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Round of 16 previews: Huskies looking to return to State B tourney

Bridgewater-Emery's Sawyer Schultz, left, dribbles the ball as Tea Area's Chris Morales applies pressure Dec. 30, 2017 during the Mike Miller Classic at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. (Marcus Traxler / Republic)

Bridgewater-Emery stands one step away from the Class B state boys basketball tournament and getting a chance to defend its state title.

But in the way are the Bulldogs of De Smet, as the two teams meet tonight in the state-qualifying Round of 16 at 7 p.m. in Hartford at West Central High School.

The Huskies (19-3) have not lost to a Class B team all season and have won nine straight games. B-E is paced by Sawyer Schultz, who averages nearly 23 points per game, while pulling down seven rebounds and dishing five assists per game. Jamin Arend averages 14 points per game, while Carter Dye (13.4 ppg/8.3 rpg) and Duot VanSickle (11.0 ppg/7.1 rpg) are holding down the middle of the B-E frontcourt. Cole Gassman has averaged nine points since his return from knee injury eight games ago and Mason Potter, Bradlee Schultz and Dustin Weber have all played at least 20 games this season.

De Smet (11-11) dumped top-seeded Arlington in the Region 3B semifinals to book a Round of 16 slot, but won seven of its last 10 games to reach the state-qualifying round.

Red-hot KWL faces White River

The Kimball/White Lake boys basketball team is hot and with one big win tonight, can ride that wave into the Class B state tournament.

The WiLdKats (15-6), seeded 14th in the Round of 16, will take on No. 3 seed White River at 7:15 p.m. in Pierre. KWL stormed into the state-qualifying round with a huge second half to beat Colome 65-49, marking their sixth straight win. It was a sweet turnaround from a 65-32 home loss to the Cowboys on Jan. 23 in Kimball, and shortly after that, KWL stood at 8-5 on the season.

The balance of the KWL offense has helped the team turn the corner. Kory Peters (13.3 ppg), Javen Holan (12.3), Carter Fredericksen (11.9) and Kordel Kiehn (10.6) each average more than 10 points per game, while Chandler Fredericksen is a do it all guard, as well, averaging 5.6 points per game. Kiehn is a double-double threat every time out, pulling down 13.2 rebounds per game and Peters averages six boards per game. As a team, KWL is averaging 59.3 points per game.

White River (20-2) is no stranger to big games, and is seeking its 13th straight trip to the Class B tournament. The Tigers were 12-0 after a 65-63 win over Aberdeen Roncalli at the Hanson Classic and closed the season with wins in eight of their last nine games.

Cavaliers meet Dakota Valley in Class A state qualifier

The Bon Homme boys basketball team is on the verge of history. A win today over Dakota Valley in the Class A state-qualifying round would send the Cavaliers to the state tournament for the first time in 30 years, dating back to 1988. Bon Homme plays the Panthers at 7 p.m. today at Yankton High School.

The Cavaliers (18-3) were the dominant team in Region 5A all season and sport a record of 18-3 after slipping past Platte-Geddes in the Region 5A semifinals 46-39. Bon Homme started the season 11-1 and finished with wins in seven of the last eight games.

Bryce Scieszinski averages 17 points per game to lead Bon Homme, while Joey Slama has scored 16.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds. Colin Adams (9.3 ppg) and Mace Merkwan (8.2 ppg) have helped lead an offense that shoots 47 percent from the field and averages 58.5 points as a team.

Jack McCabe leads Dakota Valley's offense with 14.1 points per contest, while Charlie Cox, Jack Graves and Paul Bruns each average 11 points or more per game for the Panthers (16-6), who score 67 points per game as a team. Dakota Valley took fifth a season ago in the Class A tournament.

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