Vol. 19, No. 23; Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Feb 8, 2018 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To leave the world a better place;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


This week’s schedules:

Wrestling: Friday, home vs. Harrisburg.

Gymnastics: Friday-Saturday, @ state meet, Watertown.

Girls basketball: Thursday, @ Huron.

Boys basketball: Next Feb. 16 @ Brookings.

Gymnastics: The Lady Govs qualified for this weekend’s state meet as a team by placing fourth at the ESD meet with a 139.375 score. Mitchell was first at 146.250. Mikah Moser placed fourth in the all-around standings at 36.100, Sophie Bullard was eighth at 35.225 and Meg Erwin finished 14th at 33.850.

Girls basketball: The Lady Govs got a 43-37 win over Yankton as Emily Mikkelsen scored 17 and Ericka Stout 14. Pierre stands at 5-10.

Class “AA” girls basketball seed-point standings (only the top 16 qualify for the Round of 16 where eight game winners advance to the state tournament; in the Round of 16, #16 plays at #1, #15 plays at #2, etc.):

(1) Aberdeen Central 13-1

(2) Rapid City Stevens 15-2

(3) Sioux Falls Lincoln 12-3

(4) Brandon Valley 11-4

(5) Harrisburg 12-3

(6) Sioux Falls O’Gorman 10-5

(7) Sioux Falls Washington 6-9

(8) Rapid City Central 7-8

(9) Brookings 7-7

(10) Sturgis 6-10

(11) Pierre 5-10

(12) Mitchell 6-9

(13) Spearfish 6-9

(14) Sioux Falls Roosevelt 3-13

(15) Watertown 3-12

(16) Yankton 4-11

(17) Douglas 4-12

(18) Huron 0-16

Wrestling: The Governors defeated Huron in an ESD dual, 52-21, which means that on Friday night at home Pierre will be facing unbeaten Harrisburg in a dual. A Governor win means a co-conference title with the Tigers. Against Huron Jace Bench-Bresher won by tech fall, 15-0; Will Turman, Austin Senger and Pryce Dyk won by pins, and Tyson Johnson won by a 16-1 tech fall. The Govs also gained four forfeit wins. On Saturday at the Yankton invitational the Govs were second with 213 1/2 points behind Stevens with 222 1/2. Mitchell was third at 126 1/2. Winning individual titles among 12 Governor placers were Michael Lusk at 145, Austin Senger at 160 and Pryce Dyk at 285.

Boys basketball: The Governors led Yankton 21-9 after one quarter but scored only three points in the second period on the way to a 58-50 loss to the Bucks. Carson Tschetter scored 22 and Peyton Zabel 13. Yankton freshman Matthew Mors scored 32. On Tuesday the Govs accomplished a win in a game they had to have, squeaking past Huron, 43-39. Neither team led by more than four points in the game. Garrett Stout scored 14, Zabel 12 and Jack Maher seven. Pierre is now 5-11.

Class “AA” boys basketball seed-point standings (only the top 16 qualify for the Round of 16 where eight game winners will advance to the state tournament; in the Round of 16 #16 plays at #1, #15 at #2, etc.):

(1) Rapid City Central 13-2

(2) Rapid City Stevens 13-2

(3) Harrisburg 13-2

(4) Sioux Falls Lincoln 11-4

(5) Yankton 10-5

(6) Sioux Falls Washington 9-7

(7) Brandon Valley 10-5

(8) Sturgis 11-4

(9) Douglas 12-4

(10) Sioux Falls O’Gorman 9-8

(11) Sioux Falls Roosevelt 6-9

(12) Aberdeen Central 7-7

(13) Watertown 8-7

(14) Huron 7-10

(15) Pierre 5-11

(16) Spearfish 5-10

(17) Brookings 3-11

(18) Mitchell 0-16


This week’s schedules:

Gymnastics: Friday-Saturday, @ state meet, Watertown.

Wrestling: Saturday, @ Howard invitational.

Girls basketball: Thursday, @ White River; Saturday, home vs. Wall; Tuesday, home vs. Chamberlain.

Boys basketball: Thursday, @ White River; Saturday, home vs. Wall; Tuesday, home vs. Chamberlain.

Gymnastics: The Lady Buffs placed seventh at the Region 3A meet with a 90.775 team score.

Girls basketball: In their only game this week, the Lady Buffs lost to Miller Tuesday, 53-11.

Wrestling: At the Big Dakota invitational involving 23 teams, the Buffaloes placed seventh as a team with 59.5 points. Luke Heninger won the title at 126 pounds, and J.D. Carter was second at 132.


This week’s schedules:

Boys basketball: Friday, @ Ipswich; Tuesday, home vs. Sunshine Bible.

Wrestling: Saturday, @ Badlands Brawl invitational, Wall.

Girls basketball: Friday, @ Ipswich; Saturday, Little Wound (@ Warner); Tuesday, home vs. Sunshine Bible.

Boys basketball: The Chargers are now 14-1 after two wins this week. Sully Buttes dominated Potter County, 63-37. On Tuesday the Chargers won at Herreid-Selby Area, 72-35, led by Lincoln Jordre with 23 points, Nick Wittler with 15 and Jacob Howard with 10.

Girls basketball: The Charger girls topped Potter County, 57-28. They also won at Herreid-Selby Area, 48-36, as Rachel Guthmiller scored 23, Lauren Wittler 13 and Marinda Archer eight. SBHS stands at 15-1.


There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to build a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York.


March 3: Corbin Mannis/Emily Barnhill.

March 3: Kyle Cichos/Ali Meister.

April 7: Scott Pavlisich/Denise Wilson.

April 14: Kai Hanson/Kayla Saxe.

April 28: Chris Pope/Morgan Peterson.

May 19: Prince Harry/Meghan Markle.

June 2: Ethan Fife/Heather Mangan.

June 2: Cole Cruse/Kadence Feininger.

June 16: Matt Blaseg/Taryn Wolf.

June 16: Brandon Vockrodt/Kayla Nuese.

June 29: Jack Markel/Eileen Leong.

July 7: Matt Tetzlaff/Korie Lebeda.

July 14: Shawn Hlavacek/Rebekah Hartmann.

Aug. 11: Steve Long/Cassie Amundson.

Aug. 18: Jason Noyes/Micki DeCurtins.

Sept. 29: Tyler Arbach/Rachel Hartmann.

Oct. 6: Rodd Bauck/Megan Vockrodt.

Oct. 6: Cale Pell/Sarah Lihs.

Aug. 31, 2019: Devin Maki/Karlie Warne.


“I’ll dig another ditch around the castle,” Tom said remotely.


