Lady Blackhawks are State “B” Runners-Up

“Blackhawk Nation” Domination at Huron Arena

“BENCH BUDDIES” as senior Kelbi Dean dubbed them, she and Tanna Kingsbury walk into the locker room hand-in-hand after they both got to debut on the big stage of the state tourney Thursday night. Kingsbury has spent a year battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer, while Dean has been plagued with severe concussions. Both have continued to be great sources of support for their team from the sidelines. Dean even gave the halftime pep talk to her team during the championship game.

“BENCH BUDDIES” as senior Kelbi Dean dubbed them, she and Tanna Kingsbury walk into the locker room hand-in-hand after they both got to debut on the big stage of the state tourney Thursday night. Kingsbury has spent a year battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer, while Dean has been plagued with severe concussions. Both have continued to be great sources of support for their team from the sidelines. Dean even gave the halftime pep talk to her team during the championship game.

The Lady Blackhawks returned to the State “B” Tournament, with the support of a proud and loud “Blackhawk Nation” this past weekend, and this year made it all the way into the championship game Saturday night.
The girls made the first contest look easy as they took down Kimball/White Lake for the second time this season, 52-27.
Winning the first game is crucial, as a first game loss guarantees no better than fifth place, while a first game win guarantees no worse than fourth place, along with night games, rather than daytime.
In the second game of the weekend, the Blackhawks dealt another rout to Hanson 67-46. SCW also played and beat Hanson earlier this season.
The win put SCW in the championship game to be played against 2013 state champs Warner and the culprits of the Hawks’ only two regular season losses for the past two years.
The Blackhawks lost to Warner by 10 early in the season at the Hanson Classic in Mitchell.
SCW battled to the bitter end in a nail-biter of a game and left everything on the court, but fell just short of the victory, losing in overtime, 44-49.
Initial tears soon gave way to beaming smiles, as the team realized the incredible thing they had accomplished with a very respectable second place finish.

An award-winning performance
The Lady Blackhawks have a lot to be proud of after their weekend at their third state tournament.
During halftime of the championship game, Shelby Selland was announced the winner of the “Spirit of Su” award. The award is given each year at the tournament to an elite basketball player, who also excels in the classroom and in her community.
The Blackhawks cheerleaders were also announced as the winners for the second year in a row of the “Spirit of Six” award. This award is given to the state tournament cheerleading squad with the most energy, spirit and best crowd control.
Shelby, a senior, and her sister Myah Selland, a freshman, were also both named to the All-Tournament Team for their excellence on the court throughout the tournament.

COACH ROB Baruth pats his co-head coach Tim McCain on the back as they go to receive the Runner-Up trophy. Asst. Coach Justin Dean returns to his team after receiving his medal.

COACH ROB Baruth pats his co-head coach Tim McCain on the back as they go to receive the Runner-Up trophy. Asst. Coach Justin Dean returns to his team after receiving his medal.

Inspiring communities
“I Believe, We Believe” has become the Sanborn County proverb, inspired by a young girl who, according to the odds, wasn’t supposed to be here, with her team, playing in the state basketball tournament.
Tanna Kingsbury was diagnosed last March with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare form of bone cancer, affecting mainly adolescents. She has spent the past year undergoing extremely aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments and had surgery last summer to remove the tumor.
Tanna was declared cancer free the week before Regions.
The Huron Arena never cheers so loud, from both sides of the court, as when Tanna got to go in at the end of Thursday night’s game against Kimball/White Lake.
The following night, thanks to a commanding lead and the cooperation of the Hanson team, Tanna got to go in again. This time her teammates were able to get her the ball for the open baseline shot where she scored the most important two points of the game.

“Blackhawk Nation” dominates
The “Blackhawk Nation” turned out in droves over the weekend and took over the Huron Arena for the state tournament to cheer on the

selland hug

SISTERS MYAH and Shelby Selland comfort each other as they are flooded with emotion following the tough overtime loss of the championship.

ir Lady Blackhawks in their third consecutive trip to “The B’s”.
An arena that holds 6,000 people was nearly half filled by Blackhawks fans each of the three nights of the tournament, making for the loudest and proudest crowd of the weekend.
Coaches and players became choked up at the welcome home event Saturday, as they spoke of the amazement, pride and support they felt when looking up into the stands. They said they couldn’t believe how they had to look all the way to the very top to see where their crowd ended.
Co-head Coach Rob Baruth joked that if anything was missing in Sanborn County, they would have no leads, since no one was around to witness anything and the sheriff’s department was also in Huron at the games.
The tournament having taken place in a neighboring county certainly helps to give the fans of Sanborn Central/Woonsocket an advantage in that aspect.
Fans from other areas certainly knew who’s territory they were in if they drove north up Highway 37 to Huron. A giant “Blackhawks” sign on a semi-trailer had been strategically placed along side the road and was even lit up at night.

“The best group of girls”
Comments were received throughout the weekend on the exceptional sportsmanship and spirit of the fans, players and cheerleaders.
Co-Head Coach Tim McCain relayed that the senior girls hotel room had been across the hall from SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director Jo Auch each year of the tourney. When asked if the girls were causing any problems she said didn’t hesitate to say no way. “You have got the best group of girls,” she said.
Sanborn Central Superintendent Linda Whitney was surprised to receive an email, out of the blue from a woman in Summit, commenting on the great sportsmanship the Blackhawks displayed:

SAVANNAH SWENSON, injured during the second night of play, receives her medal.

SAVANNAH SWENSON, injured during the second night of play, receives her medal.

“Congratulaions! I would like to congratulate your girls BB team and cheerleaders on a job well done!! I admire the BB team for their ability to play a ‘clean’ ballgame…not nasty or dirty…. The way bb should be played. Even though the trophy says runner-up, you are first place in my book!! Way to be classy!! Keep your heads up, ladies!! I will be looking for you next year at the tourney!! You are awesome!!”

A record-setting team
Since the Blackhawks co-op was formed in 2011 the Hawks have been busy setting the bar higher and higher each year.
In the three years of the co-op the Lady Blackhawks have never lost a 281 or CBH conference game. They have won three 281 Tournaments, three District Championships, three Region Championships and have earned fourth, fifth and second place at state.
They have a combined three-year record of 70-8, half of those losses coming at the state level.
The team has been named Academic All-State for all three years and the entire team, junior varsity and varsity, is on the honor roll.
The four seniors of the 2013-14 Blackhawks have had an amazing career as well. Shelby Selland, Rachel Selland, Marissa Weber and Kelbi Dean have over 3,000 combined career points, 2,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.
The Blackhawks have created an atmosphere of excellence for which the younger players to aspire in the coming years.

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