Lyman girls looking for state tourney berthPRESHO — For the first time in 10 years, the Lyman girls’ basketball team will compete for a region championship and a chance to reach the Class B state tournament.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
PRESHO — For the first time in 10 years, the Lyman girls’ basketball team will compete for a region championship and a chance to reach the Class B state tournament.
Today, the Raiders face Wall in the Region 7B title game at 6 p.m. mountain time in Kadoka. If Lyman wins, it punches a ticket to the Class B state tournament, a feat that has not been accomplished by any Lyman girls’ basketball team since 1989. Lyman coach Cooper Garnos is no stranger to the state tournament himself, after taking the Lyman boys’ basketball team there in 1996 and finishing second.
“They have a very good girl (Autumn Schulz) and she will be key. She is somebody we probably won’t shut down, but we hope we can contain her,” Garnos said.
“They also have two very good guards in Sadie O’Rourke and Carlee Johnston. … We are going to have to rebound and do all the little things if we want to win.”
The Raiders (7-13) forced their way into the Region 7B championship game after defeating District 13B No. 1-seed Jones County 46-42 Feb. 19 and beating Kadoka 69-53 Thursday.
“I am pretty excited. We kind of had an up and down season, but we finally stepped up during the districts,” Lyman guard Chesney Garnos said. “Our goal was to win districts and play in the region, and now our goal is to win the region game today.”
Garnos is one of the Raiders’ team captains and the daughter of Cooper Garnos, who is in his second season at the helm for the Raiders.
In his first season as the head coach, Garnos’s squad finished 5-15. But this season, the Raiders are knocking on the door of the berth to the Class B state tournament with no seniors on the roster.
“We felt we were close all along. We had a young squad and it took a while for us to get there, but we did,” he said. “We have been competitive with most of the teams we have played. There probably weren’t a whole lot of other people outside the team and coaches who thought we could win it, but it happened.”
Garnos described his team as a resilient, tight-knit group of young ladies who are fighters.
Despite starting off the season 1-6, Garnos said the Raiders found a way into the region finals by peaking at the right time.
“We are proud of them, they have come along away and really worked hard,” Lyman Superintendent Douglas Eppard said. “I think their performance definitely picks the morale up in our community…. It’s always good for our fans to get out and see our teams succeed.”
The majority of the Lyman High School students come from five towns — Kennebec, Vivian, Presho, Reliance and Lower Brule.
“I have always said that if there is anything that pulls these little communities together, it is their sports teams,”Garnos said. “For little towns in South Dakota, it is about playing sports, and when you have a good sports team, everybody crawls to the games.”