Tennessee women (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols defeated Texas A&M, 82-67, and did the same to Vanderbilt, 74-64. Now 19-4 overall and 7-3 in the SEC, Tennessee plays at Arkansas tonight and at home vs. Georgia Sunday.

South Dakota men: The Coyotes won twice on the road this week. In an 80-54 win at Western Illinois, USD got 19 points from Tyler Hagedorn, 12 from Matt Mooney and 10 from Tyler Peterson. On Saturday at Fargo the Coyotes lost all of a 20-point halftime lead but held on to beat NDSU, 76-72, as Mooney scored 21, Triston Simpson 13, Nick Fuller 13 and Peterson 12. Now 20-6 overall and 8-2 in the Summit, USD plays at Fort Wayne tonight, hosts Peru State in a non-conference game Sunday at 1 p.m., then goes to Oral Roberts next Wednesday.

Summit League men’s standings: SDSU 8-1, USD 8-2, Fort Wayne 5-4, Denver 4-5, NDSU 4-5, Oral Roberts 3-6, Omaha 2-6, Western Illinois 2-7.

South Dakota women (Ciara Duffy, Chloe Lamb): The Coyotes have their fourth straight 20-win season after a 79-60 win at Fort Wayne last night. Ciara was 7-of-12, including 4-of-4 from long range, and 2-of-2 for 20 points with five rebounds. Chloe was 2-of-7 and 1-of-2 for five points with two boards and three assists. Last Thursday USD ouscored Western Illinois, 92-81, as Ciara had 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 in threes, along with seven rebounds and two assists. Chloe was 1-of-1 for two points and one rebound. On Saturday USD bombed NDSU, 80-54, and Chloe had her best college game yet, scoring 20 points on 7-of-12, including 4-of-6 in threes, and 2-of-4. She also had three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Now 20-5 overall and 11-0 atop the Summit, USD hosts Doane out of the league at 1 p.m. Saturday, then goes to Omaha next Wednesday.

Summit League women’s standings:  USD 11-0, SDSU 8-1, Western Illinois 8-3, Oral Roberts 5-4, Denver 4-5, Omaha 1-8, NDSU 1-8, Fort Wayne 1-10.

South Dakota Mines men: The Hardrockers won at CU-Colorado Springs, 83-71, as Isaac Kortemeyer scored 20. Mines lost at Metro State, 63-55, as Troy Brady scored 14. On Tuesday the Hardrockers missed a last-second game-winning shot and lost to Black Hills State, 66-65. Jack Fiddler led Mines with 14. Now 7-16 overall and 4-14 in the RMAC, Mines is home vs. Colorado Mines Saturday.

South Dakota Mines women: The Mines women won at CU-Colorado Springs, 58-39. Ryan Weiss was high scorer with 17. Mines lost to Metro State, 69-60, led by 12 each from Sami Steffeck and Anna Haugen. On Tuesday the Hardrockers lost to Black Hills State, 58-55, as Steffeck scored 13. Now 14-10 overall and 9-9 in the RMAC, Mines hosts Colorado Mines Saturday.

South Dakota State women (Sydney Palmer): The Jacks had six women in double figures in an 85-64 win over NDSU. Sydney was 2-of-4 in three-pointers and 1-of-2 at the stripe for seven points with five rebounds. SDSU then blitzed Omaha, 103-54. Sydney was 4-of-6, including 1-of-2 in threes, for nine points with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Now 19-5 overall and 8-1 in the Summit, SDSU is home vs. Denver tonight and Oral Roberts Saturday afternoon.

South Dakota State men (Lane Severyn): The Jackrabbits defeated NDSU, 82-63, as Mike Daum scored 31 and David Jenkins 20. Lane did not play in that game. The Jacks improved to 20-6 overall and 8-1 in the Summit. They play at Denver tonight and at Oral Roberts Saturday.

University of Sioux Falls women (Moira Duffy): The Cougar women lost to Mary, 76-71. Moira went 2-of-3 for four points with four boards, two assists and a steal. In a 72-64 loss to Minot State, she was 3-of-3 for six points with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. USF is 13-9 overall and 10-8 in the NSIC. The Cougars go out to the arena to play Augustana Friday, then to Wayne State Saturday.

University of Sioux Falls men: The Cougar men defeated Mary, 75-66, as Drew Guebert had 26 points to lead USF. He had 25 more the next night in an 80-59 win over Minot State. Now 16-8 overall and 11-7 in the NSIC, USF goes to Augustana Friday and to Wayne State Saturday.

Northern men: The Wolves have streaked to a 23-3 record overall and a 16-2 NSIC record. Northern defeated Upper Iowa, 93-80, led by D.J. Pollard with 24 points. NSU won over Winona State, 82-64, led by Cole Dahl with 15. Northern goes north to Minnesota-Crookston Friday and to Bemidji State Saturday.

Northern women: The NSU women are keeping pace with the men and now stand at 20-4 overall and 15-3 in the NSIC. Northern edged Upper Iowa, 68-66, led by Miranda Ristau with 24 points. She had 23 to lead NSU in a 70-63 win over Winona State. Northern plays at Minnesota-Crookston and Bemidji State this weekend.

Dakota State women: The Lady Ts won over Waldorf, 70-66, led by Britley Plautz with 13. In an 82-73 win over Viterbo, DSU was led by Kennedy Wagner with 22. Now 11-16 ovrall and 8-6 in the NSAA, Dakota State plays at Mayville State Friday.

Dakota State men: The Trojans won a pair of NSAA games. In an 86-70 win over Waldorf, Kevin Daniels had 16 points. He had 19 more to lead DSU in a 69-58 win over Viterbo. Now 12-15 overall and 6-8 in the NSAA, DSU goes to Mayville State Friday and hosts Grace Sunday.

Augustana men (Steven Schaefer): The Vikings lost to Minnesota-Crookston, 70-60, led by Marcus Asmus with 14 points. Steven was 4-of-10 in field goals, including 1-of-2 in threes, for nine points with two rebounds. Augie defeated Bemidji State, 92-66, led by John Warren’s 32. Steven was 3-of-8 and 2-of-4 for eight points with a rebound and an assist. Now 14-10 overall and 9-9 in the NSIC, Augie is home this weekend vs. USF and Southwest Minnesota State.

Augustana women (Katie Bourk): The Vikings stand at 21-1 overall and 17-1 in the NSIC after two more wins. In an 81-53 victory Logan O’Farrell led Augie with 16. Paige Peterson was high with 14 in an 87-50 win over Bemidji State. Augustana hosts USF Friday and Southwest Minnesota State Saturday.

