NOTEBOOK: Young 3 points from breaking's Mike Miller's school recordRAPID CITY — Mitchell’s Kerri Young is closing in on another Mitchell High School basketball record.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — Mitchell’s Kerri Young is closing in on another Mitchell High School basketball record.
The senior is three points away from breaking the school’s all-time career points record, which is held by Mike Miller, who plays for the NBA’s Miami Heat. Miller scored 1,743 points from 1994-1998.
Before Thursday’s game, Young’s mark set at 1,729 and needed 14 points to tie the record and 15 points to overcome Miller’s record.
Young scored 12 points against Rapid City Central, sits at 1,741 points and looks to break the mark today against Sioux Falls Washington.
Junior Macy Miller also had her sights set on an MHS basketball record. Miller came within 18 points of knocking off Jeana (Hoffman) Krome’s record for most points in a single season. Krome set the record at 481 points during her senior season with the Kernels in 2003-2004.
Miller, who had 450 points this season heading into the state tournament, scored 14 points against Rapid City Central Thursday night and will most likely reach the mark over the weekend as she is averaging over 19 points per game this season.
A lot at stake in rematch
A rematch of last year’s Class AA girls’ basketball state championship will happen today. This time the teams aren’t playing for a state title, though. They’re playing to get into the title game.
Second-seeded Sioux Falls Washington defeated seventh-seeded Sioux Falls O’Gorman 52-40 in the first round Thursday, while the third-seeded Kernels topped sixth-seeded Rapid City Central 54-43 Thursday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
The Kernels defeated Washington 56-54 last year to claim the title. But the Warriors handed Mitchell its first loss this season.
The then-No. 2 Warriors upset then-No. 1 Mitchell 52-42 on Jan. 4 in Sioux Falls. The game was Mitchell’s first game post-Christmas, and the Kernels went on to lose their second game of the season the following day against Aberdeen Central.
In January, Washington was led by Ellie Benson with 14 points and Emma Hanson 15 points in the win. The Kernels’ Macy Miller scored a game-high 16 points in the game and Kerri Young had 10.
Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said rebounding will be the key to returning to the state championship.
“We’ve got to get Hanson and (Sydney) Koel off the boards and contain Benson a little bit,” said Morgan, whose team won the rebounding battle 43-28 in January. “It should be a real hard-fought game regardless.”
The two teams face off at 8:45 Central time today for a spot in Saturday’s championship game against either Aberdeen Central or Sioux Falls Lincoln.
Top Class AA athletes move on to play collegiately
Many of the athletes showcased at this year’s Class AA state girls’ basketball tournament will go on to compete collegiately after their high school careers are completed.
“This tournament is loaded with great athletes,” Sioux Falls Washington coach Nate Malchow said. “Year in and year out, when you look at the rosters of SDSU and USD and the other colleges in our state and region, they are riddled with kids who’ve played double-A basketball.”
Sioux Falls Washington senior Emma Hanson is one of the state’s standout athletes going on to compete at the Division I level as she will join the Kansas Jayhawk volleyball team in the fall. Sioux Falls Lincoln senior Darby Hugunin will also compete at the Division I level as a midfielder on the Creighton University women’s soccer team this fall.
The Mitchell Kernel girls’ basketball team has five players who have already committed to playing sports at the college level. Two will compete in Division I athletics.
Senior Kerri Young will join the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team this fall and junior Macy Miller has verbally committed to join the Jackrabbits in 2014. Senior Kristin Sabers is set to join the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team this fall.
Seniors Courtney Moore and Berkley Rietveld have signed to play sports other than basketball. Moore joins the Northern State University softball team next year and Rietveld will join Mount Marty College to run cross country and track and field for the Lancers in the fall.
Aberdeen Central seniors Sami Knecht and Brynn Flakus will join the University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball team this fall.
“As I look at the tournament field, each team has at least a couple of really good athletes,” Aberdeen Central coach Dawn Seiler said. “That’s why it allows the double-A to play at such a high level is because you have so much athleticism on the floor.”
These are just some of the tournament’s top athletes.
Streaks and titles
The Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles played in their 11th straight state tournament Thursday, giving them the longest state tournament appearance streak of any school in the Class AA field. Rapid City Central is in its eighth consecutive state tournament.
Despite Aberdeen Central and Rapid City Central’s streaks, they aren’t among the four teams that have won a Class AA title since the three-class system began in 1985.
Aberdeen Central coach Dawn Seiler ranks as South Dakota’s second active winningest girls’ basketball coach behind Parkston’s Rob Van Laecken. According to the state girls’ basketball tournament program, Seiler has 490 wins and Van Laecken has 584. Fred Tibbetts, a former Sioux Falls Roosevelt coach, finished his career with 550 wins.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt, which is in its sixth straight state tournament, comes in with the most titles with seven. The Rough Riders’ most recent crown was won in 2006, yet five of their seven titles came consecutively from 1997 to 2001.
The Mitchell Kernels have won five titles. The Kernels have qualified the past two years, taking seventh in 2011 and first in 2012 after beating Sioux Falls Washington 56-54 in the championship game.
The Warriors, who have qualified for six straight years, have won two titles but made the title game five times. Sioux Falls Washington’s last title was in 2010. Sioux Falls O’Gorman is the only other school with a Class AA state title in the tournament. The Knights’ most recent title was in 1995, yet they came close in 2011 with a second-place finish.
Sturgis and Sioux Falls Lincoln join state tournament after being absent for several years. Lincoln’s last state tournament appearance was in 2010, while the Scoopers’ most recent state tournament appearance was in 2008. Neither schools have won a state title.