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Orioles defeat Dakota Valley, Canton to advance to SoDak 16



With wins over Dakota Valley and Canton last week, the Lennox High School girls’ basketball team finds themselves one win away from advancing to the State A Tournament.

“The girls were really focused all week during practice and it showed with how hard and smart they played in both region games,” said LHS head coach Adam Quail. “Anytime you can beat two quality Dak XII teams in the postseason really says a lot about where a team is at mentally. Really happy for the girls to earn a chance to compete for a state tournament berth on Thursday night!”

The Orioles began playoffs with a home match-up against Dakota Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Lennox used a solid night shooting and strong defense to get the 56-48 victory over the Panthers.

“I was really excited with how we executed our defensive game plan. Courtney Sandal and Ashlee Sweeter really stepped up and took pride in limiting their best offensive player to three points and only five shots,” said Quail. “Offensively we played very efficiently and shared the ball well which shows with our 15 assists. Andie Peters, Dani Highum and Carli Kuyper really did a nice job playing patiently and finishing plays on the offensive end.”

For the Orioles, Highum and Peters both led the way with 17 points in the game. Highum went seven of 11 from the field and hit three at the foul line. Peters was five off eight from three point land and hit both free throw attempts. Highum also grabbed eight rebounds, had two assists, and three steals. Peters finished with one rebound, one assist, and two steals. Kuyper finished the night with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down ten rebounds. She also had four assists in the game. Ryan Hanssen provided seven points, five rebounds, and three assists. Sweeter finished with three points, one rebound, one assist and one steal. Gavyn Herlyn had one point, two rebounds, and two assists.

With the win over Dakota Valley, the Orioles advanced to the second round, facing off against Canton on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Orioles brought a stout defense to the court, holding the C-Hawks to just seven points in the first half. Lennox went on to get the 53-22 victory.

“It was an incredible showing by our fan base, the team really appreciated all the support and played extremely hard knowing the community and school were behind them. We were really locked in defensively and when you can get consecutive stops on the defensive end it typically leads to good offense,” said Quail. “Carli Kuyper had her best game defensively and really disrupted Canton’s game plan. Courtney Sandal and Ashlee Sweeter again completely shut down Canton’s best offensive threat leaving her scoreless and Andie Peters turned it on offensively in the second half.”

Peters finished the game with 19 points, hitting six of eight three point attempts.

“Ryan Hanssen set the tone early for us early and had an extremely efficient nine points on three of four shooting,” said Quail. “I’m really proud of how we played together!”

Highum finished with eight points in the game, Sweeter and Kuyper five, Karli Bosma four, and Sandal three. Leading the team in rebounds was Kuyper who pulled down nine in the game. Hanssen grabbed eight. Highum led the team in assists with five and Peters led in steals with three.

The Orioles are set to face off against Sioux Falls Christian In the SoDak 16 match-up slated for this Thursday, March 2 in Harrisburg. The winner will advance to the State A Tournament scheduled to be held March 9-11 in Watertown.

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