Revisit the path that led S.D. to three classes

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The Armour Packers of 1987, after winning their fifth consecutive Class B state girls title, were, from left, kneeling, Rita Freidel and Bonnie Hrdlicka. Middle, Jodi Pipes, Dana Nielsen, Jennifer Hawley, Tammy Weisser,  Peggy Leonard, Christa VanZee, Meg Nase and Krista McFarland. And back, Michelle Kelly, Nicole DeVries and manager Amy Stern.

The Armour Packers of 1987, after winning their fifth consecutive Class B state girls title, were, from left, kneeling, Rita Freidel and Bonnie Hrdlicka. Middle, Jodi Pipes, Dana Nielsen, Jennifer Hawley, Tammy Weisser, Peggy Leonard, Christa VanZee, Meg Nase and Krista McFarland. And back, Michelle Kelly, Nicole DeVries and manager Amy Stern.

Delbert Gillam (34) scored 72 points in a single game for Argonne during 1953.

Delbert Gillam (34) scored 72 points in a single game for Argonne during 1953.

       The makeup of South Dakota high school basketball was changed dramatically when the controversial decision was made to discard the two-class system that had been in effect from 1936 through 1985.

        The 2016 Fall Newsletter of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame examines the decision to change to three classes. Profiled is the man, Q.C. Miles, who played an integral role in the process. And included is a recap of the voting for the top players of the two-class era.

        Also featured are the Armour Packers and their five consecutive Class B state girls championships. The Packers compiled an overall 123-4 record while winning titles in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.

        And the newsletter introduces readers to high scoring Delbert Gillam of the Argonne Arrows. His average of 25.9 points per game as a senior in the 1953 season included an amazing single-game record outburst of 72.

        Those on the Hall of Fame mailing list were sent the newsletter on Nov. 16. We publish two issues per year and they are distributed free.

        To get your name on our mailing list provide your home address to Executive Director Dave Wagner at dlwagner@tnics.com.

The Golden Anniversary of an historic “B”

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        Fifty years ago Tripp High School was preparing to open a season that would end with Coach Jim Flevares and his Wildcats cutting down the nets at the Sioux Falls Arena as undefeated Class B state champions of 1967.

        It was a memorable tournament because of Tripp’s 28-0 record and the unprecedented 103-point scoring of Mike Freier. State tournaments in South Dakota date back to 1912 and until Freier no player had ever reached 100.

        The Wildcats topped Beresford in the first round as Freier had 32 points. He went for 36 in the semifinals against Frederick. Tripp beat Herreid 72-46 in the finals as Freier scored 35. In the tourney the 5-foot-9 guard shot 93 percent on free throws (25 of 27) and 62 percent from the field. Many of his shots were long range before the 3-point goal.

        Freier played one season at the University of South Dakota and then finished his career as a standout at Yankton College for the Greyhounds. He was inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

South Dakota influence is felt in Power 7

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        With the 2016-17 college season nearing tip off, there are coaches in the Power 7 conferences whose basketball roots can be traced back to their careers as outstanding high school players in South Dakota.

        Programs at the University of Nebraska of the Big Ten Conference are led by men’s coach Tim Miles and women’s coach Amy (Gusso) Williams. Miles is a native of Doland and Williams is from Spearfish.

        Miles is entering his fifth season guiding the Cornhuskers. In his 22 years as a collegiate head coach, spent at five different schools, he has a 346-287 record. Williams is beginning her first season at Nebraska. She is 193-109 overall in nine years as a head coach, including 96-44 during the past four seasons at the University of South Dakota.

        Mitchell product Ryan Miller serves as an assistant  at Texas Christian University of the Big 12 Conference. Joe Krabbenhoft, who prepped at Sioux Falls Roosevelt, is an assistant at Big Ten member University of Wisconsin.

        Other conferences in the Power 7 are the Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10, Big East, Pac-12 and Southeastern.

Exhibits showcase state champions, venues

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     The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame’s presence at the Sanford Pentagon has been significantly enhanced by the recent progress that has been made on three important projects.

