SoDak 16 boys basketball roundup for March 3: MVP claims spot in Class A state tournament

All the action from the Class A and B boys SoDak 16 games from Tuesday, March 7.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton center Jordan Stoltz (34) throws down a one-handed slam on a fastbreak with multiple Pine Ridge defenders looking on during a boys basketball Class A SoDak 16 state qualifier game on March 7, 2023, in Pierre.
Jason Harward / Mitchell Republic

PIERRE, S.D. — Mount Vernon/Plankinton picked up its first state tournament berth in Class A since 2017 with a strong effort over Pine Ridge on Tuesday night in the SoDak 16, winning 82-66.

Mason Hetland had a game-high 23 points for the Titans, with 20 points from Zach Baker. Reed Rus added 14 points and Christopher Mayer finished with 11 points for the Titans (18-5), who led 38-27 at halftime and 56-48 after three periods.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Zach Baker (10) drives toward the hoop against Pine Ridge's Justin Eagle (0) during a boys basketball Class A SoDak 16 state qualifier game on March 7, 2023, in Pierre.
Jason Harward / Mitchell Republic

No stats were reported for the Thorpes, who finished 18-4.

The Titans will play at the Premier Center on Thursday, March 16, with an opponent to be determined later this week.

Top-seeded Sioux cruise at Corn Palace

MITCHELL — Class B No. 1 seed Lower Brule stayed one step ahead of Irene-Wakonda in the SoDak 16 state-qualifying round on Tuesday night, knocking off the Eagles, 72-50.


The Sioux made 26 field goals and 12 of them were 3-pointers, with Lane Gray knocking down four of them and finishing with 15 points. Tate Elk Solider had 19 points off the bench, all in the second half, to lead all scorers in the game, while Brian LaRoche Jr. had 18 points for Lower Brule, which outscored I-W 23-9 in the second quarter and led by 21 after the end of the third quarter.

Lower Brule's Brian LaRoche Jr. (4) makes a pass to Ellwyn Langdeau (11) over an Irene-Wakonda defender during a boys basketball Class B SoDak 16 state qualifier game on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

The Eagles (11-12) had 14 points from 7-footer Jake Kuhl, with 11 from Jens Hansen and 10 points from Sam Hansen.

Lower Brule (20-3) will take the No. 1 seed to the Class B state tournament and will face an opponent to be determined on March 16 in Aberdeen.

Chargers dispatch Beavers in Class A

MADISON, S.D. — Sioux Falls Christian started hot and didn’t let up against Hanson, rolling past the Beavers, 73-31 on Tuesday in a boys SoDak 16 Class A state qualifier game in Madison.

The Chargers jumped out to a 19-17 lead after the first quarter and extended their advantage to 36-12 by halftime.

Cole Snyder paced SFC with 18 points, connecting on eight of his 13 tries from the field, while Ethan Bruns contributed 17 points and nine rebounds in the winning effort. The Chargers shot an efficient 52.7% (29 of 55) from the floor and held Hanson to 28.3% (13 of 46).

Jayce Slaba led the Beavers with 12 points, while Ethan Cheeseman added eight. Hadley Wallace had three points and came down with seven rebounds.

The Chargers advance to the Class A state tournament, which begins Thursday, March 16, in Sioux Falls, while Hanson finishes its season at 15-8.


White River races past Howard

FORT PIERRE, S.D. — The White River boys basketball team clinched an 18th consecutive appearance with a 72-51 win over Howard in the Class B SoDak 16 at the Parkview Gym.

Howard was able to stay within 10 points on multiple occasions in the second half but White River outscored Howard, 20-9 in the final period to pull away. Joe Sayler scored 22 points for White River (19-4), with 19 from T.J. Beardt and 12 points for Nicolas Marshall.

For Howard, Kolt Koepsell scored 15 points, Luke Koepsell added 13 points, Colby Claussen scored 12 points in the effort.

White River, which will be seeded No. 4 or No. 5, will open state tournament play on Thursday, March 16. Howard’s season ends at 16-6.

SoDak 16 action

Class A

  • Elk Point-Jefferson defeated Waubay/Summit, 58-50 behind 15 points from Garrett Merkley, 14 from Jakob Scarmon and 13 from Evan Fornia. Damon Opdahl scored 18 points in the loss, while Jonathan Johnson chipped in 16.
  • Despite 18 points from Madison's Aiden Jensen, Hamlin defeated the Bulldogs, 66-41. Three players cracked double-digit points for the Chargers, led by 17 from Easton Neuendorf. Even Stromo added 16 on 6-for-7 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, while Tyson Stevenson picked up 14.
  • Top-seeded Dakota Valley cruised to their 50th win in a row and their fourth consecutive state tournament appearance with a 94-41 win over Miller in Harrisburg. Isaac Bruns scored 32 points, Jaxson Wingert scored 17 points and Jaxon Hennies had 13 points for the Panthers.

Class B

  • As De Smet took down Crazy Horse, 89-54, Damon Wilkinson put up 31 points and 18 rebounds, while George Jensen chipped in 16 points and Kasen Jassen added 10. For Crazy Horse, Hayden Martin had 24 points and Donnie Hood tallied 11.

Class A SoDak 16 Scores

Dakota Valley 94, Miller 41

Elk Point-Jefferson 58, Waubay/Summit 50

Hamlin 66, Madison 41

Hot Springs 47, Winner 43


Mount Vernon/Plankinton 82, Pine Ridge 66

Sioux Falls Christian 73, Hanson 31

Sioux Valley 73, Groton Area 56

St. Thomas More vs. McLaughlin, ppd. to Thursday

*Dakota Valley clinches the No. 1 seed at the state tournament. Remaining seeds TBD based on outcome of St. Thomas More vs. McLaughlin.

Class B SoDak 16 Scores

Aberdeen Christian 51, Ipswich 34

De Smet 89, Crazy Horse 54

Castlewood 53, Harding County 51


Ethan 52, Gregory 37

Lower Brule 72, Irene-Wakonda 50

White River 72, Howard 51

Viborg-Hurley 62, Wessington Springs 56

Faith vs. Northwestern, ppd. to Thursday

*Lower Brule, Aberdeen Christian and De Smet clinch the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds, respectively at the state tournament. Remaining seeds TBD based on outcome of Faith vs. Northwestern.

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