Amateur team will play in state basketball tourney

Amateur team will play in state basketball tourney On Sunday, Feb. 7, two Vermillion amateur teams competed in the Southeast Regional tournament held in Harrisburg. In opening round action, Brandon Valley defeated the Vermillion team managed by Jon Merrigan 86-78. The Vermillion team managed by Randy Bertram defeated Sioux Falls "Cellular One" 99-80.

Shane Murphy poured in 26 points followed by Chris Frick with 24. Mason Billings added 16 points, Troy Terronez 13 points, Lance Lutjens 12 points, and Chuck Welke finished the scoring with 8 points.

In one of the most exciting games of the evening an outmatched Merrigan team battled a goliath Sioux Falls "Cellular One" team. Sioux Falls had two post players, 6'10" and 6' 9". The game came down to the final minute with Cellular One prevailing 102-95.

Members of Merrigan's Vermillion squad were Aaron Bjorkman, Rusty Jensen, Nate Winger, Jay Thaler, Dave Addy, Derek Borchers, and Merrigan.

In the championship game the Bertram-managed Vermillion team defeated Brandon Valley 100-91 for a sixth trip to the state tournament in seven years. Chuck Welke had an outstanding game scoring 27 points as did Lance Lutjens with 26 points. Mason Billing hit 14 points, Troy Terronez 13 points, Chris Frick 11 points, and Shane Murphy 9 points.

Vermillion will play Brookings in the 52nd annual state amateur basketball tournament on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 pm. Sioux Falls "Cellular One" will represent the southeast Class A region in the state tournament as the second seed. Cellular One will play the defending state champion Mitchell on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Presho. Other first round pairings are Rapid City vs. Huron and Aberdeen vs. Spearfish.

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