Big three named to big dakota team

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By Jay Davis

The senior front line of Cass Ulmer, Kylee Kettering and Katie Heil led the Lady Tigers all season. Now they take center stage as members of the 2012 Big Dakota All-Conference Team.

Ulmer finished her high school career by becoming the seventh Lady Tiger to join the 1,000-point club, finishing with 1,005. For her senior season Ulmer averaged 13.3 points and eight rebounds per game, while adding 49 assists and 33 blocked shots. Ulmer was the team leader in all four categories.

“Cassidy showed a high basketball IQ at a young age,” said coach Katie Konold. “She has always been very competitive and that drive has helped mold her into an excellent all-around player. Cass has started for the Lady Tigers since her freshman year, where she first started her double-double games! She has a nose for the ball and made rebounding a top priority in her bag of skills. Cass takes defense personally and takes pride in stopping top opponents. She is tough to guard because she can drain the long ball, post up or score off the dribble. As a captain Cass showed great court leadership and a calm coolness under pressure. Wherever Cass decides to play at the next level, she will make an impact.”
If consistency could be defined as Cass Ulmer, her conference averages of 13 points and eight rebounds would help that definition. Her biggest BDC games were a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double against McLaughlin, 11 points and 10 rebounds against Todd County and 15 points against Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. Ulmer scored 10 points against Miller, Stanley County and Winner, while scoring seven points with eight rebounds against Chamberlain.

Kettering missed four games with a knee injury, but battled back to average 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season, all the while showing little respect for the pounding her body took on a nightly basis.

“Kylee’s passion and heart for competition has always shown on the court as she completes hustle plays and makes sacrifices and picks herself off the floor time and time again after outworking an opponent,” said Konold. “She plays much bigger than her actual size and refuses to give up on the ball. Her intensity was contagious as she inspired her teammates to give it their all game after game. Kylee has had a great inside game but really developed a consistent mid-range jumper over the years and she would even hit threes when her defender would gamble and sag on her. Her rebounding effort is commendable and she set an excellent example as team captain. She often had tough defensive assignments and relished in her roles as part of the team plan.”

She had some big moments during Big Dakota action, including a 12-point, 13-rebound double double against Stanley County, 17 points against Todd County and 10 points and five rebounds against Miller. She scored 10 points in the win over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, and scored only three points but grabbed eight rebounds as the girls beat Winner.

Heil grew her game to become the Lady Tigers’ jump-shooting scorer, knocking down shot after shot from the baselines. Heil averaged 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and had three double-doubles.

“Katie was an excellent senior leader and team captain,” said Konold. “She has been very consistent and committed to doing whatever the team needed of her. Katie was often times our ‘secret weapon’ or ‘silent killer’ because she would just get the job done for us. She has a beautiful shot and she really found her confidence over the last two seasons. She played solid defense underneath the basket and hit key shots down the stretch game after game. Katie was always able to stay cool and collected when there was chaos on the court, that really put her teammates at ease. She has a lot to be proud of as I have thoroughly enjoyed watching her find herself and emerge as a special leader.”

Heil stepped it up in BDC play with a team-leading 92 points. She had 19 points and six boards against Chamberlain and 15 points and five rebounds against Miller. Heil added 13 against McLaughlin, 12 against Cheyenne-Eagle Butte and 11 against Winner, to go along with a seven-point, eight-rebound game against Todd County.

The Lady Tigers are joined on the All-BDC team by: seniors Calby Pearman and Chloe Gunville of Cheyenne-Eagle Butte; seniors Alexis Watts and Tara Parmely of Miller; junior Jaymee Knippling and sophomore Kennedy Wagner of Chamberlain; seniors Whitney Ballinger and Lane Halligan of Todd County; junior Tawny Barry of Winner; and senior Tory Deal of Stanley County.
The honorable mention squad is: senior Celina Brownotter and sophomore Autumn Taken Alive of McLaughlin; senior Mallory Fischer and junior Jansen Hunter of Miller; and sophomore Kennede Mathis of Miller.

Miller won the Big Dakota Conference title with a 7-0 record. Chamberlain and Todd County were 5-2, followed by Mobridge-Pollock and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte with 4-3 records. Winner went 2-5, McLaughlin 1-6 and Stanley County 0-7.

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