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    Weekly Top 10 - December 18

    Here is it: the Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of December 18 2017.

    10.) Coming in at number 10: Clark Willow Lake continues to flex Cyclones muscles as they piss pound DeSmet and hold Gage Gruenhagen to half his season average (17 points) and freshman Ethan McCune to 10.  Final score was CWL 63 DeSmet 38.   The Cyclones are legitimate Class B title contenders. 

    9.) Sisseton appears to be the best in the Northeast.   The Redmen led by Benji Thompson are 2-0 (1-0 in the Northeast Conference) after beating Milbank, 60-43.  I have already penned (not penciled) Sisseton onto my Class A Top 10 ballot.  Thompson and Dion Ayarpeya might be the two top returning players but the Redmen also feature another Kranhold ….. freshman Andrew.   Any Sisseton team with a Kranhold on the roster has to be a good one as the Sisseton teams with Ethan Kranhold (currently a member of the Northern State University team) of years past were all very good. 

    8.) St Thomas More gets blasted again by a Class AA team.   Last week it was Sioux Falls Washington beating the Cavaliers by 27.   This week it was Douglas with a 76-56 victory.   The Cavaliers graduated most of their scoring and rebounding so this year’s team was expected to be young and eventually grow into a good team …. And that is so true.   It will take some time.  Tommie More finally won their first game against Alliance Nebraska on Friday.   Douglas on the other hand looks strong … can they sustain their early season momentum?

    7.) Early season surprises include: Class B – Irene Wakonda got absolutely pummeled by Nebraska Class C2 defending state champ: Ponca, 71-25.  Maybe Ponca (with two returning starters) is that good again … maybe IW is not that good.   It should have been a more competitive game.   Class A – familiar names that are perennially on top of Region 8 are currently at the bottom of the Seed Points: St Thomas More and Custer.   While newly minted Class A Rapid City Christian sits in 1st and Hill City 2nd in the Region.    Class AA – Harrisburg and Lincoln are sitting on top of the AA heap with 44.000 Seed Points.   They are both undefeated. 

    6.) The LNI kicked off this week.   Red Cloud and Pine Ridge cruised to first round wins … as expected.    However, neither team made the finals as the Thorpes lost to White River in the semifinals and then came back to beat McLaughlin for 3rd place.  Red Cloud lost to a surprising McLaughlin in the quarterfinals. 

    5.) Best duo of the week award goes to Abiah Plastow and Derek Storm of Ethan.  The senior guards combined for 51 points in the Rustlers 67-58 win over ACDC.   ACDC Thunder(struck) get the award for best classic rock band/South Dakota boys basketball team and they are Back in Black (and Gold), producing High Voltage, Powerage, on their Highway to Hell, and they are Ballbreaker with a Stiff Upper Lip, along the Razors Edge.  Give them a listen … if you like good old rock and roll.  I don’t expect the ACDC basketball team to be very good at all … so listening to the band might be your best alternative for an ACDC fix this winter. 

    4.) Sioux Falls Lincoln is making a claim as the best team in the Sioux Empire … led by early season all-state candidate: Diang Gatlauk.  But, expect Harrisburg to be one of the best in AA all season also.    The Tigers have an outstanding group of seniors: Ace Zorr, Chase Altenburg, and Brady Van Holland among others.    I know it’s early, but Harrisburg is tied with Lincoln for Seed Points

    3.) You heard it here first (last week), Rapid City Central continues to lead the state in victories (along with White River).   The Cobblers have cobbled together five for five wins this season … there have been several seasons where RC Central did not win five games the entire season!    Central even started to beat up on South Dakota teams after starting the season by kicking ass on some Wyoming teams.  ESD teams Mitchell and Huron fell victim to the Cobblers this past week.   Kailleb Walton-Bland, Dylan Hay, Cameron Hall and Tod Stephens are all contributing to this exciting start. 

    2.) The number two tidbit would likely have been number one in any other week.    There was a “Game of the Week” in Dell Rapids on Friday.  Two Class A powers met in a thrilling double overtime game won by Tea over Dells, 68-63.  The Quarriers showed some moxie … not to mention some very good players … as they pushed defending champs and their super class of juniors, Tea, to the limit.   Noah Freidel demonstrated why many in the state consider him the best in the class of 2019 … if not the best in the entire state.  Noah scored 32 points and that included some heroics at the end of regulation and in both overtimes.  Dell Rapids has their own lineup of very good players:  Jeffrey Schuch, Carson Rentz, Elijah Story, and Mason Schmidt can all play.   They grew up watching former Quarrier and current DWU standout, Ty Hoglund, and are emulating his play this season. 

    1.) The number 1 tidbit for the weekly top 10 comes out of Rapid City … again.   The “other Game of the Week” was in the finals of the LNI in Rapid City.    White River’s win in the LNI championship is your weekly number 1.  The Rapid City Civic Center was the venue for the most exciting game this past week.   Although the good folks from Presho and Rapid City Christian would argue that RC Christian’s sophomore Noah Roisum who knocked down a 3 pointer with a second left on the clock to help the Comets beat Lyman 65-64 made that the official best Game of the Week.   Not this week where the LNI was once again center stage of basketball in South Dakota.  The White River Tigers let a big lead slip away but were able to overcome a strong Crow Creek performance in the overtime period.  Sophomore Tyson Iyotte led the Tigers to victory.   Crow Creek had to open some eyes across the state with their performance … if anybody east of Crow Creek was paying attention.   The Chieftains have established themselves as a threat in Region 6 along with Chamberlain and Miller … and another emerging surprise team: McLaughlin.  Crow Creek has three go to players: Luke Wells II, Joe Sazue III, and Josiah Blue Arm.  Beware the Chieftains this season.  

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