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Although some of the names are different for New Underwood girls’ basketball this season, one thing hasn’t changed for the team that finished fifth in the Class B state tournament last season.

The Tigers are going to try to ride their defense all the way to the state tournament.

New Underwood returns four of its top seven players from a 24-2 season, but lost Brianna Philipsen and her more than 1,500 career points to graduation.

Coach Stacy Finkbeiner said the goals haven’t changed, and although he has to remind this team it hasn’t accomplished anything yet, the main goal is to be playing in the state tournament in Aberdeen come March.

“We’ve kind of had to remind them, and it started in open gym last summer, where they thought we were just going to be good because,” he said. “I’ve had to remind them that we graduated a 1,500-point scorer last year and we have to build pieces around that missing piece. I think it’s been good for these kids, we’ve come out and struggled a little bit in summer league and we’ve struggled early in the season. I think it’s a good reminder that they have to continue to work hard and improve on their own games.”

Last season the Tigers rode their defense to the state tournament, and not much is expected to change. Philipsen graduating means some size will be lost inside, but Finkbeiner said his defense is still looking like the strength of his team.

“We lost our big girl in the middle, which is going to hurt a little bit, but we’ve made some changes to help that out,” he said. “Our goal is to get out and get after people, pressure them. We play a half court zone but we don’t play a typical zone; we play an in-your-face zone and we get after people.”

Offensively, last season’s team was anchored by its post play. Although the offense is behind the defense early in the season, junior Jaedyn Finkbeiner said she’s encouraged by the balance the offensive attack possesses this season.

“We lost a few seniors, so we have to make sure that we work really hard and keep our focus,” she said. “We’re more well-rounded than we have been in most years. The post has always been our big strength, but I think our guards have gotten a lot better.”

Jaedyn Finkbeiner remembers fondly going to Huron for the state tournament last season. It’s a memory that she believes has served as motivation to the Tigers.

They’ve tasted what it’s like to be there before, and now they want another crack at a deep run in the postseason.

“It was a great experience, it was a great learning point, and we hope we can get back there,” she said. “I think the team is pretty confident, we just have to make sure we keep our focus in practices and games. Our focus is what got us to (the state tournament) last year.”

Junior Cailyn Miller was also on the team last season, and she said although some of the faces are different, the drive is still there from last season.

“It was a really fun experience, not something we get to do every year. I think our team meshed really well and that helped everything go good,” Miller said. “Missing some of the seniors seems a little different, but with the new people coming up, it seems to be going really well. You can tell that we still have the drive to get back to the place that we were, because it was such a cool experience.”

New Underwood tips its season off with a home game against Edgemont, Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Western South Dakota boys' and girls' Class B capsules. If your team doesn't appear, the questionnaire wasn't returned to the Journal. any questionnaires sent after print publication will be added online.


White River Tigers

Last season: 20-6 overall, sixth at state

Head coach: Eldon Marshall, 16th year.

Returning starters: Donnie Yackley 5-11, Sr. 9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.0 spg; Nick Sayler 6-0, Soph., 5.1 ppg, 5.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg; Jadice Morrison 6-2, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 spg.

Other returners: John Petrik 6-0, Sr., 1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg; Izaiah Sorace 5-8, Soph., 10, 4.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg; Teron Sazue 6-2, Soph., 3.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg; Tyson Iyotte 6-1, Soph., 3.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 spg; Joe Brandis, 6-4, Soph., 5.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 aspg, 1.0 bpg; Jacob Young 6-6, Jr.

Coach’s quote: “The team has set very high team goals and have been working very hard to achieve them. We will have a lot of work to do, but we have an overall young group that has good experience with great senior leadership. Our expectations are very high.”

Newell Irrigators

Last season: 7-15 overall.

Head coach: Trev Fiedler, first year.

Starters returning: Brock Kjellesen 6-0, Jr.

Other returners:  Payton Burtzlaff Jr., John Jackson Soph., Troy Rounds, Sr., Kai Banks, Soph., Ben Parrow, Jr.

