Wildcats pummel Spartans
Published: Thursday, January 9th, 2014
The Custer High School boys basketball team racked up a big 64-35 win over the visiting Spearfish Spartan basketball team last Saturday evening at the Armory, thanks to big games from Chase Glazier, Adam Baker and Joel Thomsen, and an assist from Thomsen’s aunt, Dr. Joy Falkenburg.
Glazier had had 20 points, six assists, seven rebounds and three steals, Baker had 21 points on eight of 10 shooting and Thomsen added 11 points and several key hustle plays in big spots that led to Custer runs.
Falkenburg lent a hand in the first half by stitching up Kenneth Myers after a hit in the first quarter opened a deep gash in his chin. Myers missed most of the first half and needed a uniform change because of the blood.
Custer opened the game on an 11-0 run, capped by a Glazier layup enabled by Thomsen’s hustle, as he scrambled to corral a loose ball he had created on the defensive end for the Wildcats.
“The MVPâï¿½ï¿½of the game was Joel,”âï¿½ï¿½Custer head coach Larry Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“He makes a lot of hustle plays. He just hustles his butt off. Iâï¿½ï¿½would have given the game ball to Joel.”
The game was an especially physical one, with Spearfish’s strategy seemingly being to try to trap Custer’s guards the minute they crossed half court. All the strategy really amounted to was an ever-growing pile of fouls on the Spartans, who put Custer in the bonus with four minutes left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats went up 15-6 when Glazier made another basket and extended the lead to 11 when Thomsen hit a pair of free throws early in the second quarter.
The Spartans clawed their way back into the game, however, cutting the lead to six after a three-pointer from Cole Richards and another basket on its next possession.
Baker was responsible for sparking the enusing Custer rally when he got the ball inside for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet, a basket that was followed by a Glazier basket that put Custer back on top by 10. Aâï¿½ï¿½three-pointer by Jaxon Hinch of Spearfish as time expired sent Custer into the break with a 33-26 lead.
That was as close as Spearfish would get, however, as the second half was all Wildcats to the tune of 31-9, including an 8-0 run to start the second half. By the time Logan Burns buried a three-pointer with 1:54 left in the third, Custer was cruising, up 46-28.
Luitjens said the combination of getting Myers back and a switch in defensive strategy were keys to igniting Custer’s big second half.
“We went to a matchup (zone) in the second half,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“And we were lucky Dr. Joy ran and got the stitch stuff and got (Myers) back out there.”
Another factor in Custer’s second half dominance came via the team’s post players, as they dominated both the larger and smaller lineups Spearfish put on the court.
“They (Spearfish) are pretty young and they’re all pretty equal,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“They are still figuring out who should play. When they played their smaller guys our bigs dominated.”
The win marks Custer’s first victory over Spearfish since 1997. The series resumed a couple of years ago after about a 15-year hiatus.
On New Year’s Eve, the Wildcats made their home debut in impressive fashion, building up a 44-7 halftime lead on the way to routing visiting Lower Brule 74-34.
Glazier led a balanced scoring attack with 18 points in a game that saw every varsity player take the court. Myers had 14 points, while Thomsen scored 13 and Baker chipped in 10.
The Wildcats shot an impressive 55 percent from the floor and crushed their visitors on the glass, with a 34-16 advantage in rebounding. The Wildcat defense held lower Brule to 19 percent shooting in the game and forced 27 turnovers.
“They were small. They basically played five guards,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said of Lower Brule.âï¿½ï¿½“They were short handed. But they were tickled they got a chance to play us.”
The Wildcats, now 4-2 on the young season, will have a pair of home games this week when they host Hill City Thursday at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Lead-Deadwood at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Wildcats have already played the Rangers once, crushing them 54-7 at the Lakota Nation Invitational.
“Lead-Deadwood has a good basketball team. Their best players were sophomores last year and they gave us two good games,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said. “I think they are better than Spearfish.”
Custer—Dylan Mullen 2-4 2-2 6, Logan Burns 0-3 0-0 0, David Hernandez 0-3 0-0 0, Patrick Witt 2-2 0-0 5, Kenneth Myers 6-10 0-0 14, Sam Mertz 1-1 0-0 2, Chase Glazier 7-10 2-2 18, Joel Thomsen 6-7 1-1 13, Graysen Trandem 1-2 0-0 2, Adam Baker 4-7 2-2 10, Ryan Jorgensen 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 31-56, 7-7 74.
Lower Brule—Dale LaRoche 1-9 0-0 3, Thomas Eagle Thunder 4-10 1-2 10, Dillon McBride 0-1 0-0 0, Christian Iron Horse 0-3 1-2 1, Ronald Flute 0-3 1-2 1, Braden LaRoche 22-8 1-2 5, Lawrence Flute, Jr. 3-18 7-8 14. Totals: 10-52 11-16 34.
Three-point goals: Custer 5 (Glazier 2, Myers 2, Witt), LB 3 (Dale LaRoche, Eagle Thunder Flute). Rebounds: Custer 34 (Glazier 5, Trandem 5), LB 16. Steals: Custer 16 (Glazier 4), LB 8. Assists:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 18 (Glazier 5), LB 1. Total fouls: Custer 15, LB 13. Fouled out: Braden LaRoche.
Custer 17 16 16 15 —64
Spear 8 18 2 7 —35
Custer—Logan Burns 1-5 1-3 4, David Hernandez 0-0 0-1 0, Patrick Witt 0-0 0-0 0, Kenneth Myers 1-7 2-4 5, Chase Glazier 7-14 4-5 20, Joel Thomsen 4-6 3-4 11, Graysen Trandem 0-2 0-0 0, Adam Baker 8-10 5-5 21. Totals: 22-45 16-24 64.
Spearfish—Hunter Dean 0-2 0-0 0, Nick Iron Rope 0-0 0-1 0, Drew Kaitfors 0-1 0-0 0, Jaxon Hinch 3-10 1-3 8, Tanner Rost 0-3 0-0 0, Cole Richards 3-11 0-0 8, Dylan Reiners 1-3 0-0 3, Chet Samuelson 2-7 0-0 4, Tyrell Rosencranz 0-6 0-0 0, Remington Wood 0-3 3-4 5, Devon Braun 1-4 3-4 5. Totals:âï¿½ï¿½10-52 11-18 35.
Three-point goals: Custer 4 (Glazier 2, Myers, Burns). Spear 4 (Richards 2, Hinch, Reiners). Rebounds: Glazier 7, Thomsen 6. Steals:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 5, Spearâï¿½ï¿½5. Assists: Custer 14 (Glazier 6), Spear 3. Total fouls: Custer 20, Spearâï¿½ï¿½25. Fouled out:âï¿½ï¿½None.
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