Sioux Falls Roosevelt boys basketball coach Bob Wilber has resigned. The RoughRiders coach, who started at the school in 1996 and led the team to a state Class AA championship in 2000, is leaving the coaching position, although he will still continue teaching at the school.
Wilber also coached at Wolsey and Milbank and had a career coaching record of 211-151. This year's Roosevelt team finished 13-10.
The RoughRiders of 2008-09 included junior forward Cody Larson, an Iowa recruit who is expected to be one of the leaders of the team next season. Larson told the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader newspaper there was a sense a change was in the offing.
"We could sense something was going to happen, but we weren't sure. We're going to go out and approach things like we do every year, but with a different guy in the driver's seat. We think we have a chance to do big things next year."
Wilber's teams made state six times, but only once since the 2005 squad qualified.
Boys Basketball: Perfect Storm For Lincoln Patriots
When Sioux Falls Lincoln won the Class AA boys' state basketball championships with a 59-31 victory over Huron, it marked the first perfect season in South Dakota state boys basketball history.
The Patriots capped a 25-0 season by outscoring the Tigers 22-5 in the final quarter of the state title contest.
Lincoln also became the first Class AA school to win a state football and state boys basketball title in the same school year, since cross-town parochial rival O'Gorman did it in the 2005-06 season.
The run to perfection was admittedly a huge accomplishment, according to the Patriot players when it was said and done. "To not mess up one time is actually pretty amazing," said senior forward Mitch VandenBerge to the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader newspaper. "When you look at the competition in AA, there are so many good teams. To think we were able to run the table, it hasn't even hit me yet."
In the finals, Almir Krdzalic scored 18 points for the Patriots and Anthony Muilenburg chipped in with 13, but the Patriots' pressure defense also forced 26 Huron turnovers and a 30-percent shooting night from the floor (12 of 40).
Boys Basketball: Fiegen Named Gatorade State Winner
Tony Fiegen of Madison has been named this year's South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year. Fiegen was part of a Madison team that won the state Class A boys' title this season.
It's the second individual honor of note for Fiegen, who was also been named a semi-finalist for the McDonald's All-American game two months ago. He is now among 50 other boys' basketball players from across the country in the running for the National Gatorade Player of the Year award.
However, the future South Dakota State University Jackrabbit is celebrating more with his teammates the Bulldogs' recent state championship won in Rapid City. It was the first state title for Madison since 1945.
A 6-8 senior forward, Fiegen led the team to a 24-2 record with individual numbers of 17 points and seven rebounds a game. He also became the third Madison basketball player to score over 1,000 career points.
Fiegen set a school single-season record for points (485) as a junior and was an all-state first-team choice last year, as well.
Boys Basketball: Sully Buttes Claims Class B Title
Sully Buttes won the South Dakota state Class B championship in Aberdeen with a thrilling 74-73 victory over White River; the first state crown for Sully Buttes since 1969 when the school went by the name of Onida.
In the victory, Sully Buttes defeated the defending state champs and beat them for the second time this season, to go with a 68-60 regular season victory.
Girls Basketball: Belle Fourche Seeks New Coach
Belle Fourche is seeking a new girls basketball coach, after the resignation of Shaun Kidder following the completion of the season.
Kidder says a growing family is behind his decision to leave the program after four years on the bench, telling the Butte County Post, “I’m going to have three kids under 4, so I’m going to take a break now." He and his wife are expecting their third child late this month.
Shaun said he expects to be back into coaching when his children reach school age and activities director Clay Anderson supports Kidder's decision. "He has put in a lot of offseason time working with the girls, and I think we’re in pretty good shape for the future.”
Anderson hopes to have the coaching position filled by the end of the school year.
Boys' Tennis: Stevens' Paluch Commits To Creighton
Rapid City Stevens' tennis standout Billy Paluch says he will play for Creighton University in Omaha next season. The senior star of the West River school said he also looked at Marquette, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Montana State, but chose the Omaha school after a visit to its campus.
Paluch has won three straight state singles championships and four Flight One doubles titles with his senior season to go. He is also tied for the second on the school wins list with 112, trailing cousin Corey Paluch by 14 victories for the overall boys' record.
His sister, Whitney Paluch, holds the school overall record with 158 victories.
Both Corey (South Dakota State) and Whitney (Cal State-Northridge) play Division One tennis.
Stevens will be gunning this spring for its fourth straight state team championship.