Connect with us

South Dakota

Recapping a thrilling night of championship basketball in South Dakota

Published

on

Recapping a thrilling night of championship basketball in South Dakota


SIOUX FALLS — There are great championship games.

And then there’s nights like Saturday, in which South Dakota had three tremendous state championship games played around the state.

All three title games were decided in the final minute, with two going to overtime. Each of the teams had waited at least 19 years for a state championship, that being the case of the Kernels, while it was a 41-year wait for Hamlin and 60 years in the making for Howard.

Averaging the three title game victory margins, it was the closest night of boys championship hoops since 2015. That season saw Hanson win in overtime in Class B, Aberdeen Roncalli pull out a three-point win in Class A and a single basket decide the title game in Class AA (Lincoln over Washington, 47-45). Those games were decided by a combined nine points, just like Saturday night.

Advertisement

As you’ll see below, the similarities from Saturday are striking to nine years ago.

Here’s a short look at how it all happened and the notable history involved:

Mitchell’s Gavin Hinker puts up a shot in the Class AA boys state championship game between the Mitchell Kernels and the Brandon Valley Lynx on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Advertisement

Mitchell 46, Brandon Valley 45

How it was won: Mitchell’s Gavin Hinker was on the right end of a nifty pass by Markus Talley to lay in the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds remaining to lead 46-45. Mitchell made that hold up, as they denied Brandon Valley’s late offensive effort and forced a long 3-pointer by Josh Olthoff to come up short to set off the Kernel celebration.

Quotable: “It went down to the wire because these are the best teams in the state,” Mitchell’s Colton Smith said. “We’re here for a reason, and it showed.”

Facts to know:

  • The Mitchell-Brandon Valley game was the first Class AA title game decided by a single point since Roosevelt beat Rapid City Central 55-54 in 2000.
  • For the first time since 1993 and 1994, Class AA has had consecutive state championship matchups featuring Eastern South Dakota Conference teams. Along those lines, ESD teams with Yankton and Mitchell have won back-to-back championships in Class AA for the first time since 2018 and 2019 when Yankton and Brandon Valley won it all. 
  • Mitchell’s 46-45 win was the second-lowest combined scoring output in a Class AA title game in the last decade. Only Yankton’s 39-37 win over Harrisburg in 2018 saw fewer points. 
  • For only the second time since the start of the SoDak 16 in Class AA basketball in 2018, the No. 1 seed won four games in a row to claim the state championship. Mitchell joined 2022 Sioux Falls Roosevelt as the only top-seeds to win the state title since the 16-team bracket format went into use. 

Hamlin 53, Sioux Falls Christian 50 (OT)

Advertisement

53592898340_cb2a8f5818_c.jpg

Hamlin’s Tyson Stevenson shoots a 3-pointer to tie the game in regulation in the Class A state championship game on Saturday, March 16, 2024 against Sioux Falls Christian at the Summit Arena in Rapid City.

Aidan DeBoer / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

How it was won: Hamlin led by as many as 15 points early in the third quarter but saw that slip away and trail by five with 3:50 left. Hamlin’s Tyson Stevenson banked home a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 47-all, and Stevenson capped huge effort with five of Hamlin’s six points in overtime, ending Sioux Falls Christian’s undefeated run in the title game.

Quotable: “1983 was the last time we won one. This tells you how old I am, I was 11,” Hamlin’s Todd Neuendorf told South Dakota Public Broadcasting after the game. “What a great following from our community. They’re really happy. Big win for Hamlin County.”

Facts to know:

Advertisement
  • Hamlin is the first Class A state champion from outside the Dakota XII Conference since Aberdeen Roncalli in 2015. That Cavaliers team was also coached by current Chargers coach Todd Neuendorf. 
  • Teams playing twice in one season is increasingly rare in South Dakota, especially in Class A or Class B, so three meetings in a single season is an extreme outlier. And the Hamlin won the third matchup with SF Christian after falling the first two times against the No. 1 team for most of the season. The first two meetings were decided by 2 and 8 points, making the entire series decided by 13 points.  
  • The win ended the longest win streak in the state held by Sioux Falls Christian at 25 games in a row. Mitchell now has the longest win streak in the state at 17 consecutive victories. 
  • With Sioux Falls Christian’s loss, there was not an undefeated team in South Dakota boys basketball for the first time since 2021. 

Howard 60, De Smet 55 (OT)

Howard De Smet 1.JPG

Howard’s Luke Koepsell attempts a layup in the second quarter of the Class B state title game between Howard and De Smet on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen.

Jacob Nielson / Mitchell Republic

How it was won: For the second time in the tournament, De Smet’s George Jensen was the late-game hero, draining a shot with no time left in regulation to tie the game at 52-all. But Howard prevailed in overtime, coolly draining free throws to swipe away the victory in the last minute of the extra session for Howard’s first state title in 60 years.

Quotable: “We knew that they’re De Smet. We’ve never beat them. I’ve never beat De Smet,” Howard standout Luke Koepsell said. “So to finally get them, it feels good. We kept saying they’ve won enough. It’s our turn now, we deserve it. And we figured out a way to win.”

