It had been eight years since the Lennox High School girls basketball team had punched their ticket to the State A Tournament. This year, having only two losses during the regular season, the LHS girls were poised for a great state run. They did not disappoint.
Lennox rowed their way into the State A Championship game after defeating Dell Rapids in the first round and Vermillion in the second—a feat that had eluded them for 10 years.
Awaiting them in the championship game was an undefeated St. Thomas More team and despite never giving up, a low shooting percentage left the Orioles 11 points shy of the state title, falling to the Cavaliers, 47-36 March 11 at Frost Arena in Brookings.
“It was a great ride,” said LHS girls head coach Dan DeVries. DeVries, who coached his final game Saturday night, was pleased with his team’s performance throughout the tournament.
“In the first two games we limited our turnovers and created turnovers for points for our offense,” he said.
In the opening game against Dell Rapids March 9, the team did just that, forcing 13 turnovers in their 63-58 win.
Lennox led early by as many as 15 in the first quarter, however, Dells battled back to a three-point lead in the third. But the LHS girls showed the same resilience they had all year and outscored the Quarriers 19-14 in the fourth to get the win.
Three Orioles were in double figures on the night with Madysen Vlastuin finishing the night with a double double. Vlastuin finished with 22 points to lead all scorers in the game. She also pulled down 10 rebounds, had two assists and two steals.
Riley Peters provided 17 points for Lennox, had six rebounds and four steals. Courtney Weeldreyer finished with 10 points, six rebounds and one assist.
Rianna Fillipi put up seven points in the win, grabbed three rebounds and had two assists. Jordan Kruse ended with four points and Megan Hinker provided three points, one rebound and one steal. Tiffany Plimpton, Abbie Strasser, Bailey Nelson and Leslie Fillipi each grabbed a rebound in the game.
With the win over Dell Rapids, Lennox advanced to the semi-finals against Vermillion March 10. Again Lennox jumped out to an early lead only to have the Tanagers battle back and take the 22-20 lead at the half. Once more, determination of the girls shone on the court as Lennox charged back in the second half, outscoring Vermillion 19-14 in the third and 18-14 in the fourth to take the 57-50 victory.
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