The Stanley County Buffaloes boys basketball team hosted the Miller Rustlers in their final home game at Parkview Gymnasium of the 2020-21 season on Monday. The Buffs defeated the Rustlers 68-42.

The Buffs jumped out to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter. They extended their lead to 41-16 at halftime. Early in the third quarter, Miller head coach Josh Haaland was given two technical fouls, and was ejected from the game. The Buffs continued their momentum in the third quarter by extending their lead to 54-25. Their momentum slowed a bit, as the Rustlers outscored the Buffs 68-42 in the fourth quarter. However, the game ended on a high note for the Buffs when sparingly used sophomore Riley Runge scored on a baseline shot, bringing the entire crowd to its feet.

Buffs head coach Max Foth said he felt his team played some good team basketball in their victory.

“A lot of guys stepped up and did some really good things,” Foth said. “It was fun to see Jamie Juarez out there to get the start. He played well and got a lot of minutes. That poor kid has been quarantined a few times, so he hasn’t been able to be with us for much of the season. It was fun to see him play. The same goes for Nathan Cook, who had a great senior year and last home game.”

Cook led the way for the Buffs with a game high 21 points. Junior guard Lathan Prince had 16 points, while junior forward Cormac Duffy had 10 points. Junior guard Daysen Titze had eight points off the bench.

Foth said he really wanted to get some of his junior varsity players some playing time at the end of the game.

“It’s tough with our numbers being what they are,” Foth said. “We haven’t been able to have a full junior varsity schedule due to injury and illness. It was cool to see those guys get in and play. That was Riley Runge’s first game on the varsity bench, and he comes in and scores two points. That might have been the loudest Parkview got all night. It was fun to see those kids get in to play, and have them play well.”

The Rustlers were led by sophomore forward Spencer Fernholz, who had 15 points. Freshman guard Alex Schumacher had 10 points, while junior guard Caden Gortmaker had six points off the bench.

The Rustlers (2-17, no. 4 in Region 6A) will next play the rival Highmore-Harrold Pirates (12-7, no. 4 in Region 2B) in Miller on Friday. Games are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. CT. Due to his ejection from Monday’s game, Haaland will not be able to coach the Rustlers for their regular season finale.

The Buffs (10-8, no. 3 in Region 6A) will play the North Central Thunder (4-14, no. 8 in Region 2B) on Thursday in Bowdle. Games are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. CT. Foth said it feels like the Buffs are playing some of their best basketball right now.

“We’re playing better and better all the time,” Foth said. “It’s one of those things where I think we can do better. I’m going to be nitpicking and trying to find things we can fix, but we’re playing really well right now. Hopefully, we can keep playing as good as we are so that we can hang around and steal one in Mobridge.”

Monday’s game was the final home game for Buffs seniors Nathan Cook, Tayne Bohman and Jamie Juarez.

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