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SD High School Class B Basketball Season Preview

It’s time for a brand-new high school basketball season. And if you’re like me, you need a refresher course on the top teams and players in Class B. Last season, De Smet captured the girls title, while Clark/Willow Lake prevailed in boys basketball. Here is my first look at Class B. These are not the official rankings - just how I will cast my ballot for pre-season rankings this week. Look for our Class AA and Class A previews in other posts.

Boys B

1. De Smet

Last Season: 23-3 (Runner-up)

Returning Starters: 4

  • Ethan McCune Jr.
  • Cody Cavanaugh Jr. Rett Osthus So.
  • Kalen Garry So.

(Kalen Garry and the young Bulldogs are very talented and hungry for a trip back to the state tournament. Photo courtesy SDPB)

Other Players to Watch: Tory Holland, Baylor Beck, Dom Hansen, Colt Wilkinson, Damon Wilkinson, Aaron Poppen

Coach Jeff Gruenhagen: “After last season, playing with two or three sophomores on the floor a lot and going 23-3 and a State B Runner up finish, we are hungry to get back to the State Tournament again. The guys really matured over the course of the season and I think that this year will continue that learning process and improve our play. We will focus on defense and debounding, as we did last year, holding opponents to 48 points per game and 35% FG%(27% 3pt FG). We are not a tall team, but the boys will play hard. We hope to repeat as DVC Champions and Contend for the LCC title, also.”

Bottom Line: The Bulldogs made a statement last season with a very young squad, as they marched all the way to the championship game. They’re led by Kalen Garry a 6’1” sophomore who is coming off a 22 ppg, 6 rpg season as a frosh. Once again, the Bulldogs will be young. In fact, this season they may not have a senior as one of their top five scorers. Look for a few bumps and bruises along the way, but the Bulldogs should be there at the end of the season again. Garry and Osthus are two of the best sophomores in the state.

2. Viborg-Hurley

Last Season: 22-4

Returning Starters: 4

  • Chase Mason
  • Gradee Sherman
  • Grant Mikkelsen
  • Shane Andersen

(Chase Mason and the Cougars made it to the semis last year with a young team and should be one of the top contenders again. Photo courtesy SDPB)

Other Players to Watch: Eli Boomgarden, Justin Harms, Carter Gust, Angel Johnson, Calvin Rasmussen, Braden Brandriet

Coach Galen Schoenfeld: “We expect to have another good year. We do have some bumps and bruises that need to heal from football. We play in five classics, as well, so I expect us to have quite a schedule.”

Bottom Line: The Cougars will have to replace Brodee Sherman and Kaden Gerdes, but they will look very similar to last year otherwise. Chase Mason, Gradee Sherman and Grant Mikkelsen all have the potential to be double-double guys this year. They are one of the deepest teams in Class B.

3. Dell Rapids St. Mary

Last Season: 18-5

Returning Starters: 5

  • Connor Libis
  • Max Herber
  • Weston Geraets
  • Colin Winberg
  • Connar Kangas
  • Sam Palmer

Other Players to Watch: Cole Welbig, Ryan Eining, Eli Longville, Noah Dennis

Coach Colby Fitzgerald: “We finished the 2018-2019 season with a record of 18-5 and trip to the SoDak 16. We return all five starters and seven players who logged 10+ minutes per game. With another year of experience under our belts, our team is looking to continue to take the next step.”

Bottom Line: This is the best team that didn’t make it to state last year. They’ll be in great shape to do just that this season. They’re led by sharpshooting Connor Libis, who earned first team all-state behind 27.3 points per game as a sophomore. But if you pay too much attention to LIbis, Herber, Geraets and Kangas can all bite you.

4. Sully Buttes

Last Season: 21-5

Returning Starters: 3

  • Nick Wittler
  • Grant Johnson
  • Jett Lamb

Other Players to Watch: Quinn Jordre, Jack Darling

Coach Brian White: “We are looking to have another great season. We really like the pieces that we have coming back and think that our young guys can come in and make an impact.  We are very excited for the season.”

