Waubay/Summit boys hold off Platte-Geddes to earn first state tourney berth
Junior guard Damon Opdahl scored 20 points for the Mustangs, including two late free throws to seal the win.
SIOUX FALLS — Damon Opdahl, with his broken pinky, scored 20 points and knocked down two clutch free throws Tuesday night to send Waubay/Summit to its first-ever state tournament.
In a second half of massive momentum swings, Opdahl’s left-handed finger rolls in the lane and the team’s pressure defense and ball movement helped the Mustangs hold off Platte-Geddes 49-44.
“What it came down to was big-time players making plays when we needed them to,” said Waubay/Summit head coach Mark Amdahl after the Class B SoDak 16 boys basketball game at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls.
When asked specifically about Opdahl’s game, Amdahl’s response, “He’s my stepson, and I’m fricken proud of him. His right pinky is broken."
“Anyway, I’m bragging, but he’s our vocal leader and our coach on the floor. When the going gets tough, he rises to the occasion," he added.
The game really shifted momentum in the third quarter when Platte-Geddes was held to just four points.
“Too many turnovers,” Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler said. “The third quarter was the difference.”
The Black Panthers — who trailed by as many as 13 — got within one possession with about 10 seconds left in the game. The near comeback was highlighted by two 3-pointers from Cade Nachtigal, three free throws from Hayes Rabenberg and an up-and-under basket from Caden Foxley.
“They weren’t going to lay down and die,” Amdahl said.
After the game, Cutler wasn't overly pleased with his team's final possession, a 3-point shot that was off the mark. Cutler wished he had called a timeout instead of allowing the play to run.
"It wasn't a good enough look there before we had to foul at the end," he said.
Then Opdahl sealed the victory when he stepped to the free-throw line for the final five-point advantage.
The first half saw multiple lead changes, with the Black Panthers getting the largest advantage, five points, midway through the first quarter. Waubay/Summit took the lead midway through the second quarter and never gave it back.
“Both teams were loose and ready to go, made a lot of shots,” Cutler said. “It was a great start for both teams.”
Amdahl, a 1997 Summit High School graduate, was nearly speechless when looking at the crowd that traveled well for the state play-in game. He’s coached 18 years — 12 years with the girls program and now six years with the boys. As a cooperative, it’s the first appearance to the boys state tournament, held in Aberdeen on March 17-19, for the Mustangs. Waubay last qualified in 1955, while Summit earned its last berth in 1990.
“Just outstanding community support,” Amdahl said. “They’ve been with us all season.”
Platte-Geddes, which was the No. 7 seed in the SoDak 16, finished its season 17-6, while Waubay/Summit — seeded 10th — has won 20 of 23 this season.
Foxley had a team-high nine points for the Black Panthers and Rabenberg had eight.