The Rapid City Central boys' soccer team went into Tuesday night’s matchup with No. 2 seed Sioux Falls Lincoln looking for an opportunity to play in Saturday’s Class AA state title matchup.

Unfortunately for the Cobblers, the Patriots had different plans as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half and held on to earn a 4-1 victory and the state title game berth.

The first goal of the game came in the eighth minute when Isaac Woods of Lincoln found the back of the net on an assist from Michael Schmidtman.

Just eight minutes later, the Patriots extended their early lead as David Bizimana scored on an assist from Ayanle Ibrihim.

Senior Ryder Gary put the Cobblers on the board in the 44th minute of the second half when he took a pass from Garrett Cole and beat the Lincoln goal keeper to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Deglel Ela of Lincoln extended the lead again in the 69th minute, before Woods scored his second goal to put the match away.

Despite the season ending early for the Cobblers, coach Joe Sabrowski is proud of the way his team played throughout.

“I think the boys did a fantastic job this season. they exceeded my expectations,” he said. “I have a young group that is just going to grow and get better. I don’t know how we’ll replace Ryder (Gary) at the top, so that’ll be a challenge. But, I think this team will only get better next year.”  

Along with Gary finishing out his tenure at Central, seven other seniors will be graduating in the spring.

Those seniors include Klayson Jager, Riley Cole, Nick Glass, Trae Farren, Chris Holm, Jaxson Schmaltz and Daimon Burr.  

“I have watched boys grow from eighth and ninth graders,” Sabrowski said. “They really matured well and they are a fine group of young men. Thanks to all the support we’ve had through the year, and thanks to those seniors, they’ll be missed.”  

The Cobblers finished with nine shots on goal, with four of them coming from Gary.

Lincoln will move on to play Aberdeen Central in the title game on Saturday, while Central’s season ends at 10-3-1.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL 1, RAPID CITY STEVENS 0: In a rematch of the last two state championship games, Aberdeen Central got the better of Rapid City Stevens in the Class AA boys’ soccer semifinals Tuesday in overtime.

It was a back-and-forth game that saw Aberdeen out shoot the Raiders 20-8, including 15 shots on goal.

Stevens goalie Caden Williamson was the MVP for the Raiders, making 14 saves, but after 80 minutes of regulation and seven minutes of overtime, the Golden Eagles got one by him.

Jesse Magolias was able to get a shot off a direct kick that went into a crowd of players by Williamson, and Aberdeen held from there to advance to its third straight state final.

Aberdeen keeper Zach Palmer cradled a shot buy the Raiders' Devin Hansen at the buzzer to end the game.

The Raiders finish the season 9-3-1, Aberdeen will take on Sioux Falls Lincoln in the championship game Saturday.

Volleyball

RAPID CITY CENTRAL 3, DOUGLAS 0: Rapid City Central ran past the Patriots to pick up a straight-set win on Tuesday.

The Cobblers opened the match with a pair of 25-13 wins in the first and second sets, before sealing the win with a 25-16 third set.

Bailey Johnson led the Cobblers with 24 assists, Sam Seljeskog had 12 kills and Abbie Freeman finished with 23 digs.

Sidney Shurger paced the Patriots with six assists, while Jeslyn Jindra tallied three kills and Alyssa Stewart finished with 10 digs.

Rapid City Central (5-14) will travel to Sturgis on Tuesday, while Douglas (1-14) hosts Rapid City Stevens.

WINNER 3, GREGORY 0: Winner picked up its 12th win of the season with a straight set victory over Gregory on Tuesday.

The Warriors earned their second consecutive win with 25-10 victories in the first and second sets, followed by a 25-16 third set.

Addy Root led Winner with 31 assists, Abby Marts had 13 kills and Morgan Hammerbeck finished with 11 digs and six aces.

Winner (12-5) will host White River on Thursday, while Gregory (10-8) hosts Platte-Geddes.

Stevens takes Twin City title

The Rapid City Stevens volleyball team took the top spot at the Twin City volleyball tournament on Saturday in Scottsbluff, Neb.

The Raiders wouldn’t have an easy road to the title, dropping Kelly Walsh in a three set battle in the semifinals.

Stevens fell behind early in its semifinal match, losing the opening set 25-23. The Raiders gained back the momentum in the second set to score the 25-18 victory.

In the third set, Stevens kept the momentum en route to a 27-25 win.

The title game wouldn’t get much easier for the Raiders as they opened the match with another opening set loss (25-23).

Fortunately, the Raiders fought back for a 25-20 second set win, before sealing the title victory with a 25-20 third set.

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Cross Country

Raider girls and boys top field in Colorado

The Rapid City Stevens girls and boys cross country teams swept the competition at the Andy Myers Cross Country Invitational in Greeley, Colo., on Saturday.

On the girls’ side, the Raiders finished with a score of 47, followed by Greeley Central with 64 and Conifer with 107.

Individually, Stevens was led by Hailey Uhre, who finished in third place in 19 minutes, 47 seconds, while Erika Dykstra took 5th in 20:03.

For the boys’ side of competition, the Raiders finished with 58, Faith Christian Academy wasn’t far behind with 64 and Montrose rounded out the top three with 111.

Luke Meyer was the highest ranking Stevens runner as he finished fifth in 16:39.

Liam Vidas was the next highest ranking Raider, coming in at ninth with a time of 16:58.

Christian boys win home cross country meet

Rapid City Christian topped the rest of the competition at the Rapid City Christian Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

The Comets took first place with 10 points, White River was close behind with 11 and Jones County placed third with 36.

Individually, Levi Vanden Bos led the boys in 16 minutes, 21 seconds.

On the girls’ side of competition, Dupree and Jones County finished first with a score of 16 each. Rapid City Christian followed closely behind with a final score of 21.

Jolie Dugan topped the field in the girls race, as she finished in 19 minutes and four seconds.

Softball

Raiders win Class A JV state title

The Rapid City Stevens’ softball team dropped Sioux Falls Roosevelt to seal the Class A junior varsity state title on Saturday.

The Raiders earned the title game berth with a 6-5 victory in the semifinals over Roosevelt.

Stevens would play Roosevelt again in the championship game, coming out on top with a 9-7 victory in an extra innings tiebreaker game.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.