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Bertram named to Class A girls all-state first team

The Winner Warriors have moved their way to the top of girls athletics this season.

Winner had runner-up finishes in both volleyball and basketball and were led on the hardcourt by Kelsey Bertram.

She was selected to the Class A girls basketball all-state first team, which is chosen by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches and South Dakota Sportswriters Associations. Other first-teamers were St. Thomas More’s Alexys Swedlund, Elk Point-Jefferson’s Keely Bertram, Vermillion’s Josie Huber, West Central’s Madison Kuehl and Garretson’s Haley Edmundson.

Other area athletes to earn all-state honors were Chamberlain’s Kennedy Wagner and Wagner’s Ali Kuca. Wagner was named to the second team, while Kuca landed third-team accolades.

The Winner junior guard, along with Swedlund, are the only non-seniors on the first team. Kelsey Bertram, a distant cousin to Keely, averaged 15.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and nearly 4 assists per game for Larry Aaker’s Warriors.

“What makes Kelsey a special talent is her combination of talent, desire and competitiveness,” Aaker said. “Kelsey leads us in assists, steals and scoring and her all-around play and the contribution of her teammates led us to a state runner-up finish. Kelsey has the ability to score anywhere on the floor but the most impressive part of her game is her ability to pass, especially her ability to make the full-court pass.”

The Warriors finished the season 23-2 and fell to St. Thomas More in the state championship.

The Cavaliers were led by Swedlund, who averaged 20.9 points per game.

“I think she’s very deserving,” STM head coach Brandon Kandolin said of Swedlund. “She puts a lot of time in the gym and at almost 6-foot with her quickness and strength, she’s an impressive physical specimen along with being a phenomenal basketball player.”

Elk Point-Jefferson senior Keely Bertram capped an outstanding career for the Huskies with a state-tournament appearance. She set a school record with 1,558 points. Bertram was a three-time all-state selection, making the third team as a sophomore and the second team last year.

“Keely led us to one of our best seasons ever,” Elk Point-Jefferson head coach Gary Nebelsick said. “She also tied the single-game scoring record with 37 points in a game against Harrisburg as a sophomore. Keely has tremendous work ethic and a strong desire to be the best. It was an honor to have had the chance to coach her the past two seasons.”

Vermillion guard Huber was one of two first-team selections who didn’t play in the state tournament this season in Spearfish as the young Tanagers were knocked out of the Region 4A playoffs by Elk Point-Jefferson. Huber averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game for first-year head coach Jon Brooks. West Central senior guard Kuehl averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game to make the team. Garretson senior forward Edmundson was the final selection for the first team after averaging 21.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Blue Dragons. The 5-11 post player helped lead Garretson to just its second state tournament in school history and first in 34 years.

Along with Chamberlain’s Wagner, the second team selections were Sioux Valley guard Kaylee Granum, St. Thomas More center Moira Duffy, Clark/Willow Lake guard Mikayla Prouty and Pine Ridge guards Shaylene Richard and Santana White Dress.

Third team selections with Wagner’s Kuca were Elk Point-Jefferson guard McKenzie Mennenga, Todd County forward Erin Grimshaw, Aberdeen Roncalli guard Paige Sommers, Groton Area guard Courtney Kurtz and Tri-Valley forward Emma Johnson.

FIRST TEAM Alexys Swedlund, St. Thomas More, 5-11 Jr. G/F; 20.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg

Keely Bertram, Elk Point-Jefferson, 5-9 Sr. F; 20.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 4.2 spg

Josie Huber, Vermillion, 5-8 Sr. G/F; 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 spg

Kelsey Bertram, Winner, 5-10 Jr. G, 15.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg

Madison Kuehl, West Central, 5-10 Sr. G, 14.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg

Haley Edmundson, Garretson, 5-11 Sr. F, 21.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 2 apg, 2 spg

SECOND TEAM Kennedy Wagner, Chamberlain, 5-9 Sr. G, 18 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg, 2 spg

Kaylee Granum, Sioux Valley, 5-6 So. G, 14.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.8 apg

Moira Duffy, St. Thomas More, 5-11 Sr. C, 8.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.6 apg

Mikayla Prouty, Clark/Willow Lake, 5-10 Jr. G, 13.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.1 apg

Shaylene Richard, Pine Ridge, 5-2 So. G, 20.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.5 spg

Santana White Dress, Pine Ridge, 5-7 Sr. G, 15 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.1 apg

THIRD TEAM McKenzie Mennenga, Elk Point-Jefferson, 5-8 So. G, 14.9 ppg, 2 apg, 2.2 spg

Ali Kuca, Wagner, 5-11 So. G/F, 16.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 spg

Erin Grimshaw, Todd County, 5-11 Jr. G/F, 16.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.4 spg

Paige Sommers, Aberdeen Roncalli, 5-4 Sr. G, 16.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3 apg, 3.1 spg

Courtney Kurtz, Groton Area, 5-5 Jr. G, 16.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 4.7 spg

Emma Johnson, Tri-Valley, 6-2 Jr. G/F, (no statistics available)