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Mount Vernon falls to Wolsey-Wessington

(Kevin Pottebaum/Republic) Mount Vernon's Dean Frey (14) goes up for a layup Tuesday night during the boys' Region 5B championship game in Huron.

HURON -- In a game that saw several momentum shifts, the Wolsey-Wessington boys' basketball team took control in the fourth quarter to defeat Mount Vernon 49-43 on Tuesday at Huron Arena to win the Region 5B championship.

"We were battle tested," Wolsey-Wessington coach Gordon Hooks said. "At the end, I knew that our boys would step up."

The Warbirds trailed by one heading into the final quarter after a 7-0 run by Mount Vernon to end the third.

Jalen Boomsma scored a quick bucket for Wolsey-Wessington to regain the lead to start the fourth quarter, and the Warbirds held on to that lead for the remainder of the game.

Boomsma and Hayden Hooks both finished with 14 points for the Warbirds to lead all scorers.

"I try and get most of the team into (scoring chances)," Boomsma said. "But if they don't take me away I go for it."

Boomsma had four assists to lead Wolsey-Wessington.

Mount Vernon came out firing early in the contest and led throughout the opening quarter by up to five points. The Warbirds narrowed the gap to just one at the end of the opening quarter, 13-12.

The second quarter seemed to be Wolsey-Wessington's, as the Warbirds managed to take a six-point lead late in the quarter. But again, the game remained close as the Mustangs cut the deficit to one at the break with Wolsey-Wessington leading 25-24.

"It was definitely a game of swings," Mount Vernon coach Eric Denning said. "We never really could get into a flow offensively."

The Warbirds opened up their lead in the third quarter and led 33-26 late in the third, but Mount Vernon made what turned out to be its final big run and led 34-33 heading into the final eight minutes.

"I'm an emotional coach," Hooks said. "When emotions go up, I'm up. When they go down, I'm down, too.

"It's so exciting, something we've been dreaming for, wishing for, hoping for. It's been a long time here at Wolsey-Wessington."

Mount Vernon shot 22-of-43 from the field and 4-of-10 from the free-throw line in the loss.

Long led the team with 12 points and six assists while Dean Frey had 11 points to go along with his game-high seven rebounds. Deric Denning added 11 points.

"It hurts," Denning said. "It's really hard to see them hurting like that, but it's part of the game."

Wolsey-Wessington shot 16-of-39 from the field and 14-of-22 from the line.

Mount Vernon ended its season 18-5, while Wolsey-Wessington will take its 20-3 record into the state tournament.

Coach Hooks said his team had set a goal to make it to the state tournament this season and as for the expectations at state he just wants to see the same effort the team has brought all season.

"We expect to play Wolsey-Wessington basketball," he said. "We expect to represent our school, our town and our community."

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