Black Hills State women (Remi Wientjes, Racquel Wientjes): BHSU lost both games on a long road trip. In a 77-63 loss at Metro State, Remi was 6-of-11, including 2-of-5 in threes, and 2-of-6 at the line for 16 points with one assist and one rebound. Racquel did not score in one minute of action. In a 65-54 loss to CU-Colorado Springs, Remi was 2-of-7 and 5-of-9 for nine points with one rebound, one assists and two steals. The Yellowjackets won at Mines Tuesday, 59-55, as Julia Seamans sank three clutch free throws in the final seconds when Mines had to foul. Remi was 1-of-6 and 2-of-2 for four points. Rachel Erickson led BHSU with 14. Now 18-6 overall and 12-6 in the RMAC, BHSU is home vs. Colorado Christian Saturday.

Black Hills State men: The Yellowjackets lost both games on a weekend road trip, 72-64 to Metro State and 82-64 to CU-Colorado Springs. Dez Stoudamire had 17 against Metro, and Wyatt Krogman was high with 17 vs. Springs. On Tuesday BHSU won at Mines, 66-65, led by Stoudamire with 14. Now 12-10 overall and 9-9 in the RMAC, BHSU is home vs. Colorado Christian Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan men: The Tigers swamped Mount Marty, 94-63, led by 26 points apiece from Jason Spicer and Trae Vandeberg. In an 88-73 win over Briar Cliff, Spicer had 28 more and Tyson Smiley 20. Now 19-8 overall and 9-6 in the GPAC, DWU hosted Morningside last night and hosts Northwestern next Wednesday.

Dakota Wesleyan women: The Tiger women defeated Mount Marty, 82-46, led by Ashley Bray with 22. In a 69-48 win over Briar Cliff, she had 19 more. Now 22-4 overall and 13-3 in the GPAC, DWU played at Morningside last night, hosts St. Mary Sunday and hosts Northwestern next Wednesday.

Mount Marty men: The Lancers lost to DWU, 94-63, as Marcus Mathieu scored 22. Mount Marty also lost to Midland, 69-58. MMC is 5-19 overall and 2-12 in the GPAC. The Lancers hosted Northwestern last night.

Mount Marty women: The Lancer women lost to DWU, 89-46, and had nobody in double figures. MMC also lost to Midland, 75-54. The Lancers were 12-14 overall and 3-14 in the GPAC heading into last night’s home game vs. Northwestern.


The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today. I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.


South Dakota State (Chris Rumrill, Wyatt Rumrill, Daniel Jacobson, Ashley Theobald): The Jacks swam at USD’s Coyote Invitational held in Sioux Falls. Our Pierre swimmers accounted for five first-place finishes. Daniel won three events—the 50 freestyle in :20.80, the 100 free in :46.18 and the 100 backstroke in :51.86. Chris won the 100 individual medley in :53.92, placed second in the 200 IM in 1:57.17, placed fifth in the 200 free in 1:45.57 and was 10th in the 100 free in :48.71. Wyatt won the 100 breast stroke event in :58.73, placed sixth in the 100 IM in :54.86 and finished 19th in the 50 free in :22.29. Ashley placed sixth n the 500 free in 5:20.48, 13th in the 100 IM in 1:01.64 and 21st in the 100 breast stroke in 1:11.70. SDSU swims next at the Summit League championships in Sioux Falls Feb. 14-17.


South Dakota Mines (Theron Singleton): The Hardrockers were idle last week. They resume competition Friday and Saturday at SDSU’s Indoor Classic.

Liberty University (Cortney Dowling): In her first 400-meter dash for Liberty, Cortney won the event in a meet record of :55.39, the fourth-best time in that event in school history. She also ran on the Flames’ 4×400 relay team, which won in 3:43.39, the fourth-fastest time in school history, beating South Carolina by more than seven seconds. Liberty runs at home at its own invitational in Lynchburg, Va., this Saturday.

Mary (Jack Wollman): This is Jack’s sophomore year as a distance man for the Marauders. They compete this weekend at the SDSU Indoor Classic.

South Dakota: At their own Dakota Realty meet the Coyotes got a pair of wins from senior Ashley Thompson Ballew, who won the triple jump at 39’3 3/4″ and the long jump at 19’0″. Sophomore Ethan Bray accomplished the 11th-best pole vault in the nation, winning his event at 17’11 1/4″. USD competes both at the SDSU Indoor Classic and the Tyson Invitational at Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend.

Black Hills State (Kelsey Van Den Hemel, Allan McDonnell, Sam Fjelstad): At the Bison Open at NDSU, Allan won the high jump at 6’6 3/4″ and placed eighth in the long jump at 21’1/2″. The BHSU men were fifth of 12 teams and the women seventh of 19. BHSU competes this weekend at the SDSU Indoor Classic.

South Dakota State (Riley Sears, Max Reinke, Rachel Propst): At the USD meet in Vermillion, Riley tied for seventh in the high jump at 6’4 3/4″. Max placed fifth in the shot put at 51’2 1/4″. Rachel placed 14th in the mile in 5:29.28. SDSU hosts its Indoor Classic Friday and Saturday.


A lie doesn’t become truth;

Wrong doesn’t become right,

And evil doesn’t become good

Just because it’s accepted by a majority.


South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits jumped out to a 16-0 lead after three weight classes and went on to beat Iowa State in a Sunday dual, 30-15, in Brookings. It was the 100th dual win for Coach Chris Bono. Connor Brown, ranked #20 in the nation, won by fall at 125 pounds; #1 Seth Gross won by a major decision 12-3 at 133, and SDSU got a forfeit win at 141 to start the dual. Other SDSU wins came from #16 Luke Zilverberg by decision at 157, Logan Peterson by technical fall at 165, #14 David Kocer by decsion at 174 and Martin Mueller by decision at 184. In one upset #11 Nate Rotert lost by fall at 197. SDSU goes east for duals at Pittsburgh Friday and West Virginia Sunday.

Augustana (Lane Lettau, Jebben Keyes): The Vikings defeated Minot State, 36-3. Lane wrestled at 285 in that dual and lost a 4-1 decision. Augie also defeated Mary, 26-10, to improve to 6-0 in NSIC duals and 11-2 overall. Augustana wrestles Sunday at Upper Iowa.

Northern: The Wolves lost two more NSIC duals, 37-9 to Upper Iowa and 36-9 to MSU-Moorhead, to drop to 0-5 in the conference and 1-11 overall. Against Upper Iowa Josh Moore, Tanner Olson and Blake Perryman won by decisions. In the Moorhead dual Perryman won another decision and Olson won by fall. Northern is home tonight vs. Minnesota State and Friday vs. Dickinson State and on the road at Minot State Tuesday.

