Ethan's Ava Lingemann named Class B player of the year to headline all-state squad

Mar. 27—MITCHELL — Ethan senior guard Ava Lingemann was selected as the South Dakota Class B girls basketball player of the year for 2023-24, announced Wednesday with the release of the all-state teams by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.

Joining Lingemann on the Class B all-state first team were Lyman senior guard Skyler Volmer, Wall senior guard Paige Kjerstad, Arlington junior guard Addalyn Steffensen, Centerville junior guard/forward Althea Gust and Howard senior forward/guard Abby Aslesen. Lingemann was a repeat first-team selection, as Aslesen moved up from last year's second team and Volmer climbed from the third team.

As Class B's Spirit of Su award winner, Lingemann, a 5-foot-6 guard, posted 20.2 points, 7.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game this season, leading the Rustlers to a third-place state tournament finish. Lingemann, a Dordt University women's basketball commit, set the state Class B girls record for 3-pointers in a season with 108, including a state all-class record-tying 12 triples in a single game on Feb. 15 at the Corn Palace.

Volmer, a University of North Dakota signee, finished off her prep career by posting 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and four steals. The 5-foot-9 guard helped lead Lyman to its first state tournament berth in a decade, as the Raiders finished in fourth place after entering as the No. 7 seed.

"Skyler's ability to create opportunities for herself and others on her team has become a huge part of her development, as well as her leadership and ability to stay focused on the game to give her team the best chance at success," said Lyman coach Cody Volmer, also Skyler's father. "Her athleticism is very instrumental in her abilities, and we look forward to seeing these abilities grow in the future."

Aslesen, a 6-foot senior forward/guard, paced Howard in nearly every major statistical category, including 20.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. A Valley City State University women's basketball commit, Aslesen finished her prep career in Howard's program top-five in points (1,211) and rebounds (816).

"Abby showed tremendous growth and maturity over her high school career," said Howard coach and Abby's father, Travis Aslesen. "She stayed hungry and spent massive amounts of time in the gym, worked on her game and became a force to deal with. She is proof that if you want something bad enough and are willing to do the work it takes to earn it, good things will happen."

Kjerstad, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 15.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for Wall this season, as the Eagles took home fifth place at the state tournament. Steffensen, a 5-foot-10 guard, helped guide Arlington to the No. 1 seed in the Class B postseason and a runner-up finish by providing 16.2 points and six rebounds per game. Representing Class B champion Centerville, Gust notched 13.4 points and 3.5 assists per game.

Area frontcourt standouts Mak Scott, of Lyman, and Avery Orth, of Wessington Springs, highlighted the Class B all-state second-team picks.

Scott finished her sophomore campaign with averages of 17.3 points to lead Lyman, 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and three steals per game. Alongside Skyler Volmer, the 6-foot Scott was instrumental in the Raiders' postseason run.

"Mak has developed into one the best post ballhandlers in Class B, if not the state," Cody Volmer said. "Her continued growth as a post-up offensive threat and ability to shoot from the outside put her right up there with the best players in her class. At 6 feet, she also sees the floor very well while the ball is in her hands and passes very well. Defensively, she continues to grow as a lockup defender and shot blocker. We look forward to her continued success and development as a leader and basketball standout."

Orth, a 6-foot-2 senior center, posted 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, one of just two Class B honorees (Aslesen the other) to average a double-double this season. She finished her career with more than 1,300 points.

"Avery was an outstanding player; she worked hard and was willing to do whatever needed to help lead the Spartans to heights they had not seen in many years," said Wessington Springs coach Jason Kolousek. "She was so much fun to have on our team and was a great leader for her teammates."

Sully Buttes senior guard Stevie Wittler, James Valley Christian junior guard Kaylie Robinson, Centerville junior forward Emma Marshall and Wall senior guard Nora Dinger joined Scott and Orth on the Class B all-state second team.

An area trio comprised of Tripp-Delmont/Armour's Megan Reiner, Avon's Courtney Sees and Andes Central/Dakota Christian's Josie Brouwer landed on the Class B all-state third team.

Reiner, a 5-foot-10 senior guard led the Nighthawks to the Class B SoDak 16 behind 17.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game.

Sees, a 5-foot-6 senior guard, notched 15.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game to make a repeat appearance on the third team, having been honored last season.

"Courtney's skill and dedication define her as a basketball player," said Avon coach Brad Poppe. "Her performance on the court, combined with her positive attitude and her ability to involve her teammates, have made Courtney such a huge part of our program."

Brouwer, a 5-foot-7 guard, posted 17 points and seven rebounds per game for the Thunder, who advanced to the Class B SoDak 16.

Lemmon senior guard Allie Kohn, Harding County senior guard Claire Verhulst and Arlington sophomore guard Jaelyn Huntimer completed the Class B all-state third team.