Posted On: 06/4/18 10:00 AM
**Photo Courtesy of Jon Klemme**
Over the next few weeks, PHD will recap the Class AA boys basketball state tournament qualifiers and preview their upcoming season. Yankton defeated Harrisburg 39-37 to claim the AA title.
The Harrisburg Tigers had one of their best seasons since moving up to AA. They started the season on a 10-game win streak and found themselves in the top five for nearly the whole season. The Tigers only had two rough patches throughout the season losing back to back games at the end of January and the last two games of the year.
In the first ever Round of 16, 16 teams battled out for eight spots in the state tournament. Unlike the Class A Round of 16, the Class AA winners won’t be reseeded headed into the state tournament. The Tigers entered the Round of 16 as the fourth seed. They defeated Watertown 54-48 to return back to the state tournament.
As one of the top teams headed into the state tournament, the Tigers defeated No. 5 seed Sioux Falls Washington and the No. 1 seed Rapid City Stevens by an average of 12.5 points a game.
Going into the championship game Harrisburg had the tall task of putting together a gameplan of stopping the freshman phenom Matthew Mors of Yankton.
In a game that featured one of the lowest scoring championship totals, Harrisburg came up just short losing 39-37.
1. With eight seniors on the team and four starters graduating this season, the Tigers have a lot of questions going into next season.
2. As the only returning starter junior Nick Hoyt will probably be the go-to guy this next season. He was one of the leading scorer’s last season at 13 points on nearly 55 percent shooting. Another guy who should be a good role model next year is Blair Slaughter who averaged six points on 54 percent shooting.
3. Even though they lost eight seniors don’t count out Harrisburg with several young players on the JV team that had a great season last year. With Scott Langerock as the coach, anything is possible for the Tigers.
MAN ON THE SPOT
Hoyt will look to follow up his big junior season with an even bigger senior season. He helped the Tigers to a second place finish last year. There are a lot of juniors on the team that didn’t get a lot of experience that will play a huge role next year and Hoyt could be a huge role model for them.
Nick Hoyt | Senior 13 ppg, 3.4 boards, 4.6 assists, 26 steals
Blair Slaughter | Senior 6.3 ppg, 3.5 boards, 30 assists, 22 steals
Cale Murphy | Senior
Adam Erickson | Senior
Isaac Brower | Senior
Harrisburg won’t necessarily be young next season, but rather inexperienced after only returning one starter and one key role player. But just because of that don’t count them out, they have a great coach in Scott Langerock who will make sure that they will have a repeat of last year along with the returners. With that being said will they be able to use that experience Langerock and the returners have taught throughout the season or will their inexperience backfire on them late in the season in a crucial game?