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    Weekly Top 10 - February 5

    Here it is: the Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of February 5, 2018.

    10.) Bon Homme lost for only the 2nd time all season when Corsica Stickney beat the Cavaliers 54-51 in overtime.   Bon Homme is 12-2.    Corsica Stickney had their 10 game winning streak halted by Warner at The Pentagon on Saturday.   Corsica Stickney is developing into a very good basketball team and will be a factor in the post season in Class B.  Bon Homme continues to surprise me as they are on top of Region 5 Seed Points and 7th overall in Class A.   Bryce Scieszinski is having an all-state caliber season.   However, maybe partially because the Cavaliers two losses are to Class B teams, Scieszinski and the other leaders on the Cavaliers are still flying under the radar and have yet to earn the respect of most fans across the state.  

    9.) This season is a true reversal of fortunes for the Rapid City (and Black Hills area) AA teams.  Another “Game o the Week” was played between AA Seed Point leaders in Rapid City where number 2 Stevens hosted number 1 Rapid City Central ... it has been since forever that anybody could say those words.  Stevens won the game, 57-53.    Diminutive guard Connor King led the Raiders with 17 points.   Central’s star, Kailleb Walton-Blanden, scored 13.   The game was won at the free throw line by Stevens nailing 11 in the 2nd half.   The rematch will be played on the day after Valentine’s Day at Central’s gym.   Central and Stevens are still 1-2 in AA Seed Points after the results of the weekend ... there, I said it again.      Are you kidding me?   I continue to chug the Cobbler Kool-Aid … in spite of my good friend from SDSMT who has warned me to pump the brakes on these boys.  A doubleheader at the Civic Center between Stevens and Central and then Class A Rapid City Christian and St Thomas More is what the Black Hills fans are clamoring for.  


    8.) This tidbit is a phenomenal story … in my humble opinion.   AJ Plitzuweit, the player who is being debated about whether or not he is the best player in the state, scored a pedestrian (for him) 36 in the Tanagers win over Beresford.  What this scoring of 36 points did to AJ’s career point total at Vermillion is the phenomenal point.   AJ joined the 1000 point club in only his second season with Vermillion after starting his high school career in Kentucky.  Yes, he has scored more than 1000 points in just 36 games!  Congratulations to the Augustana commit … good luck on the rest of this season and in your college career.

    7.) Region 5 is arguably the strongest in Class B.  Current Seed Point leaders are: Bridgewater Emery, Canistota, Irene Wakonda, and Viborg Hurley.  Any one of these four teams would compete favorably in any of the other regions.  Tuesday night, in a battle of one loss teams, Canistota made an impressive statement by beating Viborg Hurley, 60-52.  Canistota had four players in double figures: Connor Carlson, Tyce Ortman, Trey Ortman, and Jordan Lee.   The Cougars record now is a respectable 12-2 while Canistota is 13-2 with a loss to Bridgewater Emery in December and to Parker last week.


    6.) Dynamic duo of the week comes out of Hand County where the Rustlers beat Ipswich and their top two players combined for 45 points.  Steven Fernholz, Class A all-state talent last season scored 24 and Karst Hunter added 21.  I realize that 45 is a good game for AJ Plitzuweit but not everybody is wearing an undershirt with an S underneath their uniform.

    5.) I made a strategic decision and headed north for Sisseton as I wanted to watch the area’s “best game” between the Redmen and Aberdeen Roncalli.   This game was relatively ho-hum as Sisseton won as I expected, 66-60.  Gus Reede scored 20, including 3 long range bombs.   Junior Brady Morgan, the heir apparent Green Cavaliers star for next season, is a really good complementary scorer for Roncalli.   Except for little Reede, Max, the rest of the team doesn’t bring much.  The loss drops Roncalli behind Clark Willow Lake and Hamlin in the NEC.   Dion Ayarpeya for Sisseton outscored Gus Reede when he hit for 27, including 3 long range bombs.   The game had the feel of a post season game and it was tight throughout.   However, the game of the night was south of here in Clear Lake where one of the biggest upsets of the season played out when Deuel beat Clark Willow Lake, 56-52.   A good friend informed me: the Cyclones were flat ... as in never achieved lift off.  And, CWL was uncharacteristically bad from three land ... live by the three, die by the three.  Junior Kellan Benck had a super game for Deuel with 22 points including 7 treys.   You absolutely have to defend the three ball or suffer the consequences if someone gets hot behind the line. 

