The Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center at Black Hills State University will host the South Dakota High School State A Girls Basketball Tournament this week.

The eight qualifying teams will make their way to the Young Center tomorrow for practice sessions. The first round of the tournament begins Thursday, March 8 at 12 p.m. when St. Thomas More plays Pine Ridge. That game will be followed by Elkton-Lake Benton vs. Clark-Willow Lake at 1:45 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. for the afternoon session.  The evening games will include Miller vs. Vermillion at 6 p.m. and Sisseton vs. Parkston at 7:45 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for the evening session.

The championship semi-finals and consolation semi-finals will be held Friday, March 9, and the championship and consolation championship games will be held Saturday, March 10.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will broadcast the games live from the Young Center. For a link to the live broadcast or for more information about the tournament, see www.BHSU.edu/Athletics.

BHSU hosted its first state basketball tournament in 2007 with the Spearfish School District as the host school. The three-day tournament brought thousands of visitors to Spearfish.

The University is once again working with the South Dakota High School Activities Association; Spearfish High School; the Spearfish Chamber, Convention and Visitors Bureau; Visit Spearfish; area businesses; and many volunteers to make this year’s tournament a success.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the Spearfish community,” Jhett Albers, director of Athletics at BHSU, said. “We have a supportive campus and local community that really welcomes visitors and works together to make large events like the State A Basketball Tournament a success.”

The State A Tournament is one of many events hosted at BHSU. Each year the Young Center hosts a variety of state and regional athletic events, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and wrestling tournaments. BHSU also hosts high school and college track meets, swim meets, and Special Olympics events in addition to University events including commencement, cultural events like the Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, and numerous conferences, concerts, plays, and lectures. The State A Track & Field preliminaries and the state Special Olympics will be held at BHSU in May.

The Young Center provides state-of-the-art facilities for tournaments and other events, including an 18,000-square foot gymnasium with seating for 3,800, a 58,000-square foot field house, an aquatic center, locker rooms, an athletic fitness room, hospitality and meeting rooms, concessions, and convenient parking with approximately 450 spaces adjacent to the Young Center, 300 spaces next to Lyle Hare Stadium, and approximately 1,000 additional spaces on campus.