BY JEREMY HOECK
SIOUX FALLS — After flying under the radar all season, Dakota Valley stunned nearly everyone but itself by winning two games on the state’s biggest stage and reaching the championship contest.
Then the Panthers ran into defending champion St. Thomas More.
That’s where all the “firsts” ended for Dakota Valley, making the school’s second appearance in a state boys’ basketball tournament.
“From where Dakota Valley basketball was when they got to high school to right now, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said coach Jason Kleis, following his team’s 63-56 loss to St. Thomas More in Saturday night’s Class A title game at the Sioux Falls Arena.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad performance for the Panthers (21-4), who stayed close despite shooting 35 percent from the field.
For more on the championship game, read Monday’s edition of the Press & Dakotan.