After the girls Class A state basketball tournament it’s hardly a surprise to see a St. Thomas More Cavalier lead the 2014 Class A all-state team chosen by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches and South Dakota Sportswriters Associations.
More junior Alexys Swedlund led the Cavaliers to a 24-1 record and a state-tournament run that saw them win each of the three games by 30 or more points. Swedlund, a 5-foot-11 junior, was a second-team selection last season as a sophomore and has started for three seasons for the Cavs.
“I think she’s very deserving,” More head coach Brandon Kandolin said of Swedlund. “She’s obviously got a lot of experience but she’s worked her tail off for that. She puts a lot of time in the gym and at almost 6-foot with her quickness and strength, she’s an impressive physical specimen along with being a phenomenal basketball player.”
Elk Point-Jefferson senior Keely Bertram capped an outstanding career for the Huskies with a fourth-place finish in the state tournament. She heads off to Black Hills State to play for head coach Mark Nore next season. Bertram was a three-time all-state selection, making the third team as a sophomore and the second team last year.
“Keely led us to one of our best seasons ever,” Elk Point-Jefferson head coach Gary Nebelsick said. “She has set the new school career scoring record with 1,558 points, is second in career rebounds with 528 and second in career steals with 272. She also tied the single-game scoring record with 37 points in a game against Harrisburg as a sophomore. Keely has tremendous work ethics and a strong desire to be the best. It was an honor to have had the chance to coach her the past two seasons.”
Vermillion guard Josie Huber was one of two first-team selections who didn’t play in the state tournament this season in Spearfish, as the young Tanagers were knocked out of the Region 4A playoffs by Elk Point-Jefferson. Huber averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game for first-year head coach Jon Brooks.
“Josie had a great season this year. She has great skills and is a tremendous shooter, but I think the one thing that I get to see every day that others don’t is her leadership skills,” Brooks said. “I have never coached a better leader than Josie. She was the only senior on our team and she took these younger players in and showed them how to be better basketball players. As a first-year head coach I couldn’t have walked into a better senior than Josie Huber. She definitely left her stamp on the Tanager program.”
Winner junior Kelsey Bertram was the only other non-senior on the first team with Swedlund, and the two met in the Class A state championship game this season. Kelsey Bertram, a distant cousin of fellow first-teamer Keely, averaged 15.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and nearly 4 assists per game for Larry Aaker’s Lady Warriors.
“What makes Kelsey a special talent is her combination of talent, desire and competitiveness,” Aaker said. “Kelsey leads us in assists, steals and scoring and her all-around play and the contribution of her teammates led us to a state runner-up finish. Kelsey has the ability to score anywhere on the floor but the most impressive part of her game is her ability to pass, especially her ability to make the full-court pass.”
West Central senior guard Madison Kuehl averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game to make the team.
“Madison is a great all-around player and teammate with a great work ethic,” West Central head coach Joe Caffey said. “She is a shooter and slasher that opponents must respect. Her speed, size and strength on offense and defense have helped us be successful for the last few seasons.”
Garretson senior forward Haley Edmundson was the final selection for the first team after averaging 21.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Blue Dragons. The 5-11 post player helped lead Garretson to just its second state tournament in school history and first in 34 years.
“Haley was the first one in and the last one out of the gym each night,” Garretson head coach Dave Mudder said. “She was always working to improve her game to become a better player. Her attitude, work ethic and love of the game made her the player she was. She was a big part of our success and is well deserving of this honor.”
Second team selections were Chamberlain guard Kennedy Wagner, Sioux Valley guard Kaylee Granum, St. Thomas More center Moira Duffy, Clark/Willow Lake guard Mikayla Prouty and Pine Ridge guards Shaylene Richard and Santana White Dress.
Third team selections were Elk Point-Jefferson guard McKenzie Mennenga, Wagner guard/forward Ali Kuca, Todd County forward Erin Grimshaw, Aberdeen Roncalli guard Paige Sommers, Groton Area guard Courtney Kurtz and Tri-Valley forward Emma Johnson.
Alexys Swedlund, St. Thomas More, 5-11 Jr. G/F; 20.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg
Keely Bertram, Elk Point-Jefferson, 5-9 Sr. F; 20.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 4.2 spg
Josie Huber, Vermillion, 5-8 Sr. G/F; 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 spg
Kelsey Bertram, Winner, 5-10 Jr. G, 15.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg
Madison Kuehl, West Central, 5-10 Sr. G, 14.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg
Haley Edmundson, Garretson, 5-11 Sr. F, 21.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 2 apg, 2 spg
Kennedy Wagner, Chamberlain, 5-9 Sr. G, 18 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg, 2 spg
Kaylee Granum, Sioux Valley, 5-6 So. G, 14.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.8 apg
Moira Duffy, St. Thomas More, 5-11 Sr. C, 8.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.6 apg
Mikayla Prouty, Clark/Willow Lake, 5-10 Jr. G, 13.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.1 apg
Shaylene Richard, Pine Ridge, 5-2 So. G, 20.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.5 spg
Santana White Dress, Pine Ridge, 5-7 Sr. G, 15 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.1 apg
McKenzie Mennenga, Elk Point-Jefferson, 5-8 So. G, 14.9 ppg, 2 apg, 2.2 spg
Ali Kuca, Wagner, 5-11 So. G/F, 16.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 spg
Erin Grimshaw, Todd County, 5-11 Jr. G/F, 16.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.4 spg
Paige Sommers, Aberdeen Roncalli, 5-4 Sr. G, 16.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3 apg, 3.1 spg
Courtney Kurtz, Groton Area, 5-5 Jr. G, 16.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 4.7 spg
Emma Johnson, Tri-Valley, 6-2 Jr. G/F, (no statistics available)For the complete article see the 04-02-2014 issue.
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