Dakota Wesleyan: Marcus Urban, freshman from Plankinton, went 4-1 at the Sioux City Open and placed second in the 157-pound class. DWU hosted Jamestown in a dual last night and has another at Hastings tonight.


He had a photographic memory which was not developed.


Nebraska men (Derek Burke): The Husker club team won both ends of a home-and-home pair against Creighton, 9-4 and 7-1.

Midland women (Traci Corcoran): The Warriors swamped Nebraska’s club team, 10-0 and 12-0. Traci had one assist in the first game and two more in the second game. Now 16-10-1, the Midland women play two this weekend vs. Wisconsin.

Division I men’s roundup (the NCAA West Region will be held in Sioux Falls in March, hosting four of the 16 teams selected for the national tournament):

Bemidji State (14-10-6, 11-7-4): Lost to Lake Superior State 2-0 and 2-0; Friday-Saturday, @ Michigan Tech.
Minnesota (16-13-1, 7-10-1): Idle last week; Friday-Saturday, @ Wisconsin.
St. Cloud State (17-6-3, 11-4-1): Beat Omaha 5-3 and 6-2; Friday-Saturday, @ Miami (Ohio).
North Dakota (12-8-8, 6-6-4-2): Idle last week; Friday-Saturday, home vs. Colorado College.
Colorado College (11-11-4, 5-8-3): Idle last week; Friday-Saturday, @ North Dakota.
Western Michigan (14-13-1, 9-9-0): Lost to Miami 4-2; beat Miami 3-2; next Feb. 16-17, home vs. St. Cloud State.
Miami (Ohio) (10-13-3, 5-9-2): Beat Western Michigan 4-2; lost to Western Michigan 3-2; Friday-Saturday, home vs. St. Cloud State.
Wisconsin (14-13-3-0, 8-9-2-1): Lost to Michigan 5-3; beat MIchigan 4-2; Friday-Saturday, home vs. Minnesota.
Omaha (14-13-1, 7-11-0): Lost to St. Cloud State 5-3 and 6-2; next Feb. 16-17, home vs. North Dakota.
Denver (16-6-6, 10-4-4): Beat Minnesota-Duluth 1-0 and 4-3; next Feb. 16-17, home-and-home vs. Colorado College.
Minnesota State (21-7, 17-5): Beat Alaska-Anchorage 7-1 and 4-3; Friday-Saturday, @ Alabama-Huntsville.
Minnesota-Duluth (14-13-3, 8-10-0): Lost to Denver 1-0 and 4-3; next Feb. 16-17, home vs. Miami (Ohio).


Minnesota (Nolan Burchill): This will be Nolan’s sophomore season as a right-handed pitcher for the Gophers. Their season opens in Atlanta against Georgia Tech Feb. 16, two games vs. Kennesaw State Feb. 17 and one against Georgia State Feb. 18.

South Dakota State (Landon Badger, Quinn Reimers): This will be the sophomore season with the Jackrabbits for both outfielder Landon and pitcher Quinn. The SDSU season opens Feb. 16-17-18 in Itta Bena, Miss., against Mississippi Valley State.

Northern (Spencer Sarringar): Spencer will be a freshman catcher for the Wolves. They open their season with a week-long stay at the Tucson Invitational in Arizona March 4-10 during spring break.


1 day: Winter Olympics opening ceremonies (Feb. 9).

1 day: State gymnastics meet, Watertown (Feb. 9-10).

6 days: Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday.

6 days: Summit League swimming championships, Sioux Falls (Feb. 14-17).

8 days: Pheasants Forever national pheasant feast, Sioux Falls (Feb. 16-18).

12 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 20-21).

14 days: Minnesota Twins spring training opener (Feb. 22).

15 days: Pierre Players’ “The Three Musketeers” (Feb. 23-25, March 1-3).

15 days: State wrestling tournaments, Sioux Falls (Feb. 23-24).

16 days: NSIC basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls (Feb. 24-27).

21 days: Zesto opens (March 1).

22 days: State girls varsity hockey tournament, Huron (March 2-4).

23 days: Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center’s “Hollywood Tonight” (March 3).

23 days: Minnesota United MLS season opener (March 3).

23 days: Summit League basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls (March 3-6).

24 days: Oscars, ABC-TV (March 4).

27 days: NAIA national men’s basketball tournament, Sioux Falls (March 7-13).

28 days: State girls basketball tournaments, “B” Brookings, “A” Watertown (March 8-10).

29 days: State boys varsity hockey tournament, Fort Pierre (March 9-11).

31 days: Daylight Saving Time begins (March 11).

35 days: State “AA” basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls (March 15-17).

35 days: State boys basketball tournaments, “B” Aberdeen, “A” Rapid City (March 15-17).

35 days: State high school visual arts festival, Rapid City (March 15-17).

35 days: NCAA Division I wrestling national tournament, Cleveland (March 15-17).


South Dakota women (Katie Bartlett): The Coyotes begin the spring season Monday and Tuesday at the Battle of Boulder Creek tournament outside Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nev. This is Katie’s sophomore year at USD.

Northern Michigan women (Karissa Guthrie): The spring portion of Karissa’s junior year at NMU begins March 8-10 when the Wildcats play in Tampa, Fla., in the dual between their own Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the rival Great Midwest Athletic Conference.


May your life preach more loudly than your lips.

— Gratitude Habitat


Midco Sports Network live games this week:

Thursday: Weber State @ UND women, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Oral Roberts @ NDSU women, 7 p.m. (MSN2).
Friday: USF @ Augustana women, 6 p.m.; men, 8 p.m. (MSN2).
Saturday: Denver @ NDSU women, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Idaho State @ UND women, 2 p.m. (MSN2).
Tuesday: Mayville State @ NDSU men, 7 p.m.

Sioux Falls Skyforce: In their only game this past week, the Skyforce defeated Oklahoma City, 127-118. Sioux Falls will be home against Reno Friday and Saturday and home vs. Memphis Tuesday.

Toyama Grouses (Sam Willard): Sam’s team in the Japanese pro league lost twice to Hitachi last weekend. In a 79-70 loss Sam was 1-of-4 in two-pointers, 2-of-3 in threes and 4-of-4 in free throws for 12 points with seven rebounds and three assists. In a 90-75 loss Sam was 4-of-9 n twos and 2-of-2 in free throws for 10 points with six boards and an assist. This weekend the Grouses play twice against the Chiba Jets (24-10).

