De Smet's Wilkinson, Tigers' Zavesky earn All-State recognition

Mike Carroll of the Plainsman
Posted 3/27/23

Damon Wilkinson and Reilyn Zavesky recognized as All-State basketball players

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De Smet's Wilkinson, Tigers' Zavesky earn All-State recognition


HURON — Senior Reilyn Zavesky capped his high school basketball career by being named to the Class AA All-State second team for the Huron Tigers. The all-state teams in all classes are determined by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.

Zavesky, a 6-foot, 3-inch guard, led the Tigers with an average of 23.5 points per game this season.

“It is hard to score 20 points a game in Class AA. There are so many good athletes and elite defenders,” Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen said. “We leaned on Reilyn to get us 20 a night and he produced.  I think that is an amazing feat. When defenses are designed to stop you and you still produce as player, you’re playing at an elite level.”

Buddenhagen also pointed to Zavesky’s work ethic as being a key to becoming the player he was.

“He works his tail off. We always talk about it takes 10,000 hours to be great at something and to Reilyn that is a challenge,” he said. “He leads by example and expects to play well every game, because he has put in the time to be good.”

While Zavesky flirted with breaking the HHS single game scoring record this season, Buddenhagen points to a 27-point effort against Harrisburg as one of the top highlights this season.

“He got us a clutch rebound and putback to seal the deal,” Buddenhagen said. “Being a 1,000-point scorer is special as well.”

JT Rock, a 7-1 junior forward from Sioux Falls Lincoln was named the Class AA Player of the Year for 2023.

Joining Rock on the first team are senior Lincoln Kienholz of Pierre, senior Rugby Ryken of Yankton, senior Taylen Ashley of Sioux Falls Jefferson, senior Kaden Year of Sioux Falls Jefferson and senior Spencer Barr of Aberdeen Central.

Second-team honors went to Zavesky, senior Ethan Determan of Harrisburg, senior Dylan Soulek of Mitchell, unior Jacoby Mehrman of Harrisburg, senior Steele Morgan of Mitchell and senior Matt Eng of O’Gorman.

Kienholz was the lone repeat first team selection Class AA. Determan, Eng, Year and Ashley were on the Class AA second team last year.

2022-23 All-State Boys Basketball Team

First Team
JT Rock, SF Lincoln, 7-1, jr., F (18 ppg, 10 rpg, 81 blocks)
Lincoln Kienholz, Pierre, 6-3, sr., G (18.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.3 apg)
Rugby Ryken, Yankton, 6-0, sr., G (12 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 7.5 apg)
Taylen Ashley, SF Jefferson, 6-1, sr., G (17.3 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg)
Kaden Year, SF Jefferson, 6-5, sr., G (17 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
Spencer Barr, Aberdeen Central, 5-11, sr., G (18.5 ppg, 2.4 apg)

Second Team
Ethan Determan, Harrisburg, 6-3, sr., G (18 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 apg)
Dylan Soulek, Mitchell, 6-3, sr., G (13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.4 apg)
Reilyn Zavesky, Huron, 6-3, sr., G (23.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 apg)
Jacoby Mehrman, Harrisburg, 6-4, jr., G (15 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Steele Morgan, Mitchell, 6-5, sr., F (11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Matt Eng, SF O’Gorman, 6-2, sr., G (18.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.9 apg)

• Repeat Selections — 2022 (Kienholz, first team; Determan, Eng, Year and Ashley, second team); 2021 (Kienholz, second team).

• Player of the Year — Rock.

Class B

DE SMET — The center of attention this season for the De Smet boys’ basketball as the Bulldogs made their way to a third straight Class B state title was senior Damon Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, a 6-foot, 10-inch center, was a named to the Class B all-state first team by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.

“He is definitely deserving of first team all-state and has to be one of the best players in the state regardless of class. Damon is a great player and just a great kid,” De Smet coach Jeff Gruenhagen said. “He has battled through some hard situations in his career and truly did the work to get where he is today. I think the college that gets him will be very happy.”

Wilkinson finished with averages of 22 points and 13 rebounds during his senior campaign for the Bulldogs.

“Damon was our leader this year and has played so tough all season against defenses designed to slow  him down,” Gruenhagen said. “He has really kept his composure and just battled every night, doing a great job of staying out of foul trouble.”

Wilkinson closed his high school career with 783 rebounds, which puts him first all-time in De Smet basketball history. He also had 1,188 points, which ranks sixth all-time in school history.

Joining Wilkinson on the Class B first team was senior Joe Sayler of White River, who was named as the Class B Player of the Year this season, senior Brian LaRoche Jr. of Lower Brule, senior Ethan Russell of Aberdeen Christian, senior Gavin Thigh of Lower Brule and senior Sutton Arend of Bridgewater-Emery.

