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    Weekly Top 10 - January 14

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 (plus 2) for the week of January 14, 2019.

     12.) We have witnessed the emergence of several freshmen and 8th grade players making significant contributions to their varsity teams. 

    Top 8th graders:

    5’10 Oliver Vincent – Sioux Valley

    6’3 Spencer Fernholz – Miller

    6’1 Jackson Isakson – Aberdeen Christian

    Top Freshmen:

    6’1 Coy Determan – Gregory

    5’10 Dylan Marshall – White River

    5’11 Kaden Klumb – Ethan

    6’6 Caden Hinker – Mitchell

    6’1 Kalen Garry – DeSmet

    6’3 Tash Lunday – Flandreau

    5’9 Stratton Eppard – Chester

    6’0 Dustin Honomichl – Wagner

    Let me preempt all the blow back I expect to hear from those Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Washington parents about how their son is the best freshman in Sioux Falls but the varsity is stacked with juniors and seniors blocking the varsity playing time of these elite freshmen.   I get it … I hear you … but these young men I just identified are contributing at the varsity level NOW.  

     11.) The Corn Palace will host the Hanson Classic this weekend.   There are the usual assortment of great matchups.   Here are the games and a rundown on who might win. 

    NOTE: Author not responsible for any betting losses you might incur. 

    Castlewood vs Irene Wakonda

    This is a game with a pair of 500 teams in the middle of their respective region Seed Points.   All state player Trey King leads IW … his supporting cast (Levi Larsen and Tate Van Beek) is shallow and the lineup is small.  Castlewood will defend and scrap.  Brandon Benike is an all-state player for Castlewood.  I think the Castlewood team has more depth with Noah Wiersma (recent triple double) and Kyler Tviedt.

    Castlewood by 6 points.

    Flandreau vs Leola Frederick

    Flandreau is adjusting to life without Dylan LeBrun.  Leola Frederick is an above average Class B team.  6’4 senior center Tanner Geffre leads the Titans with the Sumption boys (Trevor and Isaac) and Haydn Podoll helping.  Flandreau has an excellent freshman, Tash Lunday, helping Connor LeBrun and Nate Kneebone. 

    Flandreau by 8 points.

    Parker vs Rapid City Christian

    This game features two Class A teams with a mix of A and B games on their schedule.  Both teams returned most of their scoring and rebounding.  Parker has a pair of future college basketball players: Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen.  RC Christian has good senior leadership: Zane Schlabach and David Schmagel.  The Comets are playing second fiddle to big boy in Rapid City: St Thomas More. 

    Parker by 13 points.

    Hanson vs Colome

    This game showcases two teams with a single loss each.  Colome has an outstanding point guard in Jackson Kinzer and Layton Thieman.  Hanson has a well-rounded team including: Reggie Slaba and Craig Laysley and Hayden Bahmuller among several others.   I like Hanson’s depth … I do not like the way Colome finished the JC Tournament.

    Hanson by 5 points.

    Roncalli vs Sioux Valley

    This game will be between two long time Class A powers who are not among the top 5 this season.   The Cossacks Max Nielson is a great little point guard.  Roncalli’s Max Reede and Brady Morgan are a nice senior guard duo.

    Sioux Valley by 8 points.

    Aberdeen Christian vs Viborg Hurley

    This game is between two Class B teams flying below the radar … if you can call two teams with a combined 18-1 record flying under anybody’s radar.   The fact is: they are not White River or Bridgewater Emery or Clark Willow Lake or Timber Lake … that contributes to their stealthy look so far this season.  Aberdeen Christian has high scoring junior guard Andrew Rorhbach and senior Jackson Becker … these guys are undefeated and really good.  VH is running second to Bridgewater Emery in Region 5.  Senior Brodee Sherman and sophomores Chase Mason and Grant Mikkelsen are filling up the stat sheet. 

    Aberdeen Christian by 2 points in overtime.

    Clark Willow Lake vs Timber Lake

    Two undefeated Class B powers clash in this game.  Timber Lake took 5th in Class B last year with no seniors on the roster … they are loaded and experienced: Tucker Kraft and Brayden PayPay.  CWL was 2nd in Class B last year.  The Cyclones have all state phenom Jacob Prouty and 6’6 Micah Burke. 

