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Titans win thriller in Vermillion to advance to SoDak 16


Tea Area High School girls’ basketball team is heading to the SoDak16 after a thrilling double-overtime win against Vermillion last Friday, Feb. 24.

“We knew that they were going to throw a few different defenses at us and with their length we knew they were looking to get us into trapping situation. They’re a great team and have a lot of really good players. I thought our players showed a lot of heart in this game,” said Titan head coach Adam Schorzmann.

The Titans were up seven going to halftime and were beginning to hit their stride when the Tanagers switched up defenses.

“They turned us over 28 times and a lot of that was just unforced errors,” said Schorzmann.

The Titans quickly found themselves down 11 with just under six minutes to play, but managed to rally.

“Kendra McKinney had some gritty plays late in that game with steals, offensive rebounds and crucial buckets in critical situations. Once we got with one possession (down 3) we knew we had a chance,” said Schorzmann.

Katie Vasecka came down and hit a huge three to tie it and eventually force overtime.

“Once we got to overtime we were always up but could never really put Verm away. They battled and were scrappy and that’s why we went into a second overtime,” said Schorzmann.

The team eventually gutted out a tough 80-79 to send them to the SoDak 16.

“We definitely have some things to clean up and work on but right now I’m happy for our players and excited for them to compete at the SoDak16,”added Schorzmann.

Against Vermillion, Vasecka recorded a double-double, scoring 30 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Mara Grant also had a double-double, scoring 28 points and pulling down a monster 19 rebounds. McKinney finished with six points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Haidyn West and Stella Peterson each had five points and Miah Weber and Ellie Clayberg finished with three points each on the night.

Prior to the win over Vermillion, the Titans faced off against Elk Point Jefferson.

“I thought we came into the first round of regions playing our best basketball, however it’s always tough beating a team twice with a short period of time,” said Schrozmann. “I thought we had some great moments in that game where played really well and I think we were a match-up problem for them. We didn’t play as well as we did the first time we faced them and most of that was due to the turnovers we had.”

The Titans went on to take the 56-36 victory.

Leading the team offensively was Vasecka who had 23 points in the game. She also had six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Grant finished with double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down ten rebounds. She also had two assists and one steal. McKinney finished with six points, five rebounds, and three steals. Peterson also had six points, grabbed one rebound, had five assists, and one steal. Weber finished with five points, two rebounds, and one steal.

One game now stands between the Titans and the State Tournament. Tea Area was set to face off against Wagner on Thursday, March 2 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, in the SoDak 16 match-up.

“Going into the SoDak16 we know it’ll be a tough match-up. I think we know what we bring to the table as far as talent and grit,” said Shorzmann. “At the end of the day it’s win or go home and we need to play focused and with that 1-0 mentality. We can’t look at it so much as a big game or as a chance to go to the State Tournament but as just another game. We hope we can get a good crowd there, do our best and hopefully that will be enough to get this team to the state tournament.”

The 2023 State A Tournament will be held in Watertown, March 9-11.

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