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SIOUX CITY, Iowa—In its opening game of the NAIA Division II national tournament, it took a few minutes for the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball to get rolling. The slow start was the only thing that ended up holding back the No. 8 Tigers Wednesday. Fueled by a 25-0 first-half run, DWU flipped an early 12-6 deficit into a commanding 31-12 lead and cruised past Milligan College (Tenn.) 66-54 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
ETHAN—The Ethan girls basketball is out to prove defense wins championships. Heading into their third straight Class B state tournament, the Rustlers have their eyes on the school's second state championship and they'll look to shut down opponents with their hard-nosed man-to-man defense. On the season, Ethan is allowing an average of 25.2 points per game. That's more than eight points better than the second-best defense in the tournament from Sully Buttes, which is holding teams to an average of 33.7 points per game.
Heading into the NAIA Division II national tournament, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team is focused on doing what it does best: playing strong defense and rebounding. The No. 8-ranked Tigers lead the nation in defensive rebounding (28.7), while they rank No. 23 for scoring defense (60.4), No. 17 in field goal defense (36 percent) and No. 14 in defending behind the arc (27 perecent).
WINNER—With its season on the line, the Mount Vernon/Plankinton boys basketball team didn't blink when it entered the fourth quarter trailing Pine Ridge by five points. The ninth-seeded Titans rose to the occasion. MVP exploded for 30 points in the game's final frame, fended off a late Pine Ridge rally and booked a third-straight trip the Class A state tournament by topping the Thorpes 81-77 in a Sweet 16 state qualifier in Winner. Trailing Pine Ridge 56-51 heading into the fourth quarter, MVP head coach Eric Denning said he never doubted his team's chances.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference has claimed 12 NAIA Division II women's basketball national championships since its inception in 2000. Dakota Wesleyan University would like to be the 13th GPAC team to win a national championship. The No. 8 Tigers are entering the national tournament for the second consecutive season and their chase for a title begins against Milligan (Tenn.) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa.
After his team fell in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II national tournament last year, Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball head coach Jason Christensen said he was confident about his team's chances at not only returning to Sioux City, Iowa for the tournament, but making an even deeper run. Christensen knew the Tigers weren't graduating a single senior last year and the kicker for him was his incoming freshman class that featured South Dakota standouts Sarah Carr and Kynedi Cheeseman.
SIOUX FALLS—A third-quarter surge erased a sluggish first-half performance by the South Dakota State University women's basketball team on Sunday afternoon. The strong third quarter was boosted by 10-straight Kerri Young points in the fourth quarter that pushed the No. 4-seeded Jackrabbits past No. 5 Oral Roberts 65-50 in the first round of the Summit League tournament at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
The Mitchell High School boys basketball team will be searching for a new head coach. Erik Skoglund, who has coached the Kernels the past four seasons, resigned from the position after Mitchell’s 75-52 District 3AA elimination game loss against Aberdeen Central on Friday. The Kernels went 0-21 this season and the team has yet to qualify for the Class AA state tournament since legendary head coach Gary Munson retired in 2012.
CHAMBERLAIN — Nash Hutmacher, a high school freshman, brought an entire community together. The standout wrestler, who took the Class A heavyweight class by storm, is celebrated as a model student and athlete in Chamberlain. His journey to the 285-pound championship at the state tournament last week in Sioux Falls was followed by hundreds.
SIOUX FALLS -- Offensive struggles arrived at the worst possible time Friday night for the McCook Central/Montrose girls basketball team.