High School Girls Basketball

Flandreau beats Sioux Valley to return to SoDak 16

Fliers improve to 22-0 on season, will battle Hill City in SoDak 16


FLANDREAU — The Flandreau Fliers are going back to the SoDak 16 as they used an aggressive defensive effort and a run midway through the third quarter to defeat the Sioux Valley Cossacks 46-30 in the Region 2A Tournament on Thursday night.

The win helped the Fliers improve to 22-0 on the season and set up a date with Hill City with a trip to the Class A state tournament on the line on Feb. 29.

“We knew going into this game tonight that Sioux Valley has a really, really nice team,” Flandreau head coach Megan Severtson said of the win. “I was proud of how my girls handled some first half jitters and we’re really looking forward to the next one.”

The Fliers trademark defense made its presence felt early fueling a 7-2 run to open the game. While Sioux Valley battled back to cut the lead down to 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, Flandreau continued to remain aggressive, forcing the Cossacks into 18 turnovers and holding them to 29 percent shooting on the night.

“Our defense has been something that we’ve continued to pride ourself on all year long,” Severtson said. “They have so many scoring threats and it was just important for us to contest everything and do our best to get on their shooters.”

While the Cossacks climbed back to take a 12-11 lead on a bucket by Liberty Trygstad with 6:15 left in the second quarter, the Fliers quickly regained the lead and went into halftime with an 18-14 advantage. Flandreau came out with a renewed focus in the second half and it paid dividends with a run midway through third quarter that was capped by Lily Klein’s 3-pointer which gave Flandreau a 29-19 lead.

“We did a better job of not over-passing,” Severtson said of the run. “There were a few times it looked like hot potato in the first half, but I thought our girls settled into the game, found open players and then we just started knocking down shots. You’re able to relax when shots are going in.”

Klein hit another 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to give Flandreau the lead and the Fliers out-scored the Cossacks 12-7 to seal another trip to the SoDak 16.

While Claire Sheppard had nine points, nine rebounds, five blocks and four assists and Klein finished with a game-high 19 points to go with five rebounds, a steal and an assist Severtson praised the work of her role players includingSadie Iott, who had six points, two rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block and Hannah Krull, who played a key part in stopping Sioux Valley guard Isabelle Bloker.

“I was really excited about the game our role players had tonight,” Severtson said. “Sadie did a great job defensively on Bloker all game and Hannah Krull came in and did the exact same thing. I’m really proud of those two as they’ve embraced their roles and they’ve excelled at them.”

Lizzie Pavlis also had six points, 10 rebounds, two steals and an assist for the Fliers. Flandreau shot 35 percent in the game including 3-of-10 (30%) from 3-point range and 7-of-17 (41.2%) from the free throw line.

While the Fliers were celebrating, the Cossacks had a bittersweet feeling when the final horn sounded. Sioux Valley had plenty of questions coming into the year but there were several players that stepped up including Kailey Cradduck, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal and Keyra Kruse, who had 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal..

With a final record of 16-6, Sioux Valley head coach and the rest of their team were emotional but also aware of what they had accomplished this season.

“We had three starters and six seniors walk out the door from last year and in most programs, there may be a step back,” Sioux Valley head coach Jamie Granum said. “I was just super proud of our team and the way they came together. We play really well together and that’s just a testament to the friends they are in the hallways, the class room and their other activities as well.”

The Fliers will now be the third seed in the SoDak 16 with Sisseton (20-1) and Sioux Falls Christian (19-2) the only other teams with a higher seed. With Mahpía Lúta (21-0) the only other undefeated team left in the bracket, Severtson believes that her team has enough leadership to not only make a return trip to the state tournament but make a run in the final weeks of the season.

“I think that our senior leadership is going to be very important,” Severtson said. “We’ve played in these big games before. They just have to execute.”