SD High School Class B Girls Basketball Region Tournament Previews

The South Dakota high school basketball region tournaments begin February 24 and end with 16 teams in the SoDak 16. Here are some of the favorites to make that group of 16, as well as more information on all the contenders in the regions.

Region 1B

SoDak 16 Favorites


The Lions have some of the best athletic post players in the state. They have Ady Dwight (6’0) and Mallory Miller (6’3) playing in the paint. Dwight averages 24.3 PPG and 13.4 RPG, and Miller is 12.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG with an astounding 4.3 blocks per game. The Lions had a 16-1 record entering last week before they got beat by Faulkton Area and Roncalli in back to back games.

Head Coach Michael Alberts is hoping defense leads the way this postseason. “We need to do a good job of taking care of the ball and moving the ball on offense. Defensively, we need to keep playing aggressive and make it tough for teams to score on us," he said.


The Mustangs have enjoyed a resurgence in the past few seasons. This team is 15-5 and playing strong entering the post-season. Zoey Wohlleber has been pivotal providing offense for the Mustangs, especially in February where she’s been above 20 almost every game. This isn’t a particularly tall team, however they can play well on the inside and have enough in the frontcourt to contend.

The Rest of the Contenders

Waverly-South Shore (13-7) is the only other team in the region with a winning record. They haven’t been at their best in recent weeks, going 2-4 down the stretch. Head Coach Taylor Rymerson likes the team’s defense and hustle. “We are going to have to shoot the ball well to move forward in the tournament.  We are going to have to play as a team and trust each other to do their job,” he said.

Under the Radar

Northwestern has managed just six wins. However, three of those have come in their last five games, including a 64-61 upset over Waubay/Summit.

Warner is uncharacteristically down this year, but don’t count them out when it comes to the playoffs.

Aberdeen Christian finished the season 9-11 but didn’t win a game against an opponent over .500, so it will be difficult for them to advance past the quarters.

Notes of Interest
  • Langford’s average height on their varsity roster is 5'8" – making them one of the tallest teams in the class.
  • Langford has 2020 South Dakota State Snow Queen Chesney Olson on the team! 

Region Roundup

Region 1B has produced a lot of great teams in the last several years. This year would be a down year competitively. Langford should have no problem getting to the SoDak 16, but the other spot will be a little more interesting. I wouldn’t count out Northwestern, but my pick is Waubay/Summit to prevail.


Region 2B

SoDak 16 Favorites

Faulkton Area

The Trojans put together a great start to the year with seven straight wins before hitting a roadblock with back to back losses to Roncalli and Ethan. Since then, they’ve beaten every Class B opponent, and their defense has shined. Peyton and Morgan Melius lead a solid offense, while Brooke Niederbaumer has been great on the inside on both sides of the court. 

Head Coach Chase Casper knows that defense is key. “We need to stay locked in on defense and on the glass," he said. "If shots are not falling, we need to rely on our defensive pressure and rebounding to keep us in the game.”

No Faulkton team has made the state tournament in school history, so this team could make a giant impact in Faulkton history. Their signature win this year came when they defeated Langford on Valentine's Day. They got out to a quick start and poured on some suffocating defense to seal the win.

Herreid/Selby Area

Guess who went 17-3 this year? The Wolverines did. They finished off the season with a nine-game winning streak in which six of those teams were .500 or better. Lauren Grage, Rylee Rossow and Kendall Sawinsky are all potential double-digit scorers, but it’s been Rachel Fiedler who’s been leading the offense.

The Rest of the Contenders

Ipswich has one of the top players in the class. Halle Heinz is scoring 23 PPG and affecting the game in every way imaginable. Head Coach Brian Hogie needs to get the most out of Heinz and the team to make a push to the SoDak 16. “In order to be successful in the playoffs, we need to keep playing with a high energy on the defensive end," he said. "We also need to play with confidence on the offensive end. When we have shot the ball over 40%, we have been very good." The Tigers come into the playoffs notching overtime wins in three of their last four games.

Under the Radar

Sully Buttes has produced a ton of talented teams in the last several seasons. This year, they rely on Kendra Kleven and a host of underclassmen to get it done. Most of their varsity team are freshman and middle schoolers. But Head Coach Mark Senftner has a great coaching track and they have the ability to scratch out an upset.

