Eighth-graders achieve second place in tourney The Vermillion eighth-grade boys' basketball team gained a second place finish at the Dakota Hoops Basketball Tournament in Sioux Falls Dec. 19-20.
A slow start in the finals doomed the locals to a 44-31 loss to Dakota Dunes.
Vermillion got into foul trouble early, which limited the team to 7 first half points. Although behind 22-7 at halftime, an invigorated offense brought the team within 4 points of the lead early in the second half before eventually falling short.
Jordan Boots led the team with 14 points and Jordan Merrigan provided 8. C.J. Haakinson had eight rebounds and Dan Storm contributed seven.
In the semi-final match-up against Sioux City Sanford Center, the two teams played a physical, high-scoring contest. Vermillion came out on top with a 56-49 win after leading by 14 at halftime.
The leading scorer was Boots with 31. Broc Gauer and Merrigan each had 6. Jess Kirkpatrick provided the primary rebounding strength with five and Merrigan had four.
The initial tournament game was a comfortable win over the Sioux Falls Irish 50-41. The locals got out to an early lead and held it throughout the contest. Boots and Merrigan scored 17 and 10 points respectively.
Merrigan and Storm were the leading rebounders with nine and eight.