The upcoming 2020 basketball season will mark the 75th anniversary of the last South Dakota state high school tournaments which were contested amidst the horrific specter of World War II.
United States forces fighting with the Allies in Europe and the Pacific in 1945 included South Dakota soldiers from virtually every community in the state. Many had been high school players before their military service. With continual prayers for their safety, and for peace, prep sports did its part in the crucial effort to sustain morale on the home front.
State championships were won in March of 1945 by Huron and Madison. Huron defeated Aberdeen Central 36-29 in the Class A finals behind standouts Bob Groves and John Jacobson. Madison got outstanding performances from Cal Mathison and Bob Aga while edging Webster 30-28 for the Class B title. At that time South Dakota also had a Catholic state tournament. Sioux Falls Cathedral won the 1945 championship over Madison St. Thomas 41-36.
Within the next six months, after the surrender of Germany and then of Japan, the war was finally over.