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    Weekly Top 10 - February 4

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of February 4 2019.

    11.) Bonus content: Timber Lake’s star guard Brayden PayPay hit the 1000-point milestone earlier this season.  This is an accomplishment worthy of adding an 11th tidbit. 

    10.) We have another Classic coming up this weekend at the Corn Palace.  On February 9th, the DWU Culver’s Classic will be played.   The matchups are:

    Freeman Academy/Marion (6-8) vs Platte Geddes (6-6).   This game features a sub-500 Class B team in FAM playing a middle of the road Class A team.

    Pine Ridge (12-3) vs Aberdeen Roncalli (11-4).  This game features a top 10 team in Pine Ridge playing Roncalli who has fallen to second best (behind Tiospa Zina) in the Northeast but will likely rise to the Pine Ridge challenge.

    Sanborn Central Woonsocket (8-7) vs Irene Wakonda (10-5).  This game features two of the top players in Class B: Noah Dickson for SCW and Trey King for IW.

    Dell Rapids St Mary (10-3) vs Corsica Stickney (10-3).  This game features high scoring sophomore Connor Libis for DRSM and a well balanced Jaguars team with some good sophomores of their own: Brendan Wentland and Hayden Plamp.

    Parker (9-3) vs Dell Rapids (8-4).  This game features two teams battling for relevancy and to stay in the top 10.  The Pheasants have big man, 6’9 Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen.  Dell Rapids will counter with their own big man: 6’9 Logan Heim and Colin, Carter, and Connor Rentz.

    Sioux Falls Christian (13-2) vs St Thomas More (12-1).  This game features two of the top 3 teams in Class A.  Mitchell Goodbary will lead SFC against Ryder Kirsch and STM.

    Hanson (12-3) vs DE Smet (10-2).  This game features two top 10 teams (on my poll) and two teams jockeying for post season positioning.  DE Smet has a nice season with some quality wins and Hanson started out on fire … lost two straight … and is now back on the winning track.

    Canistota (9-4) vs White River (14-1).  This game features Canistota with four losses but all to winning teams against the top team in Class B: White River.

    Bridgewater Emery (13-3) vs Aberdeen Christian (12-3).  This game features a team in BE who many think can/should be playing for the Class B championship against an upstart Aberdeen Christian team that might be outgunned. 

    9.) Mitchell finally won a game when they beat Spearfish 72-36 … convincing fashion.  These are two of the bottom feeders in AA.   If I had to answer which team might spring a post season upset, I would say Mitchell has potential and Spearfish absolutely not.  Today, Spearfish and Douglas are on the outside looking in for post season action.

    8.) After weekend results, my top 10 regardless of class is in.

    1. Tea – consensus number 1 … if you disagree then you just don’t understand.

    2. St Thomas More – I know: blasphemy to have two Class A teams on top … but the Blue Cavaliers have played Tea closer than anybody else in the state.

    3. Sioux Falls Lincoln – Patriots are still my top AA team despite the wallop they took from Tea over the weekend.

    4. Yankton – I am still enamored with any team featuring the best player in the state: Matthew Mors.  Plus, do not forget the Bucks beat Minnesota’s number 1 Class 3A school, DeLaSalle.

    5. Sioux Falls Christian – likely the third best team in Class A but still built to compete at the highest level.

    6. White River – yes, a Class B school with lots of weapons and a super coach: Eldon Marshall.

    7. Brandon Valley – all of the AA snobs are probably laughing their (huge) asses off at me for putting so many other teams ahead of the Lynx … including Class B White River.  I am a huge fan of Evan Talcott and Carter Olthoff, but I like some other teams more.

    8. Red Cloud – Ale Rama has me believing … he of the 60 point game (many I talked to thought that was a typo when they first saw it). 

    9. Clark Willow Lake – yes, another Class B team … one led by super guard Jacob Prouty.

    10. Bridgewater Emery – if the game was played 3 on 3 these guys would be ranked considerably higher. 

    10. Sioux Falls Roosevelt – on a 6 game win streak … and because I needed another AA team for class symmetry. 

    7.) The top teams in Class AA are becoming more obvious as each week goes by.  My prediction for the Final Four:

    Sioux Falls Lincoln – they have beaten each of the other top-rated teams: Yankton, Huron, Roosevelt, and O’Gorman.  They face Brandon Valley and Rapid City Stevens in the next week.  Jared Jaros is a slam dunk all-state pick.  The Patriots are big with 6’2, 6’3, and 6’4 guards and 6’7 Nate Brecht inside.  Lincoln has a difficult schedule remaining: Brandon Valley, Stevens, O’Gorman, Harrisburg, and Roosevelt.

