SOUTH DAKOTA GIRLS STATE B BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 8TH PLACE. Standing: Statistician Taryn Kenzy, Assistant Coach Conner Dekker, Addison Chicoine, Payge Bakker, Lydia Hill, Calleigh Chicoine, Allyson Wittler, Scotlynn Kinney, Natalie Miles, Stevie Wittler...

It was with high hopes that the Sully Buttes Chargers girls basketball team returned to the South Dakota Girls State B Basketball Tournament, Thursday-Saturday, March 9-11, for the first time since earning the championship in 2016. Entering the tournament as the 4th seed, the squad finished in 8th place after losing three games during the three day tournament.

Wall 58; Sully Buttes 50

The Chargers opened the tournament against 5th seed Wall. The two squads tussled defensively in the first with the Chargers sending the Lady Eagles to the free throw line seven times where they garnered five points. Offensively, the two teams kept pace, the Chargers making five 2-point field goals and going 1-2 from the line and the Lady Eagles tossing in four 2’s. In the second, the Lady Eagles held the Chargers to 12 points while putting up 18. At the break, the held a 31-23 lead.

In the third, the Chargers reversed the tide, putting up 16 while holding the Lady Eagles to 6, and taking a third quarter lead 39-37. Unable to sustain the momentum, the Chargers sent their opponents to the line ten times where they made 9 points and garnered three 2-point field goals in the fourth to the Chargers’ four 2’s and going 3-5 from the line. After 32 minutes of play, the scoreboard indicated a Wall victory 58-50.

Lydia Hill led the Chargers in scoring with 18 points followed by Stevie Wittler with 13, Addison Chicoine with 12, Allyson Wittler with 5 and Payge Bakker with 2. Lydia and Stevie had four fouls and Calleigh Chicoine, Allyson, and Addison three each. The 8-point difference in the two teams’ scores came at the foul line as the Chargers had twenty 2-point field goals, one 3-point field goal, and were 7-11 from the line compared to the Lady Eagles’ nineteen 2-point field goals, one 3-point field goal, and were 17-21 from the line.

1 2 3 4 Final

SB 11 12 16 11 50

Wall 13 18 6 21 58

Jones County 47; Sully Buttes 38

The Chargers faced the Jones County Coyotes in the second contest of the state tourney and fell to their opponents 47-38 on Friday. With impenetrable defense, the Coyotes more than doubled the Chargers’ first half scoring efforts, going into halftime leading 26-10.

As in Thursday’s matchup, the Chargers had a strong second half, outscoring Jones County 11-7 in the third and 17-14 in the fourth, but ultimately the hometown team came up short.

Lydia was the Chargers’ points leader in the contest with 17, followed by Allyson with 8, Stevie with 7, Calleigh with 3, Payge with 2, and Addison with 1. The Chargers had ten 2-point field goals, one 3-point field goal, and were 9-16 from the line. The Coyotes had nine 2-point field goals, three 3-point field goals, and were 14-20 from the line. As a team, the Chargers committed 16 fouls to the Coyotes 17.

1 2 3 4 Final

SB 5 5 11 17 38

JC 13 13 7 14 47

Howard 54; Sully Buttes 44

In their third tilt of the tourney versus the Howard Tigers, the Chargers could not contain their opponents’ offense. In the first, the Tigers doubled up the eight points the Chargers scored and the opponents outscored Sully Buttes 19-14 in the second so that going into the locker room, the scoreboard indicated Howard’s 35-22 lead.

Howard again doubled and more the six points the Chargers scored in the third, putting up 13. The second half rally the Chargers had experienced in their previous tournament contests didn’t begin until the fourth quarter when they were finally able to put up 16 points while holding Howard to 6. After four quarters of play, the scoreboard revealed the Chargers’ 8th place tournament finish.

Stevie was the lead scorer with 17 points followed by Allyson with 10, Calleigh with 9, Lydia with 5, Caitlin Birney with 2, and Payge with 1. The Chargers were 8-11 from the free-throw line and racked up 17 fouls as a team with Calleigh fouling out. The two squads were nearly evenly matched in free throw percentage with the Tigers going 8-12. While the Chargers earned six 3’s to Howards’ two 3’s, it was 2’s that made the difference with Howard earning twenty to the Chargers’ nine.

1 2 3 4 Final

SB 8 14 6 16 44

Howard 16 19 13 6 54

The State B tourney games were the last for seniors Calleigh, Allyson, Lydia, Caitlin and statistician Taryn Kenzy.