Mike Miller Classic notebook: Conrad's Clan pack the Corn Palace
There was a sea of green in the crowd during the final game of the Mike Miller Classic Saturday at the Corn Place.
Representing Pierre High School, a large group of fans in the stands were wearing T-shirts labeled "Conrad's Clan."
The group is a nonprofit organization named after Pierre junior Conrad Adam, who is battling cancer and listed as a member of the Governors boys' basketball team. The mission is to support Adam and raise as much money to help his fight.
"We are mostly just for moral support, but we also help with some of the expenses that come along with all the treatment he has to do," organization co-founder Cash Anderson said. Anderson started the group along with four friends. To date, Anderson said the group has raised $35,000 for Adam.
Saturday night, before the Governors took the court to play Our Savior New American in a boys' high school basketball game, the group received a $10,000 donation from a joint venture between First Premier Bank and the Mike Miller Foundation.
"We decided this was a good cause and that's what we are all about here, raising money and giving it to good cause," said Tom Miller, father of Mitchell native and NBA player Mike Miller, of the Miami Heat.
Travis comes up big
Reid Travis, came, saw and conquered the Mike Miller Classic.
The Islanders forward finished with a 34.5 point per game average in the classic and scored 69 points in DeLaSalle's two games.
In his first game against Our Savior New American, Travis showcased a complete offensive game on his way to dropping 34 points. In his second and final game in the classic the 6-foot-7 junior bullied smaller defenders in the post on his way to scoring 35 points, which was a single-game high for a player in the three-day classic.
Travis, who is being recruited by several NCAA Division I schools, is averaging more than 30 points and 10 rebounds this season.
How the out-of-state teams fared
Out-of-State teams won four of their six games against South Dakota foes.
The two South Dakota victories game from Sioux Falls Lincoln, which beat Coronado (Nev.) 75-64 Friday, and Sioux Falls Roosevelt, which beat The Rock (Fla.) 76-72 Saturday.
DeLaSalle (Minn.) and La Lumiere (Ind.) finished with the best winning percentage amongst the out-of-state teams. Both teams defeated South Dakota opponents and won two games. Our Savior New American (N.Y.) finished the classic 2-1, while The Rock and Coronado both finished 1-2.
Big performances by big time players
There were no shortages of big performances at the Mike Miller Classic.
Mitchell's Seth Cavanaugh scored 25 points despite losing to Sioux Falls O'Gorman Saturday. In that same game, O'Gorman's Kyle Scholten dropped 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
In the final game of the classic, Zach Hanson and Lane Severyn, of Pierre, each recorded double-doubles. Hanson scored 30 points and added 10 rebounds, while Severyn tallied 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. The duo are the only teammates in this year's classic to record double-doubles in which both player scores at least 25 points.
Watertown's Tanner Heiser went off for 32 points in a loss to La Lumiere Friday, while Detrick Mostella scored 29 points to help lift La Lumiere over Watertown.
Coronado's Jordan Willis scored 60 points over the course of three games to average 20 points per game for during the classic. The Rock's Joel Embiid finished with 57 points in three games and an average of 19 points per game.
Our Savior New American's Chieck Diallo recorded a double-double and tallied 57 points in three games.
'A special young man'
In two games at the Mike Miller Classic DeLaSalle's Ben Albert made one 3-pointer, which came in Saturday's game against White River. That's nothing too out of the ordinary, right? Wrong.
Albert had the fans at the Corn Palace buzzing.
Albert has a birth defect known as hemimelia, which has Albert without any bone structure below his left elbow.
While many people wonder how Albert, a senior, can compete in high school varsity basketball with virtually one arm, the thought never enters DeLaSalle head basketball coach Dave Thorson's mind.
"We look at Ben as being Ben because he gets it done with what he has," Thorson said. "I haven't talked to him much about (his arm) because when we talk, it's not about what he can't do, it's about what he can do."
Albert does a lot, too.
He also stars for the DeLaSalle baseball team as a pitcher and is a defender for the varsity soccer team. The senior is also a standout in the classroom, where he has been named a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Students from around the country are selected for the honor based off their scores on the preliminary SAT.
"Ben is a special young man who is a great representative for DeLaSalle," Thorson said.