Braves edge Standing Rock 74-70

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KIPI Sports | 2024 CRST High School Basketball 
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte High School Gymnasium “PARENT’S NIGHT” Tuesday Jan. 23, 2024

The Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves hosted a very skilled Standing Rock team coached by Hans Bradley and Terry Brownotter. 
Hans brought home the 2023 NABI Championship to Standing Rock, ND. Team “Akicita” defeated Kiowa last July in Phoenix Arizona. The NABI Tournament is the Native American Basketball Invitational. Sponsored by Nike’s N7, the tournament has become a showcase of the best Native Hoopers on Turtle Island. 1500 Indigenous athletes compete in over 400 games in 5 days. Team Akicita was stacked with North Dakota’s top basketball talent from MHA-Mandan Hidatsa Arikara, Spirit Lake Nation and the Standing Rock Nation. 

Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Boys Basketball came into Parent’s Night with a record of (7-3) after defeating the Todd County Falcons. Head Coach Galen Eberhard and his coaching staff have their hands full this week with 4 total games. Monday vs. Todd County, Tuesday vs. Standing Rock. Thursday Jan. 25th the Braves host Lakota Tech and Saturday’s Double Header at Stanley County. Lakota Tech starting point guard is Sr. MacKenzie Cass. Mack led Cheyenne-Eagle Butte in scoring last season (22-23). The 6’2 transfer was the first KIPI Radio Player of the Game scoring 23 pts against Crow Creek January 10, 2023. KIPI Sports had the Lakota Tech game circled on the calendar since the schedules were released.

Cheyenne-Eagle Butte student-athletes and their loved ones were recognized with an honor song by Mr. Jay Clark. Jay’s son Keenan is the point guard for the Braves Junior Varsity team. After the honor song the starting five were announced. Coach Eberhard has already quadrupled his win total from a season ago and the Braves are looking like a state caliber basketball team as we approach the season’s half way mark.

The Warriors would win the tip-off. Within a second #4 Brentley Harrison would put Standing Rock on the score board. Braves’ Junior Easton Lawrence would answer with the first bucket for the Braves, and sharp-shooter Damien Clown would hit his first 3pt. attempt of the night. Lawrence would score again off of a quick pass from Levi Elk Nation. Elk Nation can do it all and is having a great season as the floor general for Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. After Lance Bradley’s third 3pt bucket of the 1st quarter Levi would find Dayson Kennedy for a 3. On the next Braves’ possession Kennedy would find Levi for a 3. At the end of the first it would be tied at 23 and Lance Bradley would lead all scorers with 10.

The second quarter would be a shootout and the Warriors would go into the half with a 43-41 lead. The scoring duo of Bradley and Harrison is one of the best the Braves’ have faced this season. The Warrior Seniors would combine for 54 of Standing Rock’s 70 points. 

In the second half Easton Lawrence would get into foul trouble, but Sophomore Destinn Straight Head had no problem protecting the paint throughout the second half. Straight Head continues to increase his minutes each game and near the end of the third quarter he knocked down both of his free throws, putting the Braves’ lead up to 7. Austin Johnson went on a six-point run in the second half and making a handful of hustle plays all throughout the game. The hustle plays often go unnoticed and we want to recognize each one. Hustle plays happen when a player can recover or get back on defense, dive on a loose ball or crash the board for a put back bucket. There is always one guy on each team that prides himself on making hustle plays, but Cheyenne-Eagle Butte has a few with a perfect example in Sophomore #11 Nehemiah Veaux. Veaux is quick and has lockdown defense that allows him to force turnovers that usually lead to a fast break lay-up for the Braves. 

The fourth quarter would begin with a bullet pass from Elk Nation to Johnson. Johnson’s bucket would ignite the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte crowd.  Braves Nation was electric throughout the fourth quarter, but the Warriors would still manage to tie the game at 69 with 3 minutes to go. Dayson Kennedy would force a turn-over and find Damien Clown for a fastbreak bucket. Down two with thirty seconds left Standing Rock senior Thane Beheler would have a chance to tie the game at the line. Beheler missed both free throws but would hustle down his own rebound and call time-out. Coach Hans Bradley would write up a play that put the ball in the hands of Lance Bradley. Just as Harrison found Bradley on the inbound pass, the ball would be stolen by Braves SG Dayson Kennedy. Kennedy would be fouled immediately and be sent to the Free Throw line with a chance to put the Braves up by 4 points with only seconds remaining in the game. Dayson Kennedy would make both free throws and finish 8/8 on the night from the free throw line. Final score 74-70, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte increasing their record to (8-3) on the season. 

KIPI Radio Player of the Game: Sophomore #25 Dayson Kennedy. Kennedy earning his second POTG. Finishing with 13 points (8/8 FT) and forcing a turnover to win the game. Pictured below is Braves SG #25-Dayson Kennedy at the 46th Annual Lakota Nation Invitational

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