Calby Pearman Eagle Butte Basketball
Favorite athlete: Lindsay Sears, professional barrel racer.
Indianapolis Colts, North Carolina Tarheels.
Other sports: Rodeo, volleyball, track, basketball, softball.
Toughest opponent: Shauna Long, former standout from Standing Rock, N.D.
Future plans: Attend either Black Hills State or South Dakota State, major in business or sports medicine.
Best athletic memory: Winning three Lakota Nation Invitational championships.
A Cheyenne-Eagle Butte senior’s unselfish play continued after the final buzzer in Rapid City Saturday night.
The CEB girls had just won their third straight Lakota Nation Invitational title — one of the most coveted titles in South Dakota basketball.
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte standout Calby Pearman scored a game-high 15 points to help her team defeat Pine Ridge 46-41 in the title game.
The 5 foot 4 inch, 17-year-old point guard was named tourney Most Valuable Player and winner of the Playmaker Award. Pearman wanted to give away her MVP award to her teammate and fellow senior Chloe Gunville.
“Chloe doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. She did so good and worked hard that game,” said Pearman. Pearman made the assist to Gunville, who hit an important three-pointer with less than one minute to play in the championship game to break a 41-tie.
The honors for Pearman continue today as she is the American News Athlete of the Week.
“It feels so awesome,” said Pearman of winning the tourney a third time. “It feels like you’re on top of the world when you win.”
Pearman said the championship game started out a little rough but eventually the Braves were able to prevail, relying on past experience.
“We had the jitters and couldn’t seem to grab the ball and couldn’t play our game,” said Pearman. “(Pine Ridge) wanted us to play their game, but we snapped out of that in the second half. They didn’t know how to handle the adrenaline and jitters as much as we did.”
The Braves coasted to wins over Takini and St. Francis in the first two rounds and fought their way past Todd County to reach the title game. Pearman knew the Thorpes would be a test. “They have a lot of good shooters, and they seemed to be a little rough, so we had to fight through that,” said Pearman. “They were really physical and weren’t going to let us win it. We had to take it from them.”
Pearman said she and her teammates are a close-knit team that has has played together a long time.
“Looking into someone’s eyes, you can tell what their next move will be,” said Pearman. “Our top seniors have been playing together since third grade. My dad coached us in AAU, he’s our biggest fan and likes to watch us.”
Pearman, who averages 17.8 points and five assists per game and shoots 71 percent from the free-throw line, has been a member of all three LNI championship teams. “The last two years, she has turned into a team leader as far as point guard,” said Cheyenne-Eagle Butte coach Jesse Mendoza. “She’s starting to see things on the floor that she didn’t a year ago. She’s very selfdisciplined and an all-around athlete. I couldn’t ask for a more coachable person. She has matured quite a bit.”
Pearman noted her coach has influenced her game through the years.
“He’s been there and has done all the stuff that I’m experiencing,” said Pearman. “If I ever have any problems or issues, he’s a good guy to talk to and knows what to say.”
The Braves are hoping to carry the momentum of the LNI through the season and earn a State A title. Basketball has been good for Pearman and her teammates.
“I love being with my friends and the adrenaline you get keeps you going,” she said. “Basketball brings our team together. We’re all kind of like sisters and if we lose, we lose as a team.”
White River defeated Custer 52-38 to win the boys’ LNI. Wyatt Krogman of White River was the tourney MVP.
See a list of all the past basketball LNI champions in today’s Scoreboard.