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    Weekly Top 10 - February 26

    Here it is: the Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of February 26, 2018.

    10.) Six times this season Sioux Valley has scored at least 90 points, and twice they hit 99.   However they only tallied 80 against Garretson.   Sioux Falls Christian, the top team in the state became the second Class A team to hit triple digits when they beat Garretson, 102-54.  Earlier in the season Crow Creek scored 100 vs Dupree, 100-29. 

     9.) The jockeying for seed position in Region 5B solidified when Irene Wakonda lost to Bon Homme in their season finale, 67-58, and Canistota beat Menno, 61-48.   A few weeks ago I predicted that Irene Wakonda and Bridgewater Emery would be the two teams that survived the brutal 5B playoff.   The Eagles have dropped their last three … including to BE and to Canistota.   The Eagles might have won the Super Bowl but I am not so bullish on the IW Eagles today.  Plus they are on the same side of the bracket as Bridgewater Emery … IW is not coming out of Region 5B. 

    8.) The regular season will end this week.   As I look back on some of my pre-season predictions, I admittedly missed on a few and hit on a few.   In Class AA, my preseason top 6 was:

    • Aberdeen Central

    • Sioux Falls Lincoln

    • Harrisburg

    • Sturgis

    • Yankton

    • Sioux Falls Washington

    I did have RC Stevens and RC Central in my “Best of the Rest”. 

    In Class A, my preseason top 10 was:

    • Tea

    • Madison

    • Sioux Falls Christian

    • Sioux Valley

    • Red Cloud

    • Vermillion

    • Flandreau

    • Miller

    • Pine Ridge

    • Aberdeen Roncalli

    I thought Baltic would be better, ditto for Tri Valley. 

    In Class B, my preseason top 5 was:

    • Bridgewater Emery

    • Clark Willow Lake

    • Sully Buttes

    • Canistota

    • Langford

    These were my Sweet 16 picks: CWL, Langford, Sully Buttes, Potter County, Arlington, DeSmet, Colman Egan, Sanborn Central Woonsocket, Bridgewater Emery, Canistota, Corsica Stickney, Colome, White River, Wall, Faith, and Harding County. 

    7.) Earlier this year when Paul Raasch of Langford won his 500th career game, I shared with you the all-time winningest coaches.    Here are some other facts: the all-time longest winning streak for Class B is 64 games by Armour coached by Burnell Glanzer.  The all-time longest winning streak for Class A is 49 games by Custer coached by Larry Luitjens.  The all-time longest winning streak for Class AA is 40 games by Mitchell coached by Gary Munsen.  It is not surprising that Luitjens, Munsen, and Glanzer are the top 3 winningest coaches in state history.  Gayle Hoover (Parker) is number 4 and Paul Raasch has moved into number 5.  Congratulations to Coach Raasch!

    6.) Matthew Mors of Yankton scored 38 in the Bucks win over Brookings.  He is now third all-time in scoring for Yankton behind Chad Nelson and Tate Pesicka.  Very impressive for the young man who is just a freshman.   

    5.) Only two teams can survive each Class A region … that’s a fact.   Who gets left out of the Sweet 16 will be determined when the smoke clears next week.    These are my observations … and predictions:

    Class A nuances/predictions:

    Region 1: the only team in the region that top seed Sisseton lost to, Tiospa Zina, is on the opposite side of the bracket.  Roncalli beat bracket foe Tiospa Zina on the road in early January.  Roncalli has Gus Reede.   Tiospa Zina has a plethora of guards: junior Divante Greeley and sophomore Jamison Pratt are both 20 plus capable.  I predict Tiospa Zina turns that loss around and beats the Cavaliers.  Then beware the Wambdi next year with only one senior on the roster. 

    Sisseton and Tiospa Zina

    Region 2: Madison should barely break a sweat in beating the Hamlin/Deuel winner.   On the other side of the bracket there is more suspense where a worthy team ... either Flandreau or Sioux Valley will be left out of the Sweet 16.   Augie recruit, Dylan LeBrun has been playing at an elevated level recently.   Ditto that comment for the Cossacks Trevor Olson and Trevor Hanson.   Sophomores Max Nielson and Ryan Schuster have emerged as two nice complementary players.  Advantage to Sioux Valley. 

    Madison and Sioux Valley

    Region 3: this region will go as seeded with both Sioux Falls Christian and Dell Rapids winning.   SFC is the top team in the state, Dell Rapids is a top 5 Class A team.

    Sioux Falls Christian and Dell Rapids