Fergus Falls' Colbeck goes from state runner-up to Summit League champion

Ellie Colbeck started seven games early in the season for the league champion Jackrabbits.

Colbeck pose
Fergus Falls native and South Dakota State freshman Ellie Colbeck (right) poses with fellow freshman Madison Mathiowetz after the Jackrabbits won the Summit League Championship Tuesday in Sioux Falls. Dom Izzo, WDAY Sports.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Ellie Colbeck came within a whisker of a state championship last March when her Fergus Falls Otters came up just short in the title game against Providence Academy.

Colbeck was sensational, scoring 41 of Fergus Falls' 53 total points in a 55-53 loss.

Her high school career may have ended with disappointment, but her collegiate career is off to a roaring start.

Colbeck signed with powerhouse South Dakota State in November of 2021 and a year later, was in the starting lineup for Aaron Johnston's team. Colbeck started the first seven games of the year because of an injury to starting point guard Paige Meyer.

"I just got thrown in right away, kind of hard to pick up a lot of things fast, got to play with some of the best like Myah Selland and Paiton Burckhard." Colbeck said on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center floor after SDSU dismantled Omaha 93-51 to cap off an unbeaten year against Summit League competition.


"It's been a crazy year, last year was at the state tournament, and then a year later and I'm on a new team, it's been a fun ride."

Colbeck started seven of the first eight games of the season, and scored a career high 12 points against Lehigh in the second game of the season. When Meyer returned from injury, Colbeck went to a backup role, but still played in 27 games, averaging two points per game.

Chloe Paulson (4) fights through a screen set by Fergus Falls' Paige Pearson (32) while trying to keep tabs on the Otters' leading scorer Ellie Colbeck during the section championship game in Perham Thursday, March 25, 2021. Robert Williams / Forum News Service

"I love it in Brookings, the team and coaches. It was a year of growth for me and I had the best people to do it with."

Colbeck left Fergus Falls High School as the school's all-time leading scorer, racking up 2,497 points. She was a two-time all-state selection along with being named the Minnesota Class 2A player of the year last season.

She's been on the radar of high school coaches since her sophomore year at Fergus Falls and that support from her hometown followed her to Sioux Falls this week.

"There's a lot of support, there's some families here that came down to watch. I always feel the love and support from Fergus which is super great."

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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