Bottom Line: The Chargers have a couple of the top players in the state and a ton of athletes. Nick Wittler is one of the best scorers in the state. He has over 1,000 points coming into the season, and could very easily end up top three in scoring all-time at Sully Buttes. Grant Johnson is an outstanding athlete who is the best defender on the team, and Jett Lamb is a rare talent that has great size, and good hands and feet. Look for Sully Buttes to hang in the rankings all season.

5. White River

Last Season: 23-3

Players to Watch: Nick Sayler, Joe Sayler, Dylan Marshall

Bottom Line: White River will look a lot different than last year. They had several players transfer to other schools. However, they do have Nick and Joe Sayler and Dylan Marshall to lead them this season. Coach Eldon Marshall will find a way to make this team competitive.

Other Teams:

Canistota

The Hawks lose just two seniors from last year’s 14-8 squad and have added a couple of players into the school who should make an impact. Chase Merrill, Trey Ortman and Tyce Ortman give this team a scoring trio that can put up points in bunches. They’ll need to find a way to match up with big teams to move into title contention.

Northwestern

The Wildcats have increased their win total for three seasons in a row. Head Coach Anthony Redman has the tools to do that again this year. The Wildcats lose a good group of seniors from last year, but they have an all-stater in Zech Clemens to lead the way. Clemens, a senior guard, went for 25.2 ppg last year and returns as one of the fiercest scorers in the class.

Corsica-Stickney

Last year, the Jags went 15-6 and return most of their scoring this year. Brendan Wentland is a name you’ll want to remember. Wentland is a 6’0” junior who could be one of the top guards in the state. Head Coach Mike Tuschen always gets a lot out of his team and has the tools to threaten for a state tourney berth.

Aberdeen Christian

This team once again has a lot of promise entering the season. “We are excited for this year to start,” said Coach David Rohrbach. “We have a very talented group. We are looking to continue to get better the more this group plays with each other. Defensively is where we will look to emphasize and improve.” Andrew Rohrbach leads a group of four starters back who are ready to improve on last season’s 14-7 record.

Hanson

I love the make-up of Hanson this year. They have Reggie Slaba, a sharpshooter and three-point Jedi back to lead the way. Riley Ferry, Hayden Bahmuller, Simon Weber, Casey Haynes and Isaac Tuschen give them a deep roster of players to compete. “Looking forward to building off of last year’s success. We play several classics versus quality opponents. We have a nice mix of veteran players and some very talented younger players that can hopefully step in and contribute,” said Head Coach Josh Oltmanns.

Clark/Willow Lake

The defending champs are back with a different looking team this year, but Jerome Nesheim still thinks they can compete: “"Even though we only have one returning starter, we are able to fill in with a very good young group of kids. The group of young players really believe in the culture here at Clark-Willow Lake and want to keep the tradition going. Overall team shooting will be better than the year before. It is hard to tell what this team will be like because of the lack of experience and how young we will be. We will improve as the season goes on and should be a tough team to beat late in the year." Stone Burke is the lone holdover from their 23-2 championship starting lineup, but they’ll plug in some good sophomores and even freshmen to give the team some depth.

Lemmon

Don’t sleep on the Cowboys; they could be one of the biggest surprises in the class. They return their entire team from an 18-5 season a year ago. Head Coach Tyler Kostelecky can pick up right where they left off: “Our outlook this year is to improve on what we did last season. We had a young group last year and were competitive through the Sodak 16. We will use that as a building block and will have our goals set high.” Peyton Anderson is one of the best athletes in the state. He averaged 19.2 ppg and 3.6 steals per game last season. Britt Oliver, Alec O’Donnell, Cody Thompson, Jaden Kelley and Jacob Hetzel all add scoring ability and quickness to the team.

