Parkston plays defending champ in first round of Class A state tournamentThe Parkston girls’ basketball team qualified for its first state tournament since 2005 this year.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The Parkston girls’ basketball team qualified for its first state tournament since 2005 this year.
Led by senior Marie Malloy, the Trojans (20-3) play defending state champion Sisseton (21-2) at 7:45 p.m. MST today at the Young Center in Spearfish at the Class A state tournament.
Parkston coach Rob Van Laecken said his team won’t be intimidated by playing its first-round game against the defending state champion.
“Once you get to the state tournament, every team is pretty good,” he said. “Our district hasn’t been easy, and we don’t expect it to get any easier here.”
Parkston won District 10A by knocking off previously unbeaten and then No. 1-ranked Wagner on a game-winning shot from junior Logan Wagner. The Trojans went on to defeat West Central in the region championship for a state tournament berth.
Sisseton, the sixth seed, is led by 5-foot-7 senior guard Shelby Greeley, who averages about 18 points per game. Sisseton won District 2 and defeated Aberdeen Roncalli to win Region 1A.
Van Laecken said the key to his team’s success at the state tournament will be defense.
“That’s what will carry you at the state tournament,” he said. “We need to push the ball up the court, and when we do that we play pretty well.”
After Malloy, who averages 22 points per game, Erica Herrold and Logan Wagner — both juniors — are averaging about 14 points per game.
“All of our kids have played their roles well this year,” Van Lacken said.
St. Thomas More is the top seed in Class A. STM plays Pine Ridge in a first-round matchup. Parkston lost to STM on Dec. 29 at the Parkston Classic.