The Little Wound Lady Mustangs at a December 10, 2016, game. Photo by Little Wound School
Lady Mustangs set sights on a State championship
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor
KYLE --After coming off one of its best seasons in years the Little Wound Lady Mustangs come into the 2016-2017 basketball season with a goal of making it to the "Big Dance."
"If we do not make it to state this year I am firing myself," said Little Wound Head Coach Lyle Lebeau jokingly.
Having secured the #2 seed in the tournament Little Wound has reloaded after losing much of its scoring punch to graduation. The Mustangs will need to replace key contributors Taci LeBeau, Tianna Christensen, Morgan Mesteth and others who helped the team compile a stellar record of 19-3 last year. The run included a Lakota Nation Invitational championship that featured the emergence of senior guard Janay Jumping Eagle as one of South Dakota's premier talents.
On a serious note, Lebeau said that there are teams in the tournament that could give his Lady Mustangs trouble including Class-B Mcglaughlin.
"I thought that Mcglaughlin could have been the top-seed in LNI," said Lebeau.
The Lady Mustangs will benefit from the addition of transfers Miracle Spotted Bear and Jacynda Blacksmith.
Blacksmith will help fill the void left by the graduation of Tianna Christensen who provided both shot-blocking and rebounding for Little Wound. Having spent the last three years playing at Class-B Oelrichs, Blacksmith is set to surprise basketball fans with her ability use her length to impact a game.
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One local scout said of Blacksmith, "She is a defensive presence but she can also impact the game through her passing. She has had range since she was young but has developed a midrange jumper over the last couple of years. She will be a difference maker at Little Wound."
She will be joined by Miracle Spotted Bear who sort of got lost in the rotation last year at Pine Ridge. Spotted Bear will see plenty of minutes in Lebeau's fast paced offense that regularly uses as many as ten players a game and relies on having fresh guards to execute a variety of presses.
The Lady Mustangs take on Crazy Horse in opening round play at 10 am, Wednesday, December 14, in the main arena.
(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at firstname.lastname@example.org)
More LCT Coverage of the 40th annual Lakota Nation Invitational:
Country Times: Big Native basketball tournament opens (12/14)
Country Times: Lower Brule team hopes to make splash (12/14)
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