Platte-Geddes

This team went 13-9 last year and only lost two seniors from that squad. They have one of the best players in the class - Kelby Vander Werff - back to lead the way. He’s just a junior and has already put together a solid career.

Howard

The Tigers aren’t known as a basketball powerhouse, but if they keep improving, that reputation could start changing. They’ll have a solid senior class with a very good junior class to help lead the way.

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket

They put together a solid season last year and have Noah Dickson back this year. Dickson had 10 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in each and every game last year. He averaged 20.2 ppg, 13.2 rpg, and 2.2 steals per game last year.

Timber Lake

The last couple of seasons have been great for Timber Lake. This year, they have just one starter returning in Isaac Kraft. Head Coach Cody Lawrence knows it will be a little tougher this year: “Going to have some bumps in the road, but this team has the potential to be a very tough out in the postseason.” The team has a lot of players who’ve experienced big games and should be able to transition into bigger roles this year.

Harding County

Jay Wammen always brings a good team to the court in Harding County, this year won’t be any different. “We will have a very experienced and athletic team returning this season,” said Wammen. “Our strengths will be experience, team speed and depth.” They have top-flight scorers in Zach Anders and Camden Hett leading the way with a lot of depth to go to as well.

Colman-Egan

The Hawks are riding high after a great football season. Head Coach Scott Hemmer will try to keep that momentum moving into basketball season. “We are going to look to build on valuable experience gained last year,” said Hemmer. “We are very excited for the upcoming season and know that our region and conference is going to be loaded with quality teams and every game is going to be a challenge.” Dalton Voelker is one of the best inside-outside guys in the class. Nate Tolley, Chase Hemmer and Camden Schmidt will all be main options for the Hawks.

Herried/Selby Area

All five starters return from a 12-9 team a year ago under Head Coach Chris Hettick. “We are excited about the upcoming season,” commented Hettick. “Our kids spent a lot of time in the weight room making themselves bigger, faster, stronger and we saw some of those benefits during the football season. A big thing for us will be to become a more consistent basketball team. Last year, we had stretches where we beat some really good teams, and then followed that up with some bad losses.” Wade Begeman went for 19 and 6 last year and leads a group of experienced talent.

Bridgewater-Emery

Nobody is talking about the Huskies this year, and that might be a mistake. I know they lost a core of players that have kept them in the title hunt over the past three seasons, but they do have some key players back and some up-and-coming athletes. Head Coach Scott Schultz explains: “We need to replace three seniors off last season’s third place state B tournament team. We are excited to get started and will need to solidify our starting lineup and find some depth off the bench to compete with the top teams in Region 5.” Chase Arend and Jonah Hofer lead the attack with Rylee Schultz, Bodie Burnham and Tyler Kjetland all looking to make an impact.

Wolsey-Wessington

The Warbirds have some tough birds back on the basketball team this winter. Brevan Hooks leads the way as a double-double machine with Tristan Abbott, Skylar Zomer, Payson Gohn, Ethan Nelson and Jake Williams are all ready to make an impact. “We are a solid mixture of experienced players. The Leadership from our two seniors will be key to our success this season. We have an athletic group that likes to get up and down the floor, defense and rebounding will also be keys this season,” said Coach Gordon Hooks.

Langford

Four starters are back for Paul Raasch and the Langford Lions. Colin Frey and Benton West are leading scorers. “We hope to be competitive every night, need to improve our shooting percentage and rebounding to compete with the better teams,” said Raasch. The Lions have seven of their top eight players last year so the rotation will be familiar for this team.

Kimball/White Lake

Last season KWL went 17-5 and return five letterwinners this year including Justin Becker in the middle. The 6’8” senior is a double-double machine and is a difficult matchup for opponents. Head Coach Kamden Miller likes the makeup of the team, “We have a lot of promising young talent who will be competing to help the team. Replacing the inside-outside balance from the past few years will be the toughest challenge. As our young guards develop confident ball skills, we have the potential to be an extremely competitive team.”