    4.) Trevor Hanson joined his Sioux Valley team mate, Trevor Olson, in the 1000 point club with 26 in the Cossacks big win over Flandreau.   Not many teams can boast about having two 1000 point players in the lineup.  It has to make you wonder how a team with three 1000 point players (when you add Tayt Vincent into the discussion) didn’t even make it out of the Sweet 16 last season. 

    3.) There were some interesting sub-plots in games played this week.   Connor Carlson and his Canistota team mates returned to Parker where Class A and B war fare was not as close as I expected.   Parker won big, 67-46.   I am sure the Pheasants fans welcomed Carlson with cheers.  Freshman Tyce Ortman led the Hawks with 11 points while Carlson added 9.   Juniors Trey Christensen and Alex Kasten led Parker with 20 and 16.   In the “Battle of O’fers”, Alcester Hudson beat Centerville 47-40 .... meaning C-Ville will likely go winless this season.   Two top Class B teams met in Forestburg with Corsica Stickney, Region 6 Seed Point leader, beating Sanborn Central Woonsocket, Region 4 Seed Point leader, 59-57 in double overtime.   Cordel Menning and Bryce Plamp had double doubles for the Jaguars.  Menning is a top candidate for the B All State team.   Super sophomore Noah Dickson led SCW with 25 points.  This game was a contender for the game of the week.   Herreid Selby just keeps winning.   The Wolverines are 16-1 after their 61-50 win over Colome in Highmore over the weekend.  Emmit Bohle is a big man with good footwork and the ability to consistently score inside for Herreid Selby and they have a nice guard combo in sophomore Clayton Randall and Karson Vander Vorst. 


    2.) Last week we had number 1 vs number 1 when Class A Sioux Falls Christian beat Class B Clark Willow Lake.   This week we had 1 vs 2 and even a 1 vs 3 thrown in for good measure.   RC Stevens played RC Central in a 1 vs 2.   Madison beat the number 1 Class 2A team in Iowa at the Sioux Falls Pentagon when they beat Western Christian 62-59.  This was Western’s first loss of the season.   Aaron Fiegen scored 20 and the Janke twins combined for 25.   Western Christian is well coached and have a great little point guard in Ben Granstra along with some strong juniors .... the Wolfpack will be tough again next year.  They already beat Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Tea and prepare to face SFC on Friday.   In the comparative scores do not count for schitt category: Western Christian beat Le Mars by 19 earlier this year and then Le Mars handled Red Cloud at the Pentagon on Saturday .... just throwing that out for your information.   Also at the Pentagon in a 1 vs 3, SFC survived another tough game when they came from behind to beat Sioux Valley 76-69.  The Cossacks powered by Trevor Hanson, Trevor Olson and Ryan Schuster led by double digits but couldn’t defend hot shooting Lincoln Unruh who dropped 31 in leading the Chargers to victory.  


    1.) The tidbit of the week was also the latest “Game of the Week” and it was played at O’Gorman where Harrisburg broke a two game losing streak by beating the Knights in overtime, 83-72.   Harrisburg entered Monday night’s game at O’Gorman in a bit of a funk. The Tigers opened the season with ten straight wins and were the No. 1 ranked team in Class AA.  A trip to Yankton last week snapped the big start.  No biggie, just a two-point loss to a Bucks team that had won four straight.  But Friday night n Pierre, the Tigers lost by 16 to a 2-10 Governors team, and the funk was real.  It looked like it was a sure bet that Harrisburg would get out of it at O’Gorman, leading by nine with just over six minutes to play. But the Knights surged late, and had an improbable final minute in regulation.   O’Gorman’s Isaac Struck tied the game and sent it to overtime with a trey.  Harrisburg stepped on the gas in the overtime period and won going away behind Ace Zorr’s 29 and Brady Van Holland’s 24.  I think Harrisburg is the top team in AA. 


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