Region 7B preview: This league is TUFF from top to bottom

New Underwood’s Jaedyn Finkbeiner, Lower Brule’s, Maleighya Estes and Kadoka’s Lavin Bendt are three of the top players in what looks to be a ridiculously challenging Region 7B.

White River: It is hard to ignore the firepower that White River accumulated this off-season. The additions of Caelyn Valandra-Prue (2nd-team, Class A all-state) and 6-footer Kaylee Wells (when healthy as physically dominating a post as Class B will see this year) form the nucleus of a team that was coming on strong late last season. Second year coach Kristi Yackley brought a young team along nicely. An 11-13 record was deceptive as this team came on late. Sophomore Trinity White Hat, a tough-as-nails do everything Quincey Piper, and players like Nellie Leader Charge, Gracie Charging Hawk, Jayden Engle, Miakan Adrian, Tia Bear Heels and the Morrison girls make this a deep and dangerous team that should be ranked top-5 in the B ranks immediately.

Do not sleep on Brian LaRoche’s Lady Sioux


Lower Brule: Brian LaRoche's squad reached the Round-of-16 last season with a solid year of 17-6. Ok what I do know about who is returning is maleighya Estes. She has been working out alot in the off season. I expect her game to be improved a lot. She will have better court awareness with skills. Bariah a true point guard. Great hands with shot you can rely on. Molly Jandreau a senior returning shooting guard. Hoping her defense experience improved. Chasidy laroche. Very consistent player. Reliable and tenacious defense that will help with traps. Three point shot is right on and can drive. Star Tasequah. She is a street baller mentality. And loves to push the ball. Laurissa senior big girl. Hoping she explodes this year. I think she has held back way too much in the past. Very calm player. Hard to rattle. So her leadership should help calm the girls down. Madison wells. Versatile player. Quick. Explosive. Can shoot from anywhere. Defense and rebounding. Boxing out are her top qualities. Marsha Janis is a transfer. Has no fear when driving and taking it in. Mya hacker another transfer. Calm player. Can handle the ball and work it to open players. Haven't seen her shoot much. Caleigh little. Was injured last year. Sophomore. Very quick. Hoping to work with her on driving, moving the ball and defense. She's able to get steals with her speed and when work on foot work and weak side defense she should be a threat anytime she is in. Mary senior. Has a nice three point shot. Katelyn Bortulssi is a strong forward/center. Has solid defense and rebounding. She has worked on her offense during the off season. Has no fear when handling the ball down low.

Justine grassrope junior. Expect her to be a little aggressive this year with her scoring and defense. She held back last year. Hoping she brings the drive in her that I have been seeing lately.


Kadoka Area: Dylan Moro's squad went 15-7 a year ago and came within an eyelash of knocking off No. 1 Faith to make the dance. Lavin Bendt, a 5-foot-1o junior lit up western South Dakota with 18.1 ppg and 9.6 boards Teammates Alyssa Civitak 14 ppg and Kaylee Eisenbraun were the top three scorers and rebounders and all can pass the basketball

New Underwood lost ZERO players to graduation: Tall and talented are Finkbeiner’s kids.


New Underwood – Stacy Finkbeiners crew went 17-5, the scary thing for the rest of region 7B have all of their firepower coming back...Jaedyn Finkbeiner 6-footer 17.6 and 11 rpg senior....Sophomore 6-footer Cerrington Jones is a tremendous athlete 12.6 per game....and 6.8 rebounds...A lot of talented sophomores saw a lot of playing time


Lyman – Mike Kieffer takes over as head coach and inherits a squad that went 16-8. Pretty young a season ago with some talented underclassmen making their way forward. Juniors Kayt Garnos leads a solid class of juniors that found out they could win last season. Not a ton of height on the roster so expect some up-tempo stuff from a group of terrific athletes.

Crazy Horse is working hard….Expect a jump this year..


Crazy Horse James Bagwell's Chiefs won 11 games a season ago but there is reason for optimism. A ton of returners like Deidre Roberts Mary Standing Soldier, Jakayla Spotted Elke and Sequioa Bettleyoun are back. These ladies worked hard this summer and fall conditioning and good numbers suggest this is a program on the rise.

Oelrich’s Lady Tigers: A program on the rise..


Oelrich's – Another team and program that looks like they are on the way up. Dale Pine Jr. guided this team to a 12-10 record. Ariana Titus averaged 13.2 as a freshman. Natasha Swiftwater averaged 13.1....A lot of girls played last year and this team also had a good summer.


Philip – Tayta West's team went 12-9 a year ago. Cylver Lurz is a 6-footer with 13.3 ppg and 10.7 boards...A big senior class with Cappie West and Jewel Jones expected to do a lot of the damage....Good numbers for the Philip coaches to pull from.


Wall Eagles hoping to soar…Wall – John Hess's team went 16-7 a year ago and he's got some great pieces back...Cooper McLaughlin (15.1 ppg and 5.6 rpg) along with Mercede Hess 6-footer 12.6 ppg and 7 rpg...Sawvell and Pauley graduated but a lot of talent on the way up.


Jones County – Neil Krogman's squad went 5-15 last season with Savannah Krogman and Molly Dowling having graduated...Junior Emily Jacobs is the top returning player along with now 8th-grader Emmalyn Hunt who averaged 9.9 points as a 7th-grader….Look for a strong second half from this club.