STURGIS — In a matchup of previously undefeated teams in the Black Hills Conference, Sturgis benefited from a 13-0 scoring outburst in a stretch over two minutes to claim a 57-49 win over St. Thomas More Thursday.
Dawson Geuke's 3-pointer knotted the score at 45-45 at the 3:07 mark of the final quarter. The Scooper junior completed a traditional three-point play handing the hosts the lead for good.
Ryan Garland sank a trey and Jace Fischer connected on four straight free throws building, the Scoopers' lead to 55-45.
Two free throws by Tayton Maher pulled the Cavaliers within eight points with 44 seconds left, but it was too little, too late.
Geuke poured in a game-high 25 points, which included six 3-pointers. Fischer contributed 13 points and Garland netted 10.
Maher tallied 17 of his team-high 20 points in the opening half as the visitors enjoyed a 27-23 halftime lead.
Isaac Kortemeyer, 6-foot, 8-inch senior post, scored 13 points.
"We had the wrong rotation on Maher in the first half," said Sturgis coach Colin McCampbell. "Give credit to him. He hit some shots."
McCampbell said Geuke deserved credit for the stifling defense on Maher in the second half.
"Obviously Geuke got hot," McCampbell said of the fourth-quarter momentum swing. "We picked up our intensity. They didn't get as many open looks. That's a big win for us."
The Scoopers, 9-2, were rated fifth in this week's AA South Dakota Sportswriters Basketball Poll.
STM head coach Dave Hollenbeck said his team turned the ball over three times after stretching the lead to 24-16 in the first half.
"You can't beat a team doing that," he said. "We played back on our heels and we paid for it."
Hollenbeck said the Scoopers did a good job of guarding Maher in the second half.
"We had plenty of scoring opportunities, but didn't take advantage. We missed a lot of inside shots," he said.
St. Thomas More, 10-3, was ranked second in the A poll and were coming off wins over previously No. 1 ranked Sioux Valley and Spearfish.
Sturgis hosts Belle Fourche tonight in a BHC matchup. St. Thomas More will play at Belle Fourche Tuesday.
STM girls roll past Scoopers
St. Thomas More outscored Sturgis Brown 18-1 over the final five minutes of the first half rallying for a 68-33 win in Black Hills Conference girls basketball Thursday.
Eden Lambert's basket handed the Scoopers a 17-16 lead with 5:47 remaining in the first half.
Jayden Bies' 3-pointer sparked a 10-0 scoring run.
Donni Bruch's free throw was the only scoring for the remainder of the quarter for the hosts.
More tallied the final 10 points of the quarter claiming a 34-18 halftime advantage.
Bies netted a team-high 19 points. Dru Gylten pumped in 14 and Klaire Kirsch added 13.
Brooklyn Janz topped the Scoopers with 15 markers.
"They (Scoopers) were well prepared. They took advantage of some things. Their starting five is very solid," said St. Thomas More head coach Brandon Kandolin. "Our second-half execution was a lot better."
The Lady Cavaliers do what they do really well, said Sturgis head coach Jordan Proefrock.
"They scored 18 of their first half points off of turnovers. They scored on every one of our turnovers," she said. "What's disappointing is that we're not consistent."
Proefrock did say she was pleased with the Scoopers' rebounding.
"We competed pretty well," she said.
Sturgis Brown, 4-8 overall, hosts Belle Fourche tonight.
St. Thomas More, 13-0, visits Belle Fourche Tuesday.