By Rich Winter
A terrific ballgame up in Miller yesterday as Kellan Herman’s Todd County Falcons slipped past Darin Hunter’s Miller Rustlers, 79-77. A superb effort from a pair of seniors that only get to see each other once a year on the basketball court…That said, every time Aiden Bizardie and Karst Hunter hook up, they bring out the absolute best in one another.
At halftime of last night’s contest, Todd County led 34-32 with Hunter already pouring in 15 points while Bizardie had a routine, nine points in the first half.
And then all heck broke loose.
Karst Hunter had 12 in the third period, 11 in the final stanza and finished with 38 points/16 rebounds.
Aiden Bizardie had 12 in the third, and 16 in the final period, finishing with 37 points and 8 assists.
It is interesting how sports brings us closer to one another and Miller coach Darin Hunter talked about the efforts of his son and Mr. Bizardie.
“It’s amazing how sports can either divide you or bring you together. These two schools are 165 miles apart and these two only see each other a few times a year in person they obviously have a bond and it’s because subconsciously basketball and playing against each other has brought out the best in them,” Hunter said. “Physically on the court by their performances but mostly a friendship and respect that has personally driven them to bring out the best in each other as student/ athletes - Last night they went back and forth - punch after punch after punch with no expression and when it was done they hugged and smiled for the first time that night and took pictures and stood and talked all sweaty and wore out - at that point winning and/ or losing was the last thing on their mind - I hope people recognized that - it was a pretty cool scene.” Darin Hunter
I think the parents of these two prodigy’s understand the bond these two have as they’ve stopped, breathed for a minute, and embraced the matchup…and captured the essence of high-school sports two years in a row.
It is really interesting that Hunter and Bizardie are close both on the court and off. Last night, Aiden Bizardie want over the 1500 point barrier for his career. Hunter, right now is at 1491 points. Mr Hunter averages 27 points and 13 rebounds (DANG) and is closing in on both scoring and rebounding records at Miller
“He is 26 away from breaking the school record (752) held by Bryan Schwartz who ended up playing Linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars for 5 years,” Hunter said.
(Darin Peterka holds the Miller boys career scoring record with 1754 points)
After a stellar football career at Miller, Karst Hunter has signed with South Dakota State University where he will play for the Jacks.
If I’m a student at SDSU next year who plays intramural basketball, the first thing I’m doing is knocking on Karst Hunter’s door to acquire a 6-foot-4 machine that averaged 27 and 13 in his ‘other sport)
For Bizardie, who has been a 4-year starter at Todd County the 1500 points barrier was a biggie…Bizardie, under the direction of Kellan Herman has reigned in his game a bit the year and the results have been superb.
20.4 ppg, 4.7 ppg, 3.4 apg and 2.7 steals per game.
Last night, 37 points 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals….Free throws last night, 9-10.
This kid can stroke it from deep, AND, he’s shooting a remarkable 42 percent from DEEP….this season.
Take a look at the photo below…Three summers ago, in between his freshman and sophomore year, young Bizardie lost his father Karl (Kracken) who passed away…It was a tough blow for a young man that played catch with, shot hoops with and endlessly talked trash with…the #4DAD at the top of the photo exemplifies that Bizardie is ever conscious of his father and the influence his pops had on him.
Coach Hunter from Miller told us his thoughts on facing Bizardie…
“Aiden Bizarde is by far the best player we will face in the regular season - great player and even better kid - he has the whole package - he is smooth.”
While Bizardie has yet to sign collegiately, Hunter says someone is getting the total package.
“Anyone who gets him will be getting a great player.”