SD Class A Girls Basketball State Tournament Preview

Class A

St. Thomas More Cavaliers won't be at the state touranment to defend their title. In fact several contenders throughout the season didn't make this exclusive field. Vermillion, Tea Area, Florence/Henry and more were defeated on the way to Watertown. There are still several great teams remaining and could make for one of the most exciting touranments around. Here are the team capsules and the tournament leaders at the end of the article. 



Record: 22-0

Big Wins: seven wins against .700+ winning teams including Vermillion, Viborg-Hurley, Sisseton and St. Thomas More

Coach:Tim Koisti


Kami Wadsworth, 21.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, .561 FG%

Addie Neuendorf, 11.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.3 spg

Brooklyn Brandreit, 8.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.9 spg

Ally Abraham, 7.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.2 apg

Marissa Bawdon, 7.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg

Tournament Outlook:

Hamlin pushed the brink of a championship last season, this year coach Koisti wanted to make sure they did everything possible to go one step further, “We played in 6 Classics and also had some great local and Conference games. We were fortunate to win all those games and continue to strive to get better each day. What we have learned throughout is how to play together and trust each other,” said Coach Koisti. This team shoots 45.9% from the field and generates over 16 assists per game, both are signs of a high-quality team. No other team in Class A has gone undefeated, the Chargers have a chance to have a magical ending to a dream season, but the field is extremely difficult so they’ll need to be at their best for three straight days.

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Flandreau 12:00 PM; defeated Flandreau 58-45 on 12/17




Record: 22-1

Big Wins: SF Christian, Ethan, AC/DC, Viborg-Hurley, Tea Area

Losses:Lost to Vermillion 53-52 at the Hanson Classic

Coach:Michael Koupal


Ashlyn Koupal 21.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.2 bpg, .664 FG%, .526 3FG%

Emma Yost 15.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.9 apg

Shalayne Nagel 11.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.1 apg, 4.1 spg

Macy Koupal 8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.3 apg

Lydia Yost 6.5 ppg, 2.0 apg

Eve Zephier 4.5 ppg, 4.1 apg

Tournament Outlook:

Wagner has the tools to beat you with any of their top six in the rotation. One night Ashlyn Koupal or Emma Yost will get you then another night it’ll be Shalayne Nagel or Macy Koupal. The team shoots an incredible 51.7 FG% and their assist to turnover ratio is 2.1:1 !!!

The Red Raiders lost a single game this year against Vermillion, otherwise have been spotless. They haven’t played quite as difficult of a schedule as Hamlin, but they’ve challenged themselves game in and game out and continued to rise to the challenge. 

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Rapid City Christian 6:00 PM


Sioux Falls Christian


Record: 21-2

Big Wins: Tea Area, Watertown, Sisseton, St. Thomas More

Tough Losses: Wagner 12/29, Vermillion 2/2

Coach: Dan DeJong


Ellie Lems 16.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.7 spg

Peyton Poppema 7.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.7 spg

Brenna Beyke 6.7 ppg, 39% 3FG

Maya Nelson 6.1 ppg, 2.9 apg

Jaxsyn Swift 5.8 ppg, 33% 3FG

Katie VanderLeest 5.3 ppg, 38% 3FG

Tournament Outlook:

Don’t look now but Sioux Falls Christian is surging. They made their first appearance in the media rankings with two weeks to play. They ended the season on an 8-game winning streak. The Chargers aren’t afraid to use pressure on defense, “This is a new style of basketball that SFC has not done in the past.  It is fun to see them improve on this as the season has gone,” said Coach Dan DeJong. Ellie Lems leads the way but they have a very balanced team if you focus too much on her.  Last game they had nine three-pointers made from seven different players. They hope their unique defense can cause some chaos in the state tournament. Last time they played Sisseton they came back from a half time deficit to win by nine. 

