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    Weekly Top 10 - January 7

    OK, I finally had to break down and do a reprise of the Weekly Jackalope Top 10.   I received so many emails and calls requesting the basketball content for this season that I decided there was enough interest in the Top 10.  

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of January 7, 2019.

    10. Sioux Valley took it on the chin over the weekend as they lost to Parker in the finals of the Big East Conference Tournament.  Parker’s 6’9 Camden Bialas, the Dordt signee, led the Pheasants with 25.  Jaron Pesicka added 11 and Trey Christensen, who will play for Dakota State next year, contributed 13 boards.  Junior Max Nielson was the top scorer for the Cossacks with 15.  Sioux Valley 8th grader Oliver Vincent is logging plenty of minutes early in the season and had 9 in the championship game.  Speaking of playing as an 8th grader, SV coach Bill Vincent is not afraid to throw his youngsters into the mix.  Starting PG Max Nielson started at the 1 as an 8th grader.   Back then Max was a fuzzy cheeked kid playing on one of the best Class A teams.   When I saw him last week in Brookings at the Swiftel Center Classic score a career high 36, I thought: he still looks fuzzy cheeked.   At least now he can drive to school (legally). 

    9. Mitchell Christian is not blue flaming at 3-4 but 6’2 senior guard Alec Nelson already has a 39 point game.  Across town at Mitchell high school, Todd Neuendorf and the Kernels are cold as the January night at 0-6.   Mitchell, once the hotbed of South Dakota basketball is no longer mentioned as being anywhere near hot when basketball is mentioned. 

    8. Sioux Falls Lincoln beat Yankton 69-53.   It was Yankton’s first loss since February 2018.   The defending AA champs are still the favorites to defend their crown.  Matthew Mors is the top player in the state and the Bucks will be a tough team to beat if the sophomore is on the floor.  Lincoln is looking good at 7-0.   The Patriots are big and very good.   Jared Jaros, Lincoln’s 6’2 guard, is a top 5 player in the state.  He led the victory over Yankton with 21.  Dakota State recruit Grant Russell added 12.  The rebound advantage was all Lincoln’s with 6’5 Zach Hanson grabbing 8.  Lincoln’s lineup includes 6’7 Nate Brecht and 6’4 Maxwell Burchill … not many teams will be bigger than Lincoln. 

    7. My Class AA top 5:

    1.) Sioux Falls Lincoln

    2.) Yankton

    3.) Huron

    4.) Rapid City Stevens

    5.) Sioux Falls Roosevelt

    6. The good news story of the season to date is: Corsica Stickney coach Mike Tuschen joined the 500 win club earlier in the season.  Larry Luitjens: DeSmet, New England ND, and Custer is number 1 on the all-time list with 748 wins.  Gary Munsen: Marion and Mitchell is second with 672.   Burnell Glanzer: Armour and Tripp Delmont Armour, is number 3 with 617.  Gayle Hoover: Parker is number 4 with 577.  Paul Raasch: Alpena, Webster, and Langford notched number 500 last year and is at 500 plus.  Mike Tuschen: Stickney and Corsica Stickney is at 500 plus.  Jim Schlekeway: O’Gorman, Todd County and Mobridge, has 502.   Doug Groth: Wyndmere ND and Selby, has 500.  Frank Cutler with 400 plus is still active at Platte Geddes.  Dave Hollenbeck is closing in on 400 at St Thomas More.  Scott Schultz is approaching 400 at Bridgewater Emery.  The other active coaches with 300 plus are: Pat Jolley at Canistota; Bill Vincent at Sioux Valley; Derek Robey at O’Gorman; Jerome Nesheim at Clark Willow Lake; Darwin Hofer at JVC; Eric Denning at MVP; and Eldon Marshall at White River.   Those active coaches are a great start to the list of top coaches in the state. 

