Full-Court Press: Versatility and athleticism power Viborg-Hurley boys basketball team

Cougars feature lengthy and athletic lineup that expects to contend in Class B.


Athletic, versatile and unselfish are adjectives that describe the Viborg-Hurley boys basketball team.

The Cougars feature an abundance of length and athleticism not seen on many Class B rosters. The starters are all 6-foot or taller and coach Galen Schoenefeld calls the team his most athletic as Viborg-Hurley’s coach.

“We don’t have any of the 6-7 or 6-9 or 6-6 (players),” Schoenefeld said. “But we just have good overall size and athleticism. I would say as many or more kids are able to dunk the ball than I’ve ever had before.”


The starting lineup features a pair of 6-foot-5 jumping jacks in Gradee Sherman and Eli Boomgarden. Sherman, an all-state basketball and football player, controls the paint for the Cougars. A bouncy and versatile defender, Boomgarden can defend multiple positions and is a capable perimeter scorer.

“It was a big recipe for our success last year and it will be again this year,” Schoenefeld said about the duo’s height and skill sets.

The Cougars’ size and athleticism doesn’t stop there. Viborg-Hurley also starts Hayden Gilbert (6-1), Carter Gust (6-2) and Grant Mikkelsen (6-2). Dynamic multi-sport athlete Angel Johnson (5-10) comes off the bench.

“I am not sure you would find a more athletic pair of point guards in Class B than Hayden and Angel,” Schoenefeld said. “Eli is capable of filling in at that role also if needed. He has played the perimeter throughout his career.”

Viborg-Hurley's Gradee Sherman goes up for a rebound against Bridgewater-Emery's Rylee Schultz on Tuesday in Emery.

To further illustrate the team’s athleticism, Gilbert, Gust and Johnson were also all-state football selections. The group was also largely responsible for winning the Class B boys track and field title in 2019.

And this year’s basketball team doesn’t include Chase Mason, who suffered an ACL injury during the football season. Schoenefeld doesn’t expect Mason, a University of Nebraska baseball commit, to play hoops this season.


A former all-state quarterback, Mason spurned Division I football and other baseball offers to play for the Huskers.

He’s not the only college prospect on the roster. Sherman has football offers from Augustana University and University of Sioux Falls. Boomgarden has received interest from NAIA basketball programs, while Johnson has committed to play football at South Dakota State. Gilbert, a junior, is already drawing college football interest from SDSU.

Bridgewater-Emery's Sutton Arend, left, and Viborg-Hurley's Eli Boomgarden go up for a rebound on Tuesday.

The No. 4 Cougars are off to a 3-0 start and their balance has shined early in the season. Sherman scored 22 and 23 points in the first two games. He added nine rebounds and four steals against Bridgewater-Emery. Mikkelsen logged 10 points and seven boards against the Huskies.

Boomgarden scored 10 points in both of Viborg-Hurley’s first two games. Gilbert logged 13 points in the season opener, while adding four points, four assists and four steals against Bridgewater-Emery.

“I’ve always liked that many of our teams share basketball,” Schoenefeld said. “I feel like we are doing that pretty well so far this year.”

The Cougars will be tested plenty during the regular season, while also playing at three classics in Mitchell and the Sanford Pentagon Classic in Sioux Falls.


--Mitchell Republic sports reporter Ryan Deal

Bahmuller breaks Hanson school record

Hayden Bahmuller didn’t set out to break a school record. But that’s exactly what he did Tuesday.

Bahmuller blocked a school-record nine shots in Hanson’s 84-51 boys basketball win over McCook Central/Montrose. Craig Henglefelt held the previous school record with seven.

“Going into the game I didn’t really think much about a blocks record,” Bahmuller said. “We started playing and I had a few on one guy and a couple on another. I was like ‘I have to be getting up there somewhere and getting pretty high.’ ”

West Central ends Winner's 49-game winning streak

HARTFORD -- Class A No. 5 West Central ended Class A No. 1 Winner’s 49-game winning streak with a 53-43 girls basketball win on Friday. Cassidy Siemonsma led the way with 18 points and Josslin Jarding added 13 points. Kalla Bertram finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Bella Swedlund posted 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.


The Burke girls basketball team holds up five fingers to celebrate coach Ron Determan's 500th career win on Friday in Kimball. (Courtesy photo)

Determan reaches 500 wins

Burke’s Ron Determan joined the 500-win club on Dec. 11 when the Cougars knocked off Kimball/White Lake, 51-49, in their season opener.

Determan is one of five girls basketball coaches to surpass 500 wins. Current Aberdeen Central coach Dawn Seiler is the all-time leader with more than 600 wins, while current Hanson coach Jim Bridge has more than 500 wins. Former Parkston coach Rob Van Laecken and former Sioux Falls Roosevelt coach Fred Tibbetts both recorded more than 500 girls basketball wins.

1,000-point club

Four players recently recorded their 1,000th career points. Who did we miss? Let us know at

  • Vermillion’s Lexi Plitzuweit became the sixth player in program history to hit the 1,000 point mark. The future Grand Valley State University women’s basketball player scored a game-high 21 points in Vermillion’s 72-58 defeat against Ponca (Neb.).

  • Canistota’s Tyce Ortman reached the 1,000-point mark in the Hawks’ 73-18 win over Freeman on Thursday. He scored 25 points to go with six steals and three assists.

  • Centerville’s Haley Meyer scored her 1,000th career point on the Tornadoes’ first possession against Estelline/Hendricks on Dec. 12. She made a 3-pointer, sparking a 24-point performance in their 57-34 win.

  • Irene-Wakona’s Nora O’Malley became the sixth member of her family to join the 1,000-point club in the Eagles’ 49-37 loss to Bon Homme on Monday. She joins siblings Kieran, Seamus, Rory, Shannon and Malloy O'Malley in the 1,000-point club.

Honor roll

  • Gregory duo Coy Determan and Daniel Mitchell alternated big nights. Mitchell finished with a 30-point, 17-rebound double-double in a 47-40 loss to Chamberlain on Tuesday, and then Determan put together a triple-double with 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds during the Gorillas’ 59-21 win over Colome on Thursday.

  • Caden Foxley powered Class B No. 3 Platte-Geddes to an 86-60 win over Burke on Thursday, as he finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Burke’s Ben Witt scored 30 points.

  • Sioux Valley’s Oliver Vincent exploded for 32 points, four rebounds and three steals in a 61-54 win over Baltic on Thursday. He made 11 of 22 shots, including four 3-pointers.

  • Yankton’s Ellie Karolevitz scored a game-high 30 points in a 57-42 loss to Brandon Valley on Thursday.

  • On Tuesday, Wolsey-Wessington’s Payton Gohn scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to go with two steals and two blocks in a a 65-28 win over Lake Preston.

  • Dakota Valley had a pair of standout performers in a doubleheader sweep of Beresford on Tuesday. On the boys side, Paul Bruns had 29 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and three assists. Rylee Rosenquist stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

  • Corsica-Stickney’s Raven Barse stuffed the stat sheet in two wins for the Jaguars. On Thursday, she had 11 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals in a 54-31 win over Sanborn Central/Woonsocket. She opened the week by recording 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

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