JAY DAVIS: Hoops fans got to see two top teams

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Basketball fans at Mobridge-Pollock Gymnasium did not just get to see the Tigers earn their first win of the season, they got to see two of the premier teams in the area in the Herreid-Selby Area Lady Wolverines and the Dupree Tigers.

The Herreid-Selby Area girls have all the essentials needed to make a long postseason run this year. They did not take full advantage of our young Lady Tigers on Thursday, but still dominated for a 74-20 win. The Wolverines can play shutdown defense. They held the Lady Tigers to two field goals in each of the three quarters and did so committing very few fouls. In fact, Mobridge-Pollock did not make one trip to the free throw line.

When talking about having all the parts necessary to make a big statement at the state level, it all starts with senior Shauni Schwartz. The Wolverine center has an inside game and can shoot the three. She showed she can dominate  a game at the free throw line in Aberdeen Friday when she hit 19 of 22 shots from the charity stripe as the Wolverines knocked off previously undefeated and ranked second in Class A Aberdeen Roncalli. Schwartz can take care of business on the other end too.

Herreid-Selby Area can get points from a number of girls in Abbey Fjeldheim, McKenzie Frank, Kendra Thorstenson, Kesley Quaschnick, Jana Thorstenson and Haylee Biel. When Taylor Maddens’ injured knee allows, they have a second player capable of putting a 20-spot on the board on any given night. Biel makes the Wolverines a menace on the inside as the 6-footer can block shots and rebound with anyone. But the key thing I saw is that every girl on the team is willing to play defense.

The Lady Wolverines are a class act. Their expectations are high as well they should be.

The Dupree Tigers came to the Bridge City angry from suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of North Dakota’s second-ranked team, North Star High School. The Tigers took it out on the Herreid-Selby Area boys. Dupree can run the court with anyone. In the first quarter, they ran the ball without the Wolverines, using turnovers and long outlet passes to set up fast breaks as they quickly jumped out to a 27-9 lead and the game was over.

Everything starts with twins Tate and Nate Widow, but it doesn’t stop there. Kash Deal, Jeffrie Shaving, Creighton Pretty Weasel and more can get up and down the floor. They are an undersized team, but they were undersized last season when they finished seventh in state. Dayton Spiel, their 6’3” center, did not play this weekend, but when he is healthy, his size will help on the inside.

Don’t get me wrong; the Tigers are not a small team. The rest of the roster is listed from 5’10” to 6’1” with nine of them 6-footers.

Some things stay the same out west. Last season the Tigers upset Faith to get to the state tournament. The Longhorns are undefeated again so far this season and Harding County is off to a 4-0 start. Those teams will have something to say about who goes to state this year.

One thing is for certain. They had better be prepared for the Tigers’ speed or they will be looking from the sidelines as Dupree celebrates a second straight trip to the final eight.

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