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MCM's Koepsell named to Class A all-state first team

For a second straight season, McCook Central/Montrose's Morgan Koepsell has been named to the Class A girls basketball all-state first team. Koepsell, a 6-2 junior center, was another double-double performer night-in and night-out. She averaged 2...

McCook Central/Montrose's Morgan Koepsell takes a shot during the Fighting Cougars' Class A Sweet 16 qualifying game March 3 at Sioux Falls Christian. (Republic file photo)
McCook Central/Montrose's Morgan Koepsell takes a shot during the Fighting Cougars' Class A Sweet 16 qualifying game March 3 at Sioux Falls Christian. (Republic file photo)

For a second straight season, McCook Central/Montrose's Morgan Koepsell has been named to the Class A girls basketball all-state first team.

Koepsell, a 6-2 junior center, was another double-double performer night-in and night-out. She averaged 21.5 points, shooting 62 percent from the field, and 11.1 rebounds a game. She also had 48 assists, 31 steals and 59 blocks.

"Morgan is very deserving of being selected to the first team all-state," McCook Central/Montrose coach Doug Durfee said. "She has worked extremely hard and put in a lot of time to become the player that she is. Morgan is not only a great individual basketball player, but she is a great teammate and leader for our team."

Joining Koepsell, the rest of the first team saw some talented players who weren't shy about putting the ball in the basket. They include: St. Thomas More's Dru Gylten, Lexi Wadsworth of Hamlin, Haley Rithmiller of Webster Area, Madysen Vlastuin of Lennox and Jessi Giles of Madison.

Gylten was part of four straight Class A state title teams with the Cavaliers, despite tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in the semifinals of this year's state tournament. Headed to the University of Utah, Gylten, a 5-foot-11 point guard, averaged 13.3 points a game, along with 3.6 steals, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

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Wadsworth, a 5-11 junior forward, led the way for the Chargers, averaging 20.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. She went over the 1,000-point mark of her career earlier this season against Milbank Area and has over 800 rebounds in her career.

Rithmiller, a 5-10 senior forward, averaged a double-double and led all first-team performers in scoring at 21.5 points a game, while grabbing 10.6 rebounds per contest. She also averaged 7.5 steals and 3.1 assists per game.

Vlastuin, the youngest player on the first team, is a 6-foot freshman who averaged 16.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. She also had 44 deflections, 25 steals, 17 blocks and 65 assists.

Giles, a 5-10 junior guard, was a Dak XII All Conference performer for the Bulldogs this season at 17.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing.

Members of the second team were: Haleigh Melstad, a 5-9 junior guard from Vermillion; Karlee McKinney, a 5-7 senior guard from Tea Area, Peyton Wingert, a 5-10 junior from Dakota Valley; Caelyn Valandra, a 5-7 eighth-grade guard/forward from Todd County; Jayda Knupppe, a 5-9 sophomore center from Dell Rapids and Emma Paul, a 5-8 sophomore guard/forward from Dell Rapids.

Third-team performers include: Kadye Fernholz, a 6-0 freshman forward from Miller; Carly Granum, a 5-6 junior guard from Sioux Valley; Caryssa Mielitz, a 6-2 senior center from Milbank Area; Janae Kolden, a 5-9 sophomore guard from Clark/Willow Lake; Tariq Brown Otter, a 5-2 senior guard from McLaughlin and Jayden Bies, a 5-10 junior guard/forward from St. Thomas More.

Class A all-state girls basketball team

Selected by the S.D. Basketball Coaches Association

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First team

Lexi Wadsworth, 5-11, Jr., forward, Hamlin, 20.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg., 2.7 apg.

Haley Rithmiller, 5-10, Sr., forward, Webster Area, 21.5 ppg., 10.6 rpg., 3.1 apg.

Morgan Koepsell, 6-2, Jr., center, McCook Central/Montrose, 21.1 ppg., 11.1 rpg., 2.4 apg.

Dru Gylten, 5-11, Sr., guard, St. Thomas More, 12.9 ppg., 4.6 rpg., 3.9 apg.

Madysen Vlastuin, 6-0, Fr., guard, Lennox, 16.4 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 2.7 apg.

Jessi Giles, 5-10, Jr., guard, Madison, 17.3 ppg., 4.6 rpg., 1.6 apg.

Second team

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Haleigh Melstad, 5-9, Jr., guard, Vermillion, 17.6 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 1.4 apg.

Karlee McKinney, 5-7, Sr., guard, Tea Area, 19.1 ppg., 1.7 rpg., 2.3 apg.

Peyton Wingert, 5-10, Jr., guard, Dakota Valley, 20.4 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.5 apg.

Caelyn Valandra, 5-7, 8th, guard/forward, Todd County, 23.3 ppg., 7.1 rpg., 2.0 apg.

Jayda Knuppe, 5-9, So., center, Dell Rapids, 14.4 ppg., 6.1 rpg, 1.1 apg.

Emma Paul, 5-8, So., guard/forward, Dell Rapids, 12.1 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 2.6 apg.

Third team

Kadye Fernholz, 6-0, Fr., forward, Miller, 16.5 ppg., 12.8 rpg, 1.0 apg.

Carly Granum, 5-6, Jr., guard, Sioux Valley, 17.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg., 1.4 apg.

Caryssa Mielitz, 6-2, Sr., center, Milbank Area, 16.0 ppg., 10.0 rpg., 2.0 ppg.

Janae Kolden, 5-9, So., guard, Clark/Willow Lake, 18.5 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 1.4 apg.

Tariq Brown Otter, 5-2, Sr., guard, McLaughlin, 19.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 4.0 apg.

Jayden Bies, 5-10, Jr., guard/forward, St. Thomas More, 11.7 ppg., 2.1 rpg., 0.8 apg.

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