RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Parking lots at three KOTA Territory high schools were full of basketball players, parents and coaches on Wednesday to cheer on the teams headed to the South Dakota AA Tournament in Sioux Falls.
Central High School sent both their boys varsity and girls varsity basketball teams. They defeated Spearfish 100-41 to get to state. They will play Douglas in the first round.
"They put in a lot of time here the last few years and it's a good way to end their careers," boys head coach T.J. Hay said.
"We just don't give up. Even if we're down or up, we're still going to fight," senior Kailleb Walton-Blanden said.
The Stevens boys basketball team is heading to the tournament after defeating Pierre. They went to state last season but lost in the first round. They will play Sioux Falls O'Gorman in the first game. The Stevens girls are heading to Sioux Falls after winning 10 out of their last 11 games. They will play Harrisbug in Thursday's opening round.
"We're just excited to get going. It's been about a two-week layoff since we played last. It'll be nice to get on the bus, get over to Sioux Falls and start getting our thoughts collected on what we have to do to be successful this weekend," said girls' head coach Michael Brooks.
Douglas High School sent their boys' varsity basketball team off at 6:15 in the morning. This is their first time heading to the state tournament in 21 years. They earned their spot after a double overtime win over Brandon Valley on March 3.
"It's been a great season," boys head coach Travis Miller said, "We definitely want to show people we know how to play basketball and we can compete with anyone else in the state."