     Six panels featuring 8 x 10-inch images of state championship teams are now on display in corridors along the second floor. Each panel is 40 x 70 inches. Pictures depict each boys and girls champion from the first one-class tournament in 1912 through the end of the two-class system in 1985. A seventh panel will soon recognize champions of the Catholic state tournament that played a prominent role in South Dakota basketball history from 1937 through 1964.

     A separate display recognizes those special teams which compiled undefeated records during their title seasons. This exhibit was made possible by the generosity of Nancy Swett, wife of the late Hall of Fame member Rex Swett.

      Another display chronicles the evolution of venues that have served as sites of state tournaments. Included are rare photos of Daum’s Auditorium in Huron, where the first tournament was held in 1912, and Spafford Hall in Aberdeen.

     The Hall of Fame’s main exhibit area is on the first floor of the Pentagon near the main entrance.

Newsletter pays tribute to history of LNI

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LNI 2015       The hundreds of people whose names are currently on the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame mailing list have been sent our 2016 Spring Newsletter. It was mailed to them on June 2.

      Among topics explored in the newsletter: *A special tournament, the Lakota Nation Invitational, that has come to stand for much more than just basketball. *Region II champion Ipswich’s surprising run to the Class B state title in 1952. *And a Q&A with Megan Mahoney, who has carried the banner of South Dakota through a decorated career as a prep, collegiate and professional star. In the LNI photo above Chris Comes Flying of Lower Brule drives against Justice Morrison of White River in the 39th annual tournament last December (Photo by Roman Hawran Lacho).

      South Dakota basketball enthusiasts from 33 different states receive the free newsletter. They live from California to Massachusetts and from North Dakota to Texas. Our newsletters also can be downloaded on this website.

      If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be added, email your name and home address to Executive Director Dave Wagner at dlwagner@tnics.com or you can contact him by phone by calling (605) 467-3010.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2016

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For website (Class of 2016)Wayne Rasmussen 2              The seventh annual induction ceremony and banquet was held by the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame on April 2. The event was at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

       Welcomed into the Hall of Fame during the banquet were 19 former greats. They expand membership to 117. To read bios of all members of the Hall of Fame click on Inductees on this website.

       The Class of 2016 is, from left, in front, Scott Morgan, Mitchell ’89; Chris Miller, Stickney ’71; Dale Hall, Ravinia ’54; Holly (Sivesind) Borchers, Roosevelt ’93; Lolly Steele, Pine Ridge ’84; and Roger Faber, Canistota ’58.

       In back are, Mason Hecker who was representing his late father Fred Hecker, Washington ’57; Dodie Bemis, who was representing her late father Bob Marske, Andover ’44; Matt Jones, Alpena ’01; Vince Gauer who was representing his late grandfather Bob Marske; Josh Mueller, West Central ’01; Steve Jansa, O’Gorman ’64; Harley Zephier Sr., Dupree ’55; Elton Byre, Reliance ’56; Maury Haugland, Murdo ’54; Amy (Allard) Carmody, Jefferson ’82; and Melissa (Olson) Guebert, Lincoln ’83. Also inducted was Wayne Rasmussen, Howard ’60, who is shown at right. Completing the Class of 2016 were the late Conrad Collin, Huron ’30; and the late Rudy Soderquist, Rapid City ‘37.

Salem ’26: Co-Team of Excellence for 2016

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Salem 1926       Among the highlights of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame’s annual banquet is the recognition of one of the state’s greatest teams of the past as a Team of Excellence. Two such teams were recognized in 2016.

     One was the Salem Cubs of 1926. Salem had an astounding 40-1 record. The Cubs won the single-class state title and then took third place in the prestigious National Interscholastic Tournament that was held at the end of the season in Chicago.

     The team was comprised of, from left, Coach George Edmonds, Gerald Cheadle, Clarence Carey, George Carey, Vernon Cheadle, Jake Schneider, Vernon Sessler, Melvin Olson, Billy Rohlffs and Lemmie Herting.

