PARKSTON — A fourth-quarter push and a big scoring night from Lauren Sees sent Avon back to the Class B girls state basketball tournament. Sees scored 26 points and the Pirates scored 27 points in the fourth quarter, as ninth-seeded Avon topped Irene-Wakonda 60-49 in the inaugural Class B state-qualifying Round of 16 at the Parkston Armory. Avon will be seeded seventh in the Class B state tournament next week, taking on second-seeded Hanson on March 8 in Aberdeen.
The fourth quarter was the right time for McCook Central/Montrose Saturday. Trailing by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, the Fighting Cougars rallied in the fourth quarter to slip past Nebraska prep power Crofton 59-55 at the 35th Annual Girls Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. In the fourth quarter, MCM trailed 53-45 with 6 minutes and 48 seconds to play when the Fighting Cougars used a 14-2 run to close out the contest.
GREGORY—The lights were the only thing to slow down the Gregory Gorillas Friday night. After a 10-minute delay to start the game due to outages in the light standards at Mike Dacy Field, Gregory ran up 60 points and 544 yards of total offense as the Gorillas clinched a return trip to the Class 9AA championship game with a 60-14 win over Miller/Highmore-Harrold in the state semifinals Friday. Gregory (11-0) will face Irene-Wakonda (10-1) in the championship game Thursday in Vermillion.
HOWARD — It was a night built for defense on the football field. And the Howard Tigers took full advantage. The homestanding and fourth-seeded Tigers were stingy when it counted and parlayed the defense into offense in a 34-0 Class 9A quarterfinal victory over No. 5-seeded Avon in a battle of nine-man stalwarts Thursday night in Howard. "We were feeling each other out in the first quarter," said Howard coach Pat Ruml. "The wind played a huge factor tonight and I thought we handled it well."
COLOME—In a battle of nine-man powerhouses, Corsica-Stickney showed off its defense. The Jaguars held Colome to just 116 yards of total offense and staked itself to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter that the No. 1 team in Class 9A would not relinquish, holding on for a 22-6 win over Colome Friday. "Our defense was definitely a strong point for our team tonight," said C-S coach Jason Broughton. "Our front is big and bad and they did a nice job tonight."
HARTFORD — By employing a bend but don't break defense, Winner took down longtime Class 11A power West Central Friday night. Winner scored once in the second quarter and again in the third for a 14-0 win Friday at Jim Uttecht Stadium in Hartford. In a game that was true to the style of both teams — heavy on rushing and defense, low on turnovers and passing — Winner outgained West Central 227-189 for the game and held the Trojans in check.
WINNER — After a long offseason, the Sioux Falls Christian High School football team brought the speed early Friday night. The Chargers moved quickly and capitalized on Winner's first-half turnovers as the Chargers topped the No. 1-ranked and two-time defending Class 11B champion Warriors 24-6 at Warrior Field. The victory ended the 24-game win streak Winner brought into the new season.
Poor shooting and turnovers proved to be too much as the Mitchell Kernel girls basketball team fell to Sioux Falls O'Gorman 44-24 in the last home of the year for Mitchell. The Kernels made only seven shots in the game on 27 attempts and they turned the ball over 29 times at the Corn Palace Saturday in the non-conference contest. Mitchell made the long trip to Rapid City Friday to take on Rapid City Central and got home at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, leaving less than 18 hours until they had to play again.
Dakota Wesleyan University had eight players score in double figures as the Tigers topped Oglala Lakota 128-84 at the Beau Keeter Memorial Classic on Saturday at the Corn Palace. The Tigers (4-1) bounced back from a tough loss Friday against Bellevue and DWU coach Matt Wilber was pleased with his team's performance and credited the Bravehearts.
The Dakota Wesleyan Tigers came back from a horrendous first half only to come up just short Friday, as the No. 24-ranked Bellevue University Bruins held on for an 86-81 win at the Beau Keeter Memorial Classic at the Corn Palace. The No. 25 Tigers trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half and only shot 39 percent from the floor, while the Bruins controlled the inside and shot a warm 53 percent from the field, delivering DWU its first loss of the season.