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Border War: Can the Chieftains take down Chamberlain

By Rich Winter

 Curious moment in mid January when I asked Seth Friesz, Chamberalin who the Cubs' biggest rival was. Friesz was sitting amongst his teammates prior to the Todd County game, and while there was some whispered conversation amongst the Cubs players, hands down they said that Crow Creek was their biggest rival.

While Winner has danced in and out or Region 6A, the Cubs and Chieftains have always been there, always been good and played some hella important games with high stakes and big implications on the line. 

These kids have played together, played against each other and know each other extremely well. 

So do the coaches! 

Seems like I heard earlier this year that Crow Creek head coach Billy Joe Sazue was a year behind Chamberlain coach Adam Nelson and both were coached by Nelson's father, a few years back. 

Big game tonight in Chamberlain as Crow Creek travels to Chamberlain to battle it out for the Region 6A championship.

Chamberlain 44.43 11-3

Crow Creek 44.29 10-4

With all apologies to Miller and the rest of the boys teams in Region 6A, these are the two best teams in the Region, the teams that will likely advance to the Sweet-16 in just a few weeks. 

The winner, solidifies their strength of schedule and likely earns a first-round game in that Sweet-16 against a lower-seeded team. 

Chamberlain comes into the game at 11-3, having played in Madison Monday night, losing to the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, 62-56. Crow Creek, 10-4, had a seven-game winning streak broken Saturday when the 11-3 Pine Ridge Thorpes when they lost 53-47.

And did I mention that Joe Sazue III, Crow Creek's leading scorer, used to go to school in Chamberlain?


Good luck to both teams in what is sure to be a tremendous atmosphere in an electrically charged environment. 

Rich Marone sets a pick on Winner's Drew DeMers as Tiegen Priebe runs the offense for Chamberlain.

Archambault bringing battle-tested Standing Rock squad to Lakota Nation

In one of the premier matchups of the first round of Lakota Nation, the No. 12 Standing Boys square off against White River.
In one of the premier matchups of the first round of Lakota Nation, the No. 12 Standing Boys square off against White River.

As we head toward Lakota Nation, one of the really interesting story lines heading into this tournament is the massive throng of people that will be welcoming the folks from Standing Rock to Rapid City after a rugged battle over the DAPL pipeline. 

Caught up with Standing Rock boys coach, Cyril Archambault Tuesday to visit about his boys team, the recent events in Standing Rock and the impending No. 5 vs. No. 12 clash with an Eldon Marshall coached, White River squad, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. Kind of an interesting note here for the coaches as Archambault and Marshall played together in independent basketball for a number of years. 

"Eldon and I played together in independent basketball and we have a lot of respect for him and he does a good job with his team," Archambault said. "I know he's a good coach all around it's kinda bittersweet because I want to beat him but he's a fantastic coach and has done a lot for White River."

While a good share of South Dakota youth paid attention to the protests up in Standing Rock, Archambault said his kids lived the experience as it was right in there back yard. 

"I had a number of guys that spent time out there. Guys were hit by rubber bullets and the grenades," Archambault said. "They would leave the practice, go to camp and this protest means a lot to them. Water is everywhere and the events in their own backyard meant a lot to them."

When the announcement finally came that the Army Corp. of Engineers was putting a stop to the pipeline, at least for now, everyone went out to camp together and then they came back and practiced.

"The struggle was real and even when it got cold they were still there," Archambault said.  

Of course you can't be part of a historic note in American history without the community coming together and bonding over such a close and personal issue.

"We should have a pretty good crowd especially when we saw the bracket. The community is ready for Standing Rock basketball," Archambault said. 

There has been a different kind of excitement for this season, and Archambault said it started the moment the season ended last year. "They have been dreaming and working hard," he said. The Archambault brothers, Coach's nephews, spent some time in Florida this summer working on their games with another uncle. People from the community got to see the guys all summer as many of them were out running, or running and dribbling at the same time. The Warriors had their first game of the season snowed out and entering Lakota Nation, they do not have a game under their belts. 

"We've gotten a lot of support from the community and you can really feel the excitement," Archambault said. "People are calling myself or the assistant coaches, people that don't even have kids on the team, and asking about practice, our first game and wishing us well." 