Coach’s quote: “We are a very young team with only one returning starter. We will have a lot of guys stepping into new roles this season. My expectation is to compete with every team we play and get better every day this season. This group of kids work their tails off and I am excited to see what we can accomplish this season as a team.”

Wall Eagles

Last season: 14-9 (District Champions)

Head coach: Lex Heathershaw, first year in Wall

Returning starters: Damion Bresee 5-11, Sr., 10 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 spg; Mason Sandal 6-5, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 1 spg.

Other returners: Jacob Bielmaier, Kole Gallino, Andrew Law.

Key additions: Winn Schaak, Bradan McDonnell, Cooper McConaghy, Cash Wilson.

Coach’s quote: “This year we will look to qualify for the Round of 16 and make a push for the State Tournament. We will take things game by game and be as competitive as possible.”

New Underwood Tigers

Last season: 3-17 overall.

Head coach: Rusty Lytle, third season.

Starters returning: Connor Knuppe 6-0, Soph.; Kolter Clark 6-1, Soph.; Chance Derner 6-2, Soph.

Other returners: Dusty Merchen 5-8, Soph.; Connor Heinert 5-10, Soph.; transfer Owen Perry 5-10, Soph.; Sawer Brose 5-8, 8th grader; Coy Anderson 5-8, Fr.

Coach’s quote: “We are still young, but this group has played at the varsity level for two years now and have physically started to grow, and that along with their resilience and perseverance, will allow them to be competitive in the majority of our games.”

Faith Longhorns

Last season: 13-9 overall.

Head coach: Travis Grueb, third season.

Returning starters: Brock Vance, 6-2, Sr., 10 ppg; Tarin Arneson 6-0, Sr., 4 spg; Layton Steele (transferred in from Newell), 6-0, Jr.

Other returners: Tyson Selby 6-2, Fr.; Treyton Bushong 6-0, Soph. 

Coach’s Quote: “I expect us to get better each and every day. We will have young guys playing a lot of important minutes, so I expect there will be growing pains over the course of the year that we will have to work through. And hopefully by the end of February we are playing our best basketball.”

Lyman Raiders

Last season: 9-12

Head coach: Eric Diehm, third season.

Returning starters: Tate Wagner 6-2, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg; Ty Schindler 6-0, Soph., 7.7 ppg, 2.4 apg.

Other returners: Carter Collins 6-0, Jr.; Brenden Estes 6-0, Soph.; Baptiste Pourier 5-9, Soph.; Kaden Choal 5-10, Soph.

Coach’s Quote: “I feel like we should be very competitive for our schedule. We look young on paper, but have lots of basketball and athletic experience. We are going to have to play team defense and rebound the ball as a team. It should be a very fun year and we are excited about the changes in the postseason.”

Edgemont Moguls

Last season: 2-19

Head coach: Joe Martin, fourth year.

Returning starters: Kaleb Darrow 5-10, Jr., 10.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg/apg, 1.6 spg; Ryan Simons, 5-10, Jr., 5.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 apg; Dalton Reutter 5-10, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg; Corey Andrie 5-10, Sr., 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 apg.

Other returners: Caleb Simons 5-10, Fr., 1.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg; Grant Darrow, 5-4, Fr. 0.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg.

Coach’s quote: “We have a lot of reason to be optimistic about our upcoming season. We return six athletic letterwinners that are anxious to play basketball. This group started playing big minutes together a season ago, and the majority of them will return next season. We won't look past any of our opponents, and with our current leadership should be a surprisingly tough team to beat on any given night.”

Oelrichs Tigers

Last season: 6-11

Head coach: James Knutson, first season.

Returning starters: Jason Long Soldier 6-4, Sr., Charlie Swallow 5-11, Sr.

Coach’s quote: “This season will be about establishing the foundation for a successful program and bringing energy each day as a staff and a team. I am very excited to be back close to my reservation and to be coaching Native youth again.”

Lemmon Cowboys

Last season: 15-8 overall, District 15B Champs.

