It shouldn’t be a surprise that nearly half of the 2014 Class A All-State basketball team played in this year’s state tournament at the Sioux Falls Arena, including Player of the Year Trae VandeBerg, who helped lead Madison to its second straight title with an undefeated record.
Other members of the Class A All-State first team, chosen by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association and South Dakota Sportswriters Association, include fellow state-tournament players Jordan Cornelius of Sisseton, Brendon Boomsma of Tri-Valley and Xavier Norris of Cheyenne-Eagle Butte; plus Canton’s Cody Willett, Chamberlain’s Skyler Bertram and Clark/Willow Lake’s Tyson Jenkins.
Earning second-team honors are Sioux Valley’s Tayt Vincent, Jeff LeBeau of Pine Ridge, Madison’s Jacob Giles, Ty Hoglund of Dell Rapids and Dakota Valley’s Brody VanGinkel.
Members of the third team include Sioux Valley’s Spencer Hanson, Deric Denning of Mt. Vernon/Plankinton, Aberdeen Roncalli’s Brayden McNeary, Reilly Ell of Groton Area, Dakota Valley’s Jason Lupkes and Chase Glazier of Custer.
VandeBerg was instrumental in the Bulldogs posting a 25-0 record and repeating as Class A champions in 2014 as the 6-3 senior guard averaged 17.7 points per game to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals an outing.
“Trae has been an outstanding player for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons and played a big part in helping us win back-to-back state titles,” said Madison head coach Michael Ricke. “On the offensive end, he can hurt you in so many ways that it makes him hard to guard – he has the ability to shoot from long range, put it on the floor and get to the rim, pull up for a nice mid-range jumper or post up inside.
“While his offensive skills are widely recognized, he was also a very good defender and rebounder for our team.”
Cornelius, a 6-7 senior guard and a second-team All-State selection last year, helped guide the Redmen to a state tournament second-place finish by averaging a double-double of 21.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game while dishing out 4.3 assists a contest and finishing with 44 blocked shots on the season. Cornelius was also honored as the Spirit of Su recipient at the 2014 Class A State Tournament.
“Jordan was an outstanding leader for us – his confidence in his individual skill slowed the game down for him to be able to perform at his best and make great decisions for the better of the team,” said Sisseton head coach Adam Nelson. “His skill set at his size is very impressive and made it very tough for teams to guard him. Opponents played a lot of different defenses designed to slow him, but he stayed patient, allowed his teammates to do their thing and then would pick his moments to do what needed to be done.
“Jordan is not only a great leader for our team, but an outstanding role model for the youth in our program and community. He is a top notch student and member of our community that all can look up to. Jordan’s leadership, perseverance, work ethic and determination fueled us to the state runner-up finish.”
Willett joins Cornelius in moving up from the 2013 All-State second team as the 6-4 senior forward posted a double-double of 19.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per outing, to go along with 3.9 assists per game and 40 steals on the season to help the C-Hawks to a 16-5 record.
“Cody’s leadership, on and off the court, brought energy and cohesiveness to the team,” said Canton head coach Paul Anderson. “He often used his own insight during a game to help us make defensive and offensive adjustments.
“Cody also has an incredible work ethic on the court and in the classroom.”
Boomsma, a 5-9 senior guard, averaged 21.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.1 assist and 1.1 steal per game in helping lead the Mustangs to the consolation championship at this year’s state tournament.
“Brendon was a great leader for us,” said Tri-Valley head coach Rob Grady. “He handled the ball and scored a lot of points for us this year.
“Brendon played as hard as he could all the time no matter what the score of the game was and he really worked hard to turn himself into a great player.”
Bertram, a 6-2 senior guard, helped the Cubs post a 16-6 mark this year as he averaged 22.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
“Skyler is one of the best all around offensive players that I have ever coached,” said Chamberlain head coach Allan Bertram.
“His ability to score in so many different ways allowed him to put up a lot of points even with every team focusing their defensive game plan on stopping him.
“He was our leader by example and put in a ton of work to become the player that he is.”