They are ready....It;'s kind of a cool thing...I'd like to see that good old fashioned basketball...Standing Rock Warriors!

And so a senior laded team that is guard heavy just arrived in Rapid City. 

Six seniors dot the roster with Rashawn Archambault 5'10", Corbin Claymore 5'11" Jace Long Feahter 6-foot-1, Gavin Bird 6-foot and Justin Fox 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-2 Joseph Yellow Fat expected to contribute.

Three semi big guys in there, all juniors in Trevoer Kuntz, Reese Three Legs and Adrian Shanley all going 6-foot-3 or better. 

Archambault notes people should be prepared for the speed the Warriors are going to bring.

"They are real fast, love to move the ball. We have a lot of raw talent on the roster and they love to play defense and really get after people," Archambault said.

On the bigs that are junior oriented, Archambault says the guys have improved because of hard work. 

"Reese is really solid, uses the board and he's an old school guy," Archambault said. "Trevor has improved after moving up to the varsity level and he'll start for us. He's strong down low, kind of Dennis Rodman type that gets off his feet quickly for the second jump." 

And this team is deep! Archambault said he could go all 14-players deep and will decide playing time and minutes as the situation warrants. 

No. 5 White River vs. No. 12 Standing Rock, Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time with two old buddies and ball players...Sign me up...I'm there!

Add Riley Hodgekiss a 5-foot-11 9th grader and Joseph YellowFat a 6-foot-2 senior.

Author's Note - About two weeks ago the site where I blog, notified me that their site was going down for maintenance, on December 15 for an indeterminate amount of time...WHAT? 

I was horrified that this was happening just as Lakota Nation was getting started.

So, I'm packing up shop and moving my blog to, a site that streams live sports video from schools around South Dakota. Really good stuff the ticket is producing and I'm very excited to delve even further into Dakota sports when the new Panic Button emerges on the site...Hopefully, next week!

In the mean-time, as I head to this new forum I'd like to encourage folks to send pictures, stats, videos and such for their athletic contests....Had a young man from Chamberlain South Dakota that sent me a few cell-phone photos and a couple of stats and he guest authored a blog on the Panic Button...Think it would be pretty cool to have one site, one place where people could see all the great things these young people do!

Could be a good opportunity for a young person interested in photography, writing or even journalism to dabble in something and get a feel for it. At the end of the day, the goal is to get more youth covered, especially in some of these rural areas in South Dakota and surrounding areas. 

If anyone is interested in contributing, say hello on Facebook or send me a message at

I would dunk videos all day!!

The site where I'll be moving is here...tonight's featured game is the Marty Braves at Colome Cowboys

Silas Blaine's Chiefs no slouch entering Lakota Nation...

A couple years into his tenure at Crazy Horse and Silas Blaine has the Chiefs on the right path.
A couple years into his tenure at Crazy Horse and Silas Blaine has the Chiefs on the right path.

By Rich Winter

Caught up with the Crazy Horse Chiefs in what I believe was perhaps a semifinal game between CH and White River in March of 2016. If memory serves that was a good ball game, kinda back and forth for about 1.5 quarters. Eventually White River pulled ahead and went on to win the game, the district and the region to advance to the B tournament for the 11th consecutive year.

In that District game you could tell Crazy Horse was young and perhaps lacking experience, but they competed, ran the floor and you could tell the group looked hungry to get better. 

Asked Todd County coach Mike Hammer about the Chiefs participating in the White River summer league and he noted they did and were much improved from what he remembered in previous years. 

Four seniors on the roster: Ben Quiver, Jayden Dull Knife, Hoksila Moves Camp and Adrien Gencaralle. Not a lot of height on the roster with three guys toeing the tape measuring 6-foot-1

So, without that height, you would expect Crazy Horse to get after teams in transition. 

Tough bracket for Crazy Horse as they open up with No. 2 seed Little Wound and win/lose they will play either Crow Creek or St. Francis in the second round. This is a much improved program than perhaps what people remember and certainly worth a watch at Lakota Nation.

Just some random photos from last year's district game. 

And, oh, by the way, Crazy Horse drilled Wakpala in their opener 82-38....OOOOHHHHH, interesting!

The Crazy Horse Chiefs captured on camera from a District 13 game in White River in March of 2016.