Girls’ Basketball Draws and Excites Hometown Crowds at State

The Cobbler girls’ basketball team thrilled the large Rapid City crowds at this year’s state tournament.

By Jersee Kepler

When boisterous chants and cheers, an overly excited announcer, bright lights, and an intimidating court appear in your hometown, you know it’s time for the state basketball tournament. Sixteen teams played Friday, March 4th, in what is called the SoDak 16, eight of which moved on to the first round of the state tournament.

With a (56-20) win over the Watertown Arrows the Central girls’ basketball team advanced to the first round of the state tournament. More than 250 students attended the game on Friday night. “The game was a lot of fun,” said senior starter Amarae Rinto. “It was good to see that amount of support again.” The student section cheered loud and proud in support of the girls. Even the parents’ section had an outstanding number of people.

“The atmosphere for our Round of 16 game was truly amazing,” said Central girls’ head coach Allan Bertram, “It was so special to see so many of our students attend and help cheer us on to victory. It made me proud to see the school spirit so alive in our building and I want to personally thank all of those who attended.”

After Central’s Sweet 16 game, they went on to play Stevens High School, the cross-town rival. Nerves were high, seats were filled, and school spirit was shown. Both schools showed up in support of the girls playing. “The crowd was loud,” said Rinto, “the support was unbelievable.” After a rough game, Central lost (34-40).

Washington’s girls’ basketball team, that was ranked number one, played in the first round of state against Jefferson, who was ranked number eight. After a crazy last three minutes, Jefferson upset Washington. Central, ranked number five, went on to play Washington in the second round of the state tournament. Central lost (33-46).

Knowing it was their last game for the season and for the five seniors, their last high school basketball game ever, Central’s girls fought hard for a rewarding ending, and they beat Lincoln (48-39). “Ending on a win, especially as a senior, is a really good feeling,” said Rinto, “It topped off all the hard work we put into the program the last two years.”

“Our girls had such an amazing season and they truly deserved to walk off the court for their final game of the season as winners,” says Coach Allan Bertram. “I am truly looking forward to another amazing season for our team. We have some very talented girls returning and they know what it takes to continue to win and get back to a state tournament.”