S-D-A boys’ competes hard in loss, girls’ pull away against Falls City

Every team wants a win to start their season. But teams also want a starting point to build upon. The Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca boys’ basketball team didn’t get a victory in the season-opener at home against Falls City on Friday, Dec. 6, but the Rockets put forth an effort that creates hope for what the 2019-20 season could bring to the S-D-A program.
Falls City answered rallies on Friday night and held off a hard charge by the Rockets to claim a 46-35 win.
Grant Stubbendeck had five first quarter points and Andrew Thompson tossed in a three-point basket to keep the Rockets within two going into the second quarter.
Brandon Cavanaugh had a bucket and Stubbendeck had two free throws for the Rockets in the second quarter. Falls City answered with Mason Crawford, who had two free throws, two three-point shots and a fast break lay up. As a result, the Tigers led 23-12 at the half.
Kade Bredemeier had a bucket for the Tigers to put the score at 25-12 early in the third and then the Rockets fought back. Mitchell Brinkman came off the Rocket bench to score two three-point shots with those makes sandwiching a bucket by Stubbendeck. The lead was five at 25-20.
Crawford had another three pointer for the Tigers to put the count back to eight. Bredemeier had a conventional three-point play toward the end of the third, but freshman Robert Shanks had one of those for the Rockets as well and Stubbendeck had a two-point shot in the late third and the lead was still just six for Falls City at 33-27.
The fight continued in the fourth as Falls City got the lead to 10 and the Rockets came back with a Stubbendeck free throw
and a Cavanaugh three-pointer to make it 37-31.
Bredemeier had a three-pointer for Falls City and then responded to a Stubbendeck bucket with a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line. Sophomore Cooper Carlson made a nice move to the bucket and laid it in for the Rockets, but Falls City off set that with free throws to win by 11 on the final scoreboard.
Stubbendeck was the leading scorer for the Rockets with 16 points on five two-pointers and six free throw makes. Other scoring leaders for S-D-A were Brinkman, six; Cavanaugh, six; Shanks, three; Thompson, three; and Carlson, two.
Crawford led the Tigers with 25 points. He hit five two-pointers, a trio of three-pointers and was 6-of-8 at the free throw line.
Afterwards, Coach Mark Hrabik said he was pleased with the effort shown by the Rockets.
“If we hold teams to under 50, we’ve got a chance to win the game,” Hrabik said. “I liked what we were doing and we had some good hustle.”
Hrabik said at the start of this season, the Rockets are going to be working towards growing confidence for a young team and developing an identity that will serve well as the campaign progresses.
Defenses are usually a bit ahead of offenses, Hrabik said, and that was evident on Friday.
Hrabik said he believes the Rockets can get even better on the defensive side this year and the offense can definitely get better.
Stubbendeck was a feature of the offense on Friday and he’ll continue to play a big role, but the Rockets are likely to add features to the attack and complexity to the plan as they go through practices and games. Friday didn’t have many bells and whistles. It was just the basics.
Could the Rockets do better in a rematch with Falls City? Possibly.
The team won’t know that until the postseason as a rematch with the Tigers would not happen until subdistrict time. If it does, S-D-A’s main concern would be finding a way to limit Crawford’s influence on the offensive side. And with a few more buckets and plays on offense, one would think S-D-A could avenge Friday’s loss.

Rocket girls’ 55, Falls City 28
It looked like a first game on Friday, Dec. 6, as the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca girls’ basketball team got its season going against Falls City on the home floor. Miscues and missed connections characterized the early action, but it was the Rockets who settled down on the way to victory.
S-D-A established control of the game with a 7-0 run to start the second quarter and then withstood a short rally in the third before pulling away for a 55-28 win on Friday night.
With one quarter in the books, S-D-A had a three-point lead at 8-5. A 7-0 spurt put the Rockets’ lead in double figures and the advantage was 14 by the half at 27-13. Lily Vollertsen had the opening field goal of the second half for S-D-A to make it 29-14. Falls City responded by scoring six of the next eight points and was down 11, but that’s all the closer the Tigers would get on Friday.
Vollertsen, who finished with 21 points to lead the home side, had nine points in the third quarter and S-D-A led by 18 at the end of the third frame. S-D-A also won the fourth quarter by a count of 15-6.
Vollertsen was the only double-figure scorer for the Rockets, but Grace Damme finished just one short with nine and was exceptional at the free throw line in hitting 7-of-8 from the stripe.
Other scorers for
S-D-A were Lauren Siefken, five; Halle Wilhelm, five; Kaela McMullen, four; Sam Pester, four; Lauren Meyer, four; Lindsey Moss, two; and Jessie Moss, one.
Hannah Clary was the leading scorer for Falls City with 10. She had five in the first quarter, including a three-point make.
The Rockets limited Clary to just two second half points. The Tiger offense as a whole was limited to eight points after having pulled to within 11 at 31-20.

BOYS 67, Ft. Calhoun 19

Waylon Bennett
The S-D-A Rockets boys basketball team had a tough outing on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Ft. Calhoun during a 67-19 loss as the Rockets drop to 0-2 on the year.
S-D-A had a tough time generating offense and shot 7-of-26 from the field and surrendered  20 turnovers.
Ft. Calhoun jumped out to a quick 24-7 first quarter lead and by halftime led the Rockets 44-11.
Brandon Cavanaugh led the Rockets with six points; Mitchell Brinkman, four; Griffen Goering and Andrew Thompson, three each; Grant Stubbendeck, two; Ethan Wittler, one.

GIRLS 65, Ft. Calhoun 29

Waylon Bennett
The Lady Rockets basketball team improved to 2-0 after Lily Vollertsen dominated with a 25 point performance against the Ft. Calhoun Pioneers during a 65-29 victory on Saturday, Dec. 7.
S-D-A was impressive from the field by shooting .44 percent.  Not only did the Rockets work the ball inside, but they had nice production from the three-point line as well by shooting 7-of-15.  
On the defensive side, the Rockets held their opponent under 30 points for the second straight game and came away with 17 steals.  
Vollertsen had three blocks and Jessie Moss blocked two Pioneer shot attempts.
Vollertsen was 9-of-11 from the field and added to her total by knocking down a pair of three’s.  
Lauren Meyer contributed nine points and five steals.  
Grace Damme led the Rockets in assists with four and hauled in seven rebounds.
Scoring for the Rockets were; Damme, Sam Pester and Halle Wilhelm, seven each; Lauren Siefken, six; Jessie Moss and Kendall Meyer, two each.
Vollertsen led with eight rebounds and Wilhelm ended the day with five steals.