Seven different men scored, paced by the one-two tandem of Kylen Freidel and Cole Andre with 35 points between them, as Vermillion dealt Tea Area a 57-47 defeat Dec. 29.
The Tanagers' third win of the year saw them move out to a 28-19 halftime lead and maintain that margin into the final period. Then a four-minute cold stretch allowed the Titans to creep back to within three points with another possession coming, but the Tanagers regrouped and survived to build up their lead to 10 again.
Freidel's all-around performance left little to be desired. He had 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Andre's 16-point game included four successful three-point shots, and he also assisted on four others' baskets and grabbed three rebounds.
Jason Rasmussen had seven points and led the rebounders with seven, six of them off the defensive board. He had two steals and two assists. Aaron Steele contributed five points, four boards, two steals and two assists.
Freshman Austin Krier had a pair of treys for six points. Tyler Husby and Sam Ekstrom had two points each to finish off the VHS scoring.
Vermillion shot at a 47 percent clip from the field and was 7-of-16 in three-point attempts.
Winner's Warriors may not have expected a tough game from the Tanagers, but they got one at their own Snowball Classic last Saturday. The Tanagers, though trailing by 10 at halftime, rallied back to within two points twice early in the final period and were still within four with 30 seconds left in the game.
A 9-0 Warrior run late in the first half enabled the home team to gain a comfort zone which lasted until late in the third stanza when a 10-4 Tanager outburst got VHS back to within six at 33-27 heading into the final period.
Baskets by Andre and Rasmussen got the Tanagers to within 33-31. Moments later a Freidel basket again cut Winner's lead to two. Over the next five minutes the teams exchanged baskets. Four times Winner upped its lead to seven, and each time the Tanagers had an answer.
When Andre hit a clutch three-pointer at the 0:30 mark, the deficit was only 46-42, but Winner was able to add a pair of free throws and then a meaningless three-pointer at the final buzzer which left the final margin at a somewhat deceiving eight-point margin.
Vermillion's offense was led by Andre's 15 points. Rasmussen had nine, Freidel eight, Husby four, Steele four and Krier two. Tanner Anderson also saw action.
The Tanagers attempted only four free throws all night, making three of them. Winner had a 33-20 rebounding edge against the shorter Tanagers. Rasmussen and Freidel with six each led the VHS rebounders, and Rasmussen picked off three steals.
The Winner game matched Tanagers' head coach Jay Drake against the team coached by his father, Jim.
After playing at West Central last night (Thursday), the Tanagers, now 3-2, go to Parkston for a girls-boys doubleheader Friday.