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves beat Milwaukee, 108-89, and New Orleans, 118-107. Last night they lost at Cleveland in overtime, 140-138, when LeBron James took a 3/4-court in-bounds pass with :01.4 left, pushed off a defender, and sank the winning basket. The Wolves play at Chicago Friday (7:00 FSN and ESPN); host Sacramento Sunday (6:00 FSN), and are home vs. Houston Tuesday (7:00 FSN).


The FIRST LEGO League held its state competition in Sioux Falls on Jan. 27. Thirty-six teams there had qualified at regional tournaments held throughout the state. The goal for each of them was to finish as one of the top two teams and then advance to either the world championship tournament in Detroit or an invitational tournament in Arkansas.

So here’s the good news. Pierre’s Techno Kids team received second place and will be going to Detroit April 24-28. That, of course, is going to cost each of the kids and their families money, so a GoFundMe page has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/technokids-fll-world-festival. The page contains information on the team, its background and the effort to raise funds to get them to Detroit.

Student participants at the state meet included John Lees, Eric Spitzer, Colby Scarborough, Noah Heister, Joshua Ryckman, Allison Hill, Brady Holzemer, Brooke Holzemer, Simon Hill and Benjamin Heisler. Coaches are Cassandra Ryckman, Carolyn Ryckman and Samuel Ryckman.

Kirstie Maher, director of the South Dakota Discovery Center, was the main push to begin FIRST LEGO League (FLL) in Pierre. In August 2009 she circulated invitations throughout the education community to come to a gathering where Allen Swanson would be discussing FLL and what competing in it would involve. Sioux Falls teams had just begun competing the previous year, so this was a brand new activity for South Dakota. The Techno Kids team in Pierre began that year. The following themes have been researched by the team throughout the last nine years—transportation, biomedical engineering, food contamination, senior citizens, natural disasters, recycling, learning from animals, and water.

At the Detroit tournament the Pierre team will be one of 108 of the best among 33,000 FLL teams from all over the world. At the competition there will be 128 First Tech Challenge teams in the senior division and 60 FIRST LEGO League Junior teams in the elementary division.

The students, their coaches and parents appreciate whatever people in the community and in the Midweek Update readership can do to help them reach their $8,000 fund-raising goal to make it to Detroit just over two months from now for this national competition experience.


PGA Champions Tour: The Champions Tour for which Tom Byrum has qualified for this year was idle last week. The Tour resumes at Boca Raton, Fla., Friday through Sunday.


Gillette Wild (Coleman Varty): The Wild split a weekend pair against Helena. In Friday’s 6-2 Gillette victory, Coleman assisted on four of the team’s goals—the first, second, fourth and sixth goals. Helena won the Saturday game, 3-1. Gillette is now 16-19-2-2 and in fourth place in its division with 36 points. Gillette goes to Missoula for two games this weekend.

Oahe Capitals: The boys varsity won once but lost twice in SDAHA league play last weekend. On Friday Rushmore shut down the Caps by an 11-0 score as Oahe was outshot 47-14. Tristan Fuerst in goal made 36 saves. On Saturday Huron edged the Capitals, 4-3. Caden Davis scored twice and Adam Ankrum once for the Caps, but Huron broke a 3-3 tie at the 12:47 mark of the third period. Tate Mueller made 29 saves in the nets. On Sunday the Capitals got back on track with an 11-3 win over Mitchell as Fuerst made 13 saves in goal. Riggs Sanchez scored five goals and assisted on another one. Caden Davis scored three times and Talon Griese, Andrew Gordon and Jackson Lake once each. The Capitals play Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford Premier Center at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of Hockey Day in South Dakota.

SDAHA boys varsity standings (W-L-T-OTL-points):

Rushmore                 14 – 1 – 1 – 0 – 29

Sioux Falls                 11 – 1 – 0 – 0 – 20

Oahe                            9 – 5 – 0 – 0 – 18

Brookings                    8 – 2 – 1 – 0 – 17

Huron                          6 – 5 – 0 – 0 – 12

Mitchell                       4 – 8 – 0 – 1 – 9

Watertown                 4 – 8 – 0 – 0 – 8

Sioux Center               4 – 9 – 0 – 0 – 8

Fremont                      2 – 9 – 0 – 0 – 4

Aberdeen                   0 – 12 – 0 – 1 – 1

Oahe Lady Capitals: The girls varsity lost to Rushmore, 6-2, in their only game this week. Amy Gilkerson scored off assists by Jessa McTighe and Kaitlyn Swenson, and Layna Tibbs scored an unassisted goal. Mariah Nelson made 26 saves in goal. The girls are home at noon Saturday against Watertown.

SDAHA girls varsity standings (W-L-T-OTL-points):

Aberdeen                   17 – 0 – 1 – 0 – 35

Sioux Falls                  14 – 3 – 1 – 0 – 29

Mitchell                        9 – 5 – 2 – 1 – 21

Watertown                   9 – 9 – 1 – 0 – 19

Brookings                     9 – 7 – 0 – 0 – 18

Rushmore                    7 – 11 – 0 – 0 – 14

Oahe                             3 – 14 – 0 – 1 – 7

Omaha                          0 – 16 – 1 – 1 – 2

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Stampede won its fourth straight when Mikhail Berdin posted his third career shutout in a 2-0 win over Des Moines. After a 3-2 shootout loss to Des Moines Saturday, Sioux Falls rebounded Tuesday with a 4-3 win over Fargo, the seventh straight victory over that team, and moved into a tie for second place in the division. Sioux Falls is home Friday vs. Lincoln and Saturday vs. Omaha.

Minnesota Wild: The Wild defeated the Western Conference’s top team, Las Vegas, 5-2; lost to Dallas, 6-1, and beat St. Louis, 6-2. Minnesota is in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West but only one point ahead of three other teams. The Wild plays at home vs. Arizona tonight (7:00 FSN), Chicago Saturday (7:00 FSN) and the New York Rangers Tuesday (7:00 FSN+).

Rapid City Rush: The Rush lost to Kalamazoo, 2-1, and to Fort Wayne, 6-4, on a rare eastern road trip. But yesterday morning with 5,000 school children filling their home arena, the Rush responded with a 6-3 win over Utah, fueled by a hat trick by Kenton Miller. Rapid City stays at home to host Utah Friday and Saturday nights.


You can learn many things from children—how much patience you have, for instance.

— Franklin P. Jones


Contest #23:  All 16 of our entrants for the Super Bowl contest picked New England to win, thus nobody gets 10 points for picking the game winner. Obviously no one gets 20 points for also guessing the final score.  When I get a chance, I’ll figure the season-long final results.


