Four high-scoring guards and two dominant big men headline this year’s Class B all-state team, which was announced today by the South Dakota High School Basketball Coaches Association.
The first-team includes De Smet’s Kalen Garry, Dell Rapids St. Mary’s Connor Libis, White River’s Joe Sayler, Canistota’s Tyce Ortman, Viborg-Hurley’s Gradee Sherman and Howard’s Sam Aslesen. Garry, who led De Smet to the state championship, is the Class B player of the year as selected by the state’s coaches.
Ortman capped off his career with his second all-state selection. He was a third-team honoree last season. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game for the Hawks. He guided Canistota to a seventh-place finish at the state tournament.
Ortman, who will play college football at Northwestern College, is Canistota’s all-time leading scorer with 1,380 career points. He also finished with 490 rebounds, 310 assists and 245 steals.
“Tyce came off the bench as an eighth-grader and I could tell then that he had a bright future in basketball,” Canistota coach Pat Jolley said. “He has always been a confident player and is very competitive. Tyce plays with intensity and has been an excellent role model for our younger players.”
A 6-foot-7 forward, Aslesen is the first Howard player selected to the first-team since Heath Koepsell in 1992. Aslesen logged 19.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season. The future Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball player finished with 925 career points. He also posted 390 rebounds, 180 3-pointers, 130 assists and 117 steals.
“Sam took our program to another level the first day he joined the team,” Howard coach Nick Koepsell said. “He has been the leader of our program the last two years and all the other players look up to him and follow his lead. Sam is one of the hardest workers I've ever been around and he deserves to be recognized as one of the top players in the state.”
Garry earned his second straight first-team selection. He was a second-team honoree as a freshman in 2019. The 6-foot-3 junior guard averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game. He’s already De Smet’s all-time leading scorer.
Libis secured his third-straight first-team selection to cap his high-scoring career. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 23.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game. The future Briar Cliff University men’s basketball player finished third on the state’s all-time scoring list with 2,731 career points. He also guided the Cardinals to a third-place finish at the state tournament, which was their first appearance since 2005.
Sayler is the youngest member on the first team and is making his first all-state team. The dynamic scoring guard registered 29.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard committed to South Dakota State University surpassed the 1,000-point mark during the season. He guided the Tigers to a fifth-place finish at state.
Sherman was a third-team honoree last season. The 6-foot-5 senior forward posted 22 points and 12 rebounds per game this season. The future Augustana University football player led the Cougars to a fourth-place finish at state.
The second-team includes Howard’s Tisyn Spader, De Smet’s Rett Osthus, Elkton-Lake Benton’s Matthew Nibbe, Canistota’s Chase Merrill, Platte-Geddes’ Kelby VanDerWerff and Aberdeen Christian’s Malek Wieker.
The third-team includes Corsica-Stickney’s Brendan Wentland, Aberdeen Christian’s Brent Ekanger, Wessington Springs’ Jacob Messmer, Platte-Geddes’ Caden Foxley, Potter County’s Grant Luikens and Gregory’s Daniel Mitchell.
South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association
2020-21 All-State Boys Basketball Teams
• Kalen Garry, De Smet, 6-3 jr., guard (23 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg)
• Connor Libis, Dell Rapids St. Mary, 5-9, sr., guard (23.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3 apg, 2,731 career points)
• Joe Sayler, White River, 6-3, so., guard-forward (29.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.6 apg)
• Tyce Ortman, Canistota, 5-11, sr., guard (17.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.1 apg)
• Gradee Sherman, Viborg-Hurley, 6-5, sr., forward-center (21.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg)
• Sam Aslesen, Howard, 6-7, sr., forward (19.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)
• Tisyn Spader, Howard, 6-4, sr., guard (17.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.8 apg)
• Rett Osthus, De Smet, 6-0, jr., guard (10.1 ppg, 3 rpg, 4.8 apg)
• Matthew Nibbe, Elkton-Lake Benton, 6-4, sr., forward (16.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
• Chase Merrill, Canistota, 6-3, sr., guard-forward (17.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.6 apg)
• Kelby VanDerWerff, Platte-Geddes, 6-5, sr., forward (16.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 40 blocks)
• Malek Wieker, Aberdeen Christian, 6-0, so., guard (13 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg)
• Brendan Wentland, Corsica-Stickney, 6-0, sr., guard (198 ppg, 8 rpg, 4 apg)
• Brent Ekanger, Aberdeen Christian, 6-0, sr., forward (10.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.5 apg)
• Jacob Messmer, Wessington Springs, 6-5, sr., center (19.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg)
• Cadey Foxley, Platte-Geddes, 6-4, jr., center (16.3 ppg, 11 rpg, 51 blocks)
• Grant Luikens, Potter County, 6-3, jr., guard-forward (20.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3 apg, 57 steals)
• Daniel Mitchell, Gregory, 6-7, fr., center (26.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 63 blocks)
• Player of the Year — Garry.
• Repeat Selections — 2020 (Garry and Libis, first team; Ortman, Sherman and VanDerWerff, third team); 2019 (Libis, first team; Garry, second team).