Sioux Falls metro schools lead the field for Class AA boys state basketball tournament

Seven top-seeded teams advanced in games decided by at least 10 points through the field of 16.

From left, Mitchell's Steele Morgan and Sioux Falls Washington's Gage Gasca jump for the opening tip in a boys basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS — It will be an exclusively East River showdown in the Black Hills at the Class AA boys state basketball tournament starting on March 16, after the Class AA SoDak 16 state-qualifying round on Saturday determined the eight qualifiers.

There were no major upsets on Saturday, with only ninth-seeded Harrisburg slipping past No. 8 Brandon Valley, 54-52, in a game that featured two teams with identical 13-7 records entering the game. The other seven top-seeded teams all advanced in games decided by at least 10 points or more.

The Class AA bracket, which does not re-seed from the SoDak 16 round, will include top-seeded Sioux Falls Jefferson taking on Harrisburg in the opening game, followed by No. 4 Yankton and No. 5 Sioux Falls Washington. The evening session of quarterfinals includes No. 2 Sioux Falls Lincoln facing off with cross-town rival Roosevelt, and No. 3 Mitchell taking on No. 6 Pierre in the final quarterfinal.

Here’s a look at how the Class AA SoDak 16 unfolded on Saturday:

  • No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson 71, No. 16 Rapid City Stevens 46: Kaden Year finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, plus 10 rebounds. Griffin Wilde finished with 16 points and Taylen Ashley had 10 points as Jefferson moved to 19-2. The Cavaliers pulled away on the strength of a 24-6 second quarter and led by as many as 26 points in the second half. The Raiders had 24 turnovers and Dayler Segrist had a team-high 10 points for Stevens (5-16). 
  • No. 9 Harrisburg 54, No. 8 Brandon Valley 52: Jacoby Mehrman’s leaner with 8 seconds left provided the winning difference for Harrisburg over rival Brandon Valley on Saturday. Ethan Determan finished with a game-high 25 points and Mehrman had 13 points for the game for the Tigers (14-7). The Lynx (13-8) had a last-second shot from close range that rimmed off. Harrisburg led 27-19 at halftime, only to see Brandon Valley outscored the Tigers 23-13 in the third quarter for a 42-40 edge. Josh Olthoff hit the game-tying shot with 46 seconds remaining for Lynx to even the game at 52-all. Lukas Morgan led the Lynx with 13 points.


  • No. 4 Yankton 68, No. 13 Aberdeen Central 52: The Bucks qualified for the sixth consecutive season with a late push. Yankton (16-5) led 49-43 after three periods and used a 12-2 run to pull away in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Drew Ryken scored a game-high 21 points and Mac Ryken scored 19 for Yankton, while Jett Carlson and Spencer Barr each had 13 points for the Golden Eagles (6-13). 
  • No. 5 Sioux Falls Washington 71, No. 12 Huron 43: Cole Peterson had 18 points and seven assists for Washington in the Warriors’ home win, with 17 points from Tryg Auten from off the bench. Mason Davis led Huron (7-14) with nine points. Washington (15-6) led 39-16 at halftime and 58-26 after three quarters, including shooting 70% in the second half and 61.2% from the field for the game. The Tigers were kept to 19.2% shooting in the first 20 minutes. 
  • No. 6 Pierre 64, No. 11 O’Gorman 49: Jackson Edman scored 18 points for the Governors, and Lincoln Kienholz had 13 points for Pierre, which pulled away from O’Gorman in the second half on Saturday. Pierre (14-7) led 28-22 at halftime and led by as many as 16 points in the second half, before O’Gorman got within four points late in the game. From there, Pierre closed the game on an 11-0 run bolstered by free throws, securing the Govs’ first state tournament appearance since 2017. Ben Heisler added 11 points for the Govs, while O’Gorman was led by Radley Mauney, who had 18 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Zander Benz had 15 points and Matthew Eng finished with 10 points for the Knights (7-14). With the win, Pierre coach Brianna Kusler becomes the first woman to coach a Class AA boys team to the state tournament. 

  • No. 2 Sioux Falls Lincoln 76, No. 15 Rapid City Central 49: The Patriots (18-3) cruised on their home court on Saturday, with four scorers in double figures. Tate Schafer scored 18 points for Lincoln, with 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks from JT Rock. Elliot Whitney had 13 points and six assists and Jack Hilgenberg had 11 points. Jon Suarez and Jet Janvrin each scored 11 points for the Cobblers (6-15). 
  • No. 7 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 54, No. 10 Sturgis 40: As the two-time defending state champs, Roosevelt (14-8) locked up a return trip to the state tournament with a big second half, outscoring the Scoopers, 32-18, in the second half after being tied at 22 at intermission. Sturgis finishes the season at 10-11.
  • No. 3 Mitchell 62, No. 14 Watertown 44: Behind a balanced offensive effort, Mitchell sailed back to the Class AA state tournament for the third consecutive season at the Corn Palace. The Kernels went on a 15-4 run to close the first quarter and never trailed again to secure a third-straight bid into the state tournament in Rapid City. Dylan Soulek led the Kernels with 16 points, while Colton Smith added 14 points off the bench. Mitchell (17-4) led 33-20 at halftime on the strength of six 3-pointers in the first half. 

Class AA state tournament

Thursday, March 16 — at Summit Arena in Rapid City.

All times Central


Upper bracket

No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson (19-2) vs. No. 9 Harrisburg (14-7), 1 p.m.

No. 4 Yankton (16-5) vs. No. 5 Sioux Falls Washington (15-6), 2:45 p.m.


Lower bracket

No. 2 Sioux Falls Lincoln (18-3) vs. No. 7 Sioux Falls Roosevelt (13-8), 7 p.m.

No. 3 Mitchell (17-4) vs. No. 6 Pierre (14-7), 8:45 p.m.

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