A towering post player and five dynamic perimeter players make up this year’s Class B boys basketball all-state first-team, as selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
Named to the first-team are Bridgewater-Emery’s Sawyer Schultz, Langford Area’s Mason Larson, Clark/Willow Lake’s Jacob Prouty, Sully Buttes’ Lincoln Jordre, Irene-Wakonda’s Trey King and Chester Area’s Devin Eppard.
The six players have been productive scorers and have all played in big games during their careers. Schultz, Larson, Jordre, King and Eppard have scored more 1,000 career points. Five of the six -- Schultz, Larson, Prouty, Jordre and King -- have played in state championship games.
Schultz, Larson and Jordre are repeat first-team selections. Eppard was a second-team all-stater last season.
The high-flying Schultz did a little of everything for the Huskies (22-4), who finished third at the state tournament. The explosive 6-foot-3 guard led the Huskies in scoring (23.5), assists (5), steals (2.8) and was second in rebounding (7.6). He hit a team-high 76 3-pointers, shot 49 percent from the field, 75 percent at the foul line and threw down close to 10 dunks this season. The junior has racked up 1,295 points, 463 rebounds, 310 assists, 205 steals and 77 blocked shots so far in his career.
“He kind of stepped up in a little bit more of a leadership role this year with the absence of last year’s seniors,” said Bridgewater-Emery coach Scott Schultz, who is Sawyer’s father. “So I think kind of his all-around game with that has kind of improved. His rebounds have been up a little bit and his scoring, but assists and everything went up, too.”
The athletic and bouncy Larson carried the Lions (19-7) to their third state tourney appearance in his prep career. The 6-foot-7 Larson led Langford in scoring (21.3), rebounds (9.1), blocked shots (2.5), steals (2.1) and soared above the rim for several highlight-reel slam dunks. The versatile forward dished out 84 assists, shot 49 percent from the field and 67 percent at the free-throw line. Larson finished his career with 1,496 points, 600 rebounds and 180 blocked shots. Larson was the Spirit of Su recipient at the state tournament and is the Class B Player of the Year (awarded to the senior with the most all-state votes). He’ll play hoops next season at Dakota Wesleyan University.
“Mason is a talented and athletic player and a tough physical matchup for opposing teams,” Langford Area coach Paul Raasch said. “But I think his best attribute this year was his unselfish play. Teams threw a lot of different defenses at us designed to slow him down and he showed trust in his teammates to help with the scoring. He impacted the game in a lot of different ways on both ends of the floor.”
The playmaking Prouty guided the Cyclones (20-6) to a runner-up finish at the state tournament. The 6-foot-1 Prouty recorded 20.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He shot 36 percent from the 3-point line, 42 percent from the field and 82 percent at the free-throw line. The junior has registered 998 points, 315 rebounds and 203 assists in his career. He’s been a varsity player since his eighth grade season and has played in 95 career games.
“He was a tremendous competitor at a young age, always trying to prove himself that he belongs,” Clark/Willow Lake coach Jerome Nesheim said. “He is constantly trying to prove himself because he isn’t always the quickest, tallest or most athletic, but I can guarantee you he has the biggest heart and most competitive. He is on the ground for loose balls, taking charges, defending anything from a post player to a point guard. Jacob will do whatever it takes to win.”
The imposing Jordre protected the rim and swatted shots for the state champion Chargers (25-1). The 6-foot-9 Jordre powered Sully Buttes with 20 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game. The lefty shot 56 percent from the field, 82 percent at the foul line and maneuvered his way around the basket for numerous dunks. Jordre finished his career with 1,066 points and will play basketball next season at Northern State University.
“Lincoln was a very difficult match for anyone because of how skilled he is,” Sully Buttes coach Brian White said. “He can score from the block with a simple jump hook or make a quick spin move and dunk on someone. He also has a great mid-range jumper that when teams would play zone he could step out to 15-17 feet and knock down a contested jump shot. He is very skilled for a guy his size.”
