Seventh graders garner third place at Haas Tourney The Vermillion Polaris seventh-grade team finished their season with a solid performance by beating Sergeant Bluff, IA 47-29 in the third place game of the Haas Memorial Tournament in Yankton April 4 and 5.
Polaris quickly scored the first 5 points of the game to forge an early lead and held off their opponent with nine 3-point baskets.
Jordan Boots was 5 for 9 from 3-point range to finish as the leading scorer with 15 points. Alex Schaack, 14 points and Broc Gauer, 10 points were close behind. Other scorers with 2 points apiece were Mikal Ustad, Jesse Kirkpatrick, Dan Storm, and Jordan Merrigan. Merrigan and Boots led the rebounding effort with seven and six respectively.
The most intense game of the tourney was Friday night against Irene. Polaris fell behind early and trailed 20-15 at halftime. The locals finally took the lead in the fourth quarter, but were tenuously in control 37-36 with 20 seconds to play and Schaack at the free throw line shooting a one and one.
He made both free throws and then converted two steals into 4 more points for a final margin of 43-36.
Schaack held scoring honors with 20 points and he also had a season-high seven steals. Others in the scoring column were Gauer 9, Merrigan 5, Boots 5, Kirkpatrick 2, and Ustad 2. Storm, Merrigan, and Schaack were the rebounding leaders with three each.
The Saturday morning game saw Polaris over-matched by the Sioux City North Blue team. The final score was 44-22 in favor of Sioux City. Boots 9, Schaack 9, and Gauer 4, were the only team members able to score. C.J. Haakinson five, and Schaack, four, had the most rebounds for Vermillion. Sioux City eventually won the tournament championship.
Former USD Coyote Joey James guided the seventh-graders to two tournament championships this season, the Dakota Hoops in Sioux Falls and the Centerville American Legion. The team's final record of 17-10 included a 13-5 record in tournament action. They were 4-1 in overtime games.