Bulldogs bringing home another title

Benjamin Chase of the Plainsman
Posted 3/19/23

De Smet Bulldogs win third straight championship Saturday in Class B

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Bulldogs bringing home another title


ABERDEEN - The De Smet Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to clinch their third straight Class B boys’ basketball title 62-48 over the Lower Brule Sioux Saturday at Barnett Center in Aberdeen at the State B Basketball Tournament.

De Smet finishes the year 23-3 while the Sioux complete the season at 22-4.

The Bulldogs began the game immediately looking to establish 6-foot, 10-inch senior center Damon Wilkinson. He was fouled and hit a pair of free throws. Gavin Thigh answered for Lower Brule with a three, and the game was off.

The Bulldogs had three opportunities the next trip down the court before Kasen Janssen was able to put in a putback bucket. Brian LaRoche Jr. answered with a jumper in the lane for the Sioux.

Thigh added a three to make it 8-4, but the Bulldogs came storming back. Wilkinson hit one of two free throws and Kadyn Fast hit a three for De Smet to tie the game.

EJ Langdeau made a move underneath for a bucket for Lower Brule and Tom Aughenbaugh answered with a three from the top of the key for the Bulldogs to give them the lead. George Jensen grabbed the third attempt of a possession for De Smet and put it in to give the Bulldogs a 13-10 lead.

LaRoche hit a three with 45 seconds left in the first to knot the score at 13 and then Langdeau cut underneath for a reverse layup to give the Sioux a 15-13 lead after one quarter.

The Bulldogs jumped out in the second quarter with the first six points of the quarter on short shots from Wilkinson, Jensen, and Fast. Lane Gray was fouled and hit both free throws and then LaRoche hit a bucket to tie the game.

Jensen hit one of two free throws as does Fast to put De Smet up 21-19, but Gray answered with a quick three to give the Sioux the 22-21 lead with two minutes left in the half.

Jensen hit one of two free throws to tie the game. Tayshawn Battese made a move down low to score for Lower Brule to put the Sioux up 24-22.

Aughenbaugh hit a three for De Smet, Langdeau hit a jumper in the lane, and Aughenbaugh was fouled with two seconds left in the half and drained both free throws to send De Smet to the break with a 27-26 lead.

The teams went back and forth to open the second half before the Bulldogs began pounding the ball inside to Wilkinson. He would score or when the Sioux would collapse in on him, he passed out and the Bulldogs began connecting from the outside.

De Smet went on a 14-4 run to grab a nine-point lead with three minutes left in the quarter. Thigh hit a layup after Gray made a steal to make it 43-36 heading into the final frame.

The Bulldogs began the fourth with a pair of free throws each from Wilkinson and Fast to jump out to a 10-point lead. Thigh got an old-fashioned three-point play and LaRoche hit a three after a steal by Gray, but the Bulldogs ended the run with a three by Aughenbaugh.

The teams hung around at a 10-point difference the rest of the way, with the Bulldogs hitting their free throws to clinch the victory and the state title.

Wilkinson led De Smet with 18 points and 20 rebounds. Aughenbaugh scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Kadyn Fast pitched in 10 points for De Smet.

The Sioux were led by LaRoche with 16 points. Thigh had 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists. EJ Langdeau chipped in 10 points for Lower Brule.

De Smet         13 27 43 62
Lower Brule     15 26 36 48  

De Smet (23-3): Tom Aughenbaugh 5 2-2 16, Kadyn Fast 2 5-6 10, Kasen Janssen 3 2-3 9, George Jensen 3 2-4 9, Damon Wilkinson 5 8-9 18. Totals: 18 19-24 62.

Lower Brule (22-4): Lane Gray 1 2-2 5, Brian LaRoche Jr 7 0-1 16, Gavin Thigh 4 5-6 15, EJ Langdeau 5 0-0 10, Tate Elk Soldier 0 0-2 0, Tayshawn Battese 1 0-1 2. Totals: 18 7-12 48.