James Valley Christian

Andrew Ulvestad goes from player to head coach this year. He had a great career on the court and wants to get JVC back in the mix as a top team in class B, even though it may take a few years. “We won't be bigger than any team on our schedule, but we better out-work them and play with pace,” said Ulvestad. “At the end of the day, our goal is to develop young men that are ready for the next step in life. Our goal is a State Championship, but if we win a state championship but yet fail to be great men in this world, then the Championship is meaningless. Success on and off the floor will be what we aim for.” There are no returning starters for JVC this year but Zach Kleinsasser, Zachary Hofer, Richard Rink, Noah Hofer, Samuel Pichura, Hunter Olson, Elijah Hamilton and Karlus Waldner make up a big senior class ready to become leaders.

Castlewood

Castlewood will be a young and inexperienced team this year. Coach Barry Jacobson thinks they’ll improve throughout the year, though: “This group put in a lot of time this last summer to develop great team chemistry and play a lot together. That should carry into the season and help as the season goes on.” They return two starters in Kaden Eng and Ryder Johnson and add Garret Kerkvliet, Kevin Munoz and Tristan Nielsen to the mix.

Deuel

The Cardinals have raised their expectations entering hoops season. They scratched out just four wins last year but have some talent this year to build on. Sophomores Sutton Fritz, Cooper Schiernbeck and Naethan Lovre could see big increases in their role this year. They have just one key senior in Dylan Brandt who is hoping to stay away from the injuries that have plagued him so far in his career. Tanner Preheim, Brady Knight and Layton Eide represent a very talented junior class, too. “This season will bring a different look in personnel from last year’s team,” said Coach Jon Peterreins. “This year’s team will have a balance of scorers around the perimeter and presence in the paint. There will be plenty of opportunities for others to fill roles and bring their strengths to help this team reach their full potential.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH IN BOYS B

PRE-SEASON TOP FIVE

1. Connor Libis Jr. 5’7” G Dell Rapids St. Mary

Connor is hard to guard despite his 5-7 frame. As soon as his team has the ball, he’s in range. The three-point specialist averaged 27.2 points per game last year and also dished out over three assists per game. He earned first-team all-state recognition and he’s already over 1,500 points in his career.

2. Nick Witter Sr. 6’1” G Sully Buttes

Nick Wittler is one of the best scorers in the state. He has over 1,000 points coming into the season and could very easily end up top 3 in scoring all time at Sully Buttes. Last season, he averaged 23.1 ppg, 5.3 and 3.1 apg on his way to an all-state season.

3. Kalen Garry So. 6’1” G De Smet

Not many freshmen perform at the level Garry did last year. He put up 22 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2 spg in his first full season on varsity. Big things are coming for Garry who is an all-around player who can drive, shoot, post up and rebound. He is also a great defender.

4. Zech Clemens Sr. 6’3” G Northwestern

He’s a great shooter from distance and he also hit at a high percentage. He averaged 25.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year. He contributes in a big way in all facets of the game.

5. Andrew Rohrbach Sr. 5’11” G Aberdeen Christian

The guard who can do it all might be the most versatile in the state. Despite being sub-6 foot, he’s a great rebounder. He averaged 17 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 5.7 apg and 3 spg as a junior last year.

More TOP Players

  • Zach Anders, Harding County
  • Peyton Anderson, Lemmon
  • Justin Becker, Kimball/White Lake
  • Wade Begeman, Herreid/Selby Area
  • Noah Dickson, Sanborn Central/Woonsocket
  • Chase Mason, Viborg-Hurley
  • Chase Merrill, Canistota
  • Rett Osthus, De Smet
  • Reggie Slaba, Hanson
  • Kelby Vanderwerff, Platte-Geddes
  • Dalton Voelker, Colman-Egan

 

