game with a 1-11 record, with its lone win coming on the road against Spearfish in December.

"It feels really good ... You walk in (the locker room) and you think the girls are going to be so excited, but they're so exhausted from fighting, fighting, fighting for 32 minutes that it's kind of sinking in like, 'Oh, this is how hard you're going to have to work to win for 32 minutes. It's not going to be 16 minutes of playing hard and then 16 minutes of fun time. It's a 32-minute grind every game at the AA level," Arechigo said.

Central was without Taryn Hettich due to injury, and her status for a return is unknown. Up next, the Golden Eagles have a whole week of practice with their next game Feb. 4 at Harrisburg.

Top-ranked Roncalli falls to Hamlin

Aberdeen Roncalli suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 49-45 contest to Hamlin on the road.

Class A Hamlin (8-2) was led by Kami Wadsworth with 16 points, while Ally Abraham had 15 and Brooklyn Brandriet had 12 for the Chargers.

Roncalli (10-1) was led by Olivia Hanson with 13 points, while Madelyn Bragg had nine. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in the Class B poll.

Roncalli beat Hamlin in last year's Class A title game before dropping down to CLass B this season.

Up next, Roncalli will take on Sisseton (8-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Roncalli Gym.

Herreid/Selby upends No. 3 Aberdeen Christian

Mallory Miller's 24 points and 12 rebounds weren't enough, and Aberdeen Christian (10-1) suffered its first loss of the season, 54-36, to Herreid/Selby Area.

Herreid/Selby Area is now 9-3. No stats for the Wolverines were available.

The Knights were without starting guard Joy Rohrbach due to injury. Her status is week to week.

Up next, Christian will travel to Wilmot Friday.

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Aberdeen Central claims second win, Roncalli and Christian fall

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