• The De Smet Bulldogs lost their round of 16 contest March 8 against the number-one seeded Bridgewater/Emery Huskies 60-74. De Smet finished the season at 11-12.
“It’s one of those games where we thought we could keep up,” said coach Jeff Gruenhagen. “We made a couple of comebacks when we were down. The boys never gave up and we would fight back to five or six. We just couldn’t get much closer than that.”
Looking to next year, the Bulldogs graduate five seniors: Taylor Eichacker, Cade Birkel, Gage Gruenhagen, Zach Wolkow and Jared Hoefert. Coach Gruenhagen said next year’s squad will have some big shoes to fill as they try to replace four regular starters from that group. Holland returns, as does freshman guard Ethan McCune, who started several games while Holland was injured.
“It’ll be different for sure,” he said. “It’ll take a little bit, but we hope to get right back to where we were.”
• The Lady Bulldogs season came down to the final seconds of its Mar. 1 round of 16 rematch with Castlewood. The Bulldogs played to within three points of the Warriors, losing 47-44. The Lady Bulldogs finished the season at 17-6, in second place in Region 3.
De Smet lost a close game in the first contest between the two squads 43-37 in overtime. Castlewood now moves on as the fifth-seed at the upcoming state tournament, playing their first game against Warner.
“We had our opportunities, we just had too rough a start and got into a hole,” said coach Doug Osthus. “I was proud of the girls for digging out of that. In the locker room, there was no panic and they were dead-set on playing a better second half.”
Coach Osthus said he really enjoyed coaching this year’s group of girls and he is looking forward to next season.
The Lady Bulldogs lose three seniors; Blue, Janssen and guard Callie Martens. Four of their regular starters from this year’s team should be returning for next season.
“For most teams, a 17-win season is enough, but for these girls it’s not. They always want more and they want to be better. We’ll make another run next season,” he said. “When they’ve got that mentality, it’s really fun to coach.”
• Three Kingsbury County Knights — De Smet freshman Alec Dobson at 120 pounds, Arlington sophomore Gavin Holland at 152 and Lake Preston junior Connor Hoffman at 195 — made it to the State B Wrestling Tournament in Sioux Falls this year, but none of the three survived Friday night, falling short of placing at State.
Dobson into the second round of consolations, needing one more win to make it through to a guaranteed spot at no worse than eighth. He faced a familiar foe, Sisseton junior Dane Christopherson, who had pinned Dobson at Regions on Saturday in Webster. Christopherson pinned Dobson in the state match as well, going on to place seventh at State. Dobson ended his season at 31-13.
Holland fell to eventual third-place finisher Dom Pechous of Bon Homme by pin in the third period. He was one win away from making it into the second day of the tournament and placing. Holland finished the season at 33-14.
Hoffman lost twice, his final match a first period loss by pin against Garretson senior Keaten Wagner. Hoffman finished the season at 20-17.
Posted on 03-15-2018
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