Vermillion claims District 8A title Tanagers will face Beresford March 4 for Region 4A crown

Vermillion claims District 8A title Tanagers will face Beresford March 4 for Region 4A crown by Jim Prosser The Vermillion Tanagers so far have been successful in their goal of a repeat appearance in the Class A Girls' State Basketball Tournament.

Monday night, the Tanagers defeated Alcester-Hudson in semi-final action of the District 8A tournament.

Tuesday night, they claimed the district championship by defeating Dakota Valley.

Vermillion is scheduled to play Beresford, the District 7A champs, for the Region 4A title at 7:30 p.m. March 4 in Canton.

Vermillion 59

Alcester-Hudson 26

Vermillion crushed the Alcester-Hudson Cubs 59-26 Feb. 24 at Dakota Valley in the semi-finals of the District 8A tournament in a win ignited by a first-quarter blitz.

"What a great team effort defensively," said Vermillion coach Jamie Parish following the game. "We didn't allow their team double digit scoring on any quarter throughout the game. Our focus is to continue to play hard defensively going into the district championship Tuesday. We look forward to the opportunity to defend our title."

The Tanagers took the lead 19-4 after the first quarter, and margins of 9-5 and 16-9 in the second and third quarters boosted the lead to 44-18 going into the final period.

Vermillion improved its season mark to 10-9, while Alcester-Hudson fell to 1-19.

Vermillion connected on 6 of 15 three-point attempts and made 13 of 23 free throw tries. The Tanagers sank 20 of 55 from the field, while Alcester-Hudson was 10 of 33 from the field. Alcester-Hudson connected on 0 of 5 three-point tries and made 6 of 12 from the line.

Vermillion held a 38-22 edge on the boards.

A number of excellent individual efforts highlighted the win.

"Ashley (Bjorkman) did a great job for us offensively, getting 20 points, with Jackie Thomas chipping in 10 of her own," coach Parish said. "Annie Roche played her finest game as a Tanager finishing with nine points, five steals, and four assists."

Individual Stats, Vermillion: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 20, Jackie Thomas, 10, Annie Roche, 9. Rebounds � Annie Carlson, 8, Bjorkman, 9. Assists � Annie Roche, 4. Steals � Annie Roche, 5.

Individual Stats, Alcester-Hudson: Scoring � Kylie Jensen, 12, Ashley Pearson, 6.

Team fouls: Vermillion � 14, Alcester-Hudson � 11.

Vermillion 71

Dakota Valley 36

Vermillion demolished the Dakota Valley Panthers 71-36 Feb. 25 in the District 8A championship game at the Elmen Center on the Augustana College campus in Sioux Falls.

"Defense was the name of the game again tonight," said coach Parish following the Tanagers' win. "We did a fantastic job on the boards getting 19 offensive boards and holding our opponent to only six.

"Early in the game we had several open shots that just wouldn't seem to fall for us," the coach said. "At the quarter break we talked about being more patient offensively using dribble penetration and passes to attack the basket."

The Tanagers forced 23 Dakota Valley turnovers to help the victory.

The Tanagers took the lead 14-7 after the first quarter, and margins of 20-11 and 23-6 in the second and third quarters boosted the lead to 57-24 going into the final period.

Vermillion improved its record to 11-9, while Dakota Valley dropped to 9-12.

"Our team is playing well and feeling confident again," coach Parish said. "We hope to carry this excitement and momentum through a week of practice and into next week's match up with Beresford."

Vermillion connected on 4 of 10 three-pointers and hit 19 of 26 from the line. The Tanagers made 23 of 55 field goal attempts, while Dakota Valley was 13 of 45 from the field. Dakota Valley connected on 1 of 5 three-point tries and connected on 9 of 24 free throw attempts.

Vermillion held a 47-29 edge on the boards.

The Tanagers had several fine individual efforts in the victory.

"Ashley (Bjorkman) had another fine game scoring 25 points with 13 of them coming from the free throw line," coach Parish said. "Melissa Olson also benefited from our attacking style of offense. She came out and played a great second half and finished up with 10 points. When she turns and shoots she becomes a very difficult player to defend in the post."

Individual Stats, Vermillion: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 25, Melissa Olson, 10, Annie Carlson, 7, Jackie Thomas, 9, Annie Roche, 5, Allison Stewart, 3, Ellen Odson, 3, Brittney Babb, 3, Kat Redlin, 2, Kayla Mollet, 2, Kaylie Heesch, 2. Rebounds � Carlson, 8, Thomas, 7. Assists � Roche, 4, Carlson, 4. Steals � Thomas, 4.

Individual Stats, Dakota Valley: Scoring � Ashley Farwell, 12, Katie Rasmussen, 10, Heidi Rosenbaum, 9, Kaitlin Hooks, 2, Leah Fehr, 2, Megan Kahler, 1. Rebounds � Rosenbaum, 6, Hooks, 6, Kahler, 5. Assists � Rosenbaum, 2. Steals � Rosenbaum, 2, Farwell, 3.

Team fouls: Vermillion � 17, Dakota Valley � 18.

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