Advertisement

Facts to know:

  • Howard is the first No. 5 seed or higher to win a state championship in Class B since Hanson did it in 2015. The Beavers were also the No. 5 seed and like the Tigers, won their title game in overtime, which is the last Class B state overtime title contest. 
  • The championship game was also the first title game in Aberdeen since 2018 to be decided by five points or less. The game had 12 lead changes and nine ties. 
  • Howard did not make a field goal in overtime, making eight free throws in the extra period to win the game. The Tigers were 17-for-19 on free throws and were 31 of 37 on free throws in the semifinals and championship combined.   
  • De Smet was playing in its fifth consecutive state championship game, losing in 2019 and winning titles in 2021, 2022 and 2023, with the COVID canceled tournament in 2020, as well. White River has the Class B record for consecutive title game apperances with six from 2008 to 2013.

Marcus Traxler

Marcus Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. A past winner of the state’s Outstanding Young Journalist award and the 2023 South Dakota Sportswriter of the Year, he’s worked for the newspaper since 2014 and covers a wide variety of topics. A Minnesota native, Traxler can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem banned from fourth South Dakota reservation • South Dakota Searchlight

Published

on

Gov. Kristi Noem banned from fourth South Dakota reservation • South Dakota Searchlight


The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in south-central South Dakota is the fourth tribal nation to ban Gov. Kristi Noem from tribal lands this year.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe banished Noem in February after she spoke to the Legislature alleging Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated reservations. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe banned Noem earlier this month for comments she made at a town hall in Winner, alleging some tribal leaders are “personally benefiting” from cartels. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Rosebud Sioux Tribe banned Noem this week for her comments and in solidarity.

Five tribes have demanded an apology from Noem since the town hall. She has not issued an apology, but has issued press releases calling on tribes to “banish the cartels.

Coupled with her calls to banish the cartels, Noem has encouraged tribal governments to participate in partnerships with the South Dakota Highway Patrol to provide temporary law enforcement on reservations, and this week she offered a state law enforcement course for prospective tribal police. She has also called on the federal government to audit funding to the tribes to “determine the scope” of underfunding to the nine tribal nations in South Dakota.

Advertisement

In a news release announcing the banishment, Rosebud Sioux Tribe officials said the ban is justified not just because of Noem’s recent comments but because of a strained relationship since she took office in 2019.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to members of the public at a town hall in Mitchell on March 13, 2024. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

“Governor Noem claims she wants to establish meaningful relationships with Tribes to improve solutions for systemic problems,” the release said. “However, her actions as Governor blatantly show otherwise. The recent racial disparaging allegations made against Native students, parents, Tribal Councils, and Tribal leaders have led to further division and distrust of Tribal-state relations.”

Examples of Noem’s alleged “disingenuous nature toward Native Americans” during her tenure as governor cited in the news release include:

“Moving forward, we will only acknowledge Governor Noem after she issues a public apology to the Oceti Sakowin,” the release said, “and presents a plan of action for supporting and empowering the Lakota people through policy and legislation.”

The Oceti Sakowin is the collective term for Lakota, Dakota and Nakota speaking Native Americans, most of whom are located in the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada.

Advertisement

Requests for further comment from Rosebud Tribal President Scott Herman and Noem’s spokesperson were not returned before this article was published.

GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

South Dakota

South Dakota Army National Guard hosting “Guard Experience Event” tomorrow at Oahe Dam

Published

on

South Dakota Army National Guard hosting “Guard Experience Event” tomorrow at Oahe Dam


The South Dakota Army National Guard is holding a public event at the Oahe Dam tomorrow (April 13, 2024) to showcase it’s modern force.

Staff Sgt. Derek Kocer is a Recruiting and Retention Non-Commissioned Officer with the Guard. He says this is what they call their “Guard Experience Event.”

Kocer says the activities will take place from 11am-3pm CT, across the street from the west boat ramp on Lake Oahe.

Advertisement

Kocer says those who want to participate should keep a few things in mind regarding attire.

The event is free to attend.

For more information, call 605-490-0691.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

South Dakota

$6 million dollars approved to improve literacy rates across South Dakota

Published

on

$6 million dollars approved to improve literacy rates across South Dakota


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – According to the South Dakota Report Card, English language arts proficiency was at 50% among all students in South Dakota, with some districts showing rates as low as 20%.

On March 5th, Governor Kristi Noem signed into law a bill appropriating $6 million to expand phonics-based reading curriculum and teacher training. That funding, which will be used over four years, will allow elementary students to learn to read with a more intensive approach that relies on using sounds within words rather than letters.

South Dakota Education Secretary Joseph Graves says the switch to phonics-based, learning is essential to improving literacy rates and says it will work as it has in other states.

“Education researchers have demonstrated very clearly that there is a science of reading and that it means that we need to return a very systematic instruction in phonics. That will get us our best results for our students. This program has been demonstrated that it will work and in fact, it has already been working in other states,” Graves said.

Advertisement

Mississippi is one of those states to see strides with phonics. However, Mississippi’s director of the Elementary Education and Reading Office Tenette Smith has said she believes it will take South Dakota much more than the four-year, $6 million plan to make this goal long-lasting. Graves, however, says with the progress the state has made with previous funds, four years will be plenty of time to reach the goal.

“This next four years what we believe we’ll be able to do is get everybody else trained beginning after next year to provide the training and create the modules such that they will not only train the people in the field right now but also have the wherewithal to train incoming teach candidates and that way we’ll cover everybody,” Graves said.

Graves emphasized that reading is the core of everything else and says this is a fundamental goal that the state needs to get right and he believes will happen.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending