Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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WINNER -- Jayd Docken's journey to earning All-American status was "bitter sweet." The Augustana College sophomore went 2-0 on the first day of NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships, which was last weekend in Birmingham, Ala., before finishing the tournament 2-3 and in sixth place. "The first day I did well and fell off the next day," Docken said. "It feels good to be an All-American but it's not how you want to end the year." The Winner native is Augustana College's 110th All-American and the 42nd wrestler to earn All-American status under head coach Jason Reitmeier.
Mitchell senior Seth Cavanaugh was named to the all-Eastern South Dakota Conference first team. The all-conference selections are voted on by ESD coaches and they can't vote for their own players. "I'm happy for him because he had to battle through health issues during the year and he was a real key to the victories we had this year," Mitchell coach Tom Young said. "He was a great leader out on the floor and has athleticism." The senior led the Mitchell High School boys' basketball team in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game this season.
Two area players earned spots all-tournament team status at the state boys' basketball tournaments this weekend. Platte-Geddes' Coby Johnson was selected in the Class A tournament in Rapid City and South Central's Tyler Frank was named to the team in the Class B tournament in Aberdeen. Johnson averaged a double-double in the tournament, recording 18.3 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.
ABERDEEN -- South Central's second-half turnovers led to a 64-51 loss to Dupree in the third-place game of the Class B state boys' basketball tournament at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University Campus in Aberdeen. "That's what really caused the difference in the ballgame," said South Central head coach Clayton Steele, whose team finished the season 22-4 overall. "We were pretty much controlling the game until we started turning the ball over, and we can't afford to do that.
ABERDEEN -- For Sen. John Thune, it makes sense to come to the Class B state boys' basketball tournament. The annual tournament allows Thune to watch high quality basketball, come back to his roots and interact with South Dakotans. "I've always liked the 'B' tournament," said Thune, a Murdo native. "It's a lot of our smaller communities across South Dakota and that's where I grew up.
ABERDEEN -- South Central struggled against top-seeded White River's defense, suffering an 86-55 defeat in the semifinal round of the Class B state boys' basketball tournament Friday at the Barnett Center on Northern State University's campus in Aberdeen. The Tigers forced 28 turnovers in the game and only committed nine themselves. "We knew going in that they were a very quick team and their quickness bothered our kids," South Central coach Clayton Steele said.
Derek Robey, a Mitchell native, is being recognized by the South Dakota High School Coaches Association this weekend for dedicating 25 years to helping student-athletes. Robey, who played for the Mitchell Kernels under then-coach Gary Munsen, began his coaching career as head coach of the Aberdeen Roncalli girls' basketball team in 1987. Four years later, he became the head coach of the Aberdeen Central girls' team.
ABERDEEN -- The South Central boys' basketball team isn't taking its trip to the Class B state tournament for granted. The fifth-seeded Cougars knocked off fourth-seeded Potter County 64-54 in the first round of the tournament Thursday at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus in Aberdeen. South Central (22-2) takes on top-seeded White River at 6 p.m. today in the semifinal round.
Two Dakota Wesleyan University basketball players earned All-American honors from the NAIA, it was announced Wednesday afternoon. DWU women's player Kim Johnson was given NAIA All-American second team honors and Jalen Voss was named an NAIA honorable mention All-American on the men's side. Johnson became the eighth DWU women's player to earn All-American accolades in program history. The last women's basketball players to earn the honor were Randi Morgan and Victoria Drefs in the 2003-04 season.
BONESTEEL -- All of the built up excitement and anticipation of attending the Class B state boys' basketball tournament is here for South Central. The Cougars, who are attending their first state tournament in 50 years, are the fifth seed in the tournament and play fourth-seeded Potter County in the first round at 1:45 p.m.