More west-river coaches need to become members of South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association

By Rich Winter

Thrilled this morning to see the names of Alejandro Rama, Halin Bad Bear and Corey Brown on the list of Class A all-staters…Just as quickly my heart sank as I scrolled the list for names like Tex Janis, Riley Cross and Aiden Bizardie…NADA.

So, received some clarification on how these votes are accumulated and selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association. Not all high-school coaches are members of this South Dakota Basketball Association, and thusly, cannot vote.

Rich Crow Eagle from St. Francis Indian School explained further the registering and voting process.

  • Each coach can nominate two of their own players, and 12 others they feel are worthy of a nomination.

  • It costs $25 for a coach to register so they have the right to vote for their players, but also other players they deem worthy.

With those kinds of odds already stacked against a lot of west-river players, in some ways 2019 is an example of just how good the Native American talent is out west.

Red Cloud’s Alejandro Rama makes Class A first-team

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First team

Noah Freidel, Tea Area, 6-4, Guard/Forward, Senior —Player of the Year — 23.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 54% FG.

Alejandro Rama, Red Cloud, 6-1, Guard, Senior 35 ppg, 80% FT, 10 rpg

Mitchell Goodbary, Sioux Falls Christian, 6-5, Forward/Center, Senior, 17.1 ppg, 56.5% FG, 8.6 rpg.

Justin Hohn, Tea Area, 6-1, Guard, Senior, 12.7 ppg, 60% FG, 5 rpg, 8 apg.

Paul Bruns, Dakota Valley, 6-2, Guard, Sophomore, 25.3 ppg, 40% 3FG, 8.3 rpg

Karst Hunter, Miller, 6-4, Center, Senior, 28.7 ppg, 58% FG, 12.5 rpg.

Pine Ridge’s Halin Bad Bear named to 2nd-team

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Second team

Ryder Kirsch, St. Thomas More, 6-6, Guard/Forward, Junior, 16.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 53% FG.

Kayden Verley, Canton, 5-10, Guard, Junior, 27.1 ppg, 81% FT, 5.6 rpg.

Max Nielson, Sioux Valley, 5-11, Guard, Junior, 20 ppg, 89% FT, 50% FG.

Camden Bialas, Parker, 6-9, Forward, Senior, 16.4 ppg, 67% FG, 8 rpg.

Halen Bad Bear, Pine Ridge, 6-0, Guard, Senior, 19.2 ppg, 55% 3FG, 64% FG.

Caden Casey, St. Thomas More, 5-11, Guard, Junior, 17.1 ppg, 84.3% FT, 48.1% 3FG.

Pine Ridge’s Corey Brown names to Class A third-team.

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Third team

Corey Brown, Pine Ridge, 6-3, Forward/Center, Senior, 11.4 ppg, 57% FG, 11 rpg.

Josh Arlt, Lennox, 6-0, Junior, Guard, 14.4 ppg, 49% from 3-point, 87% FT

Joey Slama, Bon Homme, 6-3, Guard, Senior, 19 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 apg

Taylor Edwards, Hill City, 6-6, Center, Senior, 21 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 52% FG.

Jackson Miller, West Central, 6-4, Guard/Forward, Senior, 17.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 45% FG.

Connor Bawdon, Hamlin, 6-3, Guard, Senior, 21.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 40% 3FG.

I think people out west, and in small communities feel very strongly about these types of awards. Not all of South Dakota’s special players get to be seen at the state tournament. Some of those kids didn’t make All-State Teams with some parts lack of exposure and other parts not having all coaches registered to fairly level the playing field for these types of awards.

Some Class A guys that didn’t make the All-State Teams…

Tex Janis (Litte Wound), Aiden Bizardie (Todd County), Caleb White (Tiospa Zina)

Tex Janis Little Wound: Have watched this guy play a ton of minutes for Little Wound over the last fourseasons. A starter and a big-time contributor for the Mustangs for at least 3-of-4 years, Janis had a solid senior season….(Don’t have stats) but this guy really improved his game late in his career. Really improved in the low-post this season, became a better 3-point shooter. An inside presence that blocked and changed shots, Janis is an All-State Caliber player that had big numbers against Pine Ridge’s Corey Brown.

Caleb White: The 5-foot-10 junior had a brilliant campaign for Tiospa Zina. A big-time scorer (24 per game ish), White is already over 1500 career points and was certainly deserving of an All-State Selection. One game away from the state tournament was not enough.

Aiden Bizardie: Todd County…The heat actually hurts a bit for Bizardie today….This young man has been the face of Todd County basketball for the last four seasons. Averaged over 20 ppg his sophomore and junior seasons. Bizardie reigned his offensive game a bit this season for the betterment of the team….19.8 ppg, 5 rebounds per game, and 4 assists per contest. Bizardie finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in the history of Todd County - seems like 1623 was the number.

Really excited to see and hear where Bizardie is deciding to play college basketball. Although no all-state accolades will fall his way, some team is going to get themselves a hell of a baller that is among the state’s best in a number of categories, and leader in the no-look pass department.

Just like fans during games it is ok to have opinions about the have’s and have-nots on these types of lists. Later today, Sacred Hoops Co-Director will check in and talk about the All-State teams and a call for action for every high-school coach to become registered for the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.

2019 Class A Boys All-State Basketball Team

As selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association

First team

Noah Freidel, Tea Area, 6-4, Guard/Forward, Senior —Player of the Year — 23.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 54% FG.

Alejandro Rama, Red Cloud, 6-1, Guard, Senior 35 ppg, 80% FT, 10 rpg

Mitchell Goodbary, Sioux Falls Christian, 6-5, Forward/Center, Senior, 17.1 ppg, 56.5% FG, 8.6 rpg.

Justin Hohn, Tea Area, 6-1, Guard, Senior, 12.7 ppg, 60% FG, 5 rpg, 8 apg.

Paul Bruns, Dakota Valley, 6-2, Guard, Sophomore, 25.3 ppg, 40% 3FG, 8.3 rpg

Karst Hunter, Miller, 6-4, Center, Senior, 28.7 ppg, 58% FG, 12.5 rpg.

Second team

Ryder Kirsch, St. Thomas More, 6-6, Guard/Forward, Junior, 16.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 53% FG.

Kayden Verley, Canton, 5-10, Guard, Junior, 27.1 ppg, 81% FT, 5.6 rpg.

Max Nielson, Sioux Valley, 5-11, Guard, Junior, 20 ppg, 89% FT, 50% FG.

Camden Bialas, Parker, 6-9, Forward, Senior, 16.4 ppg, 67% FG, 8 rpg.

Halen Bad Bear, Pine Ridge, 6-0, Guard, Senior, 19.2 ppg, 55% 3FG, 64% FG.

Caden Casey, St. Thomas More, 5-11, Guard, Junior, 17.1 ppg, 84.3% FT, 48.1% 3FG.

Third team

Corey Brown, Pine Ridge, 6-3, Forward/Center, Senior, 11.4 ppg, 57% FG, 11 rpg.

Josh Arlt, Lennox, 6-0, Junior, Guard, 14.4 ppg, 49% from 3-point, 87% FT

Joey Slama, Bon Homme, 6-3, Guard, Senior, 19 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 apg

Taylor Edwards, Hill City, 6-6, Center, Senior, 21 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 52% FG.

Jackson Miller, West Central, 6-4, Guard/Forward, Senior, 17.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 45% FG.

Connor Bawdon, Hamlin, 6-3, Guard, Senior, 21.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 40% 3FG.