At halftime of the Rapid City Stevens boys' basketball win over Pierre Friday night, Dylan Pourier had only two points and the Raiders led by only two.
A nice talking to in the locker room was able to change that.
Pourier scored 17 second-half points to lead all scorers with 19, and Stevens pulled away in the second half for a 60-49 win.
"The first half we just came out slow and we weren’t ready to play. That’s just how it goes sometimes," Pourier said. "Going into halftime coach got on us a little bit about playing our brand of basketball and not just doing whatever we want."
Stevens, 5-2, never was able to pull away from the Governors, 2-3, in the first half. After getting out to a 8-4 lead early in the game, Pierre came back with two quick baskets to tie the score and at the end of the first quarter the Stevens lead was 16-13.
The second quarter had a similar story, whenever the Raiders would get ahead by two or more possessions the Governors would come back. They outscored Stevens 17-16 in the second.
"We had a lot of opportunities to extend the lead, and whether it was turnovers, a missed lay-up or a break down on defense, it was frustrating. Any time you can get a win against Pierre, it’s a good win," Stevens coach Chris Stoebner said. "In the first half we were doubling the post and we wanted to make other guys score, and they did. We still had some opportunities to extend the lead and we’re no quite that experienced ball club that takes advantage of opportunities like we should. Hopefully we get there."
The third quarter was when Pourier started to take control. He scored six quick points coming out of the locker room and there was no looking back.
"He struggled a bit in the first half with shooting the ball and finishing," Stoebner said of Pourier. "He saw one go in and it gave him some confidence, that was big, that’s where we made our run in the second half. Dawson (Paulsen) hit some big shots the whole game."
Paulsen finished the game with 17 points and Daniel Vigoren had 10. Pierre was led by Chase Sattgast, who had nine points. At the end of the third quarter, Stevens led 49-40.
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The Raiders closed the door in the fourth, outscoring the Governors 12-9 to come away with the win.
"I think when coach got on us he stressed playing basketball the way we know how to play it, so everyone was ready to go out and play," Pourier said. "We have to do that from the start of the game."
Pourier is still getting acclimated to a new school and program. Last season, the senior played for Douglas, one of the smallest Class AA schools in terms of enrollment.
He said it's taken awhile to get adjusted socially, but basketball has helped speed that process along.
"At first it was a lot different, but basketball has changed that," he said. "You see a new face every day. The basketball is kind of different. We had a lot of seniors who wanted to take that shot last season where this year I think we can do everything."
One thing helping the adjustment is knowing that he doesn't have to bare the bulk of the scoring load. Stevens made it clear Friday night that when it comes to scoring, there are options available.
"I think everyone in our rotation can score the basketball, it’s just a matter of getting that open shot and having that confidence," he said. "I think as soon as that comes we’ll be pretty deadly."
Stoebner agreed that the Raiders have a lot of options on the offensive end of the floor, but said he still wants to work with his team on shot selection depending on the situation of the game.
"For us it’s about right shot, right time," he said. "If you’re winning by 13, let’s move the ball a little bit and get that same shot. We can get a shot every possession, but let’s get a great shot. We’re getting them to that point and then I think we’ll be tough to guard."
Stevens hosts Aberdeen Central today at 1:30 p.m. while Pierre is at Rapid City Central today, also at 1:30 p.m.