Parkston’s Van Laecken Relaxed As His Team Prepares For Its First State Title Appearance

Parkston head coach Rob Van Laecken might be getting a little more comfortable that the attention his team’s berth in the championship of the South Dakota State Class A Girls’ Basketball Tournament is affording him.

After his standard “you don’t need to talk to me,” response, he opened up a little — and even had some fun with the media.

Parkston head girls' basketball coach Rob Van Laecken kneels in front of his team's bench during the Lady Trojans' semifinal victory over Miller on Friday.

Van Laecken started telling the gathered media about a team camp the team took at the University of Notre Dame, the one where they got the “Play Like A Champion Today” T-shirts the team wore for warm-ups before Friday night’s 72-71 victory over Miller. He then stopped himself and said, “I’ll tell you that one tomorrow night.”

The team continued its confident play in pressure situations, surviving a Miller flurry to win in the closing seconds. Now only top-seeded and de facto home team St. Thomas More stands between the Lady Trojans and their first-ever state basketball title.

STM beat Parkston 58-38 at the Parkston Classic in December. But standout Marie Malloy pointed out that the Lady Trojans have already earned vengeance on one foe this post-season.

“We got our revenge on Wagner,” she said. Wagner, which was unbeaten prior to Parkston’s come-from-behind win in the District 10A final, had beaten the Lady Trojans by 10 in January. “Hopefully we can get our revenge on St. Thomas More.”


Chynna Stevens, Clark-Willow Lake: Posted 22 points, 14 rebounds in a loss to Pine Ridge.

Caitlin Duffy, St. Thomas More: Posted 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists in win over Elkton-Lake Benton.

Marie Malloy, Parkston: Had 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals in win over Miller.

Alexis Watts, Miller: Had 21 points, 14 rebounds in loss to Parkston.


POINTS: Marie Malloy, Parkston 24; Chynna Stevens, CWL 22; Anissa Martin, Pine Ridge 21; Alexis Watts, Miller 21; Erica Herrold, Parkston 19

REBOUNDS: Chynna Stevens CWL 14, Alexis Watts, Miller 14; Caitlin Duffy, STM 11; Megan Krogman, ELB 10; Tara Parmely, Miller 9; Jansen Hunter, Miller 8; Jordyn Kirk, Sisseton 8

ASSISTS: Janelle Paulson CWL 6, Tara Parmely, Miller 5; Hallie Fulton, Miller 4; Mallory Fischer, Miller 4; Brooke Pond, Pine Ridge 4; Santana White Dress, Pine Ridge 4


SCORING: Marie Malloy, Parkston 25.5 ppg; Caitlin Duffy, STM 22.5; Alexis Watts, Miller 20.5; Mackenzie Huber, CWL 17; Erica Herrold, Parkston 16.5

REBOUNDS: Chynna Stevens, CWL 13.5; Marie Malloy, Parkston 10.5; Caitlin Duffy, STM 9.0; Alexis Watts, Miller 9.0; Erica Herrold, Parkston 7.5

ASSISTS: Mallory Fischer, Miller 6 apg; Caitlin Duffy, STM 4.5; Tara Parmely, Miller 4.5; Janelle Paulson, CWL 4.0; Brooke Pond, Pine Ridge 3.5


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