Defense delivers St. Thomas More to another Class A girls basketball state title
STM wins first title since 2018
BROOKINGS — Another defensive gem in the Class A state tournament helped St. Thomas More claim its first girls basketball state championship since 2018 with a 52-30 win over Hamlin.
St. Thomas More was appearing in its seventh Class A state championship game since 2012 and first since 2018, when STM won the last of its five consecutive state championships. The Cavaliers (22-3) were seeded No. 5 going into the bracket
Much like 2018, STM won the state title on the SDSU campus with a dominant defensive effort. For the three state tournament games, STM allowed 33.3 points per game and opponents shot 29.4% against the Cavaliers and converted 7-of-40 3-point tries.
On Saturday night, St. Thomas More jumped to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter and got a dominant effort from forward Reese Ross, who had 25 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. The Cavaliers shot 52% in the first half and held a 30-17 lead at the intermission. Jada Mollman had 11 points for the Cavaliers.
Hamlin (23-3), appearing in its second straight Class A state championship game, got 11 points from Brooklyn Brandriet but was held to 29% shooting from the field. Addison Neuendorf had five points and seven rebounds.
Class A special awards
Spirit of Six: West Central.
Spirit of Su: Stevi Fallis, Red Cloud
All-tournament team: Mairin Duffy and Reese Ross, of St. Thomas More; Kami Wadsworth and Brooklyn Brandriet, of Hamlin; Emma Yost and Ashlyn Koupal, of Wagner; Rylee Haldeman and Addy Kramer, of West Central; Stevi Fallis, of Red Cloud; Rylee Rosenquist, of Dakota Valley; Ellie Lems, of Sioux Falls Christian; Tobi Carlow, of Lakota Tech.