Girls B

1. Corsica-Stickney

Last Season: 23-3

Returning Starters: 4

  • Avery Broughton
  • Raven Barse
  • Alexis Tilton
  • Rachel Gerlach

(Avery Broughton and the Corsica-Stickney Jaguars took a huge step last year and look to improve even more this year. Photo courtesy SDPB)

Other Players to Watch: Payton DeLange, Morgan Clites, Morgan DeLange, Jenna Bamberg, Lauren Bruinsma, Paige Wright, Kylie Olson

Coach Lorisa Broughton: “We look to keep the momentum going that we had last year. We must replace a very crucial starter in Courtney Menning, who did so much for us on both ends of the floor. We had some early season injuries last year and we hope that we can get those girls ready to go to help. We should have a lot of girls that will be able to play and help out this year so depth should be a strength for us.”

Bottom Line: The Jags start a lot of talent from a lot of different classes, but the main focus will be on freshman Avery Broughton. She averaged 17.2 ppg and affected the game with everything she did. Avery is very long and athletic which helps her defensively. Raven Barse is another strong and athletic player to take the focus off of Broughton. The Jags should take the reign as the team to beat this season.   

2. White River

Last Season: 19-7

Players to Watch:

  • Caelyn Valandra-Prue Jr. (24.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
  • Kaylee Wells

(Caelyn Valandra-Prue continues to light up the state with impressive scoring numbers and will be one of the top players in the state as a junior at White River.)

White River got back to the state tournament for the first time since 1992 last year due to Caelyn Valandra-Prue and company. Valandra-Prue has 1,584 career points through her sophomore season. But Valandra-Prue isn’t the only great player Head Coach Kristi Barnhart has back. Kaylee Wells is one of the top post players in the state and give the Lady Tigers a great one-two punch.

3. De Smet

Last Season: 24-1

Players to Watch:

  • Autumn Wilkinson
  • Kennadi Buchholz
  • Reyna Beck
  • Emily Martens
  • Michelle Wiese
  • Camryn Schmidt

Bottom Line: De Smet went on a magical run last season fueled by great defense and clutch performances by their seniors, Kristen Poppen and Rynn Osthus. This year, they’ll turn to senior Autumn Wilkinson for a big punch on offense and they’ll have some young players who should play a big role like, Kennadi Buchholz, their 6-foot sophomore.

4. Ethan

Last Season: 24-1 (Runner-Up)

Returning Starters: 3

  • Jessie Bartscher
  • Maddie Miller
  • Cameryn Logan

Other Players to Watch: Hannah Bartscher, Erica Storm, Lexi Lingemann, Ava Lingemann

Coach Tom Young: "We will really miss our three seniors from last year especially Karly Gustafson. We have a good group of returners who play very well together. We should improve as the season progresses."

Bottom Line: All three of their returning starters are capable scorers. They each averaged at least 10 points per game. Tom Young's teams always play great defense and this year will be no different. They have very little experience outside Jessie Bartscher, Maddie Miller and Cameryn Logan, but by year’s end they should have a nicely rounded out lineup. I don’t think their record will be as impressive as it’s been recently, but I do think they could be a big threat in March.

5. Bridgewater-Emery

Last Season: 18-4

Players to Watch: Kerrigan Schulz, Julia Weber

Bottom Line: Jessie Yttreness’ team was one step away from making the state tournament last year. Although they’ll miss some seniors from last year, they have a lot of talent emerging, which should give them a chance to make their first state tournament since consolidating. Junior Kerrigan Schultz scored 12.5 ppg last year and was the team’s top rebounder. Sophomore Julia Weber could spring onto the scene as an all-state caliber player. She went for 16.3 ppg as a frosh last season. The Huskies play a very tough schedule which should help them come March.

