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Posted On: 04/3/18 12:00 PM
Outside of Noah Friedel, Kade Stearns is probably one of Tea Area’s deadliest weapons. As a five-foot-10 guard Stearns is deadly from deep, but when opposing teams play him tight on the perimeter he also has the ability to take them to the hole and score that way as well. Going into his senior year Stearns can’t wait to get back to the state tournament.
In the last two seasons as a starter Stearns has won a state title and a state runner-up on the hardwood while being a two-sport athlete in the fall, competing in both soccer and football. He earned runner-up in soccer and also won the state title in soccer this past season as well as his accomplishments on the court.
He doesn’t throw up huge numbers like his teammate Friedel, or like an A.J. Plitzuweit of Vermillion, but he is an all-around player that does whatever it takes to help his team win. If the team needs a spark, he’s there to pump the team up. Even though the Titans weren’t able to defend their title on the court, Stearns told PHD it was still a successful season.
“Going into the season, we had high expectations of winning another state championship,” Stearns said. “We faced adversity early on as we tried to find our identity, and then there was a stretch of losing consecutive games that really set us back a bit. But we bounced back and found our rhythm going into March. We achieved our goal of making the championship, although we came up short, the season was successful.”
Stearns averaged just over 10 points a game, second on the team in three’s made and only had 16 turnovers the whole season. His whole junior class has been one of the most successful classes in Tea Area history, with the success on the soccer field and the state title and runner-up on the court. He has seen his game improve since the start of his sophomore year.
“I really believe that I am shooting the ball with more efficiency, my court awareness has improved as well,” Stearns told PHD. “I’ve become more aggressive when looking for my shot and just playing with more confidence. I also have been working on the defensive end of the court as well.”
Efficient is right, Stearns has been shooting at a near 43 percent clip from the field and a 36 percent from deep this last season. He also led the team at the charity stripe knocking down 21-of-27 for a 78 percent mark.
After coming up short in the title game this year, Stearns plans on improving his ball handling, getting to the rim and finishing more and working on becoming stronger in the weight room. He will get plenty of opportunities to work on his game this summer as he will be playing for the South Dakota Venom.
“I am excited to be playing with the South Dakota Venom this summer,” Stearns said. “Our team is looking solid. We are a group that wants to get up and down the court this summer. We are a very unselfish group that looks for each other and makes that next pass for the open look. We also have a lot of fun out there.”
The Venom is a team based out of Tea and will have four players from Tea on the roster including Stearns. It is a 10 man team with the majority of players from around the Sioux Falls area and one from Watertown, Rapid City Stevens, and Boyden Hall IA. Eight of the 10 are from the 2019 class with two from the 2020 class.
Stearns has a couple of colleges from the area that is interested in him. They could see him play in two tournaments for the Venom in Sioux Falls this summer. Here’s a complete schedule for the 17u Venom team.
“I have had a few colleges that have reached out and expressed interest,” Stearns said. “Dakota Wesleyan, Mounty Marty, Northwestern College, and the University of Sioux Falls.”