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    Weekly Top 10 - January 21

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of January 21, 2019.


    10.) The annual 281 Conference Tournament was played this week.  There was a time not too many years ago where at least one and sometimes multiple teams were in the Class B top 10 and were considered state tournament contenders if not legitimate title contenders.  In 2019 none of these are the case … no top 10 teams and no title contenders.  The top teams all advanced to the semifinals: Highmore Harrold, James Valley Christian, Wolsey Wessington, and Sanborn Central Woonsocket.  Former all-state player and SDSU football recruit, Jharret Bloomenrader, is a really good player for top seed Highmore Harrold and scored 21 with 12 boards in the opening round.  James Valley Christian has an icon, Darwin Hofer, on the bench and plenty of senior leadership including Josh Wieting who scored 22 in the opening round.  Wolsey Wessington is the two seed and has plenty of talent including Brevan Hooks who hit for 21 in the opening round and Lynden Williams 15.  Sanborn Central Woonsocket has a legitimate all-state candidate with junior Noah Dickson who scored 18 in the opening round.  JVC and SCW both pulled the upsets in the semifinals to meet for the championship.  Josh Wieting scored 28 to pace the JVC win.  Noah Dickson led the Blackhawks win over Wolsey Wessington with a double double, 17/12.  JVC has Sanborn Central Woonsocket’s number … the championship game was the Vikings over SCW 55-49.   That makes twice in the last week that JVC beat SCW.  The Vikings Josh Wieting had a great tournament with another big scoring game, 21.  Sanborn Central Woony’s outstanding forward Noah Dickson had another double double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. 

    9.) Canton’s all-state guard Kayden Verley had another big game in the C-Hawks win over Kimball White Lake scoring 28.  KWL has an above average Class B team and will be in the mix when the Dakota 16 round plays out.  The WiLdKats are big with twin towers: 6’7 junior Justin Becker and 6’6 Kordel Kiehn.  Other potential below the radar Class B Dakota 16 teams include: Aberdeen Christian, Sully Buttes, DeSmet, Viborg Hurley, Hanson, and Jones County

     8.) Colome’s Jackson Kinzer scored his 1000th point against Hanson at The Corn Palace.  Another milestone was achieved at the Hanson Classic when Aberdeen Christian’s Jackson Becker scored his 1000th point against Viborg Hurley.   Not sure it has any significance, but I will mention it anyway: both these 1000-point accomplishments were achieved in losses by Colome and Aberdeen Christian. 

     7.) We have a new career scoring king at Irene Wakonda.  Trey King broke his brother Gabe’s career scoring record at IW earlier this week and now has 1690 and counting.    Trey, an all-state guard for the Eagles, has signed to play football at Northern State where brother Gabe is a member of the reigning D2 basketball runners-up. 

     6.) Two top 5 AA teams clashed in Sioux Falls where O’Gorman upset 2nd ranked Yankton, 55-51.  Junior Jack Cartwright scored 21 for OG.  The Bucks Matthew Mors continues his dominant sophomore season by scoring 28 in Yankton’s second loss of the season.  The Knights have a pair of players who have committed to play basketball in college: Luke Ronsiek at Mount Marty and Cole Bruhn at Dakota State as well as two SDSU football commits: Canyon Bauer and Brady Beck.  Derek Robey is one of the best coaches in the state.  Robey, despite a 7-inch height disadvantage, put Canyon Bauer on Mors.  Matthew got his points, but Bauer arguably held him in check … to some degree. 

    AA analysis:

    Huron has lost three in a row albeit to teams firmly hunkered down in my latest top 5: Yankton, O’Gorman and Lincoln.  This drops the Tigers to honorable mention.

    1.       Sioux Falls Lincoln – undefeated and rolling … and with the cajones to play Class A cross town power, Sioux Falls Christian, in the Sanford Pentagon Classic in February.

    2.       Sioux Falls O’Gorman – is on a five-game winning streak and still has only two losses to South Dakota teams: Lincoln and Roosevelt.  The Knights had a stunningly impressive week with victories over Huron and Yankton at home and then Stevens and Rapid City Central on the road. 

    3.       Yankton – the Bucks are 9-2 with losses to Lincoln and O’Gorman … no shame there.  I might sound like a broken record, but Yankton will be competitive every game with the top player in the state: Matthew Mors.

    4.       Brandon Valley – the Lynx are on a five-game win streak and suit up two of the best in the state: Evan Talcott and Carter Olthoff.

    5.       Sioux Falls Roosevelt – despite having the largest enrollment (ADM) in the state, the Rough Riders have been in a word: not so good and rough riding in recent years.  Roosevelt’s record this season is symmetrical with 3 wins then 4 losses then 3 wins.  Roosy travels to Yankton this week … hopefully this is not the start of 4 straight losses again. 

