High school girls basketball: Flandreau earns sixth place in Class A State Tournament

Flandreau’s Lily Klein goes up for a lay up during a 46-43 loss to Sioux Falls Christian on Saturday at the Watertown Civic Arena. (SDPB photo)

WATERTOWN – The Flandreau girls’ basketball team fell in the consolation championship on Saturday in the Class A State Tournament as the Fliers suffered a 46-43 overtime loss to Sioux Falls Christian.

The No. 3 seeded Chargers (23-3) held a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter but the No. 8 seeded Fliers (19-5) would then outscore SFC 12-8 in the second quarter and took a 24-22 lead into halftime.

It was a back-and-forth third quarter and Flandreau led 36-33 heading into the fourth. Flandreau then led 38-35 and SFC then scored five straight points to go up 40-38. Sadie Iott then made a two-point jumper and that shot sent the game to overtime as it was 40-40.

The score was 42-42 when Ellie Lems made a lay-up to put the Chargers up two. Flandreau’s Claire Sheppard then went to the free throw line and made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 44-43. Jaxsyn Swift made two free throws for SFC and Lily Klein’s 3-pointer did not fall, and the Chargers were consolation champions.

Flandreau head coach Megan Severtson said she thought fatigue may have played a factor for both teams as the game went into overtime.

“I think a little bit of fatigue [set in] for both teams. That’s starts to settle in on Saturday, but our crowd gave us a lot of energy. I thought our girls worked really hard and our effort was about as good as it could possibly be. There were just some moments where the Sioux Falls Christian girls stepped up and made shots when they had to, and our offense just went cold again. But overall I was happy with our play in that game. It was just two good teams that were competing,” Severtson said.

Flandreau shot 33% from the field and was 0-of-12 from three. Lizzie Pavlis led the Fliers with 13 points and seven rebounds. Sheppard had 10 points and eight rebounds. Iott had 10 points and Klein had eight points.

The Chargers shot 40% from the field and they were 2-of-10 from beyond the arc. SFC was led by Lems who had 19 points. Breanna Beyke had 10 points.

The Chargers had a 29-26 advantage in rebounds. Each team had eight turnovers. Flandreau was 7-of-10 at the free throw line and SFC was 4-of-8 on free throws.

Flandreau began the season 1-3 and then won 17 of its next 18 games heading into the State Tournament. Coming into the season Severtson said she thought Flandreau would go through a bit of a rough patch as the team did not have a senior, but they battled through that and qualified for the State Tournament for the second time since 1997. Severtson said she thought her young team handled the spotlight well over the weekend.

“I was really happy with how they handled their composure over the past three days. That’s a big stage to play on and for it to be the first time those girls were doing it, I thought it was a really big deal for us to experience some success at the state tournament. We played against teams that have been there before and they go often, so for us to get that experience, hopefully it allows our girls to build off some of that momentum as we head into next season,” Severtson said.

With having no seniors on the team, Flandreau will return every player that played this season. With Sheppard, who has committed to play basketball at South Dakota State in 2024, leading the way, the Fliers should be one of the best teams in Class A again next season. Severtson said this postseason run can help the Fliers heading into next year, but they need to make sure that they’re focused on the right things.

“I think there is a little bit of balance of both jitters and pressure [once you make State]. You get rid of some of the jitters because you’ve now done it, but it adds a little bit of pressure to your team as well. So, really as you prepare for next season, you have to make sure you don’t make it about the state tournament and instead just focus on competing and see how everything falls into place at the end of the year,” Severtson said.

Flandreau made the State Tournament in 2020 but it was canceled due to COVID, so this was the first time since 1997 that the Fliers actually played in the tournament. Severtson said her and her team really enjoyed representing Flandreau and sharing the experience with the community.

“I think that will always be one of my fond memories with this experience, the community support. I’m just really proud of how Flandreau always shows up for each other and I’m incredibly proud of these girls and so is the community. We’ve had so much support from everyone. I’m just glad we got to do it all together because this is one of the things that the girls talk about from their high school experience. Competing in a state tournament and sharing it with the community is really special,” Severtson said.


Consolation Semifinals

 No. 8 Flandreau 55, No. 5 Lakota Tech 41

The Fliers made it to the consolation championship with a 55-41 win over Lakota Tech in the consolation semifinals. This was after Flandreau suffered a 42-32 loss to No. 1 seeded Hamlin in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The two teams were tied 10-10 at the end of the first quarter. Flandreau then used a 19-14 second quarter to a take a 29-24 lead into the locker room. The Fliers would lead 39-33 heading into the fourth and then outscored the Tatanka 16-8 in the final quarter to get the victory.

Flandreau held Lakota Tech to 30% shooting and the Tatanka were 4-of-11 from three. Severtson said she thought her team did a good job defensively, as they have all season.

“I thought we executed our game plan well. As far as defensively, they run a lot of their offense through their post players, and I thought Lizzie Pavlis did a really nice job defending a post player that was taller than her. Also, our team [did a good job] with backside help and making sure we didn’t give them any easy looks on the defensive end,” Severtson said.

Flandreau shot 32% from the field and was 5-of-11 from three. Sheppard led the Fliers with 22 points, and she was 4-of-8 from three. Iott had 11 points and six rebounds. Klein and Pavlis each had nine points. Klein had seven rebounds and Pavlis had five rebounds.

The Tatanka were led by Melina Shangreaux who had 12 points and six rebounds. Tawny Rodriguez had 10 points and six rebounds.

The Fliers had a 31-30 advantage in rebounds. Flandreau had 11 turnovers and Lakota Tech had 10. The Fliers were 22-of-30 at the free throw line and the Tatanka were 5-of 10 at the charity stripe.