Howard's Kolt Koepsell, Canistota's Tage Ortman named to Class B boys all-state first team

Mar. 28—MITCHELL — Howard senior Kolt Koepsell and Canistota senior Tage Ortman were each named to the South Dakota Class B boys basketball all-state first team for 2024, announced Thursday with the release of the all-state teams by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.

Also named to the first team was White River senior Nicolas Marshall, Castlewood junior Byron Laue, Viborg-Hurley junior Nick Hanson and Faith senior Jackson Schauer.

Koepsell claimed honors after guiding Howard to its first state championship in 60 years. The 6-foot-8 center averaged a double-double for the season, posting 14.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. In the state tournament against stiffer competition, his numbers improved to 18 points per game to go with 14 rebounds.

"Kolt had a great season averaging a double-double," said Howard coach Nick Koepsell. "He often saw double teams that prevented him from putting up even bigger numbers. His 3.5 assists per game showed his willingness to sacrifice individual stats for team success."

Ortman concluded his memorable Canistota career by putting up 23.6 points and 6.1 assists per game, helping the Hawks to a 15-6 record. He elevated his game from a 18.5 ppg, 4.5 apg effort a season ago, where he earned third-team honors, and surpassed the 1,000 career points benchmark as a senior.

"Tage has been around athletics his entire life, growing up with four siblings who were all very involved in sports," said Canistota coach Patrick Jolley. "He has spent countless hours in the gym and weight room to make himself better. From a young age, he made a commitment to reach his potential in every sport."

Marshall was second in the classification in scoring with 26.2 points per game, leading White River to a fourth-place finish. Big man Byron Laue averaged a 15.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg double-double, and Castlewood finished third in the state. Viborg-Hurley reached the state tournament behind 23.1 ppg and 9.6 rpg from Nick Hanson, and Faith's Jackson Schauer scoring 25 ppg.

Included in the state's second team was senior Daniel Mitchell of Gregory and junior Luke Koepsell of Howard. Mitchell helped lead the Gorillas back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015. The athletic big averaged 14.9 ppg and 7.6 apg. Mitchell will leave Gregory with 10 school records in basketball, including career points with 1,985, 49 points in a single game, career rebounds with 928, and career blocks with 242. He was also chosen to an all-state team for four consecutive seasons.

"Daniel is a tremendous athlete and basketball player and has the ability to affect a basketball game on both ends of the floor," said Gregory coach Jeff Determan. "Daniel's development over the last five seasons and his unselfishness were instrumental in our success and our run at the state tournament this season."

The second Howard star on the all-state team, Luke Koepsell, finished the season with 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. His strong performance during the Tigers' state title run included a 16-point effort on 5-of-8 shooting in the championship game.

"Luke led our state championship team in scoring while shooting 58.2 percent," Nick Koepsell, also Luke's father, said. "Luke's versatility on both ends of the court makes him invaluable to his team. For Luke to put up the offensive numbers he did while only averaging 10.5 shot attempts per game shows how efficient he is."

Rounding out the second team was De Smet's George Jensen, Faulkont's Layne Cotton, Dell Rapids St. Mary's Trevon Beckman, and Castlewood's Lane Tvedt.

A pair of Mitchell area boys were named to the third team, Wessington Springs sophomore Parker Graff and Mitchell Christian senior Aiden Lieber.

Graff was the leading scorer of a Spartan squad that finished 25-2 with a fifth-place finish at the state tournament. He averaged 17.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

"Parker had an exceptional year for only a sophomore," said Springs coach Kenny Huether. "The bigger the game, the more he stepped up. He spends a lot of time in the offseason improving his game and is very deserving of this award."

Lieber led the classification in scoring, posting a gaudy 29.9 points per game to go with 10.3 rebound and 2.5 assist per game.

"Aiden put in a tremendous amount of work to achieve the things he did this season," said MCS coach Chris Nemec. "He has been a great teammate and a good example for other players to look up to. As a program, we are happy for him and hope that he will continue to have success in the future."

Also on the third team was Aberdeen Christian senior Joey Johnson, De Smet senior Kadyn Fast, Leola-Frederick's Brayden Sumption, Highmore Harrold senior Trake Cowan and Jones County senior Cooper Feddersen.

Bridgewater-Emery's Ben Weber was awarded an honorable mention nod, after the sophomore scored 17.1 points per game, to go with 9.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in a 13-9 season for the Huskies. Leola-Frederick junior Noah Kippley, Sully Buttes sophomore Wesley Wittler, Potter County senior Ryder Falkenhagen and Gayville-Volin junior Spencer Karstens also were named honorable mentions.