Other Teams:

Castlewood

One year removed from a state title, the Castlewood Warriors are back on track. Head Coach Leslie Tvedt will have some good players in the fold: “Darah DeKam will return this year after suffering an ACL tear in Volleyball last year. We return most of our scoring threats from last year.” They’re led by Alayna Benike and Darah DeKam. Benike has knows to go for triple-doubles. DeKam is back from an ACL injury. Carla Hunter and Sierra Schofield help give this team some much-needed depth.

Freeman

Emily Miller is a standout athlete in Freeman. After leading this team in scoring a year ago that went 20-6, she is back to continue the momentum. The Flyers lose some very important seniors, but they have some underclassmen with height and skill ready to play.

Warner

There are no starters back from last year’s 23-3 Monarchs team, but this is familiar territory for seasoned head coach Stewart Bohle. He took last year’s senior-laden team and brought them up the last few years as a young squad and now he’ll do the same with this young group. Top returning players include: Summer Scepaniak, Savannah Green, Ava Nilsson, Holli Jark, Jennifer Aman, and Peyton Fisher. “We are very young and inexperienced. We are although very quick and athletic and have very high basketball IQ's,” said Coach Bohle.

Scotland

The Highlanders have high hopes entering the hoops season. Head Coach Kevin Janish likes his group: “We have a nice group of experienced players who have been playing for three or four years on varsity. The experience they have gained has been very valuable.” Bella Vitek is a great post player and is a tough matchup at 6’2”. Grace Fryda is an all-state caliber player who is just a junior this year. These two with a deep group around them should give Scotland a chance to be a good team this year.

Sully Buttes

Last year was a down year by Sully Buttes standards. Head Coach Mark Senftner sees improvement soon: "We will be a young team that will develop as the year goes on. Defense will be a key for us - playing team defense and working together every night. We will need to create some offense with our defense. Rebounding on both ends of the floor will also be big for us. Improving throughout the season will be something we strive to do - and competing every night, whether in practice or games will help us to do that." Kendra Klevan and Jill Hofer are the only two returning starters, but there are a lot of talented players who are freshman and younger who are ready to step up.

Howard

The Tigers lose just one senior from last year’s team and welcome back an All-State selection in Hilary Albrecht (19 ppg, 8 rpg). This team might not be tall, but they’re a good rebounding and defensive team, and could show an improvement from last year’s 8-12 squad.

Irene-Wakonda

Last season, the Eagles went 16-6 and return two of their top three scorers. Senior Mallory O’Malley and Sophomore Nora O’Malley can put up points in bunches. Head Coach Stacy Huber has a deep squad with talent to surround them. This team will need to improve in the post, now that Shannon Sokolowski has graduated. Alison Logue is a 6-foot senior with potential to be a threat in the paint.

Avon

This team is now in the Post-Lauren Sees era. However, they have a lot of girls out for basketball and some very good young talent. Shalayne Nagel could shine this year as the team’s top player and she’s just a freshman. Madisyn Cameron is a great ball handler and passer and will provide some senior leadership.

Langford

The Lions went 14-5 last year and have high hopes for another good year. Ady Dwight is a 1,000-point scorer who will lead the Lions into battle.

Faith

Don’t overlook Faith this year. They are locked and loaded coming off a 21-2 campaign. Sydnie Schauer led the Longhorns in scoring last year and is back. Aiyana Byrd is the team’s top rebounder and is also back. Kaycee Groves can score inside and outside, sees the floor very well, likes to push the ball and get it to open teammates. “We are looking forward to seeing how all the pieces will fit together,” said Coach Bryan Carmichael. “This group of players has not played together very much. We are hoping to improve steadily from practice to practice and game to game as these players get more familiar with each other.”

Viborg-Hurley

Look for this team to be dangerous this year. They went 12-9 last season but have three skilled starters back. Sydney Voss averaged 14 points per game, 7 rebounds. Sydney played varsity as a 7th grader and started varsity as an 8th grader, she so has a lot of experience to bring to the team. Nevaeh Ronke is a 5'10 junior guard that averaged 6 points per game and 6 rebounds. Coral Mason is the last returning starter. She is a 5'9 Freshman guard that averaged 6 points a game and 4 rebounds. Coach Molly Mason is ready to get this team going: “We are a very young team with two new coaches, so we will have a season of learning and developing our team. Our goal is to be playing our best basketball in February and to have a shot at post season play.”