Huron ’58: Co-Team of Excellence for 2016

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      Huron 1958Huron 1958 was selected as one of two great teams from the state’s past to be honored as a Team of Excellence by the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame during the organization’s 2016 banquet.

      The Tigers of Coach Carold Heier finished with an undefeated 22-0 record after winning the Class A state championship.

      Team members who also won the Eastern South Dakota  Conference were, from left, Don Tschetter, Dale Schwartz, Dennis Busch, John Ehret, John Fuglsang, Nick Brod, Don Barry, Rex Swett, Al Mason, Tom Martin, Larry Keelin and Bill Madden. Kneeling is student manager Charles Pease.

Revered Mitchell coach Munsen dies at 72

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Gary Munsen       Gary Munsen, among the most successful and well-known coaches in the history of South Dakota basketball, died at his Mitchell home on Jan. 12, 2016. He was 72.

        An outstanding athlete at White Lake High School, he went on to graduate from Dakota State University. While in college he developed a love of coaching while serving as a student assistant under longtime Trojans coach Ed Harter.

        Munsen began his career in education at Marion. He then moved to Mitchell and coached the Kernel boys from 1974-2012. During that time Mitchell won nine state championships. Munsen’s career record as a boys coach was 672-254.

        The Kernels also won three additional state titles while Munsen was serving as girls coach from 1989-2001. His record with the Mitchell girls was 230-71.

        With a combined boys and girls record of 902-325, Munsen was the overall winningest coach in state history. His 12 combined state championships is also a state record. Munsen guided the Kernel boys to 18 Eastern South Dakota Conference titles while his Mitchell girls teams won seven ESD championships.        

New class will expand Hall of Fame to 117

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Wayne Rasmussen as a Detroit Lion

Wayne Rasmussen in the NFL

        The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame will induct 19 new members during its seventh annual banquet at 1 p.m. on April 2 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls. That will increase membership in the Hall of Fame to 117 of the most accomplished boys and girls players in the history of the state.

        Included among the former greats in the Class of 2016 is Wayne Rasmussen, an all-state player at Howard High School. Later as a collegian at South Dakota State University he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1963 NCAA College Division National Basketball Tournament held in Evansville, Ind.

        Rasmussen, now of Brandon, graduated from Howard in 1960. He led South Dakota State to the national championship during his junior season. Also a football standout in high school and college, Rasmussen went on to a 10-year career in the National Football League as a defensive back for the Detroit Lions.

        To be recognized at the banquet as Teams of Excellence will be two of the state’s all-time greatest teams: the 1958 Huron Tigers and the 1926 Salem Cubs. Ticket information for the banquet will be announced soon on this website.

                                   HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016

  • Holly (Sivesind) Borchers, Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School 1993).
  • Elton Byre, Sioux Falls (Reliance High School 1956).
  • Amy (Allard) Carmody, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. (Jefferson High School 1982).
  • Conrad “Cornie” Collin* (Huron High School 1930).
  • Roger Faber, Bloomington, Minn. (Canistota High School 1958).
  • Melissa (Olson) Guebert, Apple Valley, Minn. (Sioux Falls Lincoln High School 1983).
  • Dale Hall, Wagner (Ravinia High School 1954).
  • Maury Haugland, Lead (Murdo High School 1954).
  • Fred Hecker* (Sioux Falls Washington High School 1957).
  • Steve Jansa, Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School 1964).
  • Matt Jones, Brookings (Alpena High School 2001).
  • Bob Marske* (Andover High School 1944).
  • Chris Miller, Louisville, Ky. (Stickney High School 1971).
  • Scott Morgan, Mitchell (Mitchell High School 1989).
  • Josh Mueller, Arvada, Colo. (West Central High School 2001).
  • Wayne Rasmussen, Brandon (Howard High School 1960).
  • Rudy Soderquist* (Rapid City High School 1937).
  • Lolly Steele, Pine Ridge (Pine Ridge High School 1984).
  • Harley Zephier Sr., Aberdeen (Dupree High School 1955).
    * To be inducted posthumously