    Yankton – they won their first seven games but are having difficulty beating the Sioux Falls teams … with losses to Lincoln, O’Gorman, and Roosevelt (somebody should inform the Bucks that the Sioux Falls mystique is history).  The Bucks have an impressive victory over the top ranked team in Minnesota Class 3A (four class system).  The Sioux Falls team’s strategy seems to be “hold” superstar Matthew Mors to 25-30 and make somebody else step up and be the complementary scorer.  The Bucks have played the meat and strength of their schedule and February is relatively easier.

    Brandon Valley – the Lynx are on a 10-game win streak after losing two of their first three … to RC Stevens and Yankton.  Their stars are a pair of 6’3 guards: Evan Talcott and Carter Olthoff.  The Lynx have some meat left on their schedule with games against: Lincoln, Huron, Harrisburg, Roosevelt, and the best team west of The River: St Thomas More.

    Harrisburg – after three straight losses in December, the Tigers are getting hot … until they ran into Tommie More at The Pentagon … not to worry, the Blue Cavaliers will be beating up on Class A teams in the post season.  Seniors Nick Hoyt and Blair Slaughter are figuring out how to excel as the players other teams are keying on.  Sophomore post, 6’5 Brayden Phipps, is a good-looking player.  Harrisburg has Brandon Valley and Sioux Falls Christian coming up and then close with Huron, Lincoln, and O’Gorman.  This is a daunting schedule. 

    As you can see by the remaining schedules, this prediction is fluid.  I will keep you updated through the coming weeks.  Who is on the outside looking in?

    Huron is cool and lost to Sturgis over the weekend … they have the month of February to turn things around.  The Tigers have two juniors who are in the all-state debate: Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers.  Beware the Tigers next season also.

    Roosevelt is warming up six straight wins.  The Rough Riders have a mix of seniors and sophomores leading the charge.  Sophomore guard Tyler Feldkamp is a star in the making.  Seniors Tucker West, Aidan Evans, and Carson Devericks are senior leaders.  Roosy looks to be good next season also with a strong group of sophomores. 

    O’Gorman has a tough February schedule.  Their rotation is a nice blend of juniors: Zach Norton and Jack Cartwright; and seniors: Brady Beck, Luke Ronsieck, and Canyon Bauer.

    Rapid City Stevens has been lukewarm recently, going 3-3 over their last six games.  The Raiders are putting a lot on Dylan Pourier.  He is really good … but it is asking a lot for him to carry as much as will be expected in the next six weeks.

    6.) Northwestern, that new name in Class B most have not been mentioning over the past several seasons as a team to be feared in March.  That is changing this season as the Wildcats are 10-2 and on a six-game win streak.  Zech Clemens, the 6’3 junior guard, might be the best player nobody outside of Spink County has ever heard about.  Clemens had another high scoring game over the weekend with 36 in a rout of Waubay Summit.  If I was ranking top 10 Class B teams, I would put Northwestern right outside of the top 10.  The Wildcats are having a breakout season and with a strong junior class they look to be highly competitive next season also. 

    5.) Garretson’s Drew Blosmo didn’t let the cold weather outside keep him from warming up inside as he scored a torrid 36 in a win over Dell Rapids St Mary.  Trevor Fiegen added 21 so there you have the dynamic duo of the week with 57 combined points.  As usual, Connor Libis torched the nets for 27 for DRSM.