Hanson

Jim Bridge and Hanson are coming off a 11-11 season with three starters back, “With skill development over the summer, we should have a very fun and successful team,” said head coach Jim Bridge. “Our schedule will consist of playing some top teams in the state which will help us prepare for tournament time. We will have a team that has a lot of coachable players who have great work ethics. We will have a decent balance between post and perimeter players working together and this will be the key to our success.”  Morgan Huber, Elizabeth Arend and Mekiah Campbell are all good athletes and improved players.

Clark/Willow Lake

The Cyclones went 14-7 a year ago and should be even better this year. Head Coach Sam Wiliams is excited to get things started: “Our team will look quite different after graduating longtime varsity starters Janae Kolden and Abbie Bratland. We come into the season healthy across the board. On offense, we have worked extremely hard on improving our ball-handling skills, and we will be looking to capitalize on that by pushing the tempo and getting away a bit from our set-based system of the past couple years. On defense, we want to apply ball pressure at all times and get teams uncomfortable. Lastly, we will look to continue our dominance on the offensive and defensive boards, as last year we out rebounded our opponents by a large amount, and took pride in our +103 offensive rebound margin at the end of the year!”

Kimball/White Lake

Tracey Dykstra has four starters back for KWL this year. Kennedy Leiferman, Grace Konechne, Sidney McCord, Ellie Overweg and Alison Sinclair are primed for a big year. “We have a good mix of new comers and returners,” said Dykstra. “This group of girls has put in a ton of time and effort. They have all the right tools to be successful this year. Hustle and hard work will get them to level of play that they want to be at. They play hard and work well together. We have some great leadership and a ton of ability. Looking forward to watching this group of girls develop over the season.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH IN GIRLS B

PRE-SEASON TOP FIVE

1. Avery Broughton Fr. 5’11” F Corsica-Stickney

Avery has been on the court a long time, even though she’s just a freshman. She plays well beyond her years as a daughter of two coaches. Last year she helped lead her team in scoring and got them all the way to the state semifinals. She averaged 17.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.3 spg, 2 blocks per game and was the team’s most versatile defender. She’ll have to be ready to see more double teams this year but should continue her ascent as one of the best players in the state regardless of class.

2. Caelyn Valandra-Prue Jr. 5’8” G/F/C White River

Valandra-Prue can literally play any position on the court. She has always been a prolific scorer. Last year, she averaged over 24 ppg. She’s also a great defender and great teammate. Valandra-Prue will more than likely crack the 2,000 career point total this season.

3. Alayna Benike Jr. 5’11” F Castlewood

Alayna played a big role on the Castlewood championship team as a freshman and continues to improve. Last year, she collected multiple triple-doubles and averaged 20.7 ppg and 10.3 rpg.

4. Morgan Edelman Jr. 5’6” G Menno

Teams have been keying on Edelman since she was in middle school. She had a breakout season last year with 22.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for Menno. She’s already put up 1,136 points in her career and has two years to go.

5. Lavin Bendt Sr. 5’10” G/F Kadoka Area

Lavin doesn’t get a lot of pub, but she should. Bendt averaged 20.5 ppg, 10.9 rpg and 3.2 spg last year and helped her team to a 15-win season last year.

More Top Players

  • Hilary Albrectht, Howard
  • Raven Barse, Corsica-Stickney
  • Grace Fryda, Scotland
  • Halle Heinz, Ipswich
  • Cameryn Logan, Ethan
  • Emily Miller, Freeman
  • Shalayne Nagel, Avon
  • Mallory O’Malley, Irene-Wakonda
  • Julia Weber, Bridgewater-Emery

 

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