Norris, a 6-3 senior guard/forward, scored 19.4 points per game, to go along with an average of 8.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists, and finished with 80 steals as he helped the Braves to a seventh-place finish at the 2014 state tournament.
“Xavier has been the most consistent player for me the last two years,” said Cheyenne-Eagle Butte head coach Robert Mendoza. “I could count on 20 points, 8-10 rebounds, four assists and four steals a night.
“He has been a great player for our program.”
Jenkins, a 6-5 junior center, put up numbers that included 17.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists for a Cyclone team that finished 19-3 this season.
“Tyson went from a basic unknown role player to one of the best post players in the state,” said Clark/Willow Lake head coach Jerome Nesheim. “After losing a great senior class last year, that included Class A player of year Skyler Flatten, we needed someone to step up. We changed our offense to be more post-oriented and wanted to make sure Tyson was getting touches because he is one of the most athletic post players I have coached. He has tremendous foot work, quickness, strength and he’s a tremendous passer – those are dangerous combinations in a post player, which makes it hard for teams to guard him one-on-one.
“This is his fourth year of just playing basketball – up to seventh grade he wrestled, as well, so he is still perfecting his craft and he is only going to get better. Tyson is a complete gym rat and perfectionist; he loves spending time in the gym working on his game, is the type of player that is really hard on himself and will work on his weaknesses until they are his strengths.”
Sioux Valley’s Vincent, a freshman, was selected to the second-team as he averaged 15 points, 5.6 rebounds and four assists per game, to go along with 42 steals as the Cossacks finished sixth at the state tournament.
“Tayt puts in the time needed to be successful,” Cossack head coach Bill Vincent said. “He has great understanding of the game – on the court he is able to dictate the tempo of the game.
“A good rebounder out of the guard position, he distributed the ball well and was able to get to the paint off the bounce.”
Hanson, a 6-6 senior, capped off a solid career with a third-team nod as he tallied 13 points per game, pulled down six rebounds an outing and dished out 3.1 assists each contest, to go along with 31 blocks as the Cossacks finished 20-5 on the season.
“Spencer, a four-year varsity player and three-year starter, was a senior leader for our program,” Vincent said. “He was able to control the paint with his defense and rebounding.
“On offense he was a team-first player that made players around him better; he was a great passer for a post.”
2014 South Dakota Class A All-State
Trae VandeBerg, Sr., 6-3, G, Madison (17.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.4 spg)
Jordan Cornelius, Sr., 6-7, G, Sisseton (21.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 4.3 apg, 44 blocks)
Tyson Jenkins, Jr., 6-5, C, Clark/Willow Lake (17.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Brendon Boomsma, Sr., 5-9, G, Tri-Valley (21.6 ppg,3.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg)
Cody Willett, Sr., 6-4, F, Canton (19.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 40 steals)
Skyler Bertram, Sr., 6-2, G, Chamberlain (22.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.2 spg)
Xavier Norris, Sr., 6-3, G/F, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (19.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.7 apg, 80 steals)
Brody VanGinkel, Sr., 5-11, G, Dakota Valley (16.9 ppg,2 rpg, 6.4 apg)
Jeff LeBeau, Sr., 6-5, C, Pine Ridge (18.2 ppg, 10 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2.6 apg, 3 bpg)
Tayt Vincent, Fr., 6-3, G, Sioux Valley (15 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4 apg, 42 steals)
Ty Hoglund, So., 6-0, G, Dell Rapids (17.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 50 steals)
Jacob Giles, Sr., 6-2, F, Madison (12.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg)
Brayden McNeary, Jr., 6-3, G/F, Aberdeen Roncalli (16.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.6 spg)
Deric Denning, Sr., 5-10, G, Mt.Vernon/Plankinton (19.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
Jason Lupkes, Sr., 6-4, C, Dakota Valley (18.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2 apg)
Chase Glazier, Sr., 6-5, G, Custer (19.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 spg)
Reilly Ell, Sr., 6-3, F, Groton Area (16.1 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 30 steals, 27 blocks)
Spencer Hanson, Sr., 6-6, C, Sioux Valley (13 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 31 blocks)
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