     5. Paul Bruns the sophomore guard for Dakota Valley scored 31 with 15 rebounds in the DV loss to number 1 Class A Tea.  Other top scoring efforts include: Lyman’s Baptiste Pourier with 27 vs Stanley County; Huron’s Kobe Busch with 27 over Stevens; Huron’s Tanner Evers added 25 in that win over Stevens; Pierre junior Garrett Stout with 30 against Brookings; Sawyer Schultz with 23 in the Bridgewater Emery loss to Breckinridge, MN; Devon Heuer with 33 for Arlington vs Deuel; Connor Libis with 25 for Dell Rapids St Mary over Castlewood; Garretson’s Trevor Fiegen with 33 against Lake Preston; Miller’s Karst Hunter 34 vs Cheyenne Eagle Butte; Drew Cole of Brookings with 29 vs Huron; Joey Slama, Bon Homme, with 28 vs Wagner; Sanborn Central Woonsocket’s Noah Dickson with 27 vs Sunshine Bible Academy; Ryder Kirsch of St Thomas More with 28 against Chamberlain; and Andrew Rorhbach from Aberdeen Christian scored 31 against JVC.

    Huge games: Canton’s Kayden Verley with 46 against EPJ; Clark Willow Lake’s Jacob Prouty 45 vs Sioux Valley; Alejandro Rama of Red Cloud with 44 against Pine Ridge.  Caleb Simons with 39 for Edgemont vs New Underwood almost makes the “huge games … AKA the AJ Plitzuweit list” … well, I guess Caleb did make it.

    4. Kyler Meyer, the Britton Hecla senior guard and DWU signee, had 34 against Mobridge.  He also torched Castlewood for 34 and is averaging close to 30 ppg. 

    3. DeSmet has a really good 6’6 post, Trevin Holland.   The surprise scorer for the Bulldogs has been 6’1 freshman guard Kalen Garry.  He scored 23 along with Holland’s 19 in the DeSmet win over Chester.  Garry had 33 in the win over Lake Preston. 

    2. In most weeks the Red Cloud rematch victory over Pine Ridge at the Thorpes gym, 68-65, would have been the number 1 tidbit of the week.  It is number 2 this week but still an outstanding achievement.  Ale Rama and his 30+ ppg led the Red Cloud win with a scintillating 44 points and 14 rebounds .... are you kidding me?   44 of the Crusaders 68 points!  Junior Riyen Carlow and sophomore Beau Donovan provide the support for Ale.  Rama is one of the top players in the state in any class.  Pine Ridge will be in the middle of the action when the post season rolls around.   The Thorpes are senior dominated with tons of big game experience.  Halin Bad Bear at 18ppg and Corey Brown with 12ppg and 8 rebounds per game are the leaders.   These two Reservation teams are both top 5 on my Class A poll. 

    1. The number 1 tidbit of the week is the Yankton win over Minnesota Class 3 number 1 De La Salle 71-65 in The Hoop City Classic in Sioux Falls.   Sophomore Matthew Mors and Yankton made a statement not only in the state but across the region with the win over De La Salle.   South Dakota boys basketball can compete!   Mors has already proved his mettle at summer circuit games and basketball camps at D1 schools.   Matthew has eight D1 offers to date and that list will surely grow in the coming months.  

    SDSU and USD have offered.   No surprise there that the two D1 schools in the state would want the Yankton star who has been playing on the varsity since he was a 7th grader.   Yes, you read that correctly: in the state’s largest class … AA …Mors was playing against kids 5 and 6 years older than him!   The social media sites were buzzing with comments from these 18-year olds who claimed (falsely) that the young 7th grader from Yankton had no game.   Uhhhh, yeah, right …. those same kids are now wrapping up their college careers and preparing to find jobs in fields other than professional basketball …. not to mention that most of those same social media stars paid their own way to college and sat in the bleachers watching their college teams play.   Back to the offers for Mors: Wisconsin recruiter and former Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Badgers star, Joe Krabbenhoft, have entertained young Mr. Mors at a Badgers camp and have offered him a scholarship when he outplayed several players who are considered higher recruits.  Texas Christian University and super recruiter Ryan Miller have extended an offer to Matthew.  Ryan Miller is a former Mitchell and Northern State star and the brother of former NBA star and current Memphis University assistant coach, Mike Miller.  Another school with South Dakota ties, Nebraska, coached by Doland native Tim Miles has offered.  Other D1 schools making offers include: Colorado, Creighton, and Iowa.  Mors is the hottest South Dakota recruit in years. 

    Yankton was the number 1 team in AA until the Lincoln loss.   The Bucks victory over De La Salle provides the exclamation point for Yankton, Mors, and South Dakota boys basketball.   Mors is the star, but the Bucks needed a strong supporting cast as Matthew sat several minutes with foul trouble.   Senior Rex Ryken contributed 15 points and junior Cooper Korneman added 14.   This was a big game and a big win for Yankton and South Dakota. 

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