YANKTON, S.D. | Dakota Valley was perfect on 16 free throw attempts and had four players score in double figures as it earned a Class A Boys State Basketball Tournament berth with a 59-50 win over Bon Homme in a game played at Yankton High School Thursday.
"I am just really proud of our kids," Dakota Valley Coach Jason Kleis said. "The way they have done it over these last three games being dead in the water at some point in each game and coming back shows a lot about this team."
Paul Bruns had 15 points to lead the Panthers, hitting twice on 3-point shots in the first quarter to help give his team a 16-7 lead at the end of one.
Brennan Moran was the hot hand in the second frame for Dakota Valley, scoring eight of his 10 points as the Panthers were up 35-25 at the half. Charlie Cox also had 11 points and Jack McCabe 10 for the winners, who will move on to the state tournament in Rapid City next weekend with a 15-7 record.
Bon Homme (14-7) got a game-high 18 points from Joey Slama while Nate Scieszinski added 12 and Mace Merkwan had 10.
The trip will be a return to state for the Panthers who lost to eventual-champion Madison 56-47 in the first round a year ago. Dakota Valley went on to win consolation games over Mt. Vernon/Plankinton and St. Thomas More to earn fifth place.