Flier girls end in sixth at State Class A hoop tourney
WATERTOWN – The Flandreau girls’ basketball team fell in the consolation championship on Saturday in the Class A State Tournament as the Fliers suffered a 46-43 overtime loss to Sioux Falls Christian and came home with the sixth place trophy.
Flandreau opened the tournament as the number eight seed and lost to eventual champions, Hamlin, 42-32. They then defeated Lakota Tech, 55-41 to head to the consolation championships where they faced SFC.
Claire Sheppard was the lone Flier to be named to the All-Tourney team.
No. 1 Hamlin 42,
No. 8 Flandreau 32
WATERTOWN – Flandreau’s upset bid of No. 1 ranked and undefeated Hamlin came up short on Thursday afternoon in the Class A Girls State Basketball Tournament quarterfinals as the Chargers used a strong fourth quarter to beat the Fliers, 42-32.
The score was 25-25 heading into the fourth quarter and Sadie Iott hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth to give the Fliers a 3-point lead. Hamlin then closed the game on a 17-4 run to come away with the victory. Flandreau head coach Megan Severtson said her team just wasn’t able to get things going on offense down the stretch.
“I think when you play against a good team like that you obviously need some things to go your way and the ball to bounce in the right direction, whether that’s into the hoop or into you hands on the defensive end. We just had too many plays in-a-row where we either turned the ball over or didn’t make a shot down the stretch. Against good teams you can’t have those lulls, especially when the game is tight and time is running out,” Severtson said.
Hamlin jumped out to a 7-2 lead but the No. 8 seeded Fliers then scored six straight to go up 8-7. The Chargers then outscored Flandreau 8-2 the rest of the quarter and took a 15-10 lead into the second quarter. The second quarter was very even as the Chargers would take a 22-16 lead into the locker room.
The Fliers then locked in defensively as they held what some consider as the best team in the state to just three points in the third quarter. Flandreau scored nine points of its own in the third and that’s what led to the tie going into the fourth. Severtson said she thought her team did a good job not allowing the the ball to get inside.
“I think the team as a whole deserves a lot of credit [defensively]. I thought we did a good job preparing for some of the actions they run. … I thought my two posts did a good job of fronting [Kami Wadsworth] and not allowing an easy post entry. Our guards were also active too and made the post entry difficult as well,” she said.
Flandreau shot 27% from the field in the game and the Fliers were 2-of-12 from three. Claire Sheppard, who leads the Fliers in scoring and is committed to play at South Dakota State in 2024, struggled on Thursday as she went 2-of-17 from the field and had eight points and six rebounds.
Severtson said part of the reason she thought Sheppard had a tough game offensively was because she had to guard Kami Wadsworth on the other end. Wadsworth led the Chargers with 18 points and five rebounds.
“I think a factor in it, and I’m not making an excuse for her and I know she wouldn’t make an excuse, but a factor would be how much energy she exerts defending Wadsworth in that situation. … We needed to have her see the ball go in. She got some good looks [and they didn’t fall] and that’s part of basketball sometimes,” Severtson said.
Lily Klein and Iott each had seven points for Flandreau. Lizzie Pavlis had six points and eight rebounds.
The Chargers shot 33% from the field and were 7-of-20 from three. Addison Neuendorf had 12 points and four rebounds. Marissa Bawdon had 10 points.
“I thought my girls handled the environment really well. We had an awesome crowd there and I know we could feel from the early warmups that we were going to get a lot of energy from our crowd because a lot of people showed up. So, I thought we did a good job settling in. I was really happy with our effort and I think anyone who watched that game would compliment how hard we worked, especially on the defensive end,” Severtson said.
Friday Consolation Semifinals
No. 8 Flandreau 55,
No. 5 Lakota Tech 41
The Fliers made it to the consolation championship with a 55-41 win over Lakota Tech in the consolation semifinals. This was after Flandreau suffered a 42-32 loss to No. 1 seeded Hamlin in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The two teams were tied 10-10 at the end of the first quarter. Flandreau then used a 19-14 second quarter to a take a 29-24 lead into the locker room. The Fliers would lead 39-33 heading into the fourth and then outscored the Tatanka 16-8 in the final quarter to get the victory.
Flandreau held Lakota Tech to 30% shooting and the Tatanka were 4-of-11 from three. Severtson said she thought her team did a good job defensively, as they have all season.
“I thought we executed our game plan well. As far as defensively, they run a lot of their offense through their post players, and I thought Lizzie Pavlis did a really nice job defending a post player that was taller than her. Also, our team [did a good job] with backside help and making sure we didn’t give them any easy looks on the defensive end,” Severtson said.
