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Brookings accommodating multiple tournaments over weekend

BROOKINGS — The home of South Dakota State University is playing host to a pair of state tournaments this weekend and the city has filled up with Jackrabbit students from the end of spring break.

The Class AA high school girls’ basketball tournament is being held at Frost Arena Thursday through Saturday, while the state boys’ varsity hockey tournament is being played across town at the Larson Ice Center Friday through Sunday.

South Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director Wayne Carney said there was no concern about the city’s accommodations being overcrowded.

“I have not received a phone call from anyone without a place to stay,” Carney said.

The girls’ basketball tournament was scheduled three years in advance and the location of Brookings is beneficial, according the Carney.

“One great thing about Brookings is that it is within driving distance for a number of schools,” he added. “I know it has filled up since hockey started on Friday, but there was no issue with hotel rooms as far as I’m aware of.”

Frost Arena has hosted three of the last four Class AA girls’ basketball tournaments, with the Mitchell Kernels being a part of the action each time, including capturing their most recent title at the venue in 2012.

Carney has been in the building for two state tournaments at Frost Arena and said the hospitality and people are welcoming to the teams and fans.

“The atmosphere here with the crowd noise is great,” Carney said. “The people of Brookings have stepped up to help with supporting the event all weekend.”

The Class AA state tournament comes to a close today with the Mitchell Kernel girls’ basketball team playing top-seeded Sioux Falls Washington in the finals at 8 p.m.

The consolation bracket games are scheduled to start with the seventh-place game at noon today at Frost Arena.

The boys’ varsity hockey tournament continues today with the Marlins playing Aberdeen at noon.