Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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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.
BONESTEEL -- Randy DeWolf, of Burke, is ready to make the trip to Aberdeen Thursday. DeWolf, who has been a part of the Burke school system for more than 40 years, will travel to support the South Central boys' basketball team as it plays in the Class B state tournament for the first time in more than 50 years. "I've been involved in the community in athletics for a long time and everybody is really excited," said DeWolf, who was a coach for the Burke boys' basketball team for 10 years since moving to Burke in 1968.
RAPID CITY -- After the past three years, the Mitchell Kernels have made an impression in the state girls' basketball community. The Kernels have played their way to a seventh-place finish and two state championship appearances after missing the Class AA state tournament in 2010. The recent success of the girls' basketball team is something head coach Wes Morgan, who's been at the helm of the program since the 2008-2009 season, can hold his head high about. "I'm proud of it. I'm proud of the kids for buying into what we're telling them," he said.
RAPID CITY -- Kerri Young has accomplished nearly everything a high school basketball player can. The senior has won a state championship with the Mitchell Kernels girls' basketball team in 2012, earned all-tournament, state and conference accolades and is the school's all-time girls' basketball leading scorer. In her senior season, she crept up on another record and passed it Friday night.
RAPID CITY -- A big defensive effort secured the Mitchell High School girls' basketball team a spot in the Class AA state championship game, beating second-seeded Sioux Falls Washington 46-37 Friday night in Rapid City. With the Warriors trailing 41-37 with just more than two minutes to play, Mitchell pressured Washington's offense and forced two late turnovers. "Those two turnovers at the end were huge and if they get a good look at the basket, it's a different game," said Mitchell coach Wes Morgan, whose team gets a chance to defend its title at 9 p.m.