Vermillion boys basketball played their final game of the regular-season at home Monday against Canton. The Tanagers won 82-36 and tallied their 20th win for a school record and earned the Dak XII title after going 10-0 in the conference.
“We are excited for our team,” said Vermillion head coach Jay Drake. “Our guys have put in a lot of time and a lot of work and effort.”
The Tanagers are the second team in school history to have an undefeated regular season. The first was in 1977, and the team went 17-0.
“For them to be rewarded some and have accomplished some very good things this season being only the second VHS boys team in school history to have an undefeated regular season, to be the DAK 12 conference champs, to be the 1 seed in Region 4, and to set a school record with 20 consecutive wins are all things that these young men will be able to cherish and look back at and be proud of what they did this season," said coach Drake.
The Tanagers began with the lead and outscored Canton 23-15 after the first quarter. Vermillion built their lead by an additional seven points at the half to go up 44-29.
In the third, the Tanagers held Canton to two points while scoring 25. Vermillion was ahead 69-31 going into the fourth.
The Tanagers outscored Canton by eight in the fourth, 82-36, for their 20th consecutive win, the school record and the Dak XII Conference title.
"This group has put in a lot of time both in and out of season,” said coach Drake. “We have a group of guys that care very much for one another and are great teammates, and our team chemistry is very good. Our guys really only care about the team first, and that attitude has been a big reason why our team has had some of the success that we have experienced this season."
Senior Jakob Dobney recorded the game-high 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Senior Noah Gilbertson had 14 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Senior Connor Saunders tallied 11 points, three rebounds, three steals, one block and one assist. Senior Dillon Gestring had 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists on the night.
For Canton, sophomore Jacob Vandeweerd led the team with nine points, nine rebounds and two assists.
"We feel we are playing at a high level right now, and like any time in the post-season, we have to take games one game at a time and just focus on the next task in front of us,” said coach Drake. “We will have to defend, rebound, take care of the ball, play smart and play hard, and if we do that, we feel we can have a chance in any game that we play."
The Tanager boys begin region play Tuesday. Updated brackets of the opponent and location can be found online at sdhsaa.com/Athletics/Boys-Sports/Basketball/Brackets-A.