Head coach: Sheri Anderson, fifth year.

Returning players: Peyton Anderson 6-1, Soph., 63 reb., 17 stl; 10 blk, 62 ppg.; Britt Oliver 5-10, Soph., 78 reb., 17 stl, 43 ast., 167 ppg; Steve Boeckel 6-4, Sr.; Cody Thompson 5-11, Fr.; Jaden Kelley 5-10, Fr., 7 reb., 5 stl., 7 ppg.; Jacob Hetzel 5-9, Fr.

Coach’s quote: “After losing five starting seniors we are replacing all five starting stops. We have two players (Anderson and Oliver) who have seen a lot of varsity floor time since they were 8th graders. I am looking forward to a year of the unexpected. We are hoping to surprise a few teams this season."

Colome Cowboys

Head Coach: Drew Weber

2016-17 record: 16-5

Returning starters: Jackson Kinzer 6-0, Jr.; Kolton Salonen 6-2, Sr.

Other returners: Beau Bertram 6-4, Jr.; Layton Thieman 6-2, Jr.; Wyatt Cahoy 5-7, Jr.; Calvin Ringing Shield 6-2, Jr.; Andrew Laprath 6-0, Sr.; Jeremiah Yeaman 6-0, Sr.; Chase Dufek 5-9, Jr.

Coach’s Quote: “We have good length, defensive toughness, team-first mentality, athleticism and a return solid experience despite losing three three-year starters.”


Wall Lady Eagles

Head coach: John Hess.

Last season: 16-4 overall.

Returning starters: Kyla Sawvell 5-11, Jr.; Emilee Pauley 5-6, Sr..

Other returners: Meghan Patterson 5-7, Jr.; Cooper McLaughlin 5-7, Jr. Jaicee Willliams 6-0, Jr.; Mercede Hess 6-0, Jr.; Jayton McKay 5-6, Jr; Samantha Deutscher 5-6, soph.; Kassidy Sawvell 5-7, Soph.

Coach’s quote: “The Lady Eagles graduated four seniors. The outlook will heavenly depend on the younger girls work in the off season and progress during the year.”

Timber Lake Panthers

Last season: 19-6 overall. 

Head coach: Jordan Weisbeck

Returning starters: Loryn Schoelerman, 5-9, Sr.,15.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg; Josie White, 5-4, Sr., 6.1 ppg, 3.8 spg; Sydney Maher, 5-5, Sr., 6.7 ppg; Chyanne Ducheneaux, 5-6 Sr., 7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg.

Returning lettermen: Lexy White, 5-7, Jr., 5.2 ppg; Lorenda Long, 5-4, Jr., 4.1 ppg; LaShae Nash, 5-9, Jr., 3.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg; Macey Bollinger, 5-5, So., 3.2 ppg.

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Gregory Lady Gorillas

Last season: 3-19 overall.

Head coach: Kevin Myrmoe, second season.

Returning starters: Emma Schweigert, 5-8, Sr., 5.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, one ast, one stl; Sydney Svatos, 5-9, So., 5.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 1.2 asst; 2.0 spg. 

Returning lettermen: Megan Warnke, 5-9, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 asst, 1.3 spg; Brooklyn VanDerWerff, 5-7, So., 1.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.9 asst, 0.3 spg; Jessy VanDerWerff, 5-5, seventh grade. 

Philip Scotties

Last season: 16-7 overall.

Head coach: Tayta West, third season.

Returning impact players: Jada Jones, 5-4, Sr.; Cappie West, 5-7, Jr.; Cylver Lurz, 5-11, Jr.; Jewell Jones, 5-8, Jr.; Kaitlyn Fosheim, 5-10, Jr.

Returning lettermen: Philip will have nine letterwinners returning.

Coach’s Quote: "We like to anticipate a tough season every year and prepare as best as we can to be on top of our game. We don't underestimate anyone, and we will take one game at a time."

Crazy Horse Lady Chiefs

Last season: 5-17 overall.