    4.) Some other high scoring and rebounding games: Joey Slama of Bon Homme scored 18 and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win over Corsica Stickney.  Levi Larsen scored 26 in Irene Wakonda’s win over Howard.  Dakota Valley beat Tri Valley as Paul Bruns hit for 19 … TV’s Will Kulzer scored 18.  Bruns scored 23 in a win over EPJ, and 21 against Western Christian … nice week!  Brady Hawkins scored 23 as Ethan upset Sanborn Central Woonsocket.  Tater Moody led SCW with 21.  Karst Hunter of Miller had 31 and 15 boards over Ipswich … 8th grader Spencer Fernholz added 21.  Brock Anderson led Lennox over Madison with 21/13.  It was just enough to offset a big scoring game for the Bulldogs Nic Comes who scored 27.  Zane Schlabach had a double with 21/10 for Rapid City Christian over Chadron Nebraska.  Sophomore Colin Rentz scored 21 for Dell Rapids in a loss to Vermillion.  Ryan Garland scored 23 for Sturgis over Mitchell.  Roosevelt’s Tyler Feldkamp hit for 21 in the win over Watertown.  Trajan Schmidt scored 24 for Florence Henry over Langford.  Trey King scored 28 for Irene Wakonda vs Menno.  Trevor Larsen scored 25 for Arlington over Great Plains Lutheran.  Vermillion upset Bridgewater Emery 76-71 behind sophomore Jakob Dobney with 22.  The usual terrific trio were the big guns for BE: Sawyer Schultz 33, Jamin Arend 20, and Carter Dye 16 … but it wasn’t enough.  Tea big over West Central and Noah Freidel was the biggest Titan scoring 30 points.  Connor Bawdon scored 26 in Hamlin’s win over Webster.  High scoring DWU commit, Kyler Meyer, from Britton Hecla continues to rack up the points as he had a 27 point game vs Waverly South Shore.  Chamberlain’s Dayton Priebe hit for 20 vs MVP.  Evan Talcott had a huge game for Brandon Valley with 31 points and 8 boards vs Brookings.  Brady Morgan scored 21 for Roncalli in their win over Sisseton.  Layton Thieman scored 21 for Colome over ACDC.  It was Hanson over Wagner with Hayden Bahmuller scoring 20 points.  Sophomore Caleb Simons had another huge game for Edgemont with 34 points and 16 rebounds over Hay Springs Nebraska.  Sophomore Colin Frey scored 21 for Langford vs Florence Henry.  Kaden Eng led Castlewood over Wolsey Wessington with 22.  Lynden Williams scored 25 with 11 boards for WW.  Freshman Kalen Garry had another big game for DeSmet with 26/10.  Noah Freidel, on the big stage vs Lincoln with 33.  Nate Nielsen had a super-sized scoring game with 32 in a loss to Chamberlain.  Dayton Priebe had 24 for the Cubbies.  Sophomore Matthew Nibbe scored 23 for Elkton Lake Benton over MVP.  Aiden Bizardie scored 20 for Todd County against Mobridge Pollock.  It was Tommie More over Harrisburg behind 28 from Caden Casey. 

    3.) Tiospa Zina lost for just the 2nd time at the Sanford Pentagon Classic.  Sioux Valley bested the Wambdi 69-63 in overtime.  Jameson Pratt had a double double but it wasn’t enough.  The Wambdi are still high on my Class A top 10 poll.  I have no idea whether to rank or not rank the Cossacks.  They are 11-5 but all over the place in terms of consistency.  They have two losses to Class B teams and are hot and cold vs Class A teams. 

    2.) Tea should be number 1 this week on the Jackalope list based on their thumping of yet another previously undefeated team when they pounded Sioux Falls Lincoln at The Pentagon, 65-47.  However, I have reserved number 1 for another highlight.  Back to Tea: The Titans continue their impressive run and have now laid claim to “the best team in the state”.   I don’t see anybody good enough today to take that unofficial title away from them.  The Tea on ball pressure was impressive and defense as good as Lincoln has seen all year.  We have been talking all year about the two D1 recruits Tea has: Noah Freidel and Justin Hohn.  The Titans have some very good players filling out the rotation.  Kaleb Joffer is athletic and a really good player, as are Kade Stearns and Mason Ritter.  Tea was not as big as Lincoln but still didn’t get physically overpowered.  The Patriots star Jared Jaros had 17 points.  Noah Freidel scored 33 for Tea … Kaleb Joffer added 12.  It is too soon to put this Titans team on any Top 10 Teams of All-Time list … let the season play out.  But Tea is very good and have played through one of the toughest schedules I have seen in recent memory. 

    1.) The number 1 tidbit this week comes to us from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  That is where Red Cloud’s superstar guard Ale Rama plays for the Crusaders.  Play he did against St Francis Indian School when he lit it up for 60 points … no typo … 60 points!  Rama’s 60 ties the Class A single game record … tied Ale with Josh Mueller of West Central.  Josh scored 60 in a semifinal state tournament game in 2001.  Josh no longer has the top three individual game scores … he slips to 3 out of 4.  Make room for Alejandro Rama on top of the list with Mueller.  By comparison and to demonstrate what a sensational feat this is:

    AJ Plitzuweit scored 52 last season.  That tied AJ for 7th all time on the Class A list … tied with Adam Dejong of West Central in 1995.  AJ’s coach, Jay Drake, scored 55 for Winner in 1993 … which ties Drake with Josh Mueller’s 3rd highest scoring game.  Matthew Mors of Yankton scored 46 earlier this season.  That puts Mors tied for 8th all-time in AA … tied with Matt Martin of Spearfish from 2004.  Eric Kline of Aberdeen Central had a 59 point game in 1990.  In Class B, Bob Wolff of Frederick scored 72 in a game in 1952.  A year later Del Gillam of Argonne scored 72 to tie Wolff’s game. 

    As Rama goes, so goes Red Cloud.  The Crusaders are 12-3 and on top of the Region 7 Seed Points.   St Thomas More is up next at More … it doesn’t get any easier but with Rama anything is possible.  This a good news story from a great basketball player and a great person. 

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