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Aberdeen Christian bolsters record with impressive 4-0 stretch
Aberdeen Christian's Andrew Brennan (0) makes a pass against White River during the Hoop City Classic on Dec. 28 at the Corn Palace.
(Rodney Haas / 605 Sports)
Jan 24, 2022
 

By Ryan Deal 

605 Sports

Aberdeen Christian navigated through a four-game gauntlet unscathed. 

The Class B No. 4 Knights have rattled off five straight wins, including four against Class B foes to bolster their record at 9-2. After defeating Oakes, North Dakota, on Jan. 8, Aberdeen Christian picked up key wins over Potter County (61-56), Faulkton Area (58-54), Waubay/Summit (57-50) and Platte-Geddes (60-49).

“We had a big week and it was a big gauntlet,” Aberdeen Christian coach David Rohrbach said. “You definitely take the four wins and hopefully we can keep some momentum going through the season here.”

The four Class B opponents are all top-16 in the seed points standings, while they have a combined 30-10 record. The four-game swing also occurred during a week’s stretch between Jan. 15-22. 

“It was a really big stretch,” Rohrbach added. “We talked to the guys about Saturday through Saturday being huge for us. We played four really good teams and all teams that have at least received votes at some point this year in the polls. So it was really big for us in seed points and just to have some resiliency. They were really tough games and all close games.”

In the latest victory, Aberdeen Christian used a 19-11 second quarter to help pull away from No. 5 Platte-Geddes at the Hanson Classic. The Knights were powered by all-state guard Malek Wieker (24 points/5 3-pointers) and Ethan Russell (17 points/9 rebounds). 

The contest was a rematch of last year’s SoDak 16, which Aberdeen Christian also won after rallying from an early 18-5 deficit. At the Hanson Classic, the Knights limited all-state forward Caden Foxley to seven points and six rebounds. 

“We remember him from last year’s SoDak 16,” Rohrbach said. “He’s a load and he’s a beast down low. Obviously, Frank Cutler is a really good coach. They are a very good, sound, disciplined team.”

Aberdeen Christian, which doesn’t have a senior, is led by juniors Wieker (18.5 ppg/5.4 rpg/4.5 apg), Russell (16.4 ppg/9.2 rpg) and Jackson Isakson (9 ppg/6.7 rpg/3 apg). 

The Knights return a host of contributors from last season’s state runner-up team and that’s fueling this season’s group. 

“Playing in a state championship game — your goal is to get back there,” Rohrbach said. “I know that the boys’ goal is to get back there and so that’s obviously what we have our sights on.”

Up next, Aberdeen Christian will play at Herreid/Selby Area on Tuesday. The Knights will also play in the Dakota Wesleyan University/Culver’s Classic on Feb. 12 in Salem.