St. Thomas More teams bracing for a tough road ahead in the state basketball tournaments
State A Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments tip off Thursday in Sioux Falls
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The St. Thomas More girls basketball team traveled to Sioux Falls on Tuesday to prepare for the State ‘A’ Girls Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Cavaliers are hoping to win their record setting sixth straight state title. But this year, it won’t be easy.
Fifth seed St. Thomas More will square off against No. 4 Lennox on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Cavaliers are 18-5 on the season, while the Orioles are 19-3.
Overtime was required when these two teams met earlier this season with Lennox picking up a four point victory, 61-57.
Haleigh Timmer is the leading scorer for St. Thomas More with 21 points per game.
Meanwhile, Lennox is led by 6’1 forward Madysen Vlastuin who averages 16 points per contest.
STM head coach Brandon Kandolin knows it will be a challenge to knock off Lennox.
“We like the match up right now,” STM girls basketball coach Brandon Kandolin said. “Certainly they got a little bit of size on us. But I think we’ve got some other things that we can take advantage of maybe a little more quickness. Its no doubt going to be a test to see if we can slow down their guards and again contain Madysen.”
“We’re so much of a better team than we were at the beginning of January,” STM forward Haleigh Timmer said. “I think our growth is really going to take us a long way. We’re just going to have to do the little things right and stay focused on our game plan.”
State A Girls Basketball
#1 West Central vs #8 Mt. Vernon-Plankinton 12 p.m.
#2 Winner vs #7 Aberdeen Roncalli 12 p.m.
#4 Lennox vs #5 St. Thomas More 4 p.m.
#3 Todd County vs #6 McCook Central Montrose 4 p.m.
State A Boys Basketball Tournament
The State ‘A’ Boys Basketball Tournament tips off on Thursday in Sioux Falls and St. Thomas More will also play Lennox in the quarterfinals.
The Cavaliers enter the tournament as the number three seed with an 18-4 record. The Orioles are 18-5 on the year.
Two the Cavaliers’ four losses this season came against No. 1 Tea Area and No. 2 Sioux Falls Christian.
The Cavaliers boast a line up that features three players averaging in double figures, led by Caden Casey with 17 points per game followed by Ryder Kirsch with 16 and Ryan Wojcik with 10.
STM head coach Dave Hollenbeck considers Lennox the dark horse of the tournament.
“Well they’re very athletic,” STM boys basketball coach Dave Hollenbeck said. “Their kids play extremely hard. They’re hard nose kids and they have a pretty high skill level. So they shoot the ball well. They can handle it and get to the rim. So they put a lot of basket pressure on you. We’re going to have our hands full defensively that’s for sure.”
“Last year we played them in the Pentagon and we played a good game,” STM guard Caden Casey said. “So I think we can just expect its going to be a hard game and we just have to hit our shots.”
State A Boys Basketball
#1 Tea Area vs #8 Dell Rapids 2 p.m.
#2 SF Christian vs #7 Madison 2 p.m.
#4 Pine Ridge vs #5 Hot Springs 6 p.m.
#3 St. Thomas More vs #6 Lennox 6 p.m.
State B Boys Basketball
#1 White River vs #8 Viborg-Hurley 11 a.m.
#4 Jones County vs #5 De Smet 12:45 p.m.
#2 Timber Lake vs #7 Bridgewater-Emery 5 p.m.
#3 Clark-Willow Lake vs #6 Sully Buttes 6:45 p.m.