King did it all for Irene-Wakonda (14-8). The 6-foot-1 King tossed in 23.1 points and grabbed 6.9 rebounds per game for the Eagles, who lost to Bridgewater-Emery in the Region 5B semifinals. King shot 44 percent from the floor, 68 percent from the 3-point line and 77 percent at the foul line. He led Irene-Wakonda in blocked shots (26), 3-pointers made (68), assists (72), steals (75) and rebounds (152). The junior has exactly 1,500 career points entering his final season.
“Trey is extremely talented and a hard worker,” said Irene-Wakonda coach Mike King, who is Trey’s father. “Sometimes we butt heads but he always has my back. Best on-ball defender I have ever coached. Anticipates better than I’ve ever seen. He has a tremendous drive to be the best and always will accept a challenge.”
The high-scoring Eppard paced the 9-13 Flyers, who lost to Sanborn Central/Woonsocket in the Region 4B semifinals. The 5-foot-11 Eppard averaged 24.5 points, 6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He shot 33 percent from the 3-point line, 38 percent from the field and 71 percent at the free-throw line. Eppard finished his career with 1,085 points, 281 assists, 255 rebounds and 154 steals. He will play basketball next season at Dakota State University.
“Devin is very strong with the ball in his hands,” Chester Area coach Adam Gale said. “He has the ability to see the entire floor so when he has the ball in his hands he is very hard to guard because he can hurt you in so many ways. Devin really worked hard over the last offseason to be more consistent from the outside and it really added a deadly element to his game.”
Arlington senior Will Parry was named to the second team and Colman-Egan senior Bodee Groos made the third team.
Parry averaged 18.2 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. He was named Dakota Valley Conference MVP for the second year in a row.
Groos averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals and a pair of assists per game for an again-balanced Hawks team.
The four-time All-DVC first-team pick finished as Colman-Egan’s all-time leading scorer with 1,263 points.
Class B All-State Boys’ Basketball
Chosen by the SDBCA
Sawyer Schultz, Bridgewater-Emery, 6-3, Jr., Guard (23.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 76 3-pointers)
Mason Larson, Langford Area, 6-7, Sr., Forward (21.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 84 assists)
Jacob Prouty, Clark/Willow Lake, 6-1, Jr., Guard (20.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.7 apg)
Lincoln Jordre, Sully Buttes, 6-9, Sr., Center (20 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3 bpg)
Trey King, Irene-Wakonda, 6-1, Jr., Guard (23.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 68 3-pointers)
Devin Eppard, Chester Area, 5-11, Sr., Guard (24.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.7 apg)
Connor Carlson, Canistota, 6-5, Sr., Forward (17.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 59 pct FG)
Will Parry, Arlington, 6-2, Sr., Guard (18.2 ppg, 4.1 apg, 44 pct FG)
Gage Gruenhagen, De Smet, 6-1, Sr., Guard (25 ppg, 8 rpg, 79 pct FT)
Jadice Morrison, White River, 6-2, Jr., Guard/Forward (15.2 ppg, 76 pct FT, 61 3-pointers)
Jamin Arend, Bridgewater-Emery, 6-0, Jr., Guard (14.1 ppg, 4.9 apg, 70 pct FT)
Jacob Howard, Sully Buttes, 6-3, Sr., Forward (14 ppg, 11 rpg, 48 pct FG)
Cordel Menning, Corsica-Stickney, 6-4, Sr., Forward (15.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 52 pct FG)
Bodee Groos, Colman-Egan, 5-11, Sr., Guard/Forward (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 53 steals)
Brandon Benike, Castlewood, 6-4, Jr., Guard/Forward (17.7 ppg, 9 rpg, 46 pct FG)
Caleb DeKam, Castlewood, 6-0, Guard (17.4 ppg, 5 apg, 34 pct 3-point FG)
Jayd VanDerWerff, Gregory, 6-2, Forward (17.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 48 steals)
Bradyn Rusher, Clark/Willow Lake, 6-2, Guard (14.7 ppg, 78 pct FT, 44 pct 3-point FG)
Register photos: Above, Arlington senior Will Parry, shown here during a Region 3B quarterfinal game against Lake Preston, was named to the Class B All-State boys’ basketball second team. Below, Colman-Egan senior Bodee Groos, shown here during an Entringer Classic matchup with Hamlin, made the Class B All-State third team.