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Bon Homme/Scotland wins elusive state title

Bon Homme/Scotland raises the Class B state championship trophy after defeating West Central 7-5 on Tuesday at the Sioux Falls Stadium. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS—Bon Homme/Scotland finally knows what it feels like to hoist a championship trophy.

The group has come close time and time again to winning a state title, but fell short in recent seasons. It was not only the first Class B high school championship since 2011, but it also came after two straight seasons of losing in state Class B VFW Teener title games.

"Just excitement," Bon Homme/Scotland junior Joey Slama said. "After two years of losing in the state championship, it felt good. ... It feels amazing, just amazing."

On Tuesday, Bon Homme/Scotland scored the game's first seven runs against West Central, but needed to hold off the Trojans for a 7-5 win at the Sioux Falls Stadium.

After freshman reliever Trent Herrboldt recorded the final out, it set off a celebration that was a few years in the making.

"It is very rewarding," said Bon Homme/Scotland senior Bryce Scieszinski, who went 2-for-4 and earned the win against the Trojans. "We have come up short the last couple years of high school and it is just a great feeling to finally get it done."

Last season, Bon Homme/Scotland fell to Vermillion in the region championship game during the high school season.

The group has also experienced heartbreak in other sports. The Bon Homme football team fell to Kimball/White Lake in Class 9AA quarterfinals this season, while the basketball team lost to Dakota Valley in the Class A Round of 16 in March.

"We have come up short at least a couple of times," Bon Homme/Scotland baseball coach Gary Kortan said. "We have come up just short in basketball—this older group—and just short in football a few times and it was just time. Something needed to go our way and it did."

And if not for a new setup in the postseason format, Bon Homme/Scotland would not have even made the state tournament this season.

The Class B tournament was expanded to eight teams this season, with the region champion and runner-up qualifying for the state tournament. In recent years, just the four region winners advanced to the state tournament. This season, Bon Homme/Scotland was defeated by Parkston in the Region 1B championship.

The state tournament was not seeded and was pre-slotted depending on region and a team's finish in the region tournament. Region winners faced a region runner-up from another region in the opening round.

Bon Homme/Scotland will graduate Scieszinski, Christian Uecker, Tanner Van Driel, Colin Adams, Mace Merkwan and Dom Pechous from this year's team.

"(It's a) good group of boys and I am going to miss them," Kortan said.