At the end of the first quarter, Wolsey-Wessington’s lead was just a point.
Parker had shrunk the deficit to almost nothing, giving the Pheasants a glimmer of hope against the higher-seeded opponent heading into the first break.
That glimmer would be snuffed out quickly. Wolsey-Wessington outscored Parker 19-5 in the second quarter and would only stretch the lead from there, rolling to a semifinal win by a score of 58-42.
“We didn’t change anything,” Warbirds head coach Gordon Hooks said of the second-quarter explosion. “We just started to get in a rhythm. They kept us off the rhythm (earlier) but with Bennett (White) on the floor, even though he didn’t score a lot of points (Friday), he got us in a rhythm with his passing, his leadership and all that. With Bennett on the floor and with Darian (Ogunjemilusi) playing the way he did, and then when Riley (Gohn) started knocking down shots, and then we just started building from there.”
White led the Warbirds in scoring with 17 points and 16 rebounds. He was followed by Gohn, with 12, and Ogunjemilusi with 11.
The Warbirds’ warmup shirts read “Heart over Height” on the back, and that was probably the theme of the evening. Parker had the size advantage, but weren’t able to exploit it as Wolsey-Wessington dominated in the paint and out of it.
Parker coach Dave Fuller had hoped that advantage might have helped his team. In fact, it wouldn’t matter.
“They shot 100 percent from 3 in the first half,” Fuller said. “Five out of five. And we didn’t defend well. They were getting offensive rebounds. They had 16 offensive rebounds, and we had five. They pretty much outplayed us in every aspect of the game. You have games like that, you just don’t want them during the state tournament. It was a tough one. We thought we matched up pretty well with them.”
But the match-ups wouldn’t fall in Parker’s favor.
“It’s what our shirts say, it’s heart,” Hooks said. “Bennett’s an outside player. On anybody else’s team he’d be a guard, playing from the outside. But on our team, he’s got to be a post player because he’s the best player down to do it. It’s just desire. When you see Bennett giving up 5-6 inches, Darian’s giving up 3-4 inches down there on the post. Darin Tschetter’s giving up 4-5 inches, but they’re playing hard, following the game and playing team defense, that’s the way you have to play with these big kids.”
Wolsey-Wessington will play Bridgewater-Emery in the final at 8 p.m. Parker will play Sully Buttes in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
CLASS AA GIRLS
Roosevelt 49, Brandon Valley 43 – Tatum Kooima scored 16 points and Tahia Mitzel and Taylor Bonestroo added seven apiece for the Rough Riders. Kira Ward added eight points. For the Lynx, Trinity Law scored 10 points. Roosevelt led 30-18 at halftime. The Rough Riders outshot Brandon Valley 37 percent to 29 percent from the field.
Rapid City Stevens 71, Pierre 55 – Kyah Watson scored 14 points and Emma Burns 12 to lead the Raiders. Elizabeth Schaefer added 11 points. For Pierre, Emily Mikkelsen scored 13 points and Mack Rath had 11.
CLASS AA BOYS
Huron 63, Harrisburg 52 – Tye Evers scored 17 points and Cole Korkow had 16 to lead Huron. Clay Korkow added 10 points. For Harrisburg, Nick Hoyt scored 15 points and Justis Clayton had 10. Wil Johnson scored nine points with eight rebounds. Huron outshot Harrisburg 44 percent to 38 percent.
Rapid City Stevens 54, Brookings 53 – Mason Archambeault scored 21 points with four rebounds as the Raiders edged the Bobcats. Cooper Bowman added 15 points. For Brookings, Carter Holm had 14 points and Brennan Carlson had 14. Josh Mohs added 11. Stevens led 28-26 at halftime.
Aberdeen Central 58, Pierre 52 – Christian Goetz led AC with 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Cole Bergen scored 11 points and also snagged nine rebounds. For Pierre, Brad Dean led all scorers with 25 points. Peyton Zabel added 17 points and had nine boards.
CLASS A BOYS
Dakota Valley 56, Mount Vernon/Plankinton 37 – Jack McCabe scored 16 points and Robert Rosenquist 12 for Dakota Valley. John Prochello added seven points with eight rebounds. For MV/P, Hayden Schmidt scored 15 points.
St. Thomas More 51, Chamberlain 48 – Jake Satter scored 16 points and Tayton Maher 12 for St. Thomas More. For Chamberlain, Tiegen Priebe had 19 points and Seth Friesz 15. Chamberlain attempted a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it fell short.
CLASS B BOYS
Bridgewater/Emery 61, Sully Buttes 58 – Jamin Arend scored a game high 20 points for BE. Sawyer Schultz added 16 points and Sam Arend chimed in with 12 points. Jacob Howard had a double double for Sully Buttes, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 boards. Lincoln Jorde led the team in scoring with 19 points. Nick Wittler scored 14 points.
CLASS B BOYS
White 60 River, Platte-Geddes 50 – Justice Morrison scored 20 points and Donnie Yackley added 12 for White River. Trevor Sprik scored 13 points for Platte-Geddes. Malachi Girton and Ricky Knecht both had nine.
Langford 43, Harding County 37 – Mason Larson scored 16 points and Chance Olson had nine to lead Langford. Jarret Jenson scored 15 points and Sam Podzimek 10 for the Ranchers.
SCORES AND SCHEDULE
CLASS AA BOYS
Consolation – Huron 63, Harrisburg 52; Rapid City Stevens 54, Brookings 53
Semifinals – O’Gorman 64, Lincoln 44; Aberdeen Central 58, Pierre 52
Saturday (All CT) – 7th: Harrisburg vs. Brookings, 12:45 p.m.; 5th: Huron vs. R.C. Stevens, 12:45 p.m.; 3rd: Lincoln vs. Pierre, 4:15 p.m.; 1st, O’Gorman vs. Aberdeen Central, 8:30 p.m.
CLASS AA GIRLS
Consolation – Roosevelt 49, Brandon Valley 43; Rapid City Stevens 71, Pierre 55
Semifinals – Harrisburg 49, Rapid City Central 44; O’Gorman 47, Aberdeen Central 34
Saturday (All CT) – 7th: Pierre vs. Brandon Valley, 11 a.m.; 5th: R.C. Stevens vs. Roosevelt, 11 a.m.; 3rd: Rapid City Central vs. Aberdeen Central, 2:30 p.m.; 1st: Harrisburg vs. O’Gorman, 6 p.m.
CLASS A BOYS
Consolation – Dakota Valley 56, Mount Vernon/Plankinton 37; St. Thomas More 51, Chamberlain 48
Semifinals – Madison 50, Sioux Falls Christian 39; Tea Area 60, Tri-Valley 47
Saturday – 7th: Mount Vernon/Plankinton vs. Chamberlain, noon; 5th: Dakota Valley vs. St. Thomas More, 1:45 p.m.; 3rd: Sioux Falls Christian vs. Tri-Valley, 6 p.m.; 1st: Madison vs. Tea, 8 p.m.
CLASS B BOYS
Consolation – White 60 River, Platte-Geddes 50; Langford 43, Harding County 37
Semifinals – Bridgewater-Emery 61, Sully Buttes 58; Wolsey-Wessington 58, Parker 42
Saturday – 7th: Platte-Geddes vs. Harding County, noon; 5th: White River vs. Langford Area, 1:45 p.m.; 3rd: Sully Buttes vs. Parker, 6 p.m.; 1st: Bridgewater-Emery vs. Wolsey-Wessington, 8 p.m.