In his postgame interview, South Dakota Coyotes Head Coach Todd Lee jokingly asked who they were playing next after their win over Kansas City. All of South Dakota and all of the Summit League know who the Coyotes are playing next. They have a date with in-state rival and number 1 seed South Dakota State. Setting up an electric Monday Night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. More on that in a minute. First, the game that got the Coyotes here.
In a game that was close most of the way, it was the Coyotes that pulled away at the end. While the Coyotes continued to execute, Kansas City went without a point for over 5 minutes to end the game as the Coyotes secured the victory. Hunter Goodrick, a player not often counted on to shoulder the load offensively for the Coyotes had an impressive start and continued making an impact throughout the game. If I were naming a player of the game it would be Goodrick, although the Coyotes had a balanced attack all night. Goodrick finished the night with 14 points and 8 rebounds. The Coyotes also got impressive performances from Mason Archambault 14 points, and Kruz Perrot-Hunt and Boogie Anderson both with 13. As Kansas City Coach Billy Donlon said “any time our two teams play the tougher team always wins” Donlon went on to say “tonight they were the tougher team”. While there’s a little bit of cliche there, it seems to ring true in this game. Going up against one of the Summit League’s tougher teams, the Coyotes were the tougher team. Loose balls seemed to find Coyote hands, hard-fought rebounds to the Coyotes, and every time there was a run by the Roos the Coyotes had an answer. The Coyotes will need the same if not more of that toughness as they prepare for South Dakota State tonight.
On the Roos side, being harassed by one of the league’s better perimeter defenses, Evan Gilyard’s Summit League career went out with a bit of a whimper. The all-league guard shot 3-13 from the field and 1-7 from behind the arc. Marvin Nesbitt the Summit League’s defensive player of the year showed why with 4 blocks and 2 steals. Coach Donlon lauded his toughness, saying Nesbitt who was playing injured “played on one leg”. If the observers weren’t told that they wouldn’t have known watching Nesbitt. Not only did Nesbitt do big things on the defensive end he also finished with 19 points. Coach Donlon went on to say we “just had the best season in the history of our school”. Donlon also hoped the players would appreciate that. In spite of the loss, from an outside observer, those words ring accurate.
Both Perrot-Hunt and Goodrick lauded the atmosphere in last night’s game. Both also recognized that tonight’s atmosphere will be even more electric. Goodrick stated last night was “one of the funnest games I’ve ever been a part of” and Perrot-Hunt added the “crowd was amazing tonight”. When talking about tonight Perrot-Hunt stated “it’s going to be tough to sleep tonight” and Goodrick added, “Can’t wait, it will be fun”. The rest of the state of South Dakota joins Goodrick in saying that they can’t wait for tonight.