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Red Cloud's Alejandro Rama shoots for three during the Lakota Nation Invitational game against McLaughlin last December at the Civic Center.

Journal file photo

Vermillion’s AJ Plitzuweit, Madison’s Aaron Fiegen and Flandreau’s Dylan LeBrun highlighted the Class A All-State boys’ basketball team, selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association and released Wednesday.

The seniors are on the first team for a second year in a row.

They were joined on this season’s first team by Tea Area junior Noah Freidel, and Sioux Valley seniors Trevor Hanson and Trevor Olson.

Locally, Red Cloud's Alejandro Rama was named to the second team and Pine Ridge's Corey Brown was named to the third team.

Rama, a 6-foot-1 junior, led he Crusaders in scoring at 22 points a game, while grabbing 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Brown, at 6-4 and also a junior, finished with a 15.2 scoring average, grabbing 14.2 rebounds a game, as well as 3.7 assists per content. 

The Augustana-bound Plitzuweit led all players on the 18-man squad with 33.8 points per game and was named Player of the Year.

“AJ has had a tremendous two seasons for us at VHS,” said Tanagers coach Jay Drake. “He has put in a lot of time and hard work with the game of basketball. AJ has a very high basketball IQ and helps his team in many ways on the floor. The most impressive thing about him is the type of kid he is and is a great teammate.

“He is a very high character individual and has impacted our basketball program in so many ways the past two years that will benefit our program for many years to come. He is a true role model and just flat out a great young man.”

The 6-foot-2 guard shot 50.6 percent (245-of-484) from the field, including a 78-of-193 clip from 3-point range, and 89.3 percent (175-of-196) at the free-throw line. He added 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 steals per contest.

Plitzuweit dropped in a school-record 52 points in a game at Lennox on Jan. 11.

Fiegen, who is committed to South Dakota State, helped lead the Bulldogs to a state championship.

“Aaron is a phenomenal basketball player and a great student-athlete,” said Bulldogs coach Michael Ricke, whose team beat Tea Area 72-59 in the final. “He put in countless hours in the gym during the offseason to make himself into an All-State caliber player, and the results speak for themselves.

“Aaron was the leader of a team that went 24-1 and won the state championship. Throughout the season he did whatever his team needed him to do in order to get a win – from scoring, assisting, rebounding or playing lock down defense. He is an extremely versatile player who has a bright future at South Dakota State University.”

Fiegen, a 6-7 forward, put up averages of 18.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He shot 59.4 percent (203-of-361).

LeBrun had a big season for the Fliers and topped the 2,000-point mark for his career in the process.

“Dylan has always been a great scorer,” said Fliers coach Brendan Sheppard. “This year he dominated on the boards and defensively.”

The 6-6 point guard averaged a double-double of 25.6 points and 11 rebounds while adding 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per outing. He shot an even 50 percent (182-of-364).

In addition to a pair of first-team selections, LeBrun was a third-team honoree in 2016. He will continue his playing career at Augustana.

Freidel, the lone underclassmen on the first team, and the Titans handed Sioux Falls Christian its lone loss of the season — a 76-68 triumph in the state semifinals.

“The bigger the game, the bigger he played,” said Tea coach Chris Fechner, whose team won the state title in 2017. “When the ball was in his hands, good things usually happened. He has primarily been a perimeter player, but with his size, we started to post him more later in the season.

“He makes the other players around him better and really took on more of a leadership role for us this year. He played through a knee injury that bothered him for the last half of the season, yet he didn’t complain and seemed to use at as motivation.”

The 6-foot-5 Freidel tallied 25.1 points, six boards, two dimes and a pair of steals per game. He shot 48.5 percent (166-of-342) from the floor. He made the third team in 2017.

Hanson, who is 6-7, was a force down low for the Cossacks.

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“He has become one of the more dominant posts in South Dakota in any class, with the ability to impact the game offensively or defensively,” said Sioux Valley coach Bill Vincent, whose team placed fourth at state. “He controls the glass with his ability to rebound. He is simply one of the better rebounders and higher percentage shooters that I have coached.”

Hanson, an Augustana commit, averaged a double-double with 21.4 points and 10.5 rebounds and added 1.9 blocks and 1.5 assists. He shot 60.7 percent (181-of-298) from the field.

Olson was Sioux Valley’s main perimeter threat, knocking down 67 treys on 150 attempts (44.7 percent).

“He was an offensive scoring threat from anywhere, with the ability to score in bunches,” said Vincent. “Olson has had an offensive impact on our program since his freshman season. His ability to stretch the defense made many scoring opportunities not only for himself but for our team.”

The 6-foot-4 Olson averaged 20.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He shot 49.8 percent (156-of-313) overall. Olson is continuing his basketball career at Mt. Marty. He made the third team last year.

Hanson scored a school-record 47 points versus St. Francis Indian on Dec. 27 and Olson matched the total against Deuel on Feb. 6.

Champion Madison had two other players honored in senior twins Jaxon Janke (second team) and Jadon Janke (third team).

The Chargers had a pair of players on the second team — senior Koln Oppold and junior Mitch Goodbary.

Rounding out the second team were Aberdeen Roncalli senior Gus Reede, Miller junior Karst Hunter and Crow Creek senior Joe Sazue III.

Reede and Oppold are repeat second-team picks.

Also on the third team were Dell Rapids senior Jeffrey Schuch, Miller junior Karst Hunter, Bon Homme senior Bryce Scieszinski and Canton’s Kayden Verly — the lone sophomore honored.

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