Coyote Convenience/Walker Construction ends season with two championships

Coyote Convenience/Walker Construction ends season with two championships Vermillion's eighth grade boys' traveling basketball team brought their season to a close by winning two area tournaments. On the weekend of March 21 and 22, the Tanagers defeated teams from Worthington, Sloan and West Central during pool play in the Augustana Tournament in Sioux Falls.  They then defeated Luverne 64 to 47 in the championship game. Tanner Anderson, Austin Krier, and Jake Hogen each scored 14 points in the final game. The following weekend, Vermillion played some of their best basketball of the year.  They were entered in the highest bracket of the Roger Haas tournament in Yankton and faced some very competitive teams.  In the first round they defeated Miller 40 to 30.  Anderson and Krier scored 10 each while Tanner Settles added 8 points.  In round two 15 while Krier and Anderson added 12 and 10 respectively.  The championship game was against their most familiar opponent, the home town Yankton Coyotes.  Vermillion led nearly the entire game, and on the strength of 14 points from Mitchel Brown, took the championship by a score of 44 to 34. By winning 13 of their last 16 games, the Vermillion Tanagers brought their season record to 25wins and 25 losses.  The season started back in November with seven straight losses.  Five of those losses were to AA towns and four of them were decided by fewer than five points. Seventeen of Vermillion's 25 losses were to AA towns as the Tanagers found themselves regularly outsized by their opponents.  It was not at all unusual for the opposition to have three or four boys who were taller than the entire Vermillion roster.  Among the losses were actually some of Vermillion's best performances.  A four point loss to Watertown, an eight point loss to Sanford Center (Sioux City West) and a nine point loss to Dollar Loan Center (Sioux Falls O'Gorman) all involved tremendous team efforts from the Tanagers. The Tanagers had to be content with finding the silver lining amongst the losses for most of the season as they won almost all of their games against smaller towns while playing hard against the big towns.  Four of Vermillion's early wins were against Sioux Falls traveling teams, though.  Things really turned around for Vermillion in late February when they defeated Brandon Valley and Sioux City Heelan in the Harrisburg tournament. Throughout the season, coaches Kirk Hogen and Bill Settles dealt with several injuries, illnesses, family obligations, etc. and at times went to tournaments with only six players.  Only Alex Robertson and Tanner Settles participated in all 16 tournaments, with Settles being the only player to play in all 50 games.  Scoring averages for the season were as follows:  Hogen — 12.6 ppg, Anderson — 8.9, Krier — 7.9, Brown — 6.0, Settles — 4.5, and Robertson — 4.4.  Chayse Meierkort, Christian Wasley, and Thomas Walker also gave significant contributions off the bench.

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