This year’s Class B girls basketball champion will likely be determined in the semifinals.
Barring a major upset by Parker and/or Avon, No. 2 Sully Buttes and No. 3 Ethan will meet in Friday night in Huron in what would be a rematch of last year’s state championship game (the Chargers won 32-25).
The Rustlers dealt Sully Buttes its lone loss during the regular season, coming away with a 59-53 overtime win at home on Dec. 30.
Meanwhile, Ethan’s lone loss came to St. Thomas More (53-51) in Mitchell on Jan. 14.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: #SDBASKETBALL17
Ethan’s leading scorer, Karly Gustafson is pouring in 14 points per game. She’s shooting 57 percent from the field.
All five of Ethan’s starters average over two steals per game, led by Ellie Hohn (4.2 spg).
Rachel Hawkins is dishing out 5.4 assists per game.
Sully Buttes has two players averaging over 20 points per game in guards Chloe Lamb (21 ppg) and Racquel Wientjes (20 ppg).
The Chargers, who are out-scoring their opponents 70.4-33.7 this season, typically go with four-guard sets.
Though Sully Buttes and Ethan enter as the top two favorites, No. 5 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket should not be overlooked.
Ranked No. 2 in the final S.D. Sportswriters Association poll of the regular season, the Blackhawks are 22-1 on the year, with that lone loss coming to Ethan (62-29) on Jan. 30.
Their most notable win came against Crofton (Neb.) at the Corn Palace on Jan. 14.
Crofton’s 20-2 record aside (losses were to Sioux Falls Washington and SCW), that tilt is also worth mentioning because it featured one of the year’s best performances by a single player.
Senior Myah Selland was on fire, pouring in 40 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, five steals and a block. She was 11-for-28 from the field and delivered the game-tying 3-pointer as time expired.
It’s been a big year for the South Dakota State commit, who is averaging 19.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season.
Sanborn Central/Woonsocket’s lone loss came against Ethan (62-29) on Jan. 30.
Though SCW is no walk in the park, Warner’s path to the title will not feature Ethan or Sully Buttes until the championship round, which is a nice perk for the No. 1 overall seed.
After failing to qualify for last year’s tournament, Warner went 21-2 on the year (46.10 points) to claim the top overall seed. Its best win might have been against De Smet (17-3) in overtime at the Corn Palace.
It beat Timber Lake, its first-round foe, handily at the end of the regular season.
Warner is led in scoring by Laure Rogers, who is averaging 16.4 points and seven rebounds per game. She’s also logged 66 blocks on the year.
Here is a quick capsule look at the eight teams in this year’s Class B tournament.
No. 1 Warner Monarchs
Record: 21-2 | PPG: 53.3 | OPP. PPG: N/A
Leading scorer: Laurie Rogers (6-1, so., center), 16.4 ppg.
No. 2 Sully Buttes Chargers
Record: 22-1 | PPG: N/A | OPP. PPG: 33.7
Leading scorer: Chloe Lamb (5-9, sr., guard), 21 ppg.
No. 3 Ethan Rustlers
Record: 22-1 | PPG: 61.3 | OPP. PPG: 25.2
Leading scorer: Karly Gustafson (6-0, sr., center), 14 ppg.
No. 4 New Underwood Tigers
Record: 22-1 | PPG: 52.5 | OPP. PPG: N/A
Leading scorer: Brianna Philipsen (6-1, sr., center), 16.1 ppg.
No. 5 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket Blackhawks
Record: 22-1 | PPG: 61.0 | OPP. PPG: 34.6
Leading scorer: Myah Selland (6-1, sr., guard/forward), 19.6 ppg.
No. 6 Avon Pirates
Record: 21-2 | PPG: 53.2 | OPP. PPG: 36.5
Leading scorer: Lauren Sees (5-9, so., guard), 16 ppg.
No. 7 Parker
Record: 19-4 | PPG: 52.0 | OPP. PPG: 42.5
Leading scorer: Lauren Hunstad (5-8, sr., guard), 13.5 ppg.
No. 8 Timber Lake Panthers
Record: 19-3 | PPG: 52.7 | OPP. PPG: N/A
Leading scorer: Loryn Schoelerman (5-9, jr., forward), 12.7 ppg.
Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen .
CLASS B GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
No. 1 Warner vs. No. 8 Timber Lake, Noon
No. 4 New Underwood vs. No. 5 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket, 1:45 p.m.
No. 2 Sully Buttes vs. No. 7 Parker, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Ethan vs. No. 6 Avon, 7:45 p.m.