Harrisburg leads the way on Class AA girls all-state team
Harrisburg led the way with a pair of standouts on the Class AA girls basketball all-state team, selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
Senior Samantha Slaughter and sophomore Jeniah Ugofsky helped the Tigers to a state runner-up finish this season and helped to make up one-third of the six-player all-state first team.
Slaughter, who will hang up the basketball jersey in favor of a volleyball career at Nebraska next year, averaged 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Tigers and was arguably the face of the Tiger squad.
Ugofsky, meanwhile, averaged 13.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and if Slaughter was the face of the Tigers this season, Ugofsky is the face of the Tigers' future. She is already committed to the University of South Dakota.
Sioux Falls Lincoln's Anna Brecht, who was selected as the Class AA Player of the Year, averaged 24.1 points — tops in Class AA and a single-season school record — and 6.1 rebounds per game and led the Patriots to a 13-7 regular-season record. The Patriots did not qualify for the state tournament, falling in a Region 1AA play-in game to Sioux Falls Roosevelt.
Brecht leaves the Patriot program with 1,662 career points, which broke a 30-year-old school scoring record, and is the school's all-time leading rebounder, as well. She will head to Wisconsin-Green Bay next fall.
Aberdeen Central's Paiton Burckhard made her presence known on the court in a variety of different ways, from scoring in the post to handling the ball on the perimeter. She finished the season with 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per game, the only player on the first team to average a double-double. The junior also surpassed the 1,000-career-point-benchmark during the regular season.
Danica Kocer represents the youthful potential of a Brandon Valley squad that finished the regular season with a 17-3 mark, but finished on the short end of close finishes at the state tournament. Kocer, a sophomore, averaged 13 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Lynx.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt senior Tahia Mitzel is the sixth and final member of the first team squad. Mitzel averaged 12.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Rough Riders, who finished sixth at the state tournament.