Gau, Tolsma, Bruckner lead Class B all-state team

PIERRE (AP) -- Three seniors, a junior and a sophomore head the 2009 Class B boys all state basketball team, which is chosen by the High School Coaches Association.

PIERRE (AP) -- Three seniors, a junior and a sophomore head the 2009 Class B boys all state basketball team, which is chosen by the High School Coaches Association.

Tyson Gau of Hanson, Matthew Bartlett of White River and Tate Bruckner of Menno represent the senior class. They are joined on the first team by junior Jesse Tolsma of Mitchell Christian and sophomore Cory Jacobsen of Viborg.

Two Mitchell area players -- Freeman's Josh Korn and Avon's Matt Dykstra -- made the second team.

Gau, a 6-foot-1 forward, averaged 19.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for a Hanson team that was ranked No. 1 for much of the season. Gau was named All Cornbelt Conference each of the last two seasons. In addition, Gau was an All-State defensive back in football and a state placewinner in the 800 meters last year in track.

Gau was also the Class B coaches association player of the year this season.


"His willingness to work hard every day in practice rubs off on all of his teammates," Hanson coach Josh Oltmanns said. "Tyson's ability to score from either inside or outside has made him a focal point of many opposing teams' defenses. Tyson has shown the ability to put the team on his back when needed, yet find his teammates and be an unselfish basketball player during the course of the season.

Tolsma was named to the other forward position. The 6-2 junior scored 25 points per game and shot 52 percent from 3-point range for Mitchell Christian. Tolsma had several games where he scored more than 30 points, including 43 against Corsica.

Tolsma surpassed 1,000 career points in the district championship game, and helped Mitchell Christian peak at No. 1 in the Class B rankings this season despite being the only returning starter from a team that held that spot for most of the 2008 season.

"He's an extremely hard worker in season and offseason, with a great attitude and great sportsmanship," Mitchell Christian coach Tom Young said.

Bruckner was named first-team guard after a five-year varsity career. The 6-1 senior scored 14.3 points per game while dishing out an impressive 5.8 assists and recording 3.4 steals per game. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds.

The three-year captain was all-conference the last three seasons in the Cornbelt and was named MVP of the conference this season. He helped Menno return to the state tournament for the first time in 53 years.

"Tate has been a valuable leader and tremendous player for the Wolves in his career," Menno coach Jeff Liebl said. "Tate is a proven scorer, but most impressive is his ability to pass the ball off to his teammates."

White River's Matthew Bartlett is the team's center. The 6-5 Bartlett averaged a double-double, scoring 17.1 points per game and pulling down 13.5 rebounds per game for White River.


He holds White River's single-season and career rebounding records, averaging more than 10 rebounds per game for his career. Bartlett was also named most valuable player at the Western Great Plains conference tournament and helped lead White River to the state championship game.

The final member of the first team is Jacobsen, a 6-1 guard for Viborg. He helped lead the Vikings to the state tournament as a sophomore, posting averages of 21.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. Jacobsen was also named to the State B All Tournament team.

The second team is made up of seniors, beginning with Freeman's Korn and Avon's Dykstra. The team also includes Kyle Weisbeck of Herreid, Jeff Tobin of Langford and Bo LaCroix of Hurley.

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