Eighth-graders place third in Haas tourney The Vermillion eighth-grade boys' basketball team completed its season with a third place finish at the Haas Memorial Tournament in Yankton March 26-27. The team was coached by Alan Gauer and they garnered a 12-6 record during the year.
In the final game, the locals had a sluggish start with only a 9-8 lead after one quarter. The team then tightened up defensively outscoring Hartington Cedar Catholic 14-2 in the second quarter. This carried them to the 39-17 win.
Broc Gauer, 13, and Jordan Boots, 12, were the leading scorers. Also in the scoring column were Jess Kirkpatrick, 5, Mikal Ustad, 5, and CJ Haakinson 4.
The semi-final game with Sioux Falls Vision was close throughout with a halftime score knotted at 13. Vision was able to hold off a flurry of Tanager baskets at the end for a 29-28 victory.
Boots paced the scoring with 14 points. Gauer, 9, Haakinson, 4, and Ustad, 1, chipped in with the balance of the points. Ustad and Haakinson led the team in rebounding with four apiece.
The Hartington Hoopsters provided the initial competition of Friday night. Vermillion raced out to a 10-4 first quarter lead only to see it dissipate to a one point deficit after three quarters. The Tanagers outscored their opponents 13-5 in the final period for a 37-30 win.
Boots and Gauer led the team with 15 and 8 points respectively. Haakinson, Ustad, 5, Jordan Merrigan, 2, and Kirkpatrick, 2, also contributed. Rebounding honors went to Haakinson with nine, while Ustad, eight, and Merrigan, seven, were close behind.
Cody Miller was an important contributor in the tourney as team members Dan Storm and Alex Schaack were unavailable due to season-ending injuries.