January 10 was time for a classic Friday night boys’ basketball matchup between the Miller Rustlers (4-3) and their regional rivals, the Mobridge-Pollock Tigers (3-4). The Rustlers were victorious in both the varsity and junior varsity games winning 43-37 and 27-22 respectively. The junior varsity bagged their first seasonal win and the night’s sweep made the two and a half hour drive home just a little bit sweeter.
The junior varsity boys left the first period in a deficit, but recuperated well and led after the final three periods. Their lead was as high as seven points after the second period. The Tigers cut the lead to three after the third but the Rustlers held on for a 27-22 win. It was a low scoring game but when push came to shove, they made all the right shots.
Cory Breland was the leading scorer for the Rustlers, who had nine points and four rebounds. Colton Peterman and Tate Ketelhut both scored eight and four points, respectively. Eric Hasart had five rebounds and Riley Mullaney had four rebounds, which led that category along with Breland. The JV boys played smart and clean basketball finishing the night with 12 total steals and only five team fouls, compared to Mobridge-Pollock’s 13. This allowed only three free-throw attempts for the Tigers and aided in a Rustler win.
The varsity boys came into the game looking to build upon their road win in De Smet, and they did just that. After a slow first period where they only scored five points, the Rustlers turned up the heat, finishing the second period with a two-point lead, a nine-point lead after the third, and a six-point lead to finish the game, winning 43-37. Offensive players for the Rustlers were aggressive and it paid off. They had 27 total free-throw attempts and almost 40 percent of the team’s total points came from free-throw baskets. This is compared to Mobridge-Pollock’s five total free-throw points and had 10 more team fouls than the Rustlers. Both Mitchel Heumiller and Reece Wientjes fouled out trying to defend Rustler advances. Haydn Herman, Beau Keeter, and Mason Breitling were the leading scorers for Miller, sinking 14, 10, and eight points in baskets respectively. Preston Blackwell had a big defensive night with 11 rebounds, leading that category with Haydn Herman coming in second with seven rebounds.
The varsity Rustlers will be looking for number three when they return home to face the Redfield/Doland Pheasants during the January 14 double header.