March 13, 2020, will go down as a day in history for many reasons. In South Dakota, it was the beginning of change as COVID-19 made its first appearance. Unfortunately for the numerous sports fans across the state, this also put a stop to the annual State Basketball Tournaments.
De Smet’s girls’ team had already played a tough Faulkton team in the Quarterfinals, beating them 50-45. With advancement to the Semifinals round, the girls' team would be one game away from the finals and seemed poised to make a run at yet another championship trophy.
The boys' team had been racking up an impressive record themselves. Finishing a strong season as the top-seeded team in the state, with only two losses to Sioux Valley and Canistota, they were looking to challenge Faith in the first round and hopefully making a run for the championship trophy that eluded them the previous season. With a roster full of strong athletes and a desire for the win, it seemed the boys were headed to another solid tournament appearance.
This was not to be, though, as the girls’ basketball teams were called back home from their tournament and games left unfinished that Friday. What originally was called a postponement turned into a cancellation. With all spring sports being cancelled, it became evident that there would be no basketball tournament this year.
Although there were no finished tournaments this year, both Bulldog teams showed grit, determination and great effort throughout their successful seasons.
The seniors on both teams deserve special recognition for their leadership and enthusiasm.
Seniors on the girls’ team include Reyna Beck, Emily Martens, Autumn Wilkinson and Michelle Wiese.
Seniors on the boys team include: Baylor Beck, Dom Hansen and Andrew Holland.
Regardless of the lack of a tournament to give them a chance to be officially crowned champions, their supporters will think of them all as 2020 champions.