SD Class B Boys Basketball State Tournament Preview

  1. White River vs. 8) Viborg-Hurley 

White River has qualified for their 19th straight state tournament. They haven’t played Viborg-Hurley yet this year. Two of the best players in the tournament will get this kicked off. Nick Hanson and Nic Marshall have been great this year!

For White River, they’ve been solid on both sides of the ball Nic Marshall has exploded with 26.2 ppg this year and with the addition of Jordan Uhlir they’ve been tough to guard. Their only losses this year came to Rapid City Christian in the LNI and Pine Ridge … two Class A state tournament teams. 


Coach Galen Schoenfeld, Vib-Hurley: Offensively, when we are at our best, we are sharing the ball and getting a reversal or two when we don’t have something in transition.  We usually rebound the ball well on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, we have mostly played man, but have the ability to play other defenses effectively.  Our depth is better than most. White River is a very good team with an excellent coach.  Each team will try their best to limit the effectiveness of the leading scorer for the other side.  The team that can do that the best and have other players step up is likely to be the one to come out on top. Brady Schroedermeier missed 5 games at the start of February and it took him a couple more games to look like his old self.  He has been playing very well for us in the post-season.  Bryson Morrison has also been shooting very well as of late.  Nick has been steady throughout the year and has done a good job of not forcing things when people are concentrating on him more.  Nick could reach the 1000 pt mark for his career this weekend.  Nolan Kolthoff has been giving us a boost on both ends of the floor, having guarded Brooks from Madison and Selby of Faith in two of our recent games and done a fine job.  Devin Sayler also has had to miss a few games due to injury but is slowly getting better despite playing through the pain.

4) Wessington Springs vs. 5)Howard

Two of the hottest teams in Class B meet up at 1:45 PM. Wessington Springs quietly had a one loss season … that loss? To the Howard Tigers back in December. Since then they’ve gone 21-0, Howard has won 13 in a row


 Wessington Springs hasn’t seen a team like Howard in a while. Wessington Springs Coach, Kenny Huether:

One of our top goals this year was to get better defensively after giving up 50 ppg last year we have dropped that to 41.6 this year. We have also become better at taking care of the basketball as we average 9.4 turnovers per game 

“Howard Coach Nick Koepsell:

Our defense has been the key to our success this season. We have played an extremely tough schedule and are only giving up 41ppg. There have been plenty of games this season where the shots aren't falling but our defense has won us the game! We are led by our two bigs Luke Koepsell & Kolt Koepsell again this season. Luke is a 3 time All Conference player and leads our team in scoring with 16ppg.  Kolt averages a double-double with 14ppg & 10rpg. We do a good job playing inside out by getting Luke & Kolt involved early and then have them find the perimeter shooters when teams double & triple team them.

I expect our game with Wessington Springs to be similar to the first. Most likely a low scoring defensive battle. They are a very talented & athletic team that creates tough matchups for us. We will need to execute on the offensive end to try and slow down their transition game. I think the team that can knock down some shots from the perimeter will have a good chance to come out on top.”

2) De Smet vs. 7) Gregory

De Smet has won three titles in a row, can they make it four? They’ll have to take care of Daniel Mitchell and the Gregory Gorillas if they intend to do that. De Smet has played one of the toughest schedules in the state. Gregory is playing their best ball right now. 

De Smet Coach Jeff Gruenhagen: “We have a good chance of winning the title if we come to compete as hard as we did in our big games this season. Hamlin STM SValley Castlewood were all games where our team really brought the effort on D and everyone made big Offensive plays.  It will take a great team effort on D and controlling the boards to get wins in this tournament with such a balanced  field.  I always tell them we are preparing for 3 games in 3 days but we cant focus any farther than being 1-0 on Thursday! We return a lot of experience that has logged a lot of games in Wachs Arena and played well.  4 of my starters have been on the bench in the last 3 tournamnents with the 9-0 result.  Kadyn Fast has started in the last 2 title games and Jensen started last year and came off bench in 2022.  Aughenbaugh was our sixth man last year and scored 25 in the title game in 2023. Carlson and Van Regenmorter also logged a bunch of minutes in the 2023 campaign and have really stepped up big this season.    Our Seniors (93-8 career and 2 losses to B schools ) are a tight group and they know what it takes to perform in March.  I hope we can turn in some defensive performances like we have in the past and get a hand up to every shot on every possession and take our shot to end up at the top.   

Gregory is similar in size and likes to play fast. Look for Daniel Mitchell to match up with George Jensen. Daniel Mitchell, Noah Bearshield and Cruz Klundt all average double digits. They avenged one of their two losses to Class B teams when they defeated St. Mary in the SoDak 16. 

3) Castlewood vs. 6) Leola/Frederick

Many believe it’s Castlewood’s turn to take a title but they play Leola/Frederick who had just one loss on the season (To Faulkton) but have won 10 in a row entering the tourney. The Titans set a school record with 22 wins this season. 


Castlewood is formidable with Bryon Laue in the middle and he’s surrounded by a deep team with athletic playmakers. 


Coach Paul Raasch, Castlewood:

“We are just approaching it like any of our other games this year and that is to go 1-0 on the day we play. Sounds simple I know but it’s really kept us grounded and focused all season.  

Leola/Frederick s different than anyone we’ve seen all year, they play 10 guys and they keep constant pressure on you endline to endline. They also have a couple of very capable scoring guards that can be trouble if they get hot. They play extremely hard and win a lot of 50/50 balls. We will have to value the ball and rebound well to have a shot in this one”

Coach Brock Pashen, Leola-Frederick:

We have talked about making State as a great accomplishment, but when the first game tips off, knowing this group won't be happy if we come out and "lay an egg". So we have talked about wanting more out of this season and finishing it the right way. They have been ranked #1 for a majority of the year and will be a tough matchup with their guards and Laue down low.

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