Little Wound Wraps Up Stellar Season:
In the opening game, the Lady Mustangs struggled with a very conservative team of officials, who fouled out four players as the Mustangs fell to Webster Area 57-50, on Friday against Madison, Little Wound played even up on the boards but had difficulty scoring going down 55-38, their lowest point total the entire year. On Saturday, Little Wound out rebounded Dell Rapids 32-27 but second half turnovers and an inability to come back on the Lady Quarriers, who have been in the past two state tournaments, made for a third loss 59-54 to Dell Rapids.
“For weeks, I told the team, State would be a lot harder, it wasn’t until after they played at State did they understand what I was saying, both Miracle and Katerri told me it was so much harder to get a shot off, Miracle told me, her feet seemed really slow against the tougher competition and after three games at that level, all of the players felt bruised up,” said Lyle LeBeau who is finishing up his third year as head girls coach. “After that first round loss, it was hard to get the players psyched up for the next game, I really wanted them to understand how important it was to play at our highest level every game and that for those coming back next year, this experience would really help them for next year.”
Opening against Webster on Thursday, Little Wound was down 9-7 after one, tied the game at the half 23 all and was up by one, 37- 36 starting the fourth. Down the stretch, Little Wound continued to put the Bearcats on the free throw line and struggled defending the low post; the Lady Mustangs were out scored 21-13 in the final quarter to lose 57-50. Little Wound out rebounded Webster 36-32 but picked up 27 fouls to their 20 and finished with 21 turnovers to the Bearcats 11.
Little Wound sophomore Paula Yellow Boy finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds with three blocks before fouling out with 1:44 to go in the fourth. Miracle Spotted Bear had 10 points, a steal, a block and six rebounds while junior Jacynda Blacksmith chipped in 10 points and three boards.
Friday against Madison, Little Wound had the game tied at 11 after one but managed just five points in the second quarter to go down 22-16 at the half; they lost ground each quarter after that losing 55-38, the fewest points scored all year. Janay Jumping Eagle bounced back from a disappointing first game with 12 points, a steal, a block, an assist and 10 rebounds. Spotted Bear hit two threes in the fourth and finished with 10 points.
“We could’ve done a lot better, we didn’t know what to expect and several of the teams had previous state tournament experience,” said senior and team captain Janay Jumping Bull, “it was fun and a great experience though, I hope those players coming back benefit from this experience and earn another trip to state.”
On Saturday, Little Wound shot out of the starting gate, Yellow Boy hit three baskets in the low post and went four for four from the line while Jumping Eagle hit a three and Spotted Bear hit two threes giving the Lady Mustangs a 19-14 lead after one. The Lady Quarriers bounced back in the second out scoring Little Wound 21-11 in the second to take a 35-30 lead at the half, a lead they never gave up on their way to a 59-54 win.
Yellow Boy had her best game finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Spotted Bear had 12 points, two assists and five rebounds while Jumping Eagle added 13 points, four assists and five rebounds.
“Really thought someone else would win the award but I was really excited and happy, it’s a very prestigious award,” said Jumping Eagle on winning the Spirit of Su award at this year’s State A tournament, “just had my Senior pictures taken today, it’s on to graduation next, I plan to go on to college and I’d really like to play basketball in college as well, I’ve looked at a school in Minnesota and one in Nebraska and I just learned that I was named a finalist out of 10,000 who applied and will receive the AXA Achievement Scholarship, good for $25,000, that’ll really help in going to college.”
“Overall it was a awesome experience for the girls, they know now first hand that it’s a different level of competition,” said LeBeau, “we’re looking at working hard in the offseason, more weight lifting, more team camps, we have a number of players coming back and they’re motivated to put the work in.
Scores from the week
State A Girls’ basketball tournament
March 9, 10, 11 Thurs, Fri & Sat
Frost Arena in Brookings, SD
Thursday, March 9, first round
St. Thomas More 57-32 Madison
Webster Area 57-50 Little Wound
Vermillion 49-43 Hamlin
Lennox 63-58 Dell Rapids
State A Semis Friday March 10
St. Thomas More 42-30 Webster Area
Lennox 57-50 Vermillion
Madison 55-38 Little Wound
Hamlin 53-44 Dell Rapids
State A championship Saturday March 11
1st St. Thomas More 47-36 Lennox
3rd Webster Area 57-37 Vermillion
5th Hamlin 63-54 Madison
7th Dell Rapids 59-54 Little Wound
State B Tourney, Huron
1st Sully Buttes 63-48 Sanborn Central-Woonsocket
3rd Ethan 60-42 Warner
5th New Underwood 43-32 Parker
7th Avon 45-41 Timber Lake
Warner 65-39 Timber Lake
Sanborn Central-Woonsocket 66-59 New Underwood
Sully Butte 63-45 Parker
Ethan 56-43 Avon
Sanborn Central-Woonsocket 55-49 Warner
Sully Buttes 37-35 Ethan
New Underwood 51-31 Timber Lake
Parker 56-36 Avon