Top seeds advance in 281 Conference tourney

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WOLSEY — The 2024 edition of the 281 Conference girls’ basketball tournament tipped off Friday afternoon, as the top seeds all advanced to Tuesday’s championship consolation round, which will be played back in Wolsey, while the consolation semifinals are scheduled for James Valley Christian High School.


Avery Orth of Wessington Springs makes a move to the hoop against Sunshine Bible Academy’s Sadie Konechne during the opening round of the 281 Conference Tournament on Friday in Wolsey.

Wessington Springs 51, Sunshine Bible Academy 14
The top seeded Wessington Springs Spartans scored all the points they would ultimately need in the first quarter Friday afternoon, as they ran past the Sunshine Bible Academy Crusaders 51-14 in the opening game of the 281 Conference girls’ basketball tournament.

The Spartans raced to a 20-2 lead after the first quarter of play and coasted home with the win and a ticket into Tuesday’s championship semifinal against James Valley Christian.

Avery Orth notched 14 points and Carissa Scheel added 10 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Spartans, who improve to 6-2.

Abby Hinman led SBA, now 1-6, with six points. Betra Amare had three rebounds. The Crusaders will move to Tuesday’s consolation round, where they will tangle with Highmore-Harrold.

Sunshine Bible Academy  2   8 13 14
Wessington Springs        20 40 47 51

SUNSHINE BIBLE ACADEMY (6-2): Abby Hinman 3 0-0 6; Brielle Jeffrey 1 0-0 3; Annaliese VanZee 1 1-2 3; Breanna Thieman 0 2-2 2. Totals: 5 3-4 14.

WESSINGTON SPRINGS (1-6): Avery Orth 6 2-3 14; Aalyssa Grohs 0 1-2 1; Ashlyn Weber 1 1-2 3; Kerstynn Heim 4 0-0 9; Carissa Scheel 2 6-6 10; Addyson Orth 2 0-0 4; Kendall Kolousek 1 0-0 3; Mariah Messmer 2 0-0 5; Kaitlyn Braun 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 10-13 51.

3-pt FG: SBA - 1 (Jeffrey); WS - 3 (Heim, Kolousek and Messmer). REB: SBA - 14 (Betra Amare 3); WS - 21 (Scheel 6). TO: SBA - 19; WS - 5. Fouls: SBA - 11; WS - 8.


Highmore-Harrold assistant coach Heather McDonnell demonstrates technique with 8th grader Elle Stagg.

James Valley Christian 53, Highmore-Harrold 32
The James Valley Christian Lady Vikings led by four points after one quarter, doubled that by the half and then blew the game open in the third quarter, en route to a 53-32 win in a first round matchup of the 281 Conference girls’ basketball tournament.

Alexa Goetz led all scorers with 19 points, while Addy Bartholow added 11 and Rhayonna Hood chipped in nine for JVC, which improves to 6-3.

For H-H, which falls to 4-5 with the loss, Jada Baloun scored 14 points and collected 11 rebounds, while Autumn Fallis added eight points.

JVC will play Wessington Springs in the championship semifinals Tuesday in Wolsey, while Highmore-Harrold will play Sunshine Bible Academy in the consolation semifinals at the JVC Gym on Tuesday.

Highmore-Harrold        9 13 25 32
James Valley Christian  13 25 42 53

HIGHMORE-HARROLD (4-5): Autum Fallis 3 2-4 8; April Fallis 1 2-2 5; Kendall Cermak 2 1-2 5; Jada Baloun 7 0-0 14; Elle Stagg 0 0-2 0. Totals 13 5-10 32

JAMES VALLEY CHRISTIAN (6-3): Rhayonna Hood 3 2-2 9; Addyson Knight 2 0-0 4; Alexa Goertz 5 8-9 19; Kaylie Robinson 4 0-0 8; Addy Bartholow 5 0-0 11; Daril Frandsen 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 10-11 53.

3-pt FG: HH - 1 (April Fallis); JVC - 3 (Goertz, Bartholow, Hood). REB: HH - 26 (Baloun 11); JVC - NA. Turnovers: HH - 12; JVC - NA. Fouls: HH - 9; JVC - 17.


Highmore-Harrold’s Jada Baloun pulls up for a jumper in the lane as James Valley Christian teammates Addyson Knight, left, and Alexa Goertz defend during their 281 Conference Tournament game on Friday in Wolsey.

