Tanager scoring surge defeats Panthers 56-45

Tanager scoring surge defeats Panthers 56-45
The Vermillion Tanagers rallied in the second half and then pulled away to top the Dakota Valley Panthers 56-45 in boys' basketball March 2 at North Sioux City in the first round of the District 8A.

Vermillion had trailed by two at halftime in a win capped by a 28-11 fourth-quarter surge.

The Tanagers outscored the Panthers 26-2 in the final period to seal the victory.

Andrew Pier scored 18 points, sinking 11 in the fourth quarter. He was also seven for nine from the free throw line, made two steals and two assists. Jordan Boots sank 18 points, including a 3-pointer and four free throws in the fourth quarter. Jeff Donnelly contributed 14 points. He sank 10 of those points in the fourth quarter, and made four of five free throws in the fourth quarter.

The Tanagers fell behind 13-8 at the end of the first period, trailed 18-16 after the second quarter, and then trailed 34-28 going into the final period.

The contest was well-played, with the Tanagers committing only six turnovers and the Panthers committing only nine.

"This was a great comeback win for us," said Vermillion Coach Jason Huska. "We went on a 26-2 run. I'm proud of our kids. They did not give up. The kids really wanted to win this game."

Vermillion improved its season mark to 10-9, while Dakota Valley fell to 10-10.

Vermillion made three of 13 3-point attempts and hit 17 of 22 from the line. The Tanagers made 18 of 38 field goal attempts, while Dakota Valley was 18 of 38 from the field. Dakota Valley connected on one of 10 3-pointers and connected on eight of 15 free throw tries.

Individual Stats, Vermillion: Scoring � Andrew Pier, 18, Jordan Boots, 18, Jeff Donnelly, 14, Chonka Wilch, 6. Rebounds � Kyle Brunick, 7, Pier, 5. Assists � Wilch, 2, Pier, 2.

Team rebounds: Vermillion � 20, Dakota Valley � 27. Team fouls: Vermillion � 18, Dakota Valley � 19.

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