Quarterfinal Opponent: Sisseton 7:45 PM, defeated Sisseton 63-54 on 2/4 at the Dak 12/NEC clash


Red Cloud


Record: 20-2

Big Wins: LNI Championship vs. Lakota Tech, 

Tough Losses:St. Thomas More, RC Christian

CoachMatthew Rama


Ashlan Carlow-Blount 15.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, 3.8 spg

Olowan Carlow 12.1 ppg, 2.3 apg, 2.1 spg

Maikole Carlow 9.9 ppg, 2.6 spg

Anjah Lamont 5.6 rpg

Tournament Outlook:

Most teams that lose six seniors to graduation don’t expect to make it to the state tournament but that’s exactly what Red Cloud did. “Coming into this season after losing our top 6 seniors to graduation, we knew we would have to put in a lot of work to compete,” said Coach Rama. “Then we lost one of our two returners to a knee injury before the season started, which left only one girl returning with significant varsity time. This season has been full of injury and girls missing games, but we have always had someone ready to step up.” Despite the tough luck they’ve earned a spot in the tournament with grit and outworking their opponents. 

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Lakota Tech 1:45 PM; Beat Lakota Tech twice this season 45-38 on 12/17 and 63-49 on 1/9


Lakota Tech


Record: 19-4

Big Wins: Wall, West Central, Lakota Tech, RC Christian

Tough Losses:Red Cloud 2x, Pierre, Crofton (NE)

Coach:Laura Big Crow


Jolene Hunter 15.0 ppg, 36% 3FG, 

Tawny Rodriguez, 11.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 

Melina Shangreaux 10.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Shania Ferguson 8.3 ppg, 1.9 spg, 46.4 3FG%

Tournament Outlook: 

Lakota Tech is back at the state tournament this year. They’ve had a challenging schedule including the LNI,  the DSU shootout, the top seed in Class B (Wolsey-Wessington) and the #2 seed in Class AA (Pierre). They’re battle tested and ready to rock. Melina Shangreaux (6’1”) is a big-time rim protector and Jolene Hunter has developed into a big-time scorer. They have the ability to get to the semis or further but have had bad luck against Red Cloud this season. They’ll try to avenge that with a better start. Last time they played the Crusaders, they were outscored by Red Cloud 17-4 in the first quarter and 42-16 at half. 

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Red Cloud 1:45; Defeated by Red Cloud twice this season 45-38 on 12/17 and 63-49 on 1/9



Record: 20-2

Big Wins: Florence/Henry , Parkston 

Tough LossesHamlin 52-43, SF Christian 63-54

Coach:Sara Lincoln


Krista Langager, 15.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg

Hannah Leverson, 11.5 ppg, 4.7 apg

Chloe Langager, 9.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Emmalee Nielsen, 8.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.3 apg

Tournament Outlook:

The Sisseton rising has been boiling for a few seasons. They improved their record for four seasons in a row. This is the first appearance at the state tournament since 2012. Krista and Chloe Langager both play strong in the post. They are rebound magnets averaging a combined 17.4 rebounds per game. That skill keeps them in most games, but they have good depth and shooting as well. Hannah Leverson and Emmalee Nielsen are great distributors.  

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Sioux Falls Christian 7:45 PM, Lost to SFC 63-54 on 2/4 at the Dak 12/NEC clash

Rapid City Christian


Record: 19-4

Big Wins: Spearfish, Belle Fourche 2x, Miller, Campbell County (WY)

Tough Losses: Red Cloud, Shiloh Christian (ND), ST. Thomas More, Lakota Tech

Coach:Joe Kieffer


Olivia Kieffer 25.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.3 spg

Alexa Ham 11.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Hayden Thorton 8.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Savanah Aremendariz 3.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg

Tournament Outlook:

One of the most talented players in the state, Olivia Kieffer, finally gets to go to a state tournament. She’s averaged over 20 ppg each season since she was an 8th grader and now as a senior she’s the leading scorer in this tournament. The USD commit has scored 30 or more in seven games this year. Alexa Ham has been an integral part of this team’s success too. She missed last year due to an injury but has been notched 5 double-doubles this year. 