Highmore-Harrold and Potter County both have enough talent to make things interesting, as well.

Notes of Interest
  • Herreid/Selby doesn't have a senior on their roster
  • Ipswich has had two overtime games and played eight games that they have won or lost by five or less points.
  • Faulkton Area senior Brooke Niederbaumer surpassed 1,000 career points on February 14 in a game against Langford.

Region Roundup

The traditional powers in this region have fallen to the middle of the pack, making room for Faulkton Area and Herreid/Selby to assume the power. Ipswich is the biggest wildcard of the bunch. They play well in close games and have a great player in crunch time. Lower Brule is above .500, and the rest of the pack all could put together a few wins in a row. This will be a highly contested region tournament.


Region 3B

SoDak 16 Favorites

De Smet

The Class B defending state champs have put together an impressive campaign. Their four losses came to teams with a combined 68-9. Although this team is strong with upperclassmen, Kennadi Buchholz provides leadership on the court as a sophomore. The 6-foot post has had a great season and gives teams trouble every game.


Castlewood comes in as the two seed, but they’ve beaten De Smet in their only head-to-head meeting this year. The Warriors are clicking on all cylinders with Darah DeKam, Alayna Benike and Cala Hunter leading the way. Darah has returned strong after suffering an ACL tear last year. Their defense has been outstanding especially down the stretch. They’ve allowed an average of 39.0 points per game since their loss to Colman-Egan on January 27.

The Rest of the Contenders

Deubrook and Hitchcock-Tulare are both waiting in the weeds, getting ready for their chance in this top-heavy region.

The Dolphins are led by Baylee Holmlund, who averaged 14.4 points per game this season. Deubrook has put together a nice run this year, but Coach Brad DeBeer knows it’ll take an even better effort in the playoffs. "We are going to have to commit to boxing out and being a better rebounding team. Our consistency on offense needs to improve as well.  We can score points quickly but have to be confident in what we are doing," he said.

Coach Kristi Smith and Hitchcock-Tulare went 15-5 this year. That’s the most regular season wins at H-T since Coach Smith was a player there in 2003. Elizabeth Salmen and Dannyn Peterson are both big scoring threats for the Patriots. Coach Smith has turned things around and hopes to keep the season going. “It's been a fun year. I told the girls to enjoy every moment. Our goal is still be still playing in March!” she said.

Under the Radar

Wolsey-Wessington won three of their last four games and have a couple of wins against winning teams this year.

Notes of Interest
  • Deubrook has the Vandermeer sisters on the team as starters – the 4th and 5th sister in their family that have played at Deubrook. They are just one set of three sisters on Deubrook.
  • Hitchcock-Tulare assistant coach JoEllen (Hofer) Salmen has the state record for most points in a state tournament game with 50 when she was a Hitchcock BlueJay.

Region Roundup

This region boasts the last two state champions (De Smet 2019, Castlewood 2018), and both those teams are legitimate contenders again this year. I don’t see a great chance of any quarterfinal upsets, but the semis could be very entertaining. Look for De Smet and Castlewood to be tested but to qualify for the SoDak 16.


Region 4B

SoDak 16 Favorites


The Rustlers keep rolling under Head Coach Tom Young. This group has a very unique ability to share the ball and play great defense. That’s what makes them one of the favorites in the state. Ava Lingemann (6.8 PPG), Jessie Bartscher (6.5 PPG) , Maddie Miller (7.4 PPG), Hannah Bartscher (12.7 PPG) and Cameryn Logan (15.0 PPG) can all get after it on offense but are even better defenders. They’ve only given up more than 42 points twice this season.


Howard has their sights set on a big team goal according to Head Coach Wade Erickson. “This group has really bought into each other and the Team is Greater than Me mentality, and that has had a huge impact on the season to this point,” he said.

The Tigers finished the regular season 17-3 and didn’t play in many close games. Hilary Albrecht is averaging 18.8 PPG but is more than willing to get the entire team going offensively.

