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Native Sun News Today: Indian teams land in playoffs for girls title in South Dakota

Caelyn Valandra of Todd County soars for a layup past defender Haylee Quick Bear of St. Francis that resulted in a 4-point play. Photo by James Giago Davies

Playoffs underway in Girls Class A and B
Four Indian teams make Class A Sweet 16
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

RAPID CITY –– For the second straight year, Class B Girls has been unforgiving to Native teams. There are 16 B Districts. Takini was eliminated 51-30 by Harding County in District 16B. Faith was the eventual champ. In District 15B, Dupree beat Tiospaye Topa, 63-55. Lemmon beat Wakpala, 59-29. Timber Lake beat Dupree, 53-27 in the next round. Timber Lake was eventual 15B champ.

In 14B, New Underwood eliminated Oelrichs, 42-30, and were the eventual 14B champs. In 13B, Jones County eliminated Crazy Horse, 41-16. Kadoka Area did same to White River, 71-60. Lyman County was the eventual 13B champion. Burke/South Central beat Marty 62-28 in 12B. Avon won District 12B. In District 4B, Lower Brule fell to Hitchcock-Tulare, 74-54.

That ended the year for all Lakota teams in Class B Girls.

This year Class A has switched to a Sweet 16 format. Last year each of the 8 regions held a tournament and selected a champion. The top two teams from each of the 8 regions are now reseeded into a Sweet 16.

We will save Region 7A for last. In Region 8A, defending state champion St Thomas More and Belle Fourche are in the Sweet 16. In Region 6A, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte upset McLaughlin, 59-50. McLaughlin was rated almost four power points higher than Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, so it was a huge upset. Congratulations to the Lady Braves. The other Sweet 16 qualifier was Crow Creek, who beat Miller, 59-49.

Flandreau Indian was eliminated by Flandreau, 75-39, in Region 3A. Tiospa Zina was eliminated in Region 1A by Aberdeen Roncalli, 50-27.

In Region 7A Winner beat Red Cloud, 51-48 at Winner. Todd County romped over Bennett County in Mission, 103-14. In a huge upset, St Francis beat Pine Ridge at Pine Ridge, 58-57. That set up Sweet 16 qualifying games, both postponed to last Saturday because of inclement weather: Winner at Little Wound and St Francis at Todd County.

Todd County tops St Francis in Region 7A
MISSION –– Before the game, St Francis Head Coach Merle Anderson based his chances on which team showed up, the team that upset Pine Ridge by one point, or the “other” team, that lost earlier in the year to Todd County by 30 points. It was the “other” team, as Todd County again rolled over the Lady Warriors, 70-49.

It was very spirited and competitive in the early going, as St Francis held a 6-3 lead, but when Lacee Halligan, a 5-4 sophomore, canned a three with 2:37 left in the first quarter, Todd County took the lead 9-7, and never looked back. The first quarter ended 17-10, Lady Falcons.

In the second quarter, if seemed like Todd County must pull away as they did the first time these two teams met, but St Francis hung tough, and Todd County Head Coach Bob Boyd, Jr., told his charges in the huddle: “Pass the ball, don’t just stand there looking. What do we do?—we cut through the lane! We’re not running hard enough, you run hard! Beat them down the floor.”

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Playoffs underway in Girls Class A and B

(Contact James Giago Davies at

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