Five superb seniors and one super sophomore highlight this year’s Class B girls basketball all-state first team, as voted on by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
The honor squad includes Ethan’s Karly Gustafson, Avon’s Lauren Sees, Warner’s Laurie Rogers, Ipswich’s Kamryn Heinz, Tripp-Delmont/Armour’s Mattilynn Reiner and White River’s Caelyn Valandra-Prue.
The six are all decorated scorers, state-tourney participants and repeat all-state selections. Gustafson is a four-time all-state pick and a three-time first-teamer. Sees is a three-time selection and a two-time first-team selection. Rogers has now made the first-team for three straight seasons. Heinz was third-team as a sophomore and second-team as a junior. Reiner landed on the second team as a sophomore and was a first-team selection last season. Valandra-Prue was a second-team selection at Todd County as an eighth grader and freshman.
Gustafson is the Class B girls basketball player of the year, which is awarded to the senior with the most all-state votes. The 6-foot forward was a driving force behind a stellar five-year run for the Rustlers. She played in five state tournaments and helped Ethan to a 117-12 record in her career. She averaged 20.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She finished her career with 1,877 points, 770 rebounds and was the Spirit of Su recipient at the state tournament.
“Karly has obviously meant a lot to our program over the last five years, as she was a key contributor in all those years,” Ethan coach Tom Young said. “Even more important has been her impact on her younger teammates, classmates and community through the way she honors others with kindness and respect. She truly is a special young lady on and off the court and it has been a blessing for me to be her coach.”
Sees was a lethal scorer for the Pirates. The 5-foot-8 guard poured in 554 points this season, while averaging 24.1 points per game. She dropped 40 points against Menno and netted 37 points in an overtime win over Tripp-Delmont/Armour in the Region 6B semifinals. She finished her five-year career as Avon’s all-time leading scorer with 1,897 points, while also logging 535 rebounds, 315 assists and 231 steals. She will play next season at Augustana University.
“Lauren is a winner,” Avon coach Brad Poppe said. “She has that drive and the gleam in her eye which will always allow her to compete and be successful. Lauren leads by example. She expects far more of herself than anyone on the team. Her inner motivation drives her to be her best and other individuals on the team can perceive her determination and are compelled to work harder creating an atmosphere where goals can be accomplished.”
Rogers controlled the middle for the Monarchs, who took fifth at this year’s state tournament. The 6-foot-1 Rogers averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, while also swatting 69 shots. A three-time state-tourney participant, finished her career with 1,570 career points and 896 boards. She will play next season at Northern State University.
“Offensively, we ran everything through her,” Warner coach Stewart Bohle said. “If we got her touches early, things on the perimeter opened up. Defensively, she caused many problems for other teams. Her length and her quickness caused other teams to change what they did offensively. Laurie is the ultimate team player and always made her teammates better through her leadership and her will to win.”
Heinz filled it up Tigers, who advanced to this year’s state tournament for the first time since 1988. The 5-foot-9 Heinz was a key cog in the run, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Heinz capped her career No. 1 in program history in 3-pointers made (151), assists (359) and points in a game (37). She also ranks No. 2 all-time at Ipswich in points (1,732) and rebounds (884). A five-year varsity contributor, Heinz tore her ACL in July and returned in December to guide the Tigers.
“Her competitive drive and love for this game and her team as been just amazing,” Ipswich coach Brian Hogie said. “What makes her such an impact player is she can do everything well. She can score in the post, off the drive and jump shots. She led us in scoring, rebounds and assists for the seasons. She is also a student of the game. She understands what needs to be done for us to be effective.”
Reiner did it all for the Nighthawks. A six-year varsity contributor, Reiner slid into the point-guard spot this season and didn’t skip a beat. She posted averages of 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists per contest. The 5-foot-9 guard tossed in 1,737 career points and collected 1,014 career rebounds. She also finished with 426 assists, 350 steals and 157 blocks in her career. Reiner will play basketball next season at Dakota Wesleyan University.
“Mattilynn has been a great team leader both on and off the court,” said TDA coach Marc Reiner, who is Mattilynn’s father. “She has worked hard to become a complete and versatile basketball player willing to contribute in a variety of ways on both defense and offense. She always put team first and was willing to take on whatever role or assignment that was asked of her to help the team be successful.”
Valandra-Prue pumped in the points for White River, which played in its first state tournament since 1992 this season. Valandra-Prue finished her sophomore campaign with 537 points and averaged 24.4 points a game, while collecting 5.7 boards per game. She set a school record with 47 points against Jones County and tossed in 33 against Ipswich in the state tournament. The 5-foot-9 Valandra-Prue has 1,584 career points.
“Caelyn has a tremendous work ethic and competitive spirit,” White River coach Kristi Barnhart said. “She works extremely hard during the offseason and puts in many hours perfecting her skills. Caelyn is always that player who goes the extra mile to prepare herself for each competition.”
Members of the second-team were: New Underwood senior Jaedyn Finkbeiner, Menno sophomore Morgan Edelman, McIntosh senior Lauren Baumberger, Clark/Willow Lake senior Janae Kolden, Castlewood sophomore Alayna Benike and Corsica-Stickney eighth-grader Avery Broughton.
Members of the third-team were: De Smet senior Rynn Osthus, Kadoka Area junior Lavin Bendt, Ipswich sophomore Halle Heinz, Bridgewater-Emery senior Abigal Arend, Howard junior Hilary Albrecht and Waverly-South Shore senior Ali Kranz.