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Bartscher, Johnson named to Class B boys all-state first team

After leading their teams to upset victories in the Class B boys basketball state tournament, Ethan’s Blake Bartscher and Platte-Geddes’ Coby Johnson were named to the Class B all-state first team, which is selected by the South Dakota High School Basketball Coaches Association and the South Dakota Sportswriters Association.

Other first-team selections were James Valley Christian’s Nathan Wedel, Centerville’s Seamus O’Malley, Langford Area’s Bo Fries and Wolsey-Wessington’s Lorenzo Williams.

Two other area boys basketball players earned all-state honors this season. Hanson junior Jordan Marquardt was named to the second team, while Freeman’s Cole Paulson was a third-team selection.

Bartscher, a senior, orchestrated the offensive attack for Ethan from his point guard position. He won the 2014 Spirit of Su Award in helping the Rustlers to a 21-5 record and a fourth-place finish in this year’s state tournament.

“Blake was our general on the floor this year as he has been since I took the head coaching position two years ago. His leadership on and off the court is impossible to replace,” Ethan coach Bryce Roth said. “He was able to create his own shot when we needed a basket and he consistently was asked to defend the best guard on our opponent’s team.”

Bartscher, who averaged 17.5 points and recorded 155 assists this season for the Rustlers, finished his high school career with 1,391 points and 522 assists. He has signed to continue his basketball career in the fall at Mount Marty.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 forward, helped Platte-Geddes make a smooth transition from the Class A to the Class B ranks. He guided the Black Panthers, who participated in the 2013 Class A State Tournament, to the championship game in the 2014 Class B state tournament.

“He led us in scoring and rebound, and just gives us a real solid presence both on the inside and the the perimeter,” Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler said.

Johnson, who was selected as The Daily Republic’s boys basketball player of the year, surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for the Black Panthers during the region championship game and will look to add to that total during his senior campaign. He averaged 20 points and 9.6 rebounds this season.

Wedel is a repeat selection to the first team for the Vikings, who went 25-1 en route to the Class B championship.

“What a great achievement for Nathan to be named to the first team two years in a row,” JVC coach Darwin Hofer said. “Nathan’s work ethic and determination has been an integral part of this team and it’s success.

“Nathan brought experience and leadership on the court in some big games for us this year,” he said.

Wedel, who has signed to play basketball at Northwestern College, finished his career with 1,467 points, which puts him second on JVC’s all-time scoring list. This season he averaged 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per games.

Fries, who was named to the second team last season, surpassed the 1,000-point milestone this season as a junior for Langford Area. He averaged 19.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season for the Lions, who won the consolation championship at this year’s state tournament and finished at 23-3. Fries will enter his senior year with 1,081 career points for the Lions.

Williams was the lone player not on a team in the state tournament to be named to the first team. He led the Warbirds to a 17-5 record, with averages of 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.

“Lorenzo was a big part in the success of our team this season; he brought energy and excitement to the court every day,” Wolsey-Wessington coach Gordon Hooks said.

O’Malley capped his high school career by leading Centerville to state tournament. The 6-1 guard is a two-time all-state player after earning honors on the second team a year ago during his junior season. O’Malley had averages of 19.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists this season for the Tornadoes, who finished the season at 17-9.

Along with Marquardt, second team honors went to James Valley Christian senior Andrew Ulvestad, Arlington junior Andrew King, Arlington senior Jack Huether, Parker senior Jake Anderson and White River senior Tavis Burbank.

On the third team with Paulson was Elkton-Lake Benton senior Nathan Krog, Langford Area senior Drew Planteen, Elkton-Lake Benton junior Heath Schindler, Aberdeen Christian senior Matt Rohrbach and Potter County senior Chayce Hall.

Class B All-State First Team Nathan Wedel, James Valley Christian, 6-4 senior forward (19.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.1 apg)

Bo Fries, Langford Area, 6-4 junior guard (19.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 5.4 apg)

Blake Bartscher, Ethan, 6-0 senior guard (17.5 ppg, 155 assists)

Coby Johnson, Platte-Geddes, 6-5 junior forward (20 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Lorenzo Williams, Wolsey-Wessington, 6-2 junior forward (22.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.4 apg)

Seamus O’Malley, Centerville, 6-1 senior guard (19.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.3 spg)

Second Team Andrew Ulvestad, James Valley Christian, 6-5 senior forward (16.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.8 apg)

Jordan Marquardt, Hanson, 6-1 junior guard (18.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.7 apg)

Andrew King, Arlington, 6-0 junior guard (21 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 5.5 apg)

Jack Huether, Viborg-Hurley, 6-0 senior guard (21.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Jake Anderson, Parker, 6-4 senior forward (18.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2 apg)

Tavis Burbank, White River, 6-2 senior forward (13 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Third Team Nathan Krog, Elkton-Lake Benton, 6-0 senior forward (20.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Drew Planteen, Langford Area, 6-3 senior forward (15 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Heath Schindler, Elkton-Lake Benton, 5-10 junior guard (18.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.6 apg)

Cole Paulson, Freeman, 6-2 junior forward (22.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3 apg)

Matt Rohrbach, Aberdeen Christian, 5-8 senior guard (18.1 ppg, 4 rpg, 5.3 apg)

Chayce Hall, Potter County, 6-2 senior guard/forward (10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 6.2 apg, 3.8 spg)