Eighth-grade girls place second On Jan. 24 and 25 the Vermillion girls' eighth-grade Burger King team placed second in Section 2 of the 11th Annual Tri-State Basketball Tournament in Sioux Falls.
The first game found the Vermillion girls facing Sioux Falls Sandro. The game was close throughout with the first quarter tied at 8-8; halftime score of 14-16; and end of regulation tied at 24-24; forcing a two-minute overtime period. After giving up an early basket to SF Sandro the Vermillion BK girls scored four unanswered points with Brittni Stewart putting home the game winner with 26 seconds left on the clock.
Vermillion's tough defensive stance held for the win, 28-26. The offense was led by Alicia Brown, seventh grade, 12 points, Stewart, 6, Chelsea Gauer, 4, and 2 each for Anna Isaacson, Annika Sjolie and Ariel Hofman.
The second game Vermillion was matched with a very fast paced team from Rock Valley, IA. Both teams played a full court press and a fast break style offense. At halftime Vermillion trailed the team from Iowa, 20-22.
The second half was similar to the first half, and once again the Vermillion girls found themselves facing another overtime game with the final after regulation tied at 46-46. The OT period began with Rock Valley scoring first. Brown then converted a 3-point play after being fouled on a shot giving Vermillion the lead by 1.
Rock Valley answered with another basket. With time running out, the Vermillion girls paced themselves down the court; executing skillful passes which culminated by finding Stewart underneath for the easy basket and another game winner.
The final: Vermillion 51, Rock Valley 50. All the Vermillion girls broke into the scoring column led by Brown with an impressive game scoring 23 points. Other scorers were: Stewart, 7, Hofman, 6, Gauer, 6, McKinsey Weydert, 3, and 2 a piece for Hannah Pommershiem, Isaacson, and Sjolie.
In the championship game, Vermillion was paired with a talented team from Spirit Lake, IA. Vermillion jumped out to a 12-10 lead after the first quarter of play. Midway through the second quarter Vermillion's shots began missing their mark and the final score ended with Spirit Lake winning 44-30. Scoring in the title game were: Brown, 8, Weydert, 6, Stewart, 6, Gauer, 6, and 2 each for Hofman and Isaacson.
The Vermillion girl's coaching staff was extremely proud of the team's perseverance, steady teamwork and "can do" spirit throughout the entire tournament. This was the second consecutive second place finish for the Burger King team, having earlier in the season bringing home the runner-up trophy at the DakotaDome Midwest Tournament held in Vermillion, Dec. 6-7.