After clinching the final spot in the State tournament last Tuesday, the Central boys looked to upset the #1 seed Sioux Falls Washington Warriors on Thursday, kicking off their State bid at the Danny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Justin Kraemer led the Cobbler offense in the first half, scoring 13 (4/5 FG, 3/4 3pt). However, Washington star point guard Sam Siganos nearly matched Kraemer, scoring 10 and making all four shots he took from the field. Despite trailing Washington in almost every statistical category, Central went into halftime down 33-28.
Washington began the third quarter on a 6-0 run, eventually expanding their lead to 12 midway through the third, their largest of the game. Derric Tiller faced foul trouble early, collecting his fourth foul one minute into the second half. Instead of letting the game slip from their grasp, Central began chipping away. After another 3-pointer from Kraemer with minutes left in the fourth, Central trailed by just four points. Unfortunately, it was too late mount a comeback. As the clock ticked down and Central began fouling, Washington increased its lead to 9, where they would complete a 64-55 win.
Kraemer finished with 16 points (5/6 FG) and three assists. Dylan Hay totaled 15 points (5/11 FG, 4/5 3pt) and two assists. Forward Tanner Aberle ended with nine points (4/9 FG), eight rebounds, and two blocks.
On the Sioux Falls side, Siganos finished with 14 points (5/8 FG), five assists, and six rebounds. Zach Heins tallied 13 points (4/7 FG) and four rebounds.
On a team level, Central was out-rebounded 41-28 and only shot 36% from the field compared to Washington’s 48%. Thanks to Kraemer and Hay, the Cobblers shot a solid 52% from beyond the arc.
Central will play Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 11:45 a.m. at the Sioux Falls Arena on Friday.