Dakota Valley sophomore Paul Bruns is averaging 26.6 ppg and 10.3 rebounds as Dakota Valley is lurking out east and looking dangerous for another run to the state tournament.
By Rich Winter
With the Tea Area Titans garnering much of the media attention as the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, fellow Region 4A teams like Lennox and Dakota Valley are sitting there, lurking, and positioning themselves for their own potential run to a state tournament.
Paul McVey’s Orioles are 8-3 and still have just the one loss to in-state teams, @ SFC 47-57 way back on Dec. 7….
And then you have Jason Kleis’s Dakota Valley Panthers who are 8-3 on the season and coming off a 69-66 home loss to the same SFC Çharger squad. DV’s only other losses are 83-73 to Tea Area and a 75-63 loss to Sargent Bluff-Luton Iowa.
Not sure if everyone statewide is aware of Panthers sophomore Paul Bruns who is shredding the competition this year to the tune of 26 points and 10 rebounds per game. In last week’s 71-61 win over River Valley, Bruns scored a school record 40 points….(sophomore) Bruns was 14-of-24 from the field and hit five of his 11 three-points. He was also 7-of-10 from the free throw line as he finished with 40 points. He had a double-double as he also finished with 12 rebounds. He also had five steals.
Paul McVey Lennox coach - “I have not got to see him play yet this year in person, but his is having an outstanding year. He really makes his team go. They depend on him to be the catalyst. He can shoot it from deep, drive and pull up. Kind of a classic three level scorer. They lost a lot too graduation last year but you don't really notice it because his play has been so remarkable. He really understands their system and is a perfect guy for their guard-oriented approach.
While Bruns is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, six-foot-4 senior Charlie Cox has also upped his game this season with 19 ppg and 10.3 rpg. Toss in the 10 ppg from senior Nathan Rice and Kleis has one of the best 3-headed monsters in South Dakota.
1. Tea Area (21) 11-1 109 1
2. SF Christian (1) 10-0 89 2
3. St. Thomas More 9-1 61 3
4. Red Cloud 9-2 36 4
5. Pine Ridge 8-2 20 5
Receiving votes: Tiospa Zina 10, Dakota Valley 5.
Ranked No. 7 in the latest media polls….the Panthers look like a team that could hit the 15 or 16 win mark during the regular season….
Interesting note…Tea Area is going to run away with the Region 4A regular season crown…BUT, DV and Lennox are in for a dog-fight…Last game of the regular season….Feb. 19 Lennox @ Dakota Valley (OOOOHHHHH).
Region 4Seed Points W-L (Region standings have not been updated since the DV loss to SFC)
Tea Area 46.923 12-1
Dakota Valley 43.111 7-2
Lennox 42.818 8-3
Vermillion 41.417 7-5
Beresford 39.769 5-8
Canton 39.636 5-6
Elk Point-Jefferson 37.222 1-8