The Crawford Rams clinched a season opener win Thursday night, defeating the Sioux County Warriors in a back-and-forth battle 42-32.
Sioux County jumped out to an early lead with Mike Sanderson hitting a field goal which was followed by three free throws by Cy Hughson. Ritchie Guitierrez and Hughson each added another bucket apiece to give the Warriors a 9-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. Crawford scored just once, mid-way through the period, when Hayes Frahm went to the bucket.
The tide shifted in the second quarter, with the Rams taking a lead behind a 14-4 run. Mitch Knode scored six for the Rams, while Frahm and Andrew Two Bulls chipped in two each. For Sioux County, Tucker Monroe added two to the board, and Colten Randall went two-for-two at the charity stripe. The Rams took a 14-13 lead into the break, ending a first half that saw both teams in foul trouble with each team eligible for bonus shots with just under 6 minutes left in the half and in double bonus for the final three minutes.
The second half began with another close battle, as Monroe drained a trey to tie the contest at 16, and back-to-back layups on each end of the floor tied it again at 18. Sioux County edged ahead with another Monroe three-pointer, and a jumper by Sam Skavdahl made it 23-20 Warriors. Roman Metz scored for the Rams to bring them within one but stepped over the line on his possible game-tying free throw. Metz added another two moments later, however, and Lawson Nolan found the net to give the Rams the lead once more. Knode added a free throw for the Rams to close the third quarter 30-26.
Sioux County’s Skavdahl and Shane Gluth dumped in back-to-back scores to tie the contest again, this time at 30, as the final period began. Levi Van Beck made the go-ahead score for the Rams, the beginning of a 10-6 run for Crawford that gave them the victory.
Crawford 2 14 16 10 -42
Sioux County 9 4 11 8 -32
Crawford: Nolan, 8; Knode, 11; Frahm, 5; Two Bulls, 2; Van Beck, 7; Metz, 8; Huggett, 1
Sioux County: Monroe, 8; Randall, 5; Hughson, 5; Gutierrez, 2; Gluth, 2; Sanderson, 2; Skavdahl, 8