SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ? It wasn't for lack of valiant efforts that Little Wound, the No. 2 seed, and Crow Creek, No. 7 seed, failed to take the top spots in the state Class A High School Basketball Tournament here.
Undefeated Little Wound knocked off Crow Creek in the first round and in second-round action a tall and strong Chamberlain team handed the Mustangs their first defeat of the season. Little Wound finished in fourth place and Crow Creek ended the week with a seventh place finish.
Chamberlain defeated Little Wound 69-54 in semi-final action to move to the championship round. West Central, the top seed, defeated Chamberlain, 62-44 to take home the championship trophy.
Crow Creek suffered its first tournament loss to the Mustangs 49-45, and then lost to Dakota Valley, 73-55. The Chieftains ended the tourney with a victory over Lead 74-55 for its seventh place finish.
Lyle "Dusty" Lebeau said Chamberlain was a good team. Chamberlain coach Jim Frederick said Little Wound was like many teams they played this year, "they get after you and play hard on the defensive end."
LeBeau said he was proud of what his team had accomplished this season, adding he enjoyed working with them the entire season.
The Mustangs had trouble getting the net to snap the first half. The team hit only three of 21 field-goal attempts, but the shooting of senior Corey Shangreaux kept the Mustangs close. At the half mark Chamberlain held a 34-27 lead. The hot hand of guard Adam Nelson made the difference. Nelson, a junior, turned in 33 points. Shangreaux led the Mustangs with 21 points.
The Mustangs were not helped when Shangreaux left the game with a wrist injury and Drew LeBeau fouled out shortly after, followed by Roy Martinez.
Little Wound attempted 68 field goals and hit only 21. That includes 10 from 3-point range. The Cubs only attempted 39 field goals and struck with 20. The Cubs' big advantage came at the charity stripe where they managed to drop 25 of 30.
Against Ipswich in the third place game, Little Wound didn't have a lot of help from Shangreaux who sat out most of the game with the injury suffered against Chamberlain. He managed to score 9 points. Drew LeBeau stepped up with a 29-point game, Kory Provost added 10 and Cash Pourier another 11 in the losing 77-74 effort.
The tall Ipswich team was countered with a swift, yet short Mustang team. Coach LeBeau said he capitalized on that speed and managed to keep the Mustangs in the game, and at one point they led after an 11-point deficit. Height gave Ipswich the advantage of having some easy shots, LeBeau said.
This is his second year of coaching the Mustangs. Last year he guided the team to the state where they played a touch and go semi-final game against DeSmet, the eventual champion. Little Wound was plagued by foul outs in that game. Jess Heart, a high-scoring senior last year led the team on the court.
LeBeau previously coached at Red Cloud, but after leaving there and taking a year off, he moved to the larger Little Wound, just a few miles away.
McLaughlin won the consolation honors of the Class B boys basketball tournament played in Aberdeen.