The Rest of the Contenders

Colman-Egan has quietly gone 17-3 this year behind an explosive year from Mackenzie Hemmer. They play a four-guard offense with Hemmer in the post, and they execute about as well as any offense in the region. They finished the regular season with seven straight wins. Head Coach Tyler Husby thinks they can defend at an even higher level. "We will rely on our defense the most in this playoff run," he said. "When we have defended teams this year the majority if the season at a very high level."

Hanson is another contender every postseason. Jim Bridge challenges his team with some of the best Class B and Class A teams around. Morgan Huber and Elizabeth Arend are the only two seniors, but they’ve done well despite their youth. Huber has been tremendous this year and can drop 20 points on a nightly basis.

Under the Radar

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket has shown the ability to stay in games with any level of team. They tested Ethan with a one-point loss earlier this month. Trista White, Trinity Boschee and Kaylee White have been solid offensive options for the Blackhawks.

Notes of Interest
  • Ethan has been in the state semifinals or better every year since 2015. Before that, they had only made one state tournament in school history.

Region Roundup

This region might have the best trio of teams in the state with one-loss Ethan and three-loss Howard and Colman-Egan. They also have traditional power teams like Hanson and Sanborn Central/Woonsocket. This should be one whale of a tournament.


Region 5B

SoDak 16 Favorites


The Eagles have been really good recently, with their fifth consecutive 15-win season. Nora and Malloy O’Malley have led the way each scoring over 17 PPG and both shooting over 36% from three. They would love to get back to the state tournament like they did in 2016 with this group of tough players. 


The Cougars are a tough rebounding team, and they’ve put together a 15-5 season because of it. Head Coach Molly Mason thinks balance is another big contributor. "I also feel we are a well-balanced team right now. Any five girls on the court can contribute with confidence on the offensive end along with several girls on the bench,” she said. Sydney Voss and NeVaeh Ronke are both double-digit scorers who average about seven rebounds per game.

The Rest of the Contenders

This region has the deepest group of contenders in Class B. Freeman, Menno, Bridgewater-Emery and Scotland are all going to be trouble in the region.

Freeman is powered by Emily Miller and Rijjy Peterson and have some impressive wins on their resume, including an overtime win at Irene-Wakonda.

Menno may have the most talented player in the region in Morgan Edelman. Although she’s just 5'7", she plays fearlessly inside the paint and hits shots from the outside. If Menno gets out to a quick start, they are a tough team to beat.

Bridgewater-Emery has just one senior and, at times, have played like a young team. But they have a really high ceiling, with a roster full of talented players that keep them competitive.

Scotland has a big-time player, Grace Fryda, leading the way. She’s a 20 PPG scorer who is very good on both ends of the court. Plus they have some length and height on defensive that makes them a tough matchup.

Under the Radar

Centerville has taken huge steps since reinstating basketball a few years ago. Haley Meyer is an 18.1 PPG scorer who’s had a tremendous season.

Notes of Interest
  • Sydney Voss of Viborg-Hurley just passed the 1,000-career point mark.
  • Brookly Brandriet of Viborg-Hurley is shooting the same percentage from three as she is from twos (38%).

Region Roundup

If you come out to a gym to watch the 5B tournament, you will be entertained. There are great players, great coaches, great teams and no gimmies in this region. Region 5 should have the most quality games of any region tournament.


Region 6B

SoDak 16 Favorites


The Jaguars have passed every test on their schedule this year, as they completed a 20-0 regular season, but Head Coach Lorisa Broughton knows this is when you must dig deepest. "We need to be focused and ready to play every game. We have relied on playing one or two good quarters on a given night, and instead we have to work on maintaining our play for all four quarters," she said.

Avery Broughton is just a freshman and has already passed 1,000 career points. She is averaging 20.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.2 APG and 2.5 BPG. Raven Barse, Rachel Gerlach, Alexis Tilton and Morgan DeLange make this group dynamic because any one of them can have a big night.

Kimball/White Lake

KWL finished the regular season at 13-7 but are just 2-4 in their last six games. Kennedy Leiferman leads the region with 20.2 PPG, and Grace Konechne is a very good second option. The WiLdKats edged out Avon in the seed points and beat them in the regular season on February 1.

