Eight-team field is set for Class AA state girls basketball tournament in Sioux Falls

Jefferson, Washington, O’Gorman among state qualifiers for Class AA girls

Jefferson's Aliyah McGovern-Harrington dribbles against the defense of Aberdeen Central's Sydney Evans during a girls basketball SoDak 16 game on Friday, March 3, 2023 at Jefferson High School in Sioux Falls.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

SIOUX FALLS — The eight teams to reach the Class AA state girls basketball tournament were determined on Friday night, with most of the top seeds advancing or surviving.

That included Sioux Falls Jefferson holding off Aberdeen Central with a fourth-quarter surge and Harrisburg slipping past an upset-minded Spearfish squad. The major upset of the night was Mitchell knocking off No. 5 Brandon Valley.

It sets up the Class AA state quarterfinals, which will begin Thursday, March 8 at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Top-seeded Sioux Falls Washington will face No. 8 Watertown, with Sioux Falls Jefferson taking on Mitchell in the second quarterfinal. In the lower bracket, second-seeded Pierre will face Stevens, while defending state champion O’Gorman will be the No. 3 seed against Harrisburg in Thursday’s nightcap.

The Mitchell High School girls basketball team pulled off the upset of the Class AA postseason on Friday night

Here’s a look at the rest of the night’s action in Class AA:

  • No. 1 Sioux Falls Washington 53, No. 16 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 40: Brooklyn Harpe scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Washington to a home victory over the rival Rough Riders, improving to 18-3 on the season. Grace Peterson added 17 points for the Warriors, who will carry the No. 1 seed to the Class AA state tournament after holding the Rough Riders to 22% shooting for the game. Katie Spicer scored 16 points and Katie Johnson had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Roosevelt, which ends the season at 1-20. 
  • No. 4 Sioux Falls Jefferson 57, Aberdeen Central 41: Jefferson trailed 18-17 at the half but turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter to take the lead and then pulled away late in the fourth. It is the second trip to the state tournament in as many attempts for the Cavaliers (17-4), who took third place a season ago in Class AA. 
  • No. 8 Watertown 38, No. 9 Sioux Falls Lincoln 36: The Arrows picked up their first trip to the Class AA state tournament since 2009, staving off a pair of Patriot chances to tie the game in the final seconds. Maddy Rohde had 13 points, including the go-ahead basket with 40 seconds left that put the Arrows in the lead for good. Emery Thury finished with 12 points for Watertown (12-9). Lincoln was led by Mariah Siem’s 18 points.  
  • No. 7 Rapid City Stevens 62, No. 10 Huron 48: Izzy Higgins and Macey Wathen each scored 14 points for the Raiders (14-7), who qualified for the state tournament for the 10th consecutive season. Stevens led 27-23 at halftime but pulled away with a 23-15 third quarter and shot 52% in the second half. Hamtyn Heinz had 19 points and Heavan Gainey scored 11 points and had eight rebounds for Huron, which finished 9-12. 
  • No. 3 Sioux Falls O'Gorman 63, No. 14 Rapid City Central 26: Knights standout Mahli Abdouch scored 28 points to power the Knights to the Class AA state tournament, including scoring 17 points in the first half, which is when O’Gorman led 36-10. It’s the 14th straight season that O’Gorman has qualified for the state tournament.  
  • No. 6 Harrisburg 35, No. 11 Spearfish 30: Harrisburg’s Adelynn Wagner converted a pair of free throws with 7 seconds left to lift the Tigers (16-5) back to the Class AA state tournament. Spearfish (10-10) led 19-14 at halftime but the Tigers controlled the second half. Kayleigh Hybertson scored the go-ahead basket with 3:30 remaining to break a 27-all tie, and the Tigers had a pair of late steals to keep the Spartans from tying the game late. Mya Kochuten had a game-high 15 points for Spearfish, while Hybertson and Abby Flanagan each had nine points for Harrisburg. 
  • No. 2 Pierre 68, No. 15 Brookings 42: Remington Price had 27 points and five 3-pointers, while Reece Terwilleger added 18 to lead the Governors to a win that sends them back to the state tournament. Pierre (18-3) led 29-21 at halftime and picked up the offense in the second to pull away. The Bobcats finish the season 5-16.
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Mitchell girls basketball head coach Dave Brooks raises the net in celebration after a win over Brandon Valley during after a SoDak 16 state qualifier game on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Brandon.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic


Class AA state quarterfinal matchups

Thursday, March 9 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. 

Upper bracket

No. 1 Sioux Falls Washington (18-3) vs. No. 8 Watertown (12-9), 11 a.m.

No. 4 Sioux Falls Jefferson (17-4) vs. No. 12 Mitchell (9-12), 1:45 p.m.

Lower bracket

No. 2 Pierre (18-3) vs. No. 7 Rapid City Stevens (14-7), 5 p.m.

No. 3 O'Gorman (17-4) vs. No. 6 Harrisburg (16-5), 7:45 p.m.

Matt Zimmer is a Sioux Falls native and longtime sports writer. He graduated from Washington High School where he played football, legion baseball and developed his lifelong love of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, he returned to Sioux Falls, began a long career in amateur baseball and started working as a sports freelancer. Zimmer was hired as a sport reporter at the Argus Leader in 2004, where he covered Sioux Falls high schools and colleges before moving to the South Dakota State University beat in 2014.
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