Class A state basketball roundup: Buzzer-beater sends Elk Point-Jefferson to semifinals

Devon Schmitz couldn’t miss from 3-point range on Thursday night, and that included the game-winner

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Elk Point-Jefferson's Easton Kempf makes a move to the basket during the Class A state boys basketball tournament on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS -- Devon Schmitz couldn’t miss from 3-point range on Thursday night.

And that included a buzzer-beating, double-clutch 3-pointer that sent seventh-seeded Elk Point-Jefferson past No. 2 St. Thomas More 53-50 in the Class A boys basketball quarterfinals.

With 3.8 seconds left, Garrett Merkley lobbed a pass to the left sideline to Schmitz, who brought it up to the 3-point line and let go of a runner that dropped through the cylinder with less than a second remaining to end the game.

The shot ended a nearly 5-minute drought without a field goal for the Huskies (18-5) and Schmitz finished 6-for-6 from deep with a team-high 18 points. Evan Fornia added nine points and Easton Kempf had seven points for the Huskies, who finished 17-for-34 from the field and 7-for-11 on 3-pointers but committed 20 turnovers.

STM (20-3) was led by Caleb Hollenbeck, who had his own off-balance 3-pointer on the preceding play to tie the game at 50-all. Hollenbeck finished 9-for-25 from the field, including 6-for-17 on 3-pointers and 8-for-12 on free throws. But the Cavaliers shot 31% as a team and never led in the game.


EPJ awaits the winner of Sioux Falls Christian and Elk Point-Jefferson at 7:45 p.m. on Friday in the Class A semifinals. STM will play in the consolation round on Friday afternoon.

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Dakota Valley's Isaac Bruns splits the defense of Hot Springs' Matt Close (2) and Camron Maciejewski (15) during the Class A state boys basketball tournament on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Dakota Valley 80, Hot Springs 47

SIOUX FALLS — Isaac Bruns led the way for top-seeded Dakota Valley to pick up its 51st win in a row on Thursday in a 80-47 victory over Hot Springs.

Bruns finished with 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting, as Dakota Valley led 21-14 after one quarter and then pulled away from there, holding a 41-21 halftime lead and outsourcing the Bison 27-7 in the third quarter, allowing the Panthers to back off and rest their starters in the final period. Randy Rosenquist had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists and Sam Faldmo had 10 points from off the bench, as DV shot 57.4% for the game.

Hot Springs had 11 points from Camron Maciejewski and 10 points from Preston Iverson in the loss, with the Panthers outrebounding Hot Springs 35-17 and holding a 52-18 edge for scoring in the paint.

Dakota Valley (24-0) will face Hamlin in the Class A semifinals on Friday, while Hot Springs (19-5) takes on Sioux Valley in the consolation round on Friday.

Hamlin 72, Sioux Valley 64

SIOUX FALLS -- A 47-point second half and four players in double figures helped the Hamlin boys basketball upend fourth-seeded Sioux Valley in the Class A quarterfinals on Thursday at the Premier Center.


Hamlin hit 11 of its last 13 field goals in the game it trailed 35-25 at halftime, while Sioux Valley struggled from the field in the second half, shooting 26.5% and finishing 4-for-26 on 3-pointers.

Easton Neuendorf had 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds, including a 15-for-18 effort at the free throw line. Tyson Stevenson added 19 points and Evan Stormo had 12 points for the Chargers, while Brennan Keszler scored 10 points. As a team, Hamlin was 21-for-28 on free throws, plus made 11 3-pointers.

Oliver Vincent became the Cossacks’ all-time scoring leader in the game, passing Tayt Vincent, who previously held the record with 1,837 points. Vincent finished with 31 points on 11-for-27 shooting. Alec Squires had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Hamlin (20-3) will face top-seeded Dakota Valley on Friday night for a spot in the state championship game, while Sioux Valley (21-3) plays in the consolation round on Friday against Hot Springs.

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