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No. 2 Ethan outlasts No. 1 Sully Buttes in OT thriller

PARKSTON -- For the fifth time in as many meetings over the last three seasons between Ethan and Sully Buttes, it was a close contest between the Class B girls basketball powerhouses.

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Ethan's Kacey Bartscher looks to go up for a shot as Sully Buttes' Brookyln Bradford tries to defend from behind during the Parkston Girls Classic on Friday in Parkston. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

PARKSTON -- For the fifth time in as many meetings over the last three seasons between Ethan and Sully Buttes, it was a close contest between the Class B girls basketball powerhouses.

And for the third time, it went to overtime. It’s no wonder the two schools have split the last two state championships.

Once again, fans were treated to another thrilling girls basketball game on Friday night as No. 2 Ethan found a way to edge past No. 1 Sully Buttes in overtime 59-53 at the Parkston Girls Classic in Parkston.

“I was really hoping we’d win in regulation,” Ethan head coach Tom Young said with a laugh. “We matchup really well, we know each other really well and we each have some great players. Sully Buttes is a great team. This one could have gone either way.”

Tied up at 51 at the end of regulation, Ethan’s Karly Gustafson made the first crucial play in the extra period. After Sully Buttes deflected a Rustler pass, both teams were scrambling to corral the ball. The ball bounced off two players and fell to Karly Gustafson, who dove and saved the ball from going out of bounds and dished it to a teammate. Seconds later, she got the ball back, drove to the hoop, scored a field goal and was fouled.  

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“That was a really big play,” Young said. “Karly played certainly her best game of the year. I want her to be aggressive and she was tonight. I was really proud of her.”

Gustafson, who scored a team-high 19 points, sunk the free throw to give Ethan a three-point lead with three minutes left in overtime.

Sully Buttes (4-1) was never able to recover after falling behind in overtime.

“They got to the free-throw line a few more times that we did,” Sully Buttes head coach Mark Senftner said. “I don’t know how many three-point plays they got, but they were just more physical than we were.”

The game started out in favor of Sully Buttes as the Chargers claimed a 16-8 lead after the first quarter and bolstered that lead to 21-9 early in the second quarter.

From there the Rustlers went on a 16-3 run to enter halftime with a one-point lead 25-24.

“We had the ‘deer in the headlight’ look early,” Young said. “After we settled down, we started attacking and grew up a little bit.”

Ethan’s second-quarter run was aided by a technical foul on Senftner and his bench. Sully Buttes still claimed a 24-23 lead with 50 seconds left in the half when Senftner was booked for the technical foul. After the game, Senftner said his assistant coach said something to him and that’s when the referee blew his whistle.

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“I don’t know what the ref was looking at. I guess an assistant coach can’t talk to a head coach,” said Senftner, who also credited Ethan for being patient as they trimmed his team’s lead.

In the third quarter, the Chargers reestablished control and built a five-point lead heading into the final frame, but a Gustafson lay-up tied the game up at 47 in the game's final minutes. The two foes went on to exchange baskets twice to end the quarter tied at 51.

Ethan’s Kacey Bartscher added 14 points, while Ellie Hohn had 13 points as the Rustlers went 19-of-40 from the field for 40 percent and 18-of-28 from the line for 64 percent.

For Sully Buttes, Racquel Wientjes finished with 20 points and Chloe Lamb recorded 19 points.

The Rustlers play Avon on Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, while Sully Buttes takes on Mobridge-Pollock on Tuesday in Onida.

Young said his team can take a lot of positives from Friday’s win as the team heads into the new year.

“We have to get back to the fundamentals and learn from some of our mistakes,” Young said. “The big thing is to enjoy the moment and enjoy this game against a really good team.”

SB16 24 43 51 53E8 25 38 51 59Scoring:No. 1 Sully Buttes (4-1): Rachel Guthmiller 4, Lauren Wittler 3, Racquel Wientjes 20, Chloe Lamb 19, Kendra Kleven 5, Marinda Archer 2. No. 2 Ethan (5-0): Rachel Hawkins 3, Ellie Hohn 13, Kacey Bartscher 14, Karly Gustafson 19, Janae Gustafson 6, Amanda Miiller 4.

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALLETHAN
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