Two highly regarded coaches who helped their teams reach the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2019 are among 13 former standouts selected in the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame’s next induction class.
Joe Krabbenhoft starred at Sioux Falls Roosevelt. He then was a standout at the University of Wisconsin (shown at left during his Badgers career in a photo courtesy of UW). Krabbenhoft is now an assistant coach at Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers had a 21-10 record in 2020.
Austin Hansen (right) led Brandon Valley to the 1998 Class AA state championship and then went on to star at South Dakota State University. Now a Utah State University assistant coach, Hansen and the Aggies recorded a 26-8 record in 2020. Utah State is a member of the Mountain West Conference.
Sioux Falls Washington’s unbeaten girls team of 1980 was selected to be honored as a Team of Excellence. The late Joe Lockwood coached the Warriors, who were 23-0 and led by Hall of Fame members Ann Pancoast and JoElle Byre, to the Class A state championship.
Here is a look at those selected. They will be inducted at the 11th annual banquet on March 27, 2021:
Janel Birrenkott, Frederick, Md. (Lemmon 1982): After excelling at Lemmon, where she averaged 25 points per game as a senior, Birrenkott scored 1,352 career points at Northern State University. She led the Northern Sun Conference in scoring with 20 points per game in 1986. Birrenkott represented the United States in the Deaf Olympics.
Jerry Even, Sioux Falls (Dell Rapids St. Mary’s 1964): Even averaged 21 points per game during the 13 career games he played in State Catholic Tournaments. He was a four-year starter for St. Mary’s, netting 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds per game in his senior season. Even surpassed 2,000 points during his career, totaling 2,032.
Jayne (Even) Gust, Fargo, N.D. (O’Gorman 1996): A four-year varsity performer, Gust led O’Gorman to the Class AA state title in 1995 when she averaged 21 points per game. She scored 1,228 career points for the Knights. Gust was an NCAA Division II All-American at North Dakota State University. She joins her father, Jerry Even, in the Class of 2020.
Austin Hansen, River Heights, Utah (Brandon Valley 1998): While winning its first Class AA state title in 1998, Brandon Valley got 18 points and six assists per game from Hansen. He was co-Mr. Basketball that season and went on to earn all-North Central Conference honors three times while scoring 1,815 career points at South Dakota State.
Joe Krabbenhoft, Waunakee, Wis. (Roosevelt 2005): All-state three years, Krabbenhoft had 911 points and 544 rebounds at Roosevelt. He had a decorated career at Wisconsin. Krabbenhoft played in 136 games and totaled 827 points, 756 rebounds and 273 assists. He played several years professionally, including with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Sarah Mannes Homstad, Yankton (Yankton 1988): Mannes Homstad sparked Yankton to a pair of Class AA state titles and a combined 45-1 record in 1986 and 1987. She totaled 913 career points and set a Gazelles career record by shooting 55 percent from the field. Mannes Homstad played in four NCAA Tournaments while at Vanderbilt University.
Arlo Mogck, Worthington, Minn. (Parkston 1955): Parkston was a very small school by Class A standards and Mogck led the Trojans to a runner-up finish in the 1954 state tournament. He had 1,259 career points. Mogck excelled at Southern State College where he was chosen to the all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference team four years.
Sam Perrin (Huron 1927): The late Perrin captained Huron to the one-class state title in 1927. Huron then took fourth place in the 43-team National Interscholastic Tournament in Chicago. Perrin was a Midwest Conference scoring champion when he averaged 18 points per game as a senior at Carleton (Minn.) College in 1931.
Bob Pidde, Freeman (Freeman 1975): Freeman finished 27-0 in 1975 behind the leadership of Pidde. He averaged 17 points and 16 rebounds per game as the Flyers won the Class B state title. Pidde scored 23 points in the finals as Freeman topped previously unbeaten Dell Rapids St. Mary’s 61-55. He then played at South Dakota State.
Dave Thomas, Sioux Falls (Onida 1969): Thomas averaged 22 points per game as Class B state champion Onida had a 28-0 record in 1969. While at South Dakota State he scored 1,355 career points, was named to the all-NCC team twice and was league MVP in 1973. Thomas helped the Jackrabbits to two NCC championships.
Loren Thornton (Harrisburg 1936): The late Thornton led Harrisburg to its first-ever state tournament in 1936. The eventual champion, Oglala, edged the Tigers 36-33 in the semifinals. Thornton was chosen as the tourney’s MVP. Known as “Dutch,” he played collegiately at South Dakota State, helping the Jackrabbits to the NCC title in 1940.
Stanton Uhlir (Kadoka 1951): The late Uhlir put on an unprecedented scoring display in the State Class B Tournament in 1951. He notched 50 points in a consolation game and totaled 92 for the tourney. Uhlir had 2,023 career points for Kadoka. Also a talented lineman, he helped South Dakota State win NCC football titles in 1953 and 1954.
Dennis Womeldorf, Rapid City (Wessington Springs 1966): Known for his defensive tenacity, Womeldorf was also an outstanding scorer. His career total at Wessington Springs was 1,521 points. Womeldorf helped South Dakota State to three NCC championships. He scored 1,006 points during his career for the Jackrabbits and was league MVP in 1970.