Madison, West Central, STM, MCM win Class A openers

WATERTOWN – Eighth-seeded Madison upset No. 1 Belle Fourche, while West Central, four-time defending champion St. Thomas More and McCook Central/Montrose also came up with quarterfinal victories Thursday as the Class A State Girls’ Basketball Tournament tipped off at Watertown Civic Arena.

Tonight’s semifinals pit the Lady Bulldogs (14-10) against the Lady Trojans (18-5) at 6 and the Cavaliers (21-3) versus the Fighting Cougars (21-2) at 7:45.

In the consolation semis, the Broncs (21-2) take on Crow Creek (17-5) at noon and Vermillion (18-6) plays Aberdeen Roncalli (19-4) at 1:45 p.m.

 Madison 56, Belle Fourche 42

The Lady Bulldogs’ wild postseason run continued with a defeat of the Broncs.

Belle Fourche was ahead 18-16 after 8 minutes, before Madison grabbed a 34-23 advantage at halftime.

Nicole Brown posted a double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds.

Jessi Giles led all scorers with 19 points while adding seven boards. Olivia Rud contributed 10 markers and Briana Steuerwald seven.

The Lady Bulldogs shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the field and committed 11 turnovers. The Broncs finished at 34 percent (18-of-53), including a 2-for-15 clip from 3-point range, with 10 gieaways.

Belle Fourche’s Shayla Howell had 10 points, Raymie Keegan nine, Rylee Young seven, Mandee Williamson six and Jade Burr five.

Madison entered the playoffs as a No. 4 seed in Region 2A, beating No. 5 Flandreau Indian School 61-16 at home and then hitting the road to beat top-seeded Hamlin (18-3) by a 47-37 margin in the semifinals Feb. 24 in Hayti. The Lady Bulldogs ended up as the No. 13 seed in the Round of 16 and proceeded to knock off No. 4 Lennox (18-4) 51-47 on March 1 in Tea.

 West Central 61, Crow Creek 39

Ashlyn Macdonald (six rebounds) scored 11 points and Kaitlyn Meadors (eight boards) added 10 as the Lady Trojans used a balanced attack to defeat the Lady Chieftans.

West Central led 20-10 after a quarter, 36-18 at halftime and 45-24 through three.

Olivia Becker, Cheyanne Masterson and Tylor Ragewich each added seven points, while Bailey Nester, Kali Nelson and Ashlyn Macdonald chipped in with five apiece.

West Central shot 33.9 percent (19-of-56) from the floor but held Crow Creek to 28.3 percent (13-of-46), including a 2-of-19 mark from long range.

Crow Creek’s Marveen Ross finished with nine points and 13 rebounds but committed eight of the team’s 17 turnovers. Kaylee Wells and Audrey Drapeau both contributed seven markers.

 St. Thomas More 44, Vermillion 26

The Cavaliers used a blanced offensive attack and stingy defense to take down the Tanagers.

Aislinn Duffy notched a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists.

Haleigh Timmer led all scorers with 12 points off the bench. Jayden Bies added eight points and four steals, while Klaire Krisch totaled six points, seven boards, three dimes and three steals.

STM led 14-5 after a quarter and 18-9 at halftime. The score was 30-18 through three.

Vermillion’s Haleigh Melstad ended up with eight points and seven rebounds. Lexi Plitzuweit added six points but committed seven of the team’s 17 turnovers. The Tanagers shot just 23.7 percent (9-of-38) from the field.

STM finished at 38.5 percent (15-of-39).

 McCook Central/Montrose 52, Aberdeen Roncalli 45

The Fighting Cougars rallied from an 11-point third-quarter deficit, outscoring the Cavaliers 20-4 in the final stanza to pull out the seven-point triumph.

Morgan Koepsell dropped in a game-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Natalie Gottlob posted a double-double of 10 points and 15 boards.

MCM shot 50 percent (19-of-38) from the field and held a 37-22 advantage on the glass.

The Fighting Cougars were ahead 16-14 after 8 minutes. Aberdeen Roncalli moved ahead 28-22 at halftime and pushed the margin to 11 points – 39-28 – at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter.

The score stood at 41-32 after three, before the Fighting Cougars rattled off 13 consecutive points – Koepsell had four buckets, before Gottlob converted a traditional 3-point play and then added a pair of foul shots – to move ahead 45-41 with 3:24 remaining in the game.

Koepsell later added two more baskets to make it 49-43 with 1:22 showing on the clock, and MCM held on down the stretch.

The Cavaliers got 10 points apiece from Grace Imbery, who also had seven boards before fouling out, and Megan Streier. Jami Ewart added eight points, Mariah Winegar and Kelsey Peterson both six, and Gwyneth Simmons five.

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