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SIOUX FALLS—Sioux Falls Christian was the bigger, stronger team in its Class A state boys basketball tournament opener against Mount Vernon/Plankinton Thursday. The defending state champion Chargers didn't let that advantage go to waste. SFC had a 45-28 rebounding advantage, including 18 offensive rebounds and pulled away in the final three quarters for a 72-44 quarterfinal win at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
FARGO, N.D. — Former Bon Homme/Scotland wrestler Dan Stibral finished his redshirt freshman season last month with a winning record at North Dakota State University. Stibral, a native of Tabor, finished his season with an 8-6 mark and a 2-0 record in duals. That included a 9-8 decision over Parker Hines on Feb. 10 at the Air Force Academy, which ended in a 23-10 victory over the Falcons. He also had a key pin over Chuck Boddy over Virginia at the Virginia Duals on Jan 13. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 24 and the Bison picked up a 27-13 dual victory.
If there’s one team in the Class B boys basketball tournament that has already mastered the role of being an underdog, it’s Platte-Geddes. The Black Panthers knocked out No. 2 ranked Corsica-Stickney in the district championship game and punched a ticket to the state tournament for a third time in the last five years with a victory over Gregory in the region championship.
HURON — Saturday's final session of games at the Class B state girls basketball tournament in Huron marked the end of a winning chapter for two area basketball powers. While neither Ethan or Sanborn Central/Woonsocket brought home the championship — those honors went to Sully Buttes for a second straight season — the second-place Blackhawks and third-place Rustlers both have made state tournament appearances and top finishes a regular part of March for their communities.
HURON—For a second straight day, the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls basketball team fell into an early hole. And again, the Blackhawks climbed out with a second-quarter surge and then held on at the end, punching their ticket to the Class B state championship game with a 55-49 victory over top-seeded Warner Friday night in front of an estimated 4,000 fans at the Huron Arena.
HURON—The first 2 minutes and 20 seconds of their Class B consolation semifinal went smoothly for the Avon girls basketball team. However, the following 29-plus minutes of game time was all Parker Pheasants. Seventh-seeded Parker answered a 5-0 Avon start with a 14-0 run of their own and the Pirates never saw the lead again as the Pheasants earned a 56-36 victory at the Huron Arena. Avon (21-4) will take on Timber Lake in the seventh-place contest at noon Saturday, while Parker meets New Underwood for fifth place on Saturday afternoon.
HURON—In the words of Avon coach Brad Poppe, the Ethan girls basketball team always has five players on the court that can score at any time. And while the Pirates were stronger defensively Thursday night than they were in the teams' first meeting, top-ranked and No. 3 seed Ethan still shot 50 percent, had four double-figure scorers and knocked off sixth-seeded Avon 56-43 in the Class B state quarterfinals at the Huron Arena.
HURON—A big second quarter helped the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls basketball team build a lead Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Class B state tournament. Myah Selland's efforts and solid free-throw shooting made sure the Blackhawks kept that lead. Fifth-seeded SCW improved to 23-1 on the season with a 66-59 win over fourth-seeded and pesky New Underwood at the Huron Arena. Selland, who will play college basketball at South Dakota State next year, scored 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting and added eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Almost everything about Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's return appearance to the Class B state basketball tournament will feel familiar. Many of the team's players have been in the state tournament before and they've played countless games at the Huron Arena in conference, district, region and state play. From there, SCW will try to deliver a different finish.
AVON — The Avon Pirates girls basketball team is headed back to the Class B state tournament for a second straight year. But this version of the Pirates is a bit different from a year ago, which finished in fourth place at the state tournament, with an emphasis on defense and strong perimeter play. "We just seem like we can get a lot of offense out of our guards and we're a more perimeter oriented team," Avon coach Brad Poppe said. "These girls, they've been playing together for a lot of years. All year we've stressed defense and it's made a big difference."