Photo Courtesy of Jody Stout

Queen City Classic tops off trio of weekend tournaments for Kadoka’s Red Stone Rockers

The Redstone Rockers, a basketball team made up of Kadoka Area 7th and 8th-grade boys were able to win out in two out of three tournaments during the latter month of March. The tournaments were located in Rapid City and Spearfish and served as a way to better their skills, gain more experience through the different teams they played, and most importantly, have some fun.
Due to COVID-19's arrival last year, the chance for Kadoka boys to compete in these tournaments last year was lost. Annual basketball tournaments, like the Queen City Classic, were canceled and shelved until further notice. With new rules and restrictions for spectators and teams, some have opened back up for business.
8th graders; Maxx Blair, Owen Fauske, Garrett Hermann, Jared Nemecek, Camden O'Bryan, Don Schofield, Gus Stout, and 7th graders; Kole Hermann and Tance VanderMay were coached by Kadoka High School superintendent, Jamie Hermann. 
The team traveled to Rapid City's Skillz Center for their first tournament, the Toyota Jam on March 13 & 14, 2021. Playing one game each on Saturday and Sunday, the boys walked away as champions in their respective bracket. Their pool consisted of four teams including the Rapid City Boltz (Rapid City, SD), STM Cavz (Saint Thomas Moore, SD), and Tigers (New Underwood, SD).
Coach Hermann gave praise, especially concerning the boy's ability to work together as a team, "They executed both offensively and defensively. When we needed buckets, we got them, when we needed defensive stops, we got them, too. The team played well, especially on Saturday."
The blockade from making the Redstone Rockers go undefeated came during the following weekend's Park Bench Hardwood Classic. Held in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City on March 19-21, the boys fell short and ended up finishing in 6th place in their bracket. Teams with more roster depth began to give the Rockers trouble, Coach Hermann stated.
Capping off the Rocker's tournament-style season, the Queen City Classic was played on March 27 & 28, 2021. 
COVID-19 operating guidelines were implemented for all those attending. Some notable changes included masks being required; coaches, players, and spectators not being able to arrive earlier than 15 minutes from their scheduled games; and a 30-person limit for each team's spectators. Social distancing was also encouraged.
Saturday's two games, while only 3 hours apart, fell in favor of the Rockers, much like the Toyota Jam.
Starting at 3 p.m., the boys finished a close contest with a win over the Faith Longhorns, outscoring them 43-37.
Their second game came hours later and an even closer score came with it. Tip-off started at 6 p.m for the Redstone Rockers and Sully Buttes. A battle for their bracket's championship game was on the line. The Sully Buttes were 6 points shy of extending their stay at the Queen City Classic tournament, ultimately falling to the Rockers, 45-50.
After a night of rest, the boys got ready for their bracket's championship game against the Lyman Raiders. 
Offensively, the Raiders seem to have struggled and gave way to a Rockers' championship win, 31-19. 
Coach Hermann said, "Each one of the boys had to step up during times over the course of the tournaments in a different fashion. . . some [players] hit key shots or free throws at critical moments or they executed the press break flawlessly to get a layup. . . I could choose a different MVP for each game, for various reasons. They played well and were fun to coach. I am proud of the time and dedication they put in. . . it was a great experience for the team . . . we played several teams from Rapid City, Saint Thomas Moore, and Sully Buttes - to name a few schools that we normally do not play during our regular season. The boys enjoyed the extra opportunities to get on the court and continue to work on their skill sets this spring, [which] wasn’t available last year at this time. A thank you goes out to the parents who made this happen and the kids for their continued interest in the sport."
Finishing off three consecutive weekend trips to the Black Hills area, the Redstone Rockers gained experience outside of their usual conference rivals that they can transition into next season as more developed players and leaders. 
Incoming freshmen can utilize their experiences to help their new squads under Kadoka High School basketball coach, Mark Reiman.
Upcoming 8th graders can bring their new experiences and improved skills as they now are tasked to help lead their middle school teams.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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