FLANDREAU, S.D. (KELO) — Flandreau senior Tash Lunday is a KELOLAND Media Group All-Star Boys Player of the Year Nominee for the first time, following a season that saw his team reach their first state tournament in nearly two decades.

Tash Lunday knew at a young age that he wanted to be a basketball player.

“I was like a first grader and I went to my first high school game and that’s when I really saw it and I wanted to start playing. That’s when I really got into it,” Lunday said.

Lunday appeared in 14 games his eighth grade year, but that was just the start.

“He can score in a lot of different ways now. When he was younger, it was, ‘I’m going to the hoop. Try to stop me,’ and not many teams could stop him, but now that he has that three-point shot, teams can’t just pack the paint,” Flandreau head coach Brendan Sheppard said.

Lunday averaged more than 23 points and 10 rebounds per game his senior season and that helped the Fliers reach their first state tournament in 18 years.

“It was a blessing, it was a little bit overdue, because I’ve been waiting to get over that hump. I finally realized it. I think we went on a win streak and it was like, we’re here,” Lunday said.

“He wanted to get to the state tournament, not for him, but just for the town of Flandreau. It’s been a long time since we’ve been there and the community was really excited to go,” Sheppard said.

Lunday leaves Flandreau as the second all-time leading scorer. He also collected 965 rebounds, the most in school history.

“I just kind of let the stuff happen. I’ve always thought that team success would bring accolades and that’s what I’ve kind of been brought up through this program,” Lunday said.

“To be recognized in a lot of different ways that he has been, has been awesome. He’s one of the best players that I’ve coached obviously, but I’d say he’s one of the best people that I know,” Sheppard said.

Lunday scored more than 2,000 points in his career. Flandreau went 61-31 with him in the starting lineup. We will announce our winners for the Boys and Girls All Star Players of the Year on this week’s SportsZone Saturday, which airs Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT right here on KELO-TV.