Head coach: James Bagwell, second season.

Returning starters:  Sequoia Bettelyoun, 5-8, So., 15 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 spg; Maddie Bettelyoun, 5-4, Jr., 7 ppg, 4 asst, 3 spg; Tiuana Wilcox, 5-10, Jr., 8 ppg, 8 rpg; Quentana Standing Soldier, 5-7, Fr., 5 ppg.

Returning reserves: Amya Bettelyoun, 5-7, Sr.; Ganeya Wilcox, 5-7, Jr.; Alicia Spotted Elk, 5-8, Jr.; Amber Terkildersen, 5-9, So.

Newcomers: Mary Standing Soldier, Sr.; Deidre Roberts, 5-9, Fr.; Deja Roberts, 5-4, Fr.  

Newell Irrigators

Head coach: Scott Wince, first season with team. 

Returning starters: Delaney Leber, Sr.

Colome Cowgirls

Last season: 4-17 overall.

Head coach: Kory Foss, first season with Colome.

Returning starters: Rayne Hermsen, 5-9, Jr., 5.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg; Kaydee Heath, 5-8, Jr., 4.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Abby Kortan, 5-6, Fr., 6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg; Saydee Heath, 5-7, Fr., 6.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg.

Returning lettermen: Matrix Noteboom, 5-4, Jr., 0.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg; Jaclyn Laprath, 5-6, Jr., 0.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg; Makayla Shippy, 5-3, Fr., 4.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg; Baylie Hoffine, 5-7, Fr., 0.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg. 

Coach’s Quote: "We're a young team coming off a season where a lot of girls got to play varsity minutes. If they can come together under a new system and work hard it could be a much improved season. We don't have a lot of size so we'll have to play fast, but I think that will suit the girls we have. They're a good group and will fight until the final buzzer." 

Oelrichs Lady Tigers

Last season: 12-10 overall.

Head coach: Dale Pine Jr., third season overall, first since 2014.

Returning starters: Kyla Crow, 5-7, Sr.; Natasha Swiftwater, 5-7, Jr. 

Returning lettermen: Baylie Her Many Horses, 5-6, So.; Jada Rouillard, 5-6, Fr.; Davida Respects Nothing, 5-11, Sr. 

Coach's Quote: "We lost a bit of scoring from last season, but it also leaves more opportunities for the returners. We will have a very young team with some middle schoolers in the mix for playing time. The girls are working hard so far and we'll be competitive in each game."

New Underwood Tigers

Head coach: Stacy Finkbeiner, 29th season.

Last season: 24-2, fifth place at state tournament.

Returning starters: Jaedyn Finkbeiner, 6-0, Jr., 11 ppg, 7.5 rpg; Lexi Ballard, 5-10, Fr., 9.7 ppg, 3.7 asst.

Returning players: Cailyn Miller, 5-9, Jr., 3 ppg, 2.6 asst; Cerington Jones, 6-0, Fr., 7 ppg, 4.3 rpg.

Other returners: Kelsie Anderson, 5-3, Sr.; Jae Hanks, 5-10, Jr.; Avery Heinert, 6-0, Fr.; Chloe Miller, 5-6, Fr.

Coach's quote: "Our expectations are very high as we return four players who played extensively in the state tournament. We should continue to improve throughout the season as our young players gain more experience."

Faith Lady Longhorns

Last season: 20-3 overall.

Head coach: Bryan Carmichael, 22nd season.

Returning starters: Kailyn Groves, 5-8, Sr., 15 ppg, 10 rpg; Jayden Shoemaker, 5-7, Jr., 12 ppg; Brooke Lemmel, 5-8, Sr., 6 rpg, 3 spg; Triston Delbridge, 5-10, Sr., 4 ppg, 6 rpg.

Returning lettermen: Sydnie Schauer, 5-7, So., 10 ppg; Mikenzy Miller, 5-10, Jr., 6 ppg, 3 spg.

Aaron Finnell and Richard Anderson contributed to this report with the capsule looks.

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.