    Clark Willow Lake by 4 points.

    Bridgewater Emery vs White River

    Back to back Class B top 4 games following the CWL vs TL game.  Both teams are loaded and are in everyone’s conversation about who will win B this season.  Seniors Sawyer Schultz and Jamin Arend and Carter Dye are an outstanding trio.  White River has all state Jadice Morrison and a stacked junior class.   This game should be an epic battle.

    Bridgewater Emery by 3 points.

    Tea vs St Thomas More

    This nightcap game features two Class A powerhouses … both are rated in the top 3.  Ryder Kirsch and several other players returned for More.  Tea has two D1 basketball recruits: Noah Freidel and Justin Hohn. 

    Tea by 5 points. 

     10.) We recently had some new players join the 1000-point club.   Bridgewater Emery’s Jamin Arend scored number 1000 in the Huskies win over Colman Egan.  Fellow 1000-point member and team mate, Sawyer Schultz, added to his career point total with 35 in that same game.  Red Cloud superstar guard, Ale Rama, scored his 1000th career point earlier this season at the LNI vs Tiospa Zina.  Clark Willow Lake’s Jacob Prouty is a proud member of the 1000-point club.  Jacob started the season with 998 career points.  He lit up Sioux Valley for 45 in the Cyclones first game.   I guess he wanted to leave no doubt about his worthiness.  If you look closely at any photos or video, you can see a Jackalope in the crowd.   Another one of my favorite players, from Dell Rapids St Mary Connor Libis, is also a 1000-point guy …. And only a sophomore.   Connor performed his feat against Colman Egan also.  The Hawks are a pretty good team this year and have their own star player in junior Dalton Voelker.   Scheduling quirks have enabled CE to witness the 1000-point feats of both Libis and Arend.  Kayden Verley, Canton junior and the best C-Hawk since Cody Willett, knocked down 1000 in a game against Mount Vernon Plankinton.  Corey Brown of Pine Ridge achieved his 1000th during a tough game vs state power Red Cloud.  A good friend from Pine Ridge reminded me about Corey who has always been one of my favorite players … my sincere apologies for not posting this in the write up about that game in last week’s blog.  Tyler Ogle from Faulkton hit his 1000 vs Eureka Bowdle. 

    9.) Colome continues to win ... until they ran into White River in the championship game of the Jones County Tournament.   Many of the same boys who won the 9B football championship in November are leaders of the Cowboys basketball team.  Colome beat Lyman to go 6-0 behind Jackson Kinzer with 22 and Layton Thieman with 11.  Bennett County fell 56-21 in the opening round of the Jones County.  The host team from Jones County was a tougher game but Colome prevailed 50-43.   Then the Cowboys had to face White River.  This game wasn’t close after about the midway point of the 1st quarter.  The score after quarter 1 was 31-11 in favor of White River.  Colome couldn’t defend the Tigers fast break which resulted in way too many break away dunks and layups.  White River was too strong on the boards and the WR defense was stifling.  97-41 was the final … and White River wins another Jones County Tournament championship. 

     8.) It was the top game in Kingsbury County as DeSmet beat Dell Rapids St Mary 78-75 in double overtime.  It was DRSM’s first loss.  The usual stars were shining brightly: Connor Libis had a huge game with 44 points.   But the scoring duo of Trevin Holland with 30 and freshman Kalen Garry with 21 was too much in this game.

     7.) The good news … bad news story this week comes out of Yankton where Kobe Busch returned to the Huron lineup against Matthew Mors and the Bucks.  Busch’s return is the good news … the bad news is Mors had yet another dominant game with a school record 46 points breaking his own record of 42 and he added 11 rebounds … not only good news/bad news but old news.  Mors broke Yankton’s individual game scoring record last year with 42 … which broke Chad Nelson’s record of 41 from the 1970s.  Mors should surpass Nelson’s career mark of 1668 points some time later this season.  (Nelson was recruited by more than 100 colleges and ended up signing with Minnesota.   After one season he transferred to Drake where he had a nice career … ending with 955 points.  He was drafted by the New Orleans Jazz).   Huron junior Teegan Evers had a super game of his own with 31 points but it wasn’t enough to offset the game from the top player in the state. 

