Parkston falls in Class A state title gameSPEARFISH — Parkston lost Marie Malloy to a knee injury early in Saturday’s Class A state girls’ basketball championship game against St. Thomas More.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
SPEARFISH — Parkston lost Marie Malloy to a knee injury early in Saturday’s Class A state girls’ basketball championship game against St. Thomas More.
Malloy, the team’s only senior, fell over awkwardly about a minute after tipoff and had to be helped off the court. Without its top-scoring threat, Parkston stayed in the game in the first half, but the Cavaliers pulled away in the second half for a 70-51 victory.
“Our kids still played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion,” Parkston coach Rob Van Laecken said. “Even though they were down, they still played as hard as they could and with all the heart they could … but (St. Thomas More) has a great ball team.”
After Malloy went down, the Cavaliers went on a 4-0 run to bring the score to 8-0. Junior Erica Herrold scored Parkston’s first points of the game with two shots at the free-throw line. The Cavaliers were perfect from the foul line, going 6-of-6 in the first quarter. At one point, the Trojans were down by nine, but they battled back to within two points bringing the score to 17-15 and the end of the first quarter.
The Trojans were a little shaken by the absence of Malloy but quickly pulled things together in the second quarter. A 3-point shot from Logan Wagner, followed by a steal and basket from Herrold around the five-minute mark, sparked Parkston, which tied the game at 24 with four minutes left to go in the first half.
After that, Parkston had trouble connecting with the basket, and the Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run with less than two minutes left in the half. The last points scored of the half for Parkston came from Wagner at the free-throw line, and St. Thomas More led 35-26 at the half.
“We gave it everything we had,” Herrold said.
Herrold said she’s unsure what the outcome would have been if Malloy had been able to play.
“Well she does score about 20-some points a game, so it could have been close, but (St. Thomas More) deserved (the win),” Herrold said.
During halftime, Malloy was awarded the Spirit of Su award, an award which recognizes athletic accom-plishment, academic excellence and community involvement. She was given a standing ovation from the crowd after she returned to the court on crutches.
St. Thomas More came out strong in the third quarter, and Parkston was not able to keep up. The Trojans got in foul trouble, allowing the Cavaliers to go 15-of-17 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Caitlyn Duffy scored seven straight points to open the fourth quarter. St. Thomas More maintained at least a 10-point lead throughout the entire fourth quarter.
“That’s the way it is it’s just one of those things,” Van Laecken said. “Life goes on.”
St Thomas More was led by Duffy, who scored a game-high 23 points. Duffy also grabbed eight rebounds for the Cavaliers. Alexys Swedlund had 21 points and Madison Kirsch and Maddie Merriam added 12 points each.
St. Thomas More shot 20-of-39 from the field for 51 percent and went 27-of-30 from the free-throw line for 90 percent. The Cavaliers won the rebounding battle 31-22.
Parkston was led in scoring by Wagner, who had 22 points. Herrold added 21 points. Parkston shot 18-of-51 from the field for 35 percent and went 9-of-12 from the free-throw line for 75 percent.
Parkston ended its season with a 20-4 record.
NOTES: Parkston’s cheerleading squad won the Spirit of Six Award, which is given to outstanding cheerleaders from the each state basketball tournament. … Herrold and Malloy were named to the state A girls’ all-tournament team.