The Rest of the Contenders

Avon has the talent to make a run to the SoDak 16 this year. Shalayne Nagel is one of the biggest reasons why. Nagel averages 14 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 4.4 SPG. Ali Sees and Tiffany Pelton are both scoring threats for Avon as well. But Head Coach Brad Poppe says defense is their best asset. "Our strength has been our team defense," he said. "We are giving up an average of 38.5 points per game. Our girls have really worked hard at that end of the floor."

Under the Radar

Tripp-Delmont/Armour, Burke and Gregory all put together winning records this year, and Andes Central/Dakota Christian wasn’t too far behind. Jessy Jo VanDerWerff of Gregory and Kianna Payer of TDA are two top players to watch in this region.

Notes of Interest
  • This year has been the best regular season finish for a girls basketball team from Corsica-Stickney. The team has broken single-game school scoring records for Corsica-Stickney.
  • Corsica-Stickney players Payton and Morgan DeLange are cousins of former NBA player Mike Miller.
  • The Lady Pirates had never gone over 50 in a half before, but they scored 54 in a half earlier this season.

Region Roundup

Corsica-Stickney has put together a strong season, which makes them a heavy favorite in this region. After that, it’s wide open. I tend to think Avon has the upper hand because they’ve played well down the stretch, but it wouldn’t surprise me if anyone gets on a roll and qualifies for the SoDak 16.


Region 7B

SoDak 16 Favorites

New Underwood

New Underwood has been strong this year. Of their four losses, two have come to Class A teams, and the other two were early in the season. This is a young team that is playing beyond their years. Cerrington Jones leads their scoring attack with 12.9 PPG, and Avery Heinert has provided some punch there, too.

White River

White River was penciled in as a favorite at the state tournament until their game against Corsica-Stickney. They had a lead on the Jags until their leading scorer Caelyn Valandra-Prue was lost due to injury for the season. They ended up losing that game and losing their next two after that. They’ve had some players step up and keep them in contention, though. Since that losing streak, they are 8-1 and ready to make a run.

The Rest of the Contenders

Lyman finished 14-6 and had some impressive wins this year. Wall is another contender, with Lilly Wagner and Ava Dinger leading the way.

Under the Radar

Although Kadoka Area finished 9-11 this season, they’re a scary team to face because of their star, Lavin Bendt. The senior averages 22.3 PPG and 12.5 RPG to go with 5.2 SPG. She’s close to 1,500 career points and is an all-state caliber player.

Notes of Interest
  • Kadoka’s Lavin Bendt had a 44-point game this year, where she was 20-22 from the field.
  • New Underwood doesn’t have a senior on the team and has only had three games where one of their players scored 20 points, yet they earned a number one seed in the region.

Region Roundup

The quarterfinals should be as close as the semis. These teams are bunched together very tightly, which could make for a dramatic region tournament. White River and New Underwood are the favorites and are a combined 10-2 in February so far.


Region 8B

SoDak 16 Favorites


Faith has qualified for the state tournament in 2016 and 2018, so they’re due for another appearance this year. Sydnie Schauer, Aiyanna Byrd, Kaycee Groves, Ariah Engel and Allix Vance all saw a lot of playing time last year and have taken another big step this year. The Lady Longhorns got through the season with just two losses, one on opening night to Kadoka and one to Hettinger/Scranton (ND).


The only Class B team Dupree has lost to in 2020 is Faith. Other than that, they’ve cruised to a cool 14-6 record. This is a very experienced roster that has 10 seniors.

The Rest of the Contenders

Newell finished 12-7 this year. They’ve done it by creating havoc on defense. Head Coach Scott Wince calls it controlled chaos. "We want to play an up-tempo pace. Controlled chaos is our thought process," he said.

The Irrigators team leader is Kayden Steele – 18.4 PPG, 2.1 APG and 4.7 steals per game – and Kassidy Weeldryer is the leading rebounder with 5.7 per game.

Notes of Interest
  • Harding County’s top six scorers are underclassmen.
  • The Newell Irrigators team name came from the origin of Orman dam and the irrigation system put in during the early 1900s.

Region Roundup

Region 8 looks like Faith’s to lose. But the second ticket to the SoDak 16 is much more up in the air. Dupree and Newell just played last week, and Dupree edged them out. I expect another matchup between those two coming up in the semis.


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