    Former White River superstar Louie Krogman is the state’s all-time scoring record holder with 3521. 

    Don Jacobsen from Lake Norden is 2nd with 2825. 

    The AA scoring record is held by Aberdeen Central’s Eric Kline with 2025. 

    Mors started this season with 1173.  The AA record is well within his reach. 

     6.) There was an “AJ like” game played in Redfield last week.   Miller’s star and SDSU football recruit, Karst Hunter, had a super-sized game in the Rustlers win over Redfield Doland 68-64.   Karst scored 41 and pulled down 20 rebounds.  Spencer Fernholz, an 8th grader, added 19.  Mic Utecht led RD with 21.

     5.) The common thread weaved throughout all the top teams in the state this season is: they all have one of the best players in the state playing for them.

    AA

    Sioux Falls Lincoln: Jared Jaros

    Yankton: Matthew Mors

    Huron: Kobe Busch

    A

    Tea: Noah Freidel

    Sioux Falls Christian: Mitchell Goodbary

    St Thomas More: Ryder Kirsch

    Red Cloud: Ale Rama

    B

    Bridgewater Emery: Sawyer Schultz

    Clark Willow Lake: Jacob Prouty

    White River: Jadice Morrison

    There you have it, the top 3 AA teams, the top 4 A teams, and the top 3 B teams. 

     4.) There was much discussion earlier in the season about the “open enrollment” of the outstanding junior Luke Wells from Crow Creek to White River.  This move crippled Crow Creek and made White River even stronger.  However, in my opinion the Wells move was not the biggest impactor of the 2018-19 season.   In fact, I think this transfer is only number 3 on the impacting list.   My top 3 transfers of the season:

    3 --- 6’5 junior Luke Wells from Crow Creek to White River.  You can make the argument that the Tigers were state title contenders without Wells.  Can he help Eldon and his boys win the B in March in Aberdeen?   Stay tuned.  Wells might be a bigger impactor next year when a loaded junior class will likely sustain the White River Class B dominance. 

    2 --- 5’10 junior guard Caleb White from Flandreau Indian to Tiospa Zina.  Take multiple playmaking perimeter players and add another 20+ points per game playmaking guard capable of creating his own scoring and you have just made the Wambdi one of the top teams in Class A. 

    1 --- 6’2 senior guard Dylan Pourier from Douglas to Rapid City Stevens.   Dylan is signed to play basketball at DWU.  Douglas had a really good team last year … not so much this season sans Pourier.  Stevens had a really good team last year and was headed for average territory this season with basically Dawson Paulsen the only player with much game experience.  When you team Pourier and Paulsen in the same backcourt, you make Stevens a top 5 AA team again this season. 

     3.) Dynamic duo of the week: Clark Willow Lake’s Micah Burke with 22 and Jacob Prouty with 20 in the Cyclones win over Milbank 63-39. 

     2.) I was not on the Sturgis bandwagon … wanted the Scoopers to show me they could beat a quality AA team.  After both Rapid City Central and Stevens beat Sturgis over the weekend, I am still waiting for Sturgis to post a quality AA victory.   Ryan Garland is a good player and the Stevens and Central games were competitive but still no win. 

     1.) The game of the week and top tidbit comes out of Aberdeen.  Tiospa Zina is officially on everyone’s top 10 poll now … or at least they should be.   Based on returning their entire lineup from a year ago, I had them in my preseason top 10.  They were already salty with Divante Greeley, Jameson Pratt, Johnny German, Payton Halseide … then they add Caleb White, arguably the best player on the Flandreau Indian School squad last season.  The Wambdi have no long-standing winning tradition … Aberdeen Roncalli has a history of being a top 10 team and state title contender.  The Wambdi went into Roncalli and beat the Green Cavaliers 57-45.  Junior Caleb White is fitting in quite well and led the Wambdi with 22 points.  Junior Jameson Pratt added 17 with 8 boards and Divante Greeley contributed 10 rebounds.  Max … I’m not Gus … Reede scored 26 for Roncalli.  The Region 1 hierarchy now has TZ at 8-1 sitting on top of the Seed Points. 

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