The second team consisted of senior Malek Wieker of Aberdeen Christian; senior Keegan Hett of Harding County; sophomore Nick Hanson of Viborg-Hurley; sophomore Bryon Laue of Castlewood; senior Lane Tvedt of Castlewood and junior Jackson Schauer of Faith.

The third team was made up of junior Daniel Mitchell of Gregory; junior Tage Ortman of Canistota; senior Riley Endres of Ethan; junior Nicolas Marshall of White River; junior Layne Cotton of Faulkton Area; and senior Tray Hettick of Herreid-Selby Area.  

2022-23 All-State Boys Basketball Team

First Team
Joe Sayler, White River, 6-4, sr., G (30.8 ppg, 5.6 rpog, 3.7 apg)
Damon Wilkinson, De Smet, 6-10, sr., C (22 ppg, 13 rpg)
Brian LaRoche Jr., Lower Brule, 6-1, sr., G-F (24.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 83 steals)
Ethan Russell, Aberdeen Christian, 6-7, sr., G-F (16.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg)
Gavin Thigh, Lower Brule, 5-11, sr., G-F (18.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 65 steals)
Sutton Arend, Bridgwater-Emery, 6-4, sr., G (22 ppg, 9 rpg)

Second Team
Malek Wieker, Aberdeen Christian, 6-1, sr., G (15 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.4 apg)
Keegan Hett, Harding County, 6-1, sr., G (19.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 96 steals)
Nick Hanson, Viborg-Hurley, 6-6, so., C (16.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 55 blocks)
Bryon Laue, Castlewood, 6-8, so., C (14.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 62 blocks)
Lane Tvedt, Castlewood, 6-0, jr., G (16.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 64 steals)
Jackson Schauer, Faith, 6-1, jr., G (20.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 66 steals)

Third Team
Daniel Mitchell, Gregory, 6-7, jr., F (15 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
Tage Ortman, Canistota, 5-11, jr., G (18.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg)
Riley Endres, Ethan, 6-0, sr., G (15.2 ppg, 7 rpg)
Nicolas Marshall, White River, 6-1, jr., G (17.8 ppg, 4 rpg, 5.3 apg, 82 steals)
Layne Cotton, Faulkton Area, 6-3, jr., F (23.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg)
Tray Hettick, Herreid-Selby Area, 6-2, sr., G (18.8 ppg, 5 rpg, 7 apg)

• Repeat Selections — 2022 (Sayler and Wieker, first team; Wilkinson, Mitchell and Russell, second team; LaRoche Jr., third team); 2021 (Sayler, first team; Wieker, second team; and Mitchell, third team).

• Player of the Year — Sayler.

2022-23 All-State Boys Basketball Team

First Team
Isaac Bruns, Dakota Valley, 6-4, sr., G (26.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg)
Caleb Hollenbeck, St. Thomas More, 6-3, sr., F (24.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.1 apg)
Oliver Vincent, Sioux Valley, 6-1, sr., G (20 ppg, 6 rpg, 7 apg)
Randy Rosenquist, Dakota Valley, 6-1, sr., G (13.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 8.8 apg, 80 steals)
Porter Ihnen, Lennox, 6-6, jr., G (21.6 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg)
Ethan Bruns, SF Christian, 6-6, sr., F (17 ppg, 7 rpg)

Second Team
Blake Volmer, Winner, 6-3, sr., G (19.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 4.1 apg)
Brayden Pankonen, Dell Rapids, 5-10, sr., G (20.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.9 apg)
Reed Rus, Mount Vernon-Plankinton, 6-4, sr., G (18.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 7.8 apg, 3.3 spg)
Aiden Jensen, Madison, 6-9, sr., F (20.9 ppg, 9 rpg, 60 blocks)
Alec Squires, Sioux Valley, 6-10, jr., C-F (15 ppg, 11 rpg, 60 blocks)
Ethan Cheeseman, Hanson, 6-3, sr. F, (19.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg)

Third Team
Damon Opdahl, Waubay-Summit, 6-1, sr., G (19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 103 steals)
Easton Kempf, Elk Point-Jefferson, 6-5, sr., F (15 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg)
Easton Neuendorf, Hamlin, 5-11, so., G (13.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.9 apg)
Blake Thompson, Tea Area, 5-11, sr., G (13.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.2 apg)
Tyson Stevenson, Hamlin, 6-2, jr., G (14.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Tate VanOtterloo, Beresford, 6-5, sr., G (18.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.5 apg)

• Repeat Selections — 2022 (I. Bruns, Vincent, Rosenquist and Volmer, first team; Ihnen, Rus, Hollenbeck, Pankonen and E. Bruns, second team; and Opdahl, Class B second team); 2021 (I. Bruns and Vincent, first team).

• Player of the Year — Isaac Bruns.