The Flandreau Flier boys’ basketball team had the task of taking on the undefeated and top ranked basketball team in Class ‘A’ Saturday afternoon in the Clark/Willow Lake Cyclones.
The Fliers had the advantage of playing in front of their home fans but it was not enough to give the Cyclones their first loss of the season, with Flandreau losing, 71-63, despite outscoring the Cyclones in the second half.
The two teams come out in the first quarter, as everyone would have expected, shooting the ball. Flandreau was having trouble hitting in the early going, but were doing just enough to keep the game close in the first quarter. The Cyclones were able to pull ahead late and take a 17-14 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter would be the downfall for the Fliers. Clark/Willow Lake started showing why they were the best team in the state of South Dakota, hitting basket after basket, led by South Dakota State University recruit, Skyler Flatten. The Cyclones added nine points to their lead in the quarter, giving them a 36-24 lead heading into the halftime break.
The second half was a different story. The Fliers started picking it up offensively and with the hot shooting of Mitchel Foster and Geno Taylor-Burshiem, they Fliers weren’t going to let them leave town without a fight.
Flandreau popped off 21 points in the third quarter of Saturday’s game but as expected from the Cyclones, they were able to match the Fliers for most of the quarter, scoring 20 points to keep a strong 11-point lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Again Flandreau was solid offensively in the fourth. Foster and Taylor-Burshiem were combining to keep Flandreau within an arms reach of a team that had just come off a victory over Sioux Falls Washington. Flandreau was able to outscore Clark/Willow Lake for the second quarter in a row, but it was not enough to combat the rough second quarter. Flandreau did a good job of controlling the pace in the second half, and sticking to what has worked best for them all season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough on Saturday to come away with a victory.
Taylor-Burshiem led the Fliers in scoring with 24 points on 10-15 shooting, while adding three assists and two steals. Foster put up 19 for the Fliers with four rebounds and three takeaways. Flatten led all scorers with 25 points on the night.
The loss drops the Fliers record to 9-7 on the season, with games against Baltic (last night), Howard (tomorrow night) and DeSmet (Saturday) this week.
The win moves the Cyclones record to an impressive 18-0 on the year with only one game remaining on their schedule.
Clark-WL 17 19 20 15 71
Flandreau 14 10 21 18 63