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket 50, Wolsey-Wessington 35
The Sanborn Central/Woonsocket Blackhawks turned a four-point halftime lead into a 16-point bulge after three quarters Friday evening, en route to a 50-35 win over the Wolsey-Wessington Lady Warbirds in the opening round of the 281 Conference girls’ tournament.

Kaycee Baruth and Liz Boschee each had 14 points and Boschee added five boards, while Kamryn Ochsner had 11 points for the Blackhawks, who improve to 7-2 with the win.

Payton Kemnitz netted 13 points to lead the Lady Warbirds, while Maria Nelson claimed five rebounds. W-W, Hitchcock-Tulare in the consolation semifinals on Tuesday at James Valley Christian High School, while the Blackhawks head to the championship semifinals Tuesday in Wolsey, where they will play Iroquois/Lake Preston.

Wolsey-Wessington        6 20 26 35
Sanborn Central/Woon 12 24 40 50

WOLSEY-WESSINGTON (3-7): Payton Kemnitz 6 1-4 13; Shae Uttecht 1 0-2 2; Kendal Uttecht 4 0-0 8; Lainey Uttecht 2 0-0 5; Maria Nelson 1 0-0 2; Kenli Hooks 2 1-1 5. Totals: 16 2-7 35.

SANBORN CENTRAL/WOONSOCKET (7-2): Jaycee Baruth 5 3-6 14; Liz Boschee 6 2-5 14; Kamryn Ochsner 5 0-0 11; Kara Wormstadt 1 0-0 2; Kali Hofer 2 0-2 4; Kenzie Schley 2 0-2 5. Totals: 21 5-14 50.

3-pt FG: WW - 1 (L. Uttecht); SCW - 3 (Baruth, Schley, Ochsner). REB: WW - 18 (Nelson 5); SCW - 20 (Boschee 5, Ochsner 5). Turnovers: WW - 18; SCW 11. Fouls: WW - 13; SCW - 15 (Wormstadt out)


Lainey Uttecht of Wolsey-Wessington goes in for a basket as Kam Ochsner of Sanborn Central/Woonsocket defends on the play during their 281 Conference game Friday in Wolsey.

Iroquois/Lake Preston 38, Hitchcock-Tulare 36
The Iroquois/Lake Preston Sharks trailed for much of the ball game, but caught fire in the final five minutes of play to overtake the Hitchcock-Tulare Lady Patriots and hold on for a 38-36 win in the final opening round game of the 281 Conference girls’ basketball tournament Friday evening.

The Sharks trailed by seven points with six minutes to play, but converted turnovers into easy baskets, managed the offensive rebounds and hit just enough free throws to move to 7-3 on the season and into the championship semifinals against Sanborn Central/Woonsocket on Tuesday in Wolsey.

Adison Moore scored 19 points while Hadlee Holt added 12 and grabbed 12 rebounds to pace the Sharks.

Cambree Hoekman tallied 13 points for the Lady Pats and Kately Schroeder added 12. Isabel Gilbert collected 10 rebounds for Hitchcock-Tulare, which falls to 2-7 on the season and will face Wolsey-

Wessington on Tuesday in the consolation semifinals.

Hitchcock-Tulare          9 14 28 36
Iroquois/Lake Preston 6 17 20 38

HITCHCOCK-TULARE (2-7): Katelyn Schroeder 4 3-4 12; Isabel Gilbert 0 2-2 2; Rebecca Huizenga 3 3-7 9; Cambree Hoekman 4 1-3 13. Totals: 11 9-16 36.

IROQUOIS/LAKE PRESTON (7-3): Adison Moore 6 6-16 19; Faith Steffensen 0 1-2 1; Becca Bich 2 0-0 6; Hadlee Holt 2 8-13 12. Totals: 10 15-31 38.

3-pt Fg: HT - 5 (Hoekman 4, Schroeder); ILP - 3 (Bich 2, Moore). REB: HT - 34 (Gilbert 10); ILP - 29 (Holt 12). Turnovers: HT - 18; ILP 13. Fouls: HT - 18 (Schroeder out); ILP - 17.


Iroquois/Lake Preston’s Adison Moore drives to the basket against Katelyn Schroeder of Hitchcock-Tulare during their 281 Conference game Friday in Wolsey.