Thursday, Feb. 8:

Stephanie Arne, Lindsey (Quinn) Nichols, Kelli Nuttbrock, Karen Authier, Karon Schaack, Alana (Tennant) Lacina, Colby Wagner, Chad Binger, Habie Swenson, Jean Deffenbaugh, Amanda (Weaver) Sprenkle, Steph (Hull) Joens, Alex Plumage.

— 54th anniversary, Ron/Priscilla Schmidt.

Friday, Feb. 9:

Karen Day, Bauer Hunt, Elsie Ann Shoup, Dessa Bryant, Carolyn Severyn, Jamie Lomheim, Jennifer McKillip, Dawn Hurney, Steve Smith, Mandy Braun.

Saturday, Feb. 10:

Carie (Olson) Butter, Luke Ross, Ericka Deneke, Jessie Williams, Jeanita (Adams) McNulty, Kelly (Kindle) Hipple, Elliot Harmon, Chris Dvorak, Hart Hoover.

— 1st anniversary, Adam/Andrea Baker.

Sunday, Feb. 11:

Josh Baker, Jerilyn (Cass) Roberts, Beth (Miner) O’Toole, Jackson Sleger, Megan Tousley, Carly Feiler, Aaron Engberg, Jonathan Urbach, Kerry (Johnson) Bowers, Beth Sachtjen, Chris Dockter, Colleen (Doyle) Lamb, Comet Haraldson, Cheryl (Beckwith) Ulmen, Kelbie Frederick.

Monday, Feb. 12:

Lucas Hoover, Leonard Haggin, Julie Linn, Nicholas Deal, Cody Nelson, Dick Tobin, Shannon (Taft) Hallock, Dave Osterkamp, Jay Davis, Grayson Shindle.

Tuesday, Feb. 13:

Suttyn Stahl, Karla Miles, Nathan Shay, Michell Boe, Darin Smith, Gerda Jorgenson, Dorinda Daniel, Cooper Gloe, Stacie MOsiman.

Wednesday, Feb. 14:

Brady Beck, Ryan Blake, Nic Lohman, Tammy (Groseclose) Serbousek, Mia Tousley, Veronica Urquhart, Kelli (Stephens) Ford, Kathy Kraft, Elaine Yackley, Kirby Welch, Josh Hook, Karisa Magee, Joe Minder, Leonore Friez, Grady Yost, Sydney Redden.

— Anniversary, Mike/Dana (Garry) Reiprich.

— Anniversary, Greg/Joan Baker.

— 9th anniversary, Roger/Shelley (Marone) Locken.

— 14th anniversary, Matt/Rebekah (Lawver) Boyer.

Thursday, Feb. 15:

Kendra (Woodburn) Zuercher, Tessa Jorgensen, Stephanie (Tveidt) Knapp, Tracie (Seyfer) Vogel, Lorena Hyde, Lincoln Sazama, Nolan Sazama, Ken Rausch, Curtis Egan.






Last week I threatened to repeat a column I wrote for the Capital Journal 20 years ago. So down below I do just that. However, I had the date wrong. It was actually Feb. 7, 1998, thus 20 years ago last night. Nevertheless 20 years ago today we were still swooning over what we had witnessed.

All right, so Philadelphia won the Super Bowl game. That means the Eagles will host the Opening Night game next season on Thursday, Sept. 6. Of the eight teams scheduled to play in Philadelphia this fall, the two most appealing to NBC’s TV ratings, one would think, would be Dallas or the Vikings. Other Eagles home opponents will be Washington, the Giants, Indianapolis, Houston, Carolina and Atlanta. It might be the Vikings, but the schedule maker can’t wait to see if the Vikings will have a quarterback because the schedule has to come out in mid-April, so figure it will be the Cowboys, who still think they are “America’s team.”


Stanley County High School’s entry in the state one-act play festival, “Dark Road,” having qualified out of a regional contest, earned a Class “A” superior play award at the state event in Brandon last weekend. In addition, two of Stanley County’s actors, Brittany Pillen and Abby Arhart, both earned superior individual actor awards. Also the ensemble of prisoners in the SCHS play earned a superior ensemble award. Those people were Katelynn VanDusseldorp, Amy Johnson, Shantay Waldron and Kaylie Rathbun. The play was directed by Shirley Swanson and Jennifer Milliken. Other members of the cast were Talisa Smith, Dakoda Stevens, Trey Stroup, Will Spangenberg, Liz Duffy, Ella Hand, Madison Serbousek, Shaylee Tople and Jayda Boxley.

Two members of the cast of Riggs High’s entry at the state one-act play festival, “Rope,” were accorded superior individual actor awards. They are Judah McKinley and Tim Walsh. Other members of the cast were Thomas Vetsch, Melinda Clemente, Dustyn Klave, Jordan Morley, Davis Anderson and Claire Mohr. The show was directed by Ashley Boone, assisted by student director Nancy Li.

A celebration of the life of former Pierre resident and community theater enthusiast Brad Waltman, who died last week, will be held at the Orpheum Theater Center in Sioux Falls from 2 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 11. Funeral Mass took place Tuesday at Sacred Heart Parish in Aberdeen, his hometown. Visitation took place in both Sioux Falls, where he lived at the time of his death, and Aberdeen. Among his survivors are his parents, Al and Sally Waltman of Aberdeen; siblings Allen of Aberdeen, Julie of Aberdeen, Roger of Parkston, Lisa Richmond of Fargo, Ron of Sioux Falls, Greg of Aberdeen, Sandra of Pierre, Brian of Aberdeen and Chris of Aberdeen, and 26 nephews and nieces.

Friends of Pauline Brehe, long-time resident of the Agar area, are reminded that her 95th birthday is Saturday, Feb. 10. Greetings can be sent to her at 29342 – 174th St., Agar SD 57520.

Rich Zoller, 93, died at Pierre Care and Rehab July 21. A memorial service is being planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Faith Lutheran Church. He graduated from high school at Harrold in 1942, and he and the former Gloris Vandarwarka were married in 1943. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural mail carrier and for Sexauer Company at Harrold, and the Zollers owned the Harrold theater and pool hall. They moved to Pierre in 1957, and Rich began a 30-year career as a draftsman with the state Department of Transportation, retiring in 1986. Rich was active in many capacities at Faith Lutheran Church, and he was an avid singer in barbershop chorus groups. He and Gloris were both involved with the Pierre Cowboys baseball team back in Basin League days, and in fact their daughter Jackie married one of the Cowboys players, Rich Shibley. Mr. Zoller is survived by Jackie and Rich in Barstow, Calif.; three grandchildren and their spouses; nine great-grandchildren, and his brother, Paul Zoller of McAlester, Okla.

