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Connor Crane shoots for a layup during the Sturgis Brown boys basketball game against the Custer Wildcats at Sturgis Brown High School in 2017. 

Journal file

The advent of the three-point basket in 1987 has played a definite influence on the game of high school basketball. Sturgis Brown High School varsity boys basketball team is an example of a team which has taken advantage of the three-pointer.

Connor Crane and Dawson Geuke, both seniors and four-year members of the SBHS varsity, and Ryan Garland, a junior and three-year varsity player, have combined for a total of 78 made trifectas this season. The trio connected for 58 points in the Scoopers' come-from-behind win over Black Hills Conference rival Spearfish last Friday. All three players were all-BHC honorees last season.

"All three players are obviously great shooters," Sturgis Brown coach Colin McCampbell said. "They are the three best shooters I've ever coached, and have been for multiple years."

Crane averages 13.3 points and five rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5-inch forward sinks 64 percent of his two-point attempts and 44 percent of his three-point attempts.

"Connor has really improved his game going to the basket," McCampbell said.

"I've been playing basketball since I was little," said Crane. "I love all the skill that goes into it. I was a post player until I starting working on my outside shot in middle school." Crane will play men's college basketball at NAIA school Dakota Wesleyan University, joining former SBHS all-state player Kellen Barden on the Tigers' roster.

Geuke, a 6-foot guard, tallies 12.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per-game.

"Dawson has the ability to score. His defense is much improved," McCampbell said.

"I've been playing basketball since the fourth grade," Geuke said. "My favorite parts are my teammates and the relationships. When I was younger, I played the post. When middle school started, I worked on my shooting. As a point guard, my role is to be a leader and making sure everyone is on the same page."

Garland, a 6-foot guard, nets 13.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and four assists per game.

"Ryan sees the court well," McCampbell said. "He hit some big three-pointers in the second half in our win over Pierre."

"I picked up a basketall at a young age,"Garland said. "I like everything about the game. Dawson and I have similar roles."

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"These kids have set the tone for the program," McCampbell said. "They are great examples for the other kids. The other kids feed off how they are playing. It's hard for the opposing team to focus on three players.

"We're off to a good start (9-3). We need to find out where we're at in the race to the State (AA) tournament."

"It was nice to hang the banner (BHC title) last year," Garland said of the Scoopers first BHC title since the 1980s.

Sturgis Brown fell one game short of an appearance in the State AA tournament in 2017, dropping a contest to Aberdeen Central.

The SBHS trio all said a state tournament appearance is a goal. In a new format this year, the top sixteen class AA teams qualify for the Sweet Sixteen. The eight winners advance to the state tournament in Sioux Falls on March 15-17.

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Managing editor

Chris Huber is the managing editor at the Rapid City Journal.