Flandreau shot 32% from the field and was 5-of-11 from three. Sheppard led the Fliers with 22 points, and she was 4-of-8 from three. Iott had 11 points and six rebounds. Klein and Pavlis each had nine points. Klein had seven rebounds and Pavlis had five rebounds.
The Tatanka were led by Melina Shangreaux who had 12 points and six rebounds. Tawny Rodriguez had 10 points and six rebounds.
The Fliers had a 31-30 advantage in rebounds. Flandreau had 11 turnovers and Lakota Tech had 10. The Fliers were 22-of-30 at the free throw line and the Tatanka were 5-of 10 at the charity stripe.
Saturday Consolation Finals
No. 3 SFC, 46,
No. 8 Flandreau 43, OT
The No. 3 seeded Sioux Falls Christian Chargers (23-3) held a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter but the No. 8 seeded Fliers (19-5) would then outscore SFC 12-8 in the second quarter and took a 24-22 lead into halftime.
It was a back-and-forth third quarter and Flandreau led 36-33 heading into the fourth. Flandreau then led 38-35 and SFC then scored five straight points to go up 40-38. Sadie Iott then made a two-point jumper and that shot sent the game to overtime as it was 40-40.
The score was 42-42 when Ellie Lems made a lay-up to put the Chargers up two. Flandreau’s Claire Sheppard then went to the free throw line and made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 44-43. Jaxsyn Swift made two free throws for SFC and Lily Klein’s 3-pointer did not fall, and the Chargers were consolation champions.
Flandreau head coach Megan Severtson said she thought fatigue may have played a factor for both teams as the game went into overtime.
“I think a little bit of fatigue [set in] for both teams. That starts to settle in on Saturday, but our crowd gave us a lot of energy. I thought our girls worked really hard and our effort was about as good as it could possibly be. There were just some moments where the Sioux Falls Christian girls stepped up and made shots when they had to, and our offense just went cold again. But overall I was happy with our play in that game. It was just two good teams that were competing,” Severtson said.
Flandreau shot 33% from the field and was 0-of-12 from three. Lizzie Pavlis led the Fliers with 13 points and seven rebounds. Sheppard had 10 points and eight rebounds. Iott had 10 points and Klein had eight points.
The Chargers shot 40% from the field and were 2-of-10 from beyond the arc. SFC was led by Lems who had 19 points. Breanna Beyke had 10 points.
The Chargers had a 29-26 advantage in rebounds. Each team had eight turnovers. Flandreau was 7-of-10 at the free throw line and SFC was 4-of-8 on free throws.
Flandreau began the season 1-3 and then won 17 of its next 18 games heading into the State Tournament. Coming into the season Severtson said she thought Flandreau would go through a bit of a rough patch as the team did not have a senior, but they battled through that and qualified for the State Tournament for the second time since 2020. Severtson said she thought her young team handled the spotlight well over the weekend.
“I was really happy with how they handled their composure over the past three days. That’s a big stage to play on and for it to be the first time those girls were doing it, I thought it was a really big deal for us to experience some success at the state tournament. We played against teams that have been there before and they go often. So for us to get that experience, hopefully it allows our girls to build off some of that momentum as we head into next season,” Severtson said.
With having no seniors on the team, Flandreau will return every player that played this season. With Sheppard, who has committed to play basketball at South Dakota State in 2024, leading the way, the Fliers should be one of the best teams in Class A again next season. Severtson said this postseason run can help the Fliers heading into next year, but they need to make sure that they’re focused on the right things.
“I think there is a little bit of balance of both jitters and pressure [once you make State]. You get rid of some of the jitters because you’ve now done it, but it adds a little bit of pressure to your team as well. So, really as you prepare for next season, you have to make sure you don’t make it about the state tournament and instead just focus on competing and see how everything falls into place at the end of the year,” Severtson said.
Flandreau made the State Tournament in 2020 but it was canceled due to COVID, so this was the first time since 1997 that the Fliers actually played in the tournament. Severtson said her and her team really enjoyed representing Flandreau and sharing the experience with the community.
“I think that will always be one of my fond memories with this experience…the community support. I’m just really proud of how Flandreau always shows up for each other and I’m incredibly proud of these girls and so is the community. We’ve had so much support from everyone. I’m just glad we got to do it all together because this is one of the things that the girls talk about from their high school experience. Competing in a state tournament and sharing it with the community is really special,” Severtson said.