The show choir from Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, Executive Suite, directed by Pierre native Robyn Starks Holcomb, cleaned house at the competition at Elkhorn, Neb., last Saturday. They not only earned the grand champions honor but also claimed trophies as “best” in nine different categories. For our readers in the Sioux Falls area, the Roosevelt show choirs will have its home “Friends and Family” free show at their school auditorium on Monday, March 19. Earlier than that, they will be in a competition at Washington High School on March 10. The Roosevelt singers’ day was not without other adventure. One of their buses broke down 30 miles short of Elkhorn on the way to the competition.

Recognized as Students of the Month at Stanley County High School for January were Luke Heninger, senior; Lara Kettle, junior; Cheyenne Christensen, sophomore, and Kaylie Rathbun, freshman.

Pierre native Brad Wire became engaged last week to Kayla Walters. They live in Billings, Mont.

Today (Thursday) is Arts Advocacy Day at the Legislature. From noon to 1 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda there will be music performed by the Riggs High chamber choir (from noon to 12:15), displays of art and refreshments.

Mike and Dana (Garry) Reiprich of Summerset are the parents of a son, Levi Michael Reiprich. He was born Jan. 31, weighed 8 pounds, 9.2 ounces, and measured 19 1/2 inches. The Reiprichs also have a daughter, Hannah, who is 2 1/2 years old.

Tanner and Jamie (Dykstra) Fitzke revealed on Facebook last week that they are expecting their second child in August. The Fitzkes have a daughter, Lincoln.

Larry Ludemann, 65, Fort Pierre, who spent many years from the late 1980s until his retirement as a custodian for the Stanley County schools, died Jan. 31 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Services took place Monday at St. John’s Catholic Church. He was a 1971 graduate of Stanley County High School. He worked at the Sooper Dooper bakery and as a ranchhand for Gene Stoeser at Hayes. Then he worked in Midland for Clayton Neuhauser as a ranchhand until returning to Fort Pierre. Among his survivors are his mother, Margaret Ludemann of Fort Pierre; his siblings, Rick, Terry and Greg in Fort Pierre and Steve and Laurie in Pierre; four nephews and other relatives.

You all have heard of destination weddings. How about a destination class reunion? According to The Onida Watchman, the Sully Buttes Class of 1974 is planning a 45th-year reunion on Feb. 22-24, 2019, in San Antonio. Class member Loren Sevening will host his classmates, and he is being assisted in the planning by Gayle (Kozel) Evans of Houston and Pam (Small) Durkin. To follow reunion details, refer to the Facebook page entitled “Sully Buttes Class of ’74.”

Dustin and Joanne (Berg) Hight welcomed their son, Ethan Albert Hight, on Feb. 4. He weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and measured 19 1/2 inches. He joins his big sister, Lillian Mae, 4, in the family. Grandparents are Jerry and Sharon Berg, Ron and Mary (Hight) Wire of Pierre and John Hight of Dupree, and great-grandmother is Nancy Gries of Aurora, S.D.

Recuperating from her serious fall earlier this winter, Thelma King has moved to Edgewood in Pierre. Friends can send her greetings at this address: Edgewood, Thelma King #227, 1950 E. 4th St., Pierre SD 57501.

There will be a contest on the Pierre City Commission ballot in the June 5 election. Kylor Knox, who is warehouse manager at Country Carpet and Flooring, has declared his candidacy for one of the three available commission seats. Incumbents Jamie Huizenga, Vona Johnson and Jim Mehlhaff have previously declared they are seeking their return to the commission. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Pierre native and businesswoman Jenny Wegner Boocock died unexpectedly in her sleep Sunday morning at the age of 62. She and her brother, Jim, have been fourth-generation owners of Wegner Auto since they bought the business from their father, Hank Wegner, in the early 1990s. Jenny graduated from Riggs High School in 1974. Among her survivors are her husband, Mike Boocock; their children, Bryan Boocock and Sara Boocock; her brother, Jim Wegner, and his wife Bev, and her sister, Judy Wegner and her husband Kirk Miller. Arrangements are being handled by Feigum Funeral Home. Visitation will be tonight (Thursday) from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. The funeral service will be at the church at 10 a.m. Friday.

The only four men who have been head boys basketball coach of Pierre Governors teams for the past 53 years were together in one spot and honored at Tuesday’s home game. They are Roger Pries, who coached the Govs from 1965 to 1979; Bob Judson, 1980 to 1991; Skip Kurth, 1992-2004, and Terry Becker, 2005 to the present.

Sully Buttes senior Jacob Howard, who has excelled in a variety of sports, will concentrate on football at Northern State University. He signed his letter of intent to attend NSU Wednesday on National Signing Day.

It had been announced earlier, but Riggs High senior Peyton Zabel signed his letter of intent to attend Augustana University to play football and baseball. Another elite Pierre athlete, soccer player Joana Zanin, signed her letter of intent to attend USD and play soccer there.

Dmitri and Brittni Melius are the parents of a daughter. Hattie Lynn Melius was born Feb. 6, weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 20 inches. She joins a brother, Henry, who is 2, in the family. The Meliuses live in Highlands Ranch, Colo., in Denver’s south suburbs.


Art has the role of helping children become themselves instead of more like everyone else.

— Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, WeAreTeachers


The Mike Miller farewell tour had come to the Riggs High gym on that Feb. 7, 1998, and the place was jammed with fans anxious to see the Mitchell basketball star—and rightfully so—in his final Pierre appearance.

There were three heroes who created a moment of magic, but there had been others who had put the Governors in that position.

One of two three-years players on that ’98 team, Derek Schiefelbein, had one of the best games of his career. He fought his way into the middle of the battle under the basket to earn three-point plays so often that I lost count of how many times it happened. The other three-year varsity player, Hunter Roberts, staged one of the key plays of the game when he tied up Mike Miller late in the fourth quarter.

Throughout the game the Pierre defense—always outsized, never outfought at either end of the court—kept the Govs in contention. Pierre had a 28-20 rebounding edge over Mitchell. Imagine that!

Then the defense forced a five-second violation against the Mitchell offense with 1:29 remaining, another key play in the game.

Miller, with his 28 points-per-game average, had been contained to 12, and with all due respect his collection of air balls that night was impressive.

But still, having said all that, the reality of it all was that Mitchell’s T. J. Sudbeck had sucked the air out of the gym with his jump shot from just inside the three-point line. It was 45-43, and the Kernels had come to Pierre and apparently escaped with a victory.

All that was left for the Govs was to take a hopeless desperation shot and then go home to commiserate over another moral victory. Close again. Playing the Kernels so tough again. Nothing to show for it again.

