Where They Stand: Sioux Falls High School Girls Basketball Looking to Turn Corner
Coming into the season all of the Sioux Falls girls basketball teams were faced with a few questions and challenges. Heading into January, some still have some room for growth.
The holiday season has come to an end and some of the Sioux Falls teams played as many as six games before the holiday break. The busy part of the schedule gets underway in January and there will be a lot of games played over the next eight weeks.
A lot will be determined over that time frame and for the Sioux Falls teams, there is a lot of room for growth. Currently, the teams sit at #2, #9, #12, and #18 in the SDHSAA seed point standings. Two of the teams would currently travel for the SoDak 16 round, while one team would be left out of the playoffs in general.
Here's where they stand through the first month of the season, and what's ahead for each of the Sioux Falls Class AA girls basketball teams.
Class AA Girls
SF Washington (5-1), 44.333 seed points (#2 AA), SD Media Poll T4
Washington is off to a strong start this season starting off 5-1. The Warriors have two Class AA wins over Huron and Lincoln, and the other three wins coming against two schools from Minnesota (Moorhead & Marshall) and against #2 Lennox (Class A). Washington's lone setback so far was against #1 Brandon Valley.
This Warriors team has the pieces to put together a strong run this season, but are still young yet to where a few bumps in the road could occur. Jamie Parish has five seniors on the roster led by Samiya Jami, Peyton Rymerson, and Lily Bartling. One of the strong points of the Warriors is the depth. Sydni Schetnan (10), Brielle Biteler (10), Eden Hullinger (10), and Jacee Johnannsen (11) have received a great amount of playing time and could be key to a big run for Washington this year.
WHS will now see only Class AA teams through the rest of the season. Highlights include five games against the other Sioux Falls schools, and home dates against Rapid City Central, Rapid City Stevens, Pierre, and Aberdeen Central.
SF O'Gorman (4-1), 41.200 seed points (#9 AA), SD Media Poll #2.
O'Gorman's lone loss this season is against one of the top teams in the country in Hopkins, MN at the Sanford Pentagon. Take that loss away, and O'Gorman has had no issues to start this year. The Knights set a new school record in margin of victory and total points scored over Sioux City North (93-14) back on December 13. The downside to O'Gorman is, outside of Hopkins, that they haven't been fully tested. The teams they have defeated this season are a combined 2-23.
The Knights have the talent to compete this season with an array of players that returned from last year including Creighton recruit Emma Ronsiek, and Wayne State recruit Awoti Akoi. Kent Kolsrud also has a strong supporting cast of starters that includes Isabelle Moore, Abigale Muller, and Carly Kunkel. Add in some great depth with Rylee Benson, Raegan Reilly, and Courtney Baruth and the Knights are covered in multiple spots. Oh, and they have a lot of great talent developing in Hannah Ronsiek, Allison Crouch, and Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda playing a decent amount per game.
O'Gorman will play eight of their last 15 games at home. Highlighted home games include Washington, Brandon Valley, Harrisburg, and Lincoln. The Knights will travel to Watertown, Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Brookings during January/February.
SF Lincoln (2-4), 39.667 seed points (#12 AA), SD Media Poll RV
The Patriots fit six games in less than two weeks to begin the season, and there were a few bumps in the road. Lincoln played and lost two games against top competition in Hopkins and St. Michael-Albertville out of Minnesota. Lincoln has wins over Watertown (0-6) and Roosevelt (0-5), and losses against two of the top teams in Class AA in Washington and O'Gorman.
Matt Daly still has some key components to his team for this season, and it will all come down to the Patriots finding a rhythm. He will rely on Morgan Hansen and Emma Osmundson to lead the way and will look to get Sydnaya Dunn back to 100% following an ankle sprain. While the starting core is strong, the development of the bench might be one of the factors to how far this team will go this year. Lexi Hochstein has shown the ability to knock down shots coming off the bench, but there is still a need for more production off the bench especially against some of the other Class AA schools that are deep.
Lincoln will be on the road to start January against Yankton and Roosevelt. Key games to keep an eye on for the Patriots include a trip to Brandon Valley on January 17, home against Washington on January 24, and a road trip across town to O'Gorman on January 25. The schedule sets up nicely for the Patriots on the final stretch as they will close with five straight home games.
SF Roosevelt (0-5), 36.000 seed points (#18 AA), SD Media Poll No Votes
This has been a tough start for the Rough Riders this season dropping their first five games by a combined score of 168-271 to teams that are a combined 16-10 to start the season. Roosevelt is still very young with only three seniors on the roster, and they're going to take a few lumps in the early part of the year against a strong schedule. Time may be the biggest factor for Roosevelt this season. David Maxwell does have another set of talented freshman on the varsity roster that will help out the squad, but it isn't going to happen directly overnight either.
They open up the January schedule with four straight home games, but again it's against some of the top teams in Class AA. Roosevelt will host Washington (5-1), Brandon Valley (5-0), Yankton (2-2), and Lincoln (2-3) in those four games. The middle of January needs to be a strong showing for the Rough Riders as they will travel to Rapid City after for two games but return to host Mitchell and Pierre to end the month. After that, Roosevelt plays five straight road games against Watertown, Aberdeen Central, O'Gorman, Brandon Valley, and Washington.
SD Media Basketball Poll Current Rankings (As of 12/27/18)
- Brandon Valley (14) 5-0 89 1
- O’Gorman (5) 4-1 79 2
- Harrisburg 4-0 60 3
- T-4. Stevens 4-1 26 5
- T-4. Washington 5-1 26 4
Receiving votes: Brookings 3, Lincoln 2.