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Viborg-Hurley goes back-to-back in girls hoops

Craig Wollman
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

A year ago, they were the Cinderella story in ‘B’ girls basketball. This year, expectations were higher, but the Cougars still answered the call. Viborg-Hurley defeated Wall 71-61 on Saturday night at the Huron Arena to win back-to-back state championships.

“All that pressure on us all year long, and the girls just played so hard, stayed composed and focus. I’m so excited right now,” exclaimed Molly Mason, head girls basketball coach for Viborg-Hurley.

While the Cougars didn’t shoot particularly well from the field, 33%, they did however score 22 points from the free throw line. Another category that Viborg-Hurley dominated was the rebound battle. The Cougars had 43, 17 being offensive, compared to the 31 rebounds by Wall. Another key to victory was Viborg-Hurley’s 16 points off turnovers.

Coral Mason, who is the daughter of Molly Mason and a senior on the squad, had 28 points and 16 rebounds in the title game. Charley Nelson attributed 14 points for the Cougars as well with three boards. For Wall, Paige Kjerstad led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

For Coach Mason of the Cougars, she likes how well rounded her team is. It’s a different person every night who can step up.

“I’ve talked about this before, but this is what makes our team so unique. All our girls can step up at any time. They know their role. If they have to become uncomfortable to do other things for us, they will,” Mason said. “Tonight, Coral had a great game, and everyone else just contributed to what we needed to do to get this championship.”

If there was a negative aspect to Viborg-Hurley’s performance on Saturday, one could point to fouls. Three of the players, Coral Mason, Denae Mach, and Estelle Lee all had four personal fouls in the contest. And while coach Mason appreciates the aggressiveness, she also joked that it did make her a little nervous at times with the team getting into foul trouble.

“Our girls just play physical. I’m ok with that at times, I want physicality, I want strength, but you know, sometimes we just need to back off at times, and you know, we never had anybody foul out, but we got close,” she chuckled.

Viborg-Hurley becomes just the 10th girls basketball program in state ‘B’ history to win back-to-back titles. This spring, they’ll lose five seniors to graduation.

“It was just a bittersweet night,” Mason stated. “These are my girls, the seniors, and the rest of the girls too, I just love them to death. I’m just so proud of them. I’m a proud mom and I’m a proud coach.”

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.
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