(Photo by David Lias)
First an ancient rival tonight (Friday), and then perhaps the best team to visit the VHS gym in a long time next Thursday – those are the challenges facing the Vermillion's boys basketball team in the coming week, not to mention a side trip to neighbor and rival Elk Point-Jefferson on Tuesday.
Lennox, whom Coach Jay Drake's Tanagers defeated on Dec. 11, pay a return visit to Vermillion tonight. After the EP-J excursion, the Tanagers will be home Thursday against the state's top-ranked and unbeaten Sioux Falls Christian team.
Vermillion brought a 5-1 record into this week's play, which included a Tuesday date with Bon Homme.
Last Friday the Tanagers and Parkston both brought 4-1 records into their game at the VHS gym, and it was the home team which dominated from the outset. The Tanagers enjoyed a 17-6 lead after the first quarter, 31-21 at halftime and 43-35 after three periods on the way to a 21-point fourth quarter which opened up the final margin to 64-46.
Tanner Anderson had 10 points in the first quarter and Nick Jensen nine in the first half in pacing the Vermillion offense. J.T. Sorensen, who led the team in scoring with 16, had 11 in the second half as the Tanagers went on an 11-3 run to open the final period and sealed the deal.
Anderson finished with 13 points, Jensen and Austin Krier had 11 apiece, Jayce Huska five, Tanner Settles four, and Jeremiah Johnson and Ethan James two each. Also seeing action were Carter Andre, Paul Schwasinger, Jack Brown and Tyler Madsen.
Sorensen had 10 boards, Jensen seven and Anderson six as VHS outrebounded Parkston 35-21. Jensen and Sorensen had three steals each, and Huska, Krier and Settles had three assists apiece.
Spencer Lucas led Parkston with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Jalen Hurley scored 11.
Earlier last week the Tanagers won at West Central, 65-40, in Big 8 Conference play despite losing Anthony Leber for some time due to a hand injury sustained in practice the previous day. Moving into his starting role was Tanner Settles, who responded with a 7-of-10 shooting night from the field and 16 total points.
After leading by 17-11 at the quarter and 31-24 at the half, the Tanagers played well at both ends of the court in a 17-5 third quarter that opened up a comfort zone.
Krier and Anderson had 12 points each, Jensen 11, Andre four, Sorensen four, James three and Huska three. In the rebounding department Sorensen was the leader with nine while Jensen had four and Settles and Andre three each. Settles completed his excellent night with three assists and eight steals. Krier, Anderson and Sorensen also had three assists each, and Anderson accomplished three steals.
Cam Stone and Cody Bussell had 10 points each for West Central.