It would take a perfectly executed play. It would take a miracle. A Grant Hill-to-Christian Laettner miracle.

Kris Stephens was saying on the radio as the Pierre timeout ended, “The fans are standing in hopes of a miracle!”

There were no Grant Hills or Christian Laettners anywhere in sight on that Friday night with 0:02 to play. Which is not to say there weren’t any miracle workers in sight. We just didn’t know it at the time.


So how many times have you practiced that play, Scott Rislov?

“Never,” said Miracle Worker No. 1. “Kurth drew it up right there during the timeout, and it worked just like he drew it up.”

As the Governors broke huddle, the odds were enormous. So many times these last-second desperation plays that coaches frantically draw on their chalkboards result in nothing more than intercepted passes or botched receptions. Just as often as not, the trailing team never even gets off its shot at a miracle.

Rislov headed for the Mitchell baseline at the north end as the designated in-bounds man. Who better than the football quarterback, the baseball pitcher! This was no time for a weak toss of the basketball with no mustard on it. What the Govs had to have to get the miracle started was a fastball right down the pipe.

Coach Gary Munsen sent Sudbeck to the baseline, too, to offer at least token resistance against Rislov’s pass.

“The really weird thing,” Rislov said, “was that, before the play started, Mike Miller had been standing where we were going to throw the ball. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this is going to be a problem.’ But then with Jesse (Ahlers) in the game, Miller left the middle open.”

As the referee handed Rislov the ball, Ris could see the path his pass had to take. The hole down the middle of the court was open if Kyle Englehart could get there to meet the ball.

“I threw it hard as I could,” Ris said. “You know, those questions you get asked at tournament time about your most memorable moment? This was it for me.”


“It was a line drive!” was how Englehart, Miracle Worker No. 2, described the basketball he saw coming his way.

The Governors’ designated good-hands guy, when the timeout huddle broke, had headed for the area of the Pierre basket at the south end of the court. A Mitchell defender followed him.

As Rislov was given the ball far down at the north end, Englehart broke past the Kernel player nearest him.

“They guarded the play just the way we had to have them guard it,” he said. “I got in front of my guy, so he was behind me when I ran up and caught the ball.”

Englehart reached the center circle as Rislov’s bullet arrived. The clock would not start until the ball touched Englehart’s hands. The key was he had to catch the darn thing.

He caught it all right and scooped it underhanded with both hands to his left. Englehart touched the ball for no more than a couple tenths of a second.

Zach Clark, when the players took the court for the final two seconds, followed Rislov toward the north end of the court. He positioned himself, it appeared, to perhaps receive a short in-bounds pass. Clark was straight out from the Mitchell bench, maybe two yards away from the side of the free-throw line.

As if somebody had snapped his fingers and said, “Go!”, everybody sprang into motion. Rislov raised the ball in his arm, ready to fire. Englehart at the other end spun past his man and headed for center court. Clark whirled to his left, leaving the Kernel defender behind him.

Zach sped down the west sidelines, his path running parallel to the flight of Rislov’s pass to Englehart at the center circle. Kyle had to catch the ball and get it to where Zach would be as he crossed the center line. There was no margin, nor time, for error.

“When Zach caught the ball, he was straight out from our bench,” Englehart said, “maybe 2 1/2 or three feet behind the three-point circle.”


It all happened so fast. It had to.

By the time the ball had traveled from Rislov to Englehart to Clark, Miracle Worker No. 3, not a full second could yet have elapsed.

Englehart didn’t shovel the ball to Clark. It wasn’t that easy. He shoveled it to a spot on the court. Clark saw to it that he was in that spot at the precise instant Kyle’s pass got there.

“I just caught the ball and squared up to shoot,” Clark said. The clock had passed 0:01 as he left his feet and lunged forward with his shot, getting on it whatever accuracy he could in a split second. He was still behind the three-point arc. This wasn’t to tie the game. This was to win it.


Did the shot look good to you all the way, Zach?

“I lost sight of it after I shot it,” he said. “The Mitchell guy who was trailing me down the court ran by me and tried to block it as he went by.”

But the would-be shot blocker was too late. The Kernels had let the Podunks from Pierre stay in this game for too long. Sometimes, when you have to hope a miracle doesn’t happen in order for you to put away an underdog, you have waited too long.

They had waited too long.

As Clark rose into the air with the shot of his life, the players and the coaches on the bench—just about the only people in the gym who weren’t already on their feet—rose with him.

Coach Skip Kurth leaned to the left, applying whatever body English he could to Zach’s attempt.

This shot didn’t need help. It didn’t carom off the backboard. It didn’t clank off the rim. It didn’t spin around the cylinder. It found, as the cliche goes, nothing but net.


“When it went in, I jumped up and down,” Clark remembered. “Then Jesse came and tackled me, I think.”

In the same amount of time it had taken the basketball to traverse from Ris on the north end line to Kyle in the center circle to Zach on the side to the south basket, the Sixth Man student section flooded the court.

Zach, Jesse and some other players in white were in a heap on the floor. Coach Dan Snyder had lifted Kurth into the air and was twirling him around as the head coach thrust an arm into the air.

Matt Clark picked Zach up off the floor and tried as best he could to lift him into the air. They made it a few yards, but forward progress was impossible.

Eventually the players in white found pathways through the crowd and raced with arms raised in triumph toward the locker room, sent on their way on the wings of yet another thunderous cheer.

Mitchell players were caught in the crush. There was nowhere to go. They had to stand there and watch. We knew the feeling. We had been there on the short end of those miracles enough times.

But not this time.

This was a monster crowd that was in no hurry to leave. It was a moment to be savored.

Before long the players were dressed and back on the court, which was still filled with people. Backslaps, hugs, teary eyes, handshakes—and all the while video cameras upstairs rolled, preserving this moment for posterity, for family reunions, for team reunions, for quiet moments after these kids are grown and gone from home.

Two nights later, after a full weekend of magnificent basketball on the part of the Governors, Rislov said what we all knew to be true: “If we went back to the gym right now and tried that same play without any defense at all, it probably would work once out of a hundred times.”

Reflecting on the game at home later, I figured to myself that the boys would be so sky-high after the Mitchell win that they would risk falling flat at Bismarck the next night.

No such fears were necessary. “Actually I think the Mitchell game helped us at Bismarck,” Englehart said. “We were still playing the same as we were the night before.”

Matt Clark, after he had dressed and returned to the court, said it best. “This is why you play basketball,” he said. And why we keep coming back.

Just after the winning basket, Kris Stephens exclaimed on the radio, “Do you believe the miracle we have just witnessed?”



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