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Posted On: 03/16/18 11:39 AM
The first day of the state tournament was full of exciting headlines including an incredible performance by the star freshman from Yankton, Matthew Mors.
Top Five State Tournament Performers- Class AA
Matthew Mors, Yankton. What separates Mors from other 6-foot-7 players is his advanced skills from the paint to the perimeter, and the agility that catches so many off guard. Thursday was a special day for Yankton as they won a state tournament game moving to the winner’s semi-finals for the first time since 1981. Mors scored over the length of Diang Gatlauk on an And1 game winning finish which put him at 30 points for the game. Lincoln threw a couple different options at Mors but Matthew made 12 of 19 shots including a pair of threes to accumulate to that 30. Mors is also a very good passer building up five assists for high percentage looks from teammates.
Cooper Bowman, RC Stevens. This is a guy that plays with some fire. There is something driving the six foot Rapid City senior guard which is likely a title. Maybe it’s the fact that last year’s seniors graduated and few gave the Raiders a chance, or maybe it’s how he competes, but every time that the Knights seemed to put something together, Bowman had some type of response. A big basket, an attack and create, or something else, Bowman was there for his team scoring 14 and driving them to the win.
Brady VanHolland & Michael Curry, Harrisburg. This is not the same Harrisburg team that others thought they could push around like they had in the past. You come at them physically they come back at you. The team defends with a purpose and forces teams into tough shots in congested space. Michael Curry also gave his team an offensive punch with an explosive push towards the end of the half and 15 points for the game. The skilled VanHolland took advantage of his opportunities and scored 16. For Harrisburg it’s about the sum of the parts and Brady and Michael were the consistent finishers while the team did the job to take Washington’s best punch, and move on.
Dylan Hay, Rapid City Central. Hay led Central to a 66-54 win and was a key figure when the Cobblers finally started to turn things up and play the way they needed to to bring home the victory. As the Douglas defense wore down in quarters, Hay was able to attack the rotating defense for buckets going at the rim. Dylan also turned some Douglas mistakes into full court runs for lay-ups. Then, when Central needed their defense to get stops, Hay was a guy moving his feet and keeping Douglas players in front of him forcing action away from the paint. Dylan scored a game high 22 points.
Darius Dawson of Douglas. Dawson is an interest player. The 6-foot-4 junior nearly had a double-double totaling 14 points and nine boards. He scored in the paint including a quick bouncing two hand throw down and those same quick feet and physical grabs led him to a day high nine rebounds (Zach Heins also had nine for Washington).
Diang Gatlauk of SF Lincoln. The 6-foot-5 Patriots wing scored 21 points finishing on 9 of 17 looks for the game. His ability to skillfully attack and finish above the rim with body control sets him apart.
Jared Janos of SF Lincoln. The junior guard continues to step forward as one of the better shooters in his grade. Yesterday he only took six shots but made that into 14 points.
Jaron Zwagerman of SF O’Gorman. Jaron missed a double-double by a couple boards scoring 13 for the game making 6 of 14 attempts. The Ram-Man style skilled forward was the only O’Gorman player that was able to put together some offense.
Ace Zorr of Harrisburg. Zorr put together an excellent second half and he backed down from nothing that Washington did. The 6-foot-5 forward noticeably is playing through some pain in his leg but once elbows were thrown and bodies went at each other, Zorr was nose to nose with Washington. He scored 11 points in the second half and put everyone on notice that the Tigers aren’t about to be pushed around, not in 2018.
Kallieb Walton-Blanden of RC Central. Sometimes it’s Hay that leads in big ways, sometimes it’s Kallieb, either way, they always support one another. Walton-Blanden supported his team with 19 points on Thursday.