     5.) Sturgis, I really want to ride on your bandwagon but then you go and lose to Pierre.   The Scoopers won their first seven and I was looking for that signature win …. still looking after three straight losses.  Pierre over Sturgis in overtime 55-53.  Junior guards Andrew Coverdale and Garrett Stout tallied 18 and 11.  Sturgis is 8-3 and number 10 (out of 18) in Seed Points. 

     4.) The Dakota Valley Conference tournament was played this week.  The top four seeds: Dell Rapids St Mary, Arlington, Colman Egan, and Elkton Lake Benton were all victorious in opening round games.  DRSM’s Connor Libis continued his high scoring ways with 25 in their win over Estelline/Hendricks.  Elkton Lake Benton’s star sophomore, Matthew Nibbe, led the Elks over Deubrook with 15 in the only close first round game.  Dalton Voelker scored 17 for Colman Egan over Lake Preston.  Arlington over Colman Egan 63-37 and Elkton Lake Benton over Dell Rapids St Mary 76-69 … Arlington will play ELB for the championship. 

     3.) Pine Ridge beat Winner 68-54.   Corey Brown 22; Halen Bad Bear 16; Jesse Jensen 5 assists.  Winner: Shea Connot 17; Brandon Volmer 10.   Joey Slama is heating up for Bon Homme and he hit for 30 against Parkston.   Lennox is looking more and more like a top 10 team … the Orioles are led by Josh Arlt, Quincy Ihnen, and Brock Anderson.  Kimball White Lake over Gregory 80-73 in OT.  KWL has twin towers at 6’7 and 6’6: Kordel Kiehn 26/19; Justin Becker 22/13 … must have been some terrible shooting percentages with all those boards.   Hamlin over Milbank 68-53 with Connor Bawdon scoring 28.  Deuel over Britton Hecla 81-66.  This game brings us the dynamic duo of the week: Sutton Fritz another up and coming freshman 26; Kellan Benck 25 for Deuel.   Scott Lovre had 17 points and 18 rebounds for BH.

     2.) The Sanford Pentagon Classic on February 2nd has a great lineup … including something you just didn’t see a few years ago: AA teams playing A teams … oh to hear “Talk South Dakota Sports” Lincoln Parent’s windy oratory now … how great are these AA teams … and something mystical and even a bit mythical called “AA defense”.  Not sure what that “AA defense” thing is but any knowledgeable basketball fan knows the good coaches teach defense and emphasize that skill set, and the best teams subsequently play good defense.  The games:

    Mount Vernon Plankinton vs Elkton Lake Benton

    Bon Homme vs Colman Egan

    Hamlin vs LeMars (Iowa)

    Sioux City North (Iowa) vs Madison

    Warner vs Corsica Stickney

    Dakota Valley vs Western Christian (Iowa)

    Sioux Valley vs Tiospa Zina

    Sioux Falls Christian vs Sioux City East (Iowa)

    Tea vs Lincoln St Thomas More vs Harrisburg

     1.) The number 1 tidbit for the week comes from the Hanson Classic played at The Corn Palace.  The Classic was so good this year that the tidbit is multiple comments and analysis from key games played at The Hanson Classic. 

    Tea and St Thomas More confirmed their spots in the top 3 of the Class A rankings … Tea 58 STM 54.  The Titans raced out to an early lead.  The Blue Cavaliers fought back and had the lead only to see Tea pull away and win … punch and counter punch followed by punch and counter punch.  Once again Ryder Kirsch was the first star for Tommie More with 23 and 15 and Noah Freidel was the first star for Tea with 20 and 13.

    The top three Class B teams will be rearranged based on game results: White River beat Bridgewater Emery 61-56; Clark Willow Lake beat Timber Lake 62-41. 

    Clark Willow Lake doesn’t have the alternate scoring and 3-point sniping of graduated Bradyn Rusher but seniors Jacob Prouty and Micah Burke are a year older and stronger and more experienced and junior Stone Burke gives them added depth inside.  Timber Lake is good and a likely state tournament team but is a level below the top 3: CWL, White River, and Bridgewater Emery.

    The transfer of Luke Wells to White River is a bigger impactor than I previously recognized.  He was the difference in the White River victory over Bridgewater Emery as he contributed a double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds as well as a dominant presence around the basket … rebounding and defense.  Bridgewater Emery is still a state title contender but their three seniors (Sawyer Schultz, Jamin Arend, and Carter Dye) could use more depth … especially inside.

    Hanson and Viborg Hurley are strong contenders for Dakota 16 spots.  They are on my list of most surprising and impressive teams this season.

    Roncalli and Sioux Valley lit up The Corn Palace with 163 points combined … ummm … defense anybody?  Max Nielson had a big game for the Cossacks with 34 points in the loss. 

    Parker, behind Camden Bialas with 22 points, handed Rapid City Christian their second loss of the season … at least this loss was to a Class A team that may have ranked in the top 10. 

    Irene Wakonda’s star, Trey King, powered IW over Castlewood with 28 points.  

    Flandreau topped Leola Frederick 53-45 behind Connor LeBrun’s 26 and freshman Tash Lunday with a double double 16 points and 17 rebounds. 

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