SALEM — The top senior high school basketball players in the state gathered for the 33rd Three-Class Shootout Saturday, with the Class AA players emerging as victors.
In the boys competition, Class AA defeated Class A in the opening game 126-97 and defeated Class B in the final 118-94. In the first game, five players scored in a double-figures, led by 27 points and nine rebounds from Harrisburg's Blaze Lubbers. O'Gorman's Kade Moffitt scored 22 points, while Washington's Tahj Two Bulls, who was the dunk contest champion, scored 20 points. Six players were in double figures for Class A, including 16 points from Dillion Gestring and 14 points from Jakob Dobney, both from Vermillion.
The game against Class B's all-stars, seven Class AA players were in double-figures, including 17 points from Moffitt and Rapid City Central's Micah Swallow. Sixteen points came from Two Bulls, Lubbers scored 14, as did Mitchell's Zane Alm, Harrisburg's Connor Geddes and Roosevelt's Tyler Feldkamp. For Class B, Leola-Frederick's Isaac Sumption scored 17 points, while Langford Area's Colin Frey scored 14 points. Fourteen points and 10 rebounds were sourced by Howard's Sam Aslesen, while Chase Merrill, of Canistota, scored 13 points, and Platte-Geddes' Kelby VanderWerff had eight points and 10 rebounds.
The boys MVP honorees were Lubbers, Gestring and Sumption.
In girls play, Class AA's team rallied twice to win the shootout. In the final, it outlasted Class B in the championship game in a 79-76 victory. O'Gorman's Isabelle Moore hit the go-ahead free throws with 16 seconds remaining to put Class AA in front. Harrisburg's Brecli Honner scored 18 points to lead all scorers, while teammate Carolyn Harr scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds and Aberdeen Central's Abby Kopecky scored 15 points. Centerville's Haley Meyer scored 17 points for Class B, while White River's Caelyn Valandra-Prue scored 14 points and Menno's Morgan Edelman scored 12. Waverly-South Shore's Emily Kranz had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
In the opening game, Class AA rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to win 85-77 over the Class A all-stars. Moore scored 20 points, while Honner scored 19 points and Harr added 14. West Central's Cassidy Siemonsma tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Winner's Kalla Bertram added 14 points. Olivia Ritter, of Tea Area, scored 13 points.
Most valuable player awards for each girls team went to Honner, Siemonsma and Valandra-Prue. Mitchell's Macy Kempf scored six total points and had 13 rebounds in the two games for the Class AA team.