Lennox holds off Vermillion in Dak 12 rematch

Lennox holds off Vermillion in Dak 12 rematch

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Lennox holds off Vermillion in Dak 12 rematch

Lennox players celebrate their team's 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday's final.

Lennox players celebrate their team’s 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday’s final.

BROOKINGS – It took a while but the Lennox Orioles ended Vermillion’s string of upsets at one game on Friday night with a 57-50 win over the Tanagers in the semifinals of the Class A state girls basketball tournament at Frost Arena.

Throwing in 3-pointers from all over, No. 7 seed Vermillion shocked No. 2 seed Hamlin in the quarterfinals on Thursday and pushed the suspense on into the final minutes against the third-seeded Orioles but when it came time to wire down a berth in the state championship game, they had the people on the court capable of the task.

“We’ve been in this situations before,” said Lennox senior Jordan Kruse, who scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. “We fall back on each other and we come together and re-commit for every possession.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE:  #SDBASKETBALL17

Fighting through tough situations has been a season-long trait for the Orioles, who advanced into the semifinals with 63-58 win over Dell Rapids in the quarterfinals that had similar challenges to overcome.

“Our kids just didn’t give up,” Lennox coach Dan DeVries said. “We could have easily given up when they made a run back at us and got us down. But at the timeout the kids are saying ‘We got this, we got it.’ And they believed.”

Lennox pushed its lead to 31-26 midway through the third quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Lexi Plitzuweit and Haleigh Melstad erased it. The Orioles again forged ahead, taking a 44-38 lead with 6:50 to play on a 3-pointer from Rianna Fillipi, a freshman guard who led the victors with 18 points.

Lennox's Riley Peters (21) dribbles past Vermillion's Lexi Plitzuweit (20) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox’s Riley Peters (21) dribbles past Vermillion’s Lexi Plitzuweit (20) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

With just more than a minute remaining, the Orioles broke the Tanager press and found Kruse underneath for a layup that made it 53-47. It got a little quieter after that.

“We’ve been in games all year like this,” DeVries said. “They battle back and they come out on top at the end.”

The Orioles had four in double-figures in all, with Madysen Vlastuin adding 15 points and Riley Peters adding 10. The Tanagers (18-7) were led by Melstad with 19 points. Plitzuweit, an eighth-grader, added 10.

“Lennox has a good team,” Vermillion coach Jon Brooks said. “They’re balanced, they have a lot guards who can hurt you. Madysen Vlastuin is one of the top guards in the state and then Kruse down low is tough, too, so it’s hard to compete with them. But I thought our girls really defended them well the first half. I’m proud of our kids.”

It’s on to the finals to face St. Thomas More, the three-time defending champions, for the Orioles, who haven’t appeared in a Class A final since 1997 and haven’t won it since 1988.

“I’m so happy we’re getting a chance to do this,” Kruse said. “I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team – I love them so much.”

Follow Mick Garry on Twitter at @MickGarry .

LENNOX

Megan Hinker 1-6 0-0 2, Madysen Vlastuin 4-7 6-8 15, Abbie Strasser 0-0 0-0 0, Riley Peters 3-10 3-3 10, Courtney Weeldreyer 0-2 0-0 0, Bailey Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Rianna Fillipi 6-8 4-4 18, Hattie Breck 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Kruse 4-8 4-6 12. Totals 18-41 17-21 57

VERMILLION

Kasey Jensen 3-16 0-0 6, Maddie Regnerus 0-1 0-0 0, Madisen Martinez 1-6 2-2 4, Haleigh Melstad 5-19 6-6 19, Emily Bye 1-1 1-1 3, Jadia Anderson 1-1 0-0 3, Kasey Herbster 2-2 1-2 5, Lexi Plitzuweit 3-3 1-2 10. Totals 16-49 11-13 50

Lennox                 13           7              19           18           57

Vermillion           9              13           14           14           50

3-pt FG: LEN 4-15 (Hinker 0-3, Vlastuin 1-3, Peters 1-5, Weeldreyer 0-1, Fillipi 2-3), VERM 7-24 (Jensen 0-3, Regnerus 0-1, Martinez 0-2, Melstad 3-14, Anderson 1-1, Plitzuweit 3-3). Rebounds: LEN 31 (Vlastuin 7), VERM 25 (Jensen 7). Fouls LEN 13, VERM 20. Fouled out: none. Assists: LEN 4 (Kruse 2), VERM 10 (Jensen 3, Regnerus 3). Steals: LEN 8 (Fillipi 4), VERM 6 (Regnerus 2). Blocked shots: LEN 0, VERM 4 (Jensen 2). Turnovers: LEN 12, VERM 11.

Lennox's Rianna Fillipi (30) and Riley Peters (21) celebrate their team's 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday's final.

Lennox’s Rianna Fillipi (30) and Riley Peters (21) celebrate their team’s 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday’s final.

Lennox players celebrate their team's 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday's final.

Lennox players celebrate their team’s 57-50 win over Vermillion in a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox will face St. Thomas More in Saturday’s final.

Vermillion's Madisen Martinez (34) goes up for a shot as Lennox's Courtney Weeldreyer (22) and Riley Peters (21) defend during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox beat Vermillion 57-50, and will face St. Thomas More in Saturday's final.

Vermillion’s Madisen Martinez (34) goes up for a shot as Lennox’s Courtney Weeldreyer (22) and Riley Peters (21) defend during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D. Lennox beat Vermillion 57-50, and will face St. Thomas More in Saturday’s final.

Vermillion's Haleigh Melstad (11) takes a shot over Lennox's Riley Peters (21) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Vermillion’s Haleigh Melstad (11) takes a shot over Lennox’s Riley Peters (21) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Vermillion's Emily Bye (5) goes up for a shot as Lennox's Courtney Weeldreyer (22) defends during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Vermillion’s Emily Bye (5) goes up for a shot as Lennox’s Courtney Weeldreyer (22) defends during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Vermillion players react from the bench after a teammate scored during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Lennox Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Vermillion players react from the bench after a teammate scored during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Lennox Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox's Jordan Kruse (44) dribbles past Vermillion's Kasey Jensen (23) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox’s Jordan Kruse (44) dribbles past Vermillion’s Kasey Jensen (23) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox's Sydney Mechels (20) reacts from the bench with her teammates after a teammate scored during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Vermillion Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox’s Sydney Mechels (20) reacts from the bench with her teammates after a teammate scored during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game against Vermillion Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox's Rianna Fillipi (30) dribbles past Vermillion's Emily Bye (5) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox’s Rianna Fillipi (30) dribbles past Vermillion’s Emily Bye (5) during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox's Megan Hinker (3) goes up for a shot over multiple Vermillion defenders during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

Lennox’s Megan Hinker (3) goes up for a shot over multiple Vermillion defenders during a 2017 SDHSAA Class A State Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game Friday, March 10, 2017, at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.

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