STATE B BOUND SULLY BUTTES CHARGERS. Standing: Assistant Coach Conner Dekker, Assistant Coach Jeremy Chicoine, Tavery Smith, Scotlynn Kinney, seniors Calleigh Chicoine, Lydia Hill, Allyson Wittler, and Caitlin Birney holding trophy, Payge Bakker, Natali...

Led by seniors Caitlin Birney, Calleigh Chicoine, Lydia Hill, and Allyson Wittler, the Sully Buttes Chargers girls basketball team soared to a 44-26 victory over the Harding County Ranchers in the SoDak 16 state tourney qualifying game last Thursday, March 2. The squad will play their opening state tourney contest against Wall today, Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 1:45 p.m. Central Time.

The Chargers leapt out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter on points earned by Stevie Wittler, Allyson Wittler, Lydia Hill, Addison Chicoine, and Payge Bakker.

Calleigh Chicoine caught fire in the second, earning three 3-point field goals and going 2-2 from the line. The balance of the Chargers points scored in the second were tossed in by Lydia and Addison. The Chargers put up 15 while holding the ranchers to 4 and went into the locker room with a 30-10 lead.

The Ranchers rallied in the second half, and held the Chargers to just 14 points while scoring 16, but it was too late for the opponents to comeback, and the contest ended with the scoreboard indicating a Charger win, 44-26.

Caitlin’s leadership wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard, but rather in being a steadying presence on the floor in all four quarters. Lydia was the lead scorer with 19 points, nine 2-point field goals and going 1-2 from the free throw line, followed by Calleigh with the 11 points she scored in the second quarter. Rounding out the scoring were Allyson Wittler with 5, Addison Chicoine with 4, Stevie Wittler with 3, and Payge Bakker with 2. The Chargers were 6-15 from the foul line and tallied 15 fouls as a team, sending their opponents into bonus in both halves of the game.

The Chargers enter the state tourney the #4 seed with a 20-3 record and will play 18-5 #5 seed Wall in the second game on Thursday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. Central Time. The tournament looks to offer quality contests in that less than two seeding points separate #1 ranked Wolsey-Wessington and #8 ranked Jones County.