The Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center at Black Hills State University has been chosen as the site for the State A Girls High School Basketball Tournament March 8, 9, 10.

The state high school tournament is a first for the university and Spearfish. Organizers are hopeful that a successful tournament will lead to additional state tournaments here. BHSU has hosted the state track meet. The entire community is working together to put together a successful tournament.

“Staff people at the Spearfish High School, Black Hills State University, the Spearfish Chamber and Convention and Visitors Bureau, the hotel business improvement district group, and many Spearfish businesses have been working to ensure the success of this tournament,” Jo Lutnes, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce, says. “We want attendees to be impressed with the reception they receive in Spearfish and we are excited to be hosting the Class A Girls State Basketball Tournament.”

According to Teri Royer, Young Center director, the BHSU facility was chosen based on responses through a bidding process. Royer thinks the Young Center is a great choice for the state tournament.

“We have hosted numerous state and regional athletic events including basketball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling tournaments as well as the DAC track meets, swim meets, state track meets and state Special Olympics,” Royer says. “We have an enthusiastic, supportive community known to volunteer to work at athletic events. Our facility is one of the best in the state offering a 58,000 square foot field house with six extra basketball backstops for practice. We have a great concession stand offering a variety of items and convenient parking. We have an experienced staff who are enthusiastic to accommodate these events.”

Karen Hahn, activities director at Spearfish High School, sees this as great opportunity for the entire area.

“Our goal is to host such a good tournament that Spearfish will be placed on the permanent rotation and families will want to come back again,” Hahn says.

Although it’s difficult to estimate the expected attendance, Royer says that seating was required for 3,500 people. The crowd will largely be determined by which teams qualify for the state tournament.

There will be two two-game sessions each day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The first session begins at noon (doors will open at 11 a.m.), and the second session begins at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.)