The Dell Rapids St Mary Cardinal boys basketball team defended their Dakota Valley Conference tournament title and won for the second straight year after a 54-49 win over the Elkton-Lake Benton Elks in Elkton on Saturday, January 23rd. This will be the final Dakota Valley Conference tournament.
The Cardinals grabbed an early lead in the first quarter and were able to hang on throughout the game. St Mary scored the first seven points of the game and held a 17-9 lead after the first quarter. The lead grew to 21-9 with 6:45 to play in the first half, but the Elks finished the quarter with a 14-6 advantage to cut the lead to 27-23 at halftime.
The Elks were able to tie the game at 33-33 with 4:08 to play, and then took a two point lead into the fourth quarter, 39-37. St Mary went on an 8-3 run in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter for a 45-42 lead. The game remained close throughout the rest of the game. With 1:45 to play, the Cardinals held a 51-49 lead before scoring the final three points to secure the win.
Connor Libis had 24 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Ashaun Roach-Valandra had 11 points and seven rebounds. Max Herber added seven points along with 11 rebounds.
St Mary (9-3) will play Deubrook Area in White on Tuesday, January 26th. The game can be seen on Big Sioux Media.