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O’Gorman takes down Patrick Henry in Classic opener

Sioux Falls O'Gorman guard/forward Davis Cowan pulls up for a mid-range jumper during the first half of a matchup against Patrick Henry, (Minn.) in the first game of the Mike Miller Classic Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

The Sioux Falls O’Gorman boys’ basketball team dominated the boards en route to a 66-53 win over Patrick Henry (Minn.) in the opening game of the Fourth Annual Mike Miller Classic Friday at the Corn Palace.

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The Knights compiled 39 rebounds, while Patrick Henry totaled 24. O’Gorman’s Jack Peery tallied a team-high 10 rebounds and 10 points for a double-double.

“We outrebounded a very athletic team,” O’Gorman basketball coach Derek Robey said. “I thought we had some hustle points as well.”

While the Knights came away with the victory, Robey said it was not as easy as the final score reflects. O’Gorman jumped out to a 14-8 lead to start the game, but Patrick Henry responded with a 9-2 run to take a 17-16 lead.

It was the last lead Patrick Henry held as O’Gorman’s defense, led by Perry and Braxton Elliot, took over. Elliot and Peery each recorded three steals for O’Gorman, which tallied 12 in the game.

Patrick Henry trailed 34-27 at halftime, but the deficit began to evaporate early in the second half after two quick baskets by the Patriots brought them to within three points.

O’Gorman again relied on its defense in the second half, which slowed down the Patrick Henry backcourt. The Knights also benefitted from their 26 second-half free-throw opportunities. O’Gorman converted 12 of 26 free throws in the second half and finished 16-of-33 from the line.

Elliot also made an impact on the offensive end, pouring in a game-high 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, and grabbed seven rebounds. Connor Nagel added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for O’Gorman, while Davis Cowan had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Patriots guard Stephen Kennedy scored 11 points in the first half, but the junior was completely shut out in the second half. Junior guard Jacarious Ford picked up some of the slack for the Patriots and finished with a team-high 12 points and five assists.

Senior forward Jovahn Jefferson was Patrick Henry’s only other player to score in double fig-ures. He tallied 11 points for the Patriots, who were 19-of-45 from the field.

“We came to South Dakota to get a good game and play some of the top teams,” Patrick Henry coach Jeremy Miller said. “O’Gorman is definitely one of those teams and it was a well contested game.”

The Knights play the Mitchell Kernels at 7 p.m. today, while Patrick Henry matches up against Mitchell Christian in today’s opening game at 1:30 p.m. at the Corn Palace.