Yankton knocks off No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson in overtime for spot in Class AA championship game

The Bucks advance to play the winner of No. 2 Sioux Falls Lincoln versus No. 3 Mitchell for the Class AA title at 8:45 p.m. Central on Saturday.

Yankton's Rugby Ryken (4) shoots a 3-pointer over Sioux Falls Jefferson's Beau Giblin during a Class AA boys basketball state tournament semifinal on Friday, March 17, 2023, at the Summit Arena in Rapid City
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

RAPID CITY — After front-running top-seeded Sioux Falls Jefferson for the first three quarters of Friday night’s Class AA semifinal, No. 4 Yankton let its edge slip as the contest went to overtime.

There, chaos ensued, and when the dust settled, it was the Bucks who notched the 69-66 upset victory. With the win, Yankton (18-5) moves into the championship game for the first time since winning the title in 2018 and will play either No. 2 Sioux Falls Lincoln or No. 3 Mitchell at 8:45 p.m. Central on Saturday.

In the four minutes of overtime, the lead changed hands seven times, but the last of those swings was a Rugby Ryken 3-pointer with 49 seconds left that gave the Bucks a 65-63 edge. Ryken was the star of overtime for the Bucks, scoring 10 of his game-high 24 points in the extra period.

During regulation, Yankton jumped out early, holding down the Cavaliers while building a 15-5 lead after the first quarter. Though the lead fluctuated over the first three quarters and change, the Bucks remained in front, 27-21 at half and 44-39 entering the fourth.

But a 7-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the night on a Kaden Year 3-pointer with 5:23 remaining in regulation. After Yankton reclaimed a slight edge, a Beau Giblin triple at the 2:40 mark flipped Jefferson into the lead once again, though it would be the final time in regulation.


Along with his game-high point total, Ryken posted five rebounds and six assists, as Drew Ryken notched 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Michael Mors chipped in 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Mac Ryken contributed nine points and four rebounds.

For Jefferson (20-3), Griffin Wilde scored a team-best 21 points along with five rebounds and three steals, while Year added 17 points, six rebounds and four points. Taylen Ashley had 10 points and six assists for the Cavs, who will play for third place at 7 p.m. Central on Saturday against the loser of Lincoln versus Mitchell.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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