Mergen, Begeman sign to play at South Dakota

Mergen, Begeman sign to play at South Dakota South Dakota head men's basketball coach Dave Boots has announced that Rane Mergen of Dell Rapids St. Mary's, and Mitch Begeman of Sioux Falls O'Gorman, have signed national letters of intent to enroll at The University of South Dakota and play basketball for the Coyotes.

Mergen averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as junior as the top reserve on the Cardinals' team that won a Class B title in 2003-04. Mergen, a 6-8, 230-pound post player, is an outstanding shot blocker and will start in the post this season for the Cardinals.

This fall, he helped the Dell Rapids St. Mary's football team to a berth in the South Dakota High School Playoffs. As a sophomore, Mergen was part of a Dell Rapids team that finished third. The squad finished second in the state during Mergen's freshman season. He is the son of Tom and Renae Mergen

Begeman, who averaged 20.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and three assists as a junior for O'Gorman High School, was named to the first team Class AA All-State team and to the first-team Argus Leader All-State squad. He helped lead O'Gorman to a second-place finish in the Class AA basketball championships in 2003.

An All-Greater Dakota Conference selection as a sophomore and junior, he was also selected to the Class AA State Tournament team. He is the son of Mike and Gale Begeman.

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