Quarterfinal Opponent: Wagner 6:00 PM




Record: 19-4

Big Wins: Sioux Valley, Florence/Henry, St. Thomas More

Tough Losses:  Hamlin, Benilde-St. Margaret’s (MN), Castlewood, St. Thomas More

CoachMegan Severtson


Claire Sheppard 16.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.2 apg

Lizzie Pavlis 11.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.9 bpg

Lily Klein 10.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 spg

Sadie Iott 7.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Tournament Outlook:

After a 4-4 start you’d think the team may have to adjust expectations, however Coach Megan Severtson and the Fliers took a hard look in the mirror and changed their season around. They won 15 games in a row after their loss to St. Thomas More at the Hanson Classic. “The St. Thomas More loss at the Hanson Classic really motivated our team to accept the challenge and attack the remaining games on our schedule,” said Coach Severtson. From there, Flandreau had two big wins against Sioux Valley, then finished up the playoffs beating Florence/Henry and St. Thomas More. The Fliers qualified for state in 2020 when the tournament was cancelled so the last time they played at state was 1997 before any of the players were born. Flandreau will present a tough matchup for the top-seeded Hamlin Chargers. 

Quarterfinal Opponent:  Hamlin 12:00 PM; Lost to Hamlin 58-45 on 12/17


Class A State Tournament Leaders


Olivia Kieffer, RC Christian     25.9

Kami Wadsworth, Hamlin    21.8

Ashlyn Koupal, Wagner    21.0

Ellie Lems, SF Christian     16.6

Claire Sheppard, Flandreau     16.1

Krista Langager, Sisseton     15.8

Emma Yost, Wagner     15.7

Ashlan Carlow-Blount, Red Cloud     15.6

Jolene Hunter, Lakota Tech     15.0

Olowan Carlow, Red Cloud     12.1



Emma Yost, Wagner     10.4

Krista Langager, Sisseton     9.0

Chloe Langager, Sisseton     8.4

Tawny Rodriguez, Lakota Tech     8.2

Alexa Ham, RC Christian     8.0

Melina Shangreaux, Lakota Tech     7.9

Lizzie Pavlis, Flandreau     7.5

Ally Abraham, Hamlin     7.2

Ashlyn Koupal, Wagner     7.0

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner     6.3

Claire Sheppard, Flandreau     6.3


Ashlan Carlow-Blount, Red Cloud     5.7

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner     5.1

Hannah Leverson, Sisseton     4.7

Macy Koupal, Wagner     4.3

Ally Abraham, Hamlin     4.2

Eve Zephier, Wagner    4.1

Emma Yost, Wagner     3.9

Lizzie Pavlis, Flandreau    3.6

Addie Neuendorf, Hamlin     3.6

Savanah Aremendariz, RC Christian     3.6



Ashlyn Koupal, Wagner     2.2

Lizzie Pavlis, Flandreau     1.9

Emma Yost, Wagner     1.5

Alexa Ham, RC Christian     1.3

Melina Shangreaux, Lakota Tech     1.3

Chloe Langager, Sisseton     0.8

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner     0.8

Anjah Lamont, Red Cloud     0.7

Jaxsyn Swift, SF Christian     0.7



Olivia Kieffer, RC Christian     4.3

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner     4.1

Jolene Hunter, Lakota Tech     3.9

Ashlan Carlow-Blount, Red Cloud     3.8

Hannah Leverson, Sisseton      3.3

Brooklyn Brandreit, Hamlin     2.9

Ellie Lems, SF Christian     2.7

Maikole Carlow, Red Cloud     2.6

Jewelia Lebeau, Red Cloud     2.4



Ashlyn Koupal, Wagner     .664

Krista Langager, Sisseton     .634

Emma Yost, Wagner     .594

Kami Wadsworth, Hamlin     .559

Ellie Lems, SF Christian     .523

Tawny Rodriguez, Lakota Tech     .521

Shania Ferguson, Lakota Tech     .511

Emmalee Nielsen, Sisseton     .503

Sadie Iott, Flandreau      .500

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner     .498


3FG% (min. 18 3FG)

Ashlyn Koupal, Wagner     .526

Shania Ferguson, Lakota Tech     .464

Addie Neuendorf, Hamlin     .413

Brenna Beyke, SF Christian     .390

Katie VanderLeest, SF Christian     .375

Jolene Hunter, Lakota Tech     .360

Brooklyn Brandreit, Hamlin     .360

Macy Koupal, Wagner.     354

Tara Nelson, Sisseton     .350

Shalayne Nagel, Wagner.     349

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