FG: DS - 18/47 38%; LB - 18/53 34%. 3-pt FG: DS - 7/19 (Aughenbaugh 4, Fast, Janssen, Jensen); LB - 5/23 (Thigh 2, LaRoche 2, Gray). Rebounds: DS 42 (Wilkinson 20), LB 27 (Thigh, Battese 5). Assists: DS 11 (Fast 6), LB 7 (Gray, Thigh 3). Steals: DS 7 (Jensen, Aughenbaugh 2), LB 9 (Gray 3). Blocks: DS 4 (Wilkinson 2), LB 3. Turnovers: DS 18, LB 14. Fouls: DS 15, LB 18 (Battese out).

De Smet’s George Jensen, center, drives to the basket as Lower Brule’s Brian LaRoche, Jr., bottom, falls back while drawing a charge call during Saturday night’s championship game at the South Dakota Class B Boys Basketball Tournament at Wachs Arena. Looking on are the Sioux’s Tate Elk Soldier, bottom right, and the Bulldogs’ Damon Wilkinson, far right.

3rd place - Aberdeen Christian 70, White River 65 (OT)
After trailing the entire game, the Aberdeen Christian Knights forced overtime and came out with a 70-65 victory over the White River Tigers in the third-place game of the boys’ State B Basketball Championship in Aberdeen.

The Knights finish 23-3 on the year, while White River ends the year 20-6.

The Tigers came out firing behind star senior Joe Sayler, who finished the first quarter with 10 points, but Aberdeen Christian, with three 1,000-point scorers on the roster, was able to put points on the board and keep the Tigers within reach.

With Sayler leading the Tigers, they continued to push the Knights through the second quarter, but a run from the balanced Aberdeen Christian attack got the score as close as 27-25 before White River closed out the half with the final four points to head into half at 31-25.

The two teams battled hard through the third quarter, with the Knights tying the game, but never taking the lead. Sayler hit a shot as the quarter ran out to send the Tigers to the final quarter with a 47-45 lead.

A pair of free throws by Jackson Isakson tied the ball game with 48 seconds left, setting up a crazy ending. Sayler stepped to the line with half a second on the clock and hit the first free throw to tie the game at 59, but he missed the second free throw, sending the game into overtime with the score knotted at 59.

White River went cold in overtime and Aberdeen Christian hit free throws to clinch the 70-65 victory.

The Knights were led by Ethan Russell with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Jackson Isakson had 19 points and Malek Wieker added 17 points for Aberdeen Christian.

Sayler had a tournament-high 39 points for White River along with six rebounds. Nicolas Marshall added 17 points and five assists.

Aberdeen Christian    11 25 45 59 70
White River                 19 31 47 59 65

Aberdeen Christian (23-3): Andrew Brennan 2 0-0 6, Jackson Isakson 5 8-10 19, Ethan Russell 8 5-6 22, Malek Wieker 6 1-2 17, Kaden Clark 1 0-0 2, Ellis Russell 1 0-0 2, Joey Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 14-18 70.

White River (20-6): Nicolas Marshall 7 3-6 17, Joe Sayler 14 8-12 39, TJ Beardt 2 1-1 5, Gavin Folkers 1 0-0 3, Evastine Wright 0 1-2 1. Totals: 24 13-21 65.

FG: AC - 24/50 48%; WR - 24/49 49%. 3-pt FG: AC - 8/20 (Wieker 4, Brennan 2, Isakson, EtRussell); WR - 4/15 (Sayler 3, Folkers). Rebounds: AC 29 (EtRussell 12), WR 26 (Sayler 6). Assists: AC 11 (Clark 5), WR 7 (Marshall 5). Steals: AC 6 (Wieker 3), WR 6 (Marshall 3). Blocks: AC 2, WR 2. Turnovers: AC 14, WR 14. Fouls: AC 17 (Wieker out), WR 17.

5th place - Castlewood 46, Viborg-Hurley 41
In a back-and-forth game, the Castlewood Warriors delivered the final blow, coming away with the consolation championship with a 46-41 victory over the Viborg-Hurley Cougars to earn fifth place in the boys’ Class B State Tournament Saturday at the Barnett Center in Aberdeen.

Eighth-seed Castlewood finishes the season with a 20-6 record while Viborg-Hurley falls to 21-5.

After Castlewood took the first-quarter lead, the Cougars took a lead into the final quarter using stifling defense, including dominating play in the post. The Warriors flipped the script in the final period, though, with sharp outside shooting and shutdown defense the key to a 6-0 run to end the game.

Lane Tvedt led the Warriors with 15 points, four assists, and four steals. Jamison Keszler added 12 points. Bryon Laue had an off day offensively with just four points but did give haul down a game-high 10 rebounds for Castlewood.

The Cougars had a balanced attack, spurred by Gage Goettertz and Nick Hanson with 10 points each. Hanson added eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

Viborg-Hurley     10 21 34 41
Castlewood     14 23 32 46

Viborg-Hurley (21-5): Devin Sayler 1 0-0 2, Brady Schroedermeier 3 0-0 7, Gage Goettertz 5 0-0 10, Kobee Sherman 1 0-0 3, Nick Hanson 4 2-2 10, Bryson Morrison 3 0-0 7, Rafe Goettertz 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 2-2 41.

Castlewood (20-6): Jamison Keszler 5 1-2 12, Lane Tvedt 6 1-2 15, Quincy Thu 2 0-0 6, Booker Schooley 1 0-0 3, Joe Decker 2 0-0 6, Bryon Laue 2 0-0 4. Totals: 18 2-4 46.

FG: VH - 18/48 38%; C - 18/52 35%. 3-pt FG: VH - 3/18 (Schroedermeier, Sherman, Morrison); C - 8/23 (Tvedt 2, Thu 2, Decker 2, Schooley, Keszler). Rebounds: VH 36 (Hanson 8), C 29 (Laue 10). Assists: VH 9 (Four with 2), C 11 (Tvedt 4). Steals: VH 5 (Schroedermeier 3), C 8 (Tvedt 4). Blocks: VH 9 (Hanson 6), C 1. Turnovers: VH 15, C 11. Fouls: VH 10, C 5.

De Smet’s Damon Wilkinson (43) goes up with a shot under the basket as Lower Brule’s Gavin Thigh falls back and Ellwyn Langdeau (11) helps defend during Saturday night’s championship game at the South Dakota Class B Boys Basketball Tournament at Wachs Arena.

7th place - Faith 75, Ethan 56
The Faith Longhorns leaned on their top two offensive options to open the second half to blow open a tight game, claiming seventh place at the boys’ State B Basketball Tournament with a 75-56 victory over the Ethan Rustlers Saturday in Aberdeen.

The first half saw the two teams go back and forth, with four ties and ten lead changes throughout the first half, with neither team being able to jump out by more than a half-dozen points.

After a pair of free throws from Ethan to open the second half, Faith went on a 10-0 run and never looked back, further extending the lead in the final period.

The Longhorns finish the year with a 23-3 record. Jackson Schauer scored 36 points and Caden Selby scored 26 points to lead Faith.

Ethan finished 20-6. Kody Klumb hit six 3-point baskets on the way to 20 points to lead the Rustlers. Drake Gustafson added 11 points while Riley Endres dropped in 10 points and had nine rebounds.

Ethan     20 37 49 56
Faith     22 38 56 75

Ethan (20-6): Riley Endres 4 1-3 10, Kody Klumb 7 0-0 20, Taite Klumb 1 2-6 4, Drake Gustafson 4 3-5 11, Wyatt Sinkie 0 4-4 4, Logan Koch 3 0-0 7. Totals: 19 10-18 56.

Faith (23-3): Rylan Palmer 2 1-2 6, Matthew Gray 3 0-0 6, Caden Selby 11 1-1 26, Jackson Schauer 12 7-7 36, Waycee Nelson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 28 10-12 75.

FG: E - 19/50 38%; F - 28/51 55%. 3-pt FG: E - 8/23 (KKlumb 6, Endres, Koch); F - 9/21 (Schauer 5, Selby 3, Palmer). Rebounds: E 27 (Endres 9), F 32 (Palmer, Gray, Nelson 6). Assists: E 13 (Endres, KKlumb, Sinkie 3), F 15 (Palmer 6). Steals: E 7 (Endres 3), F 5 (Gray 2). Blocks: E 1, F 5 (Selby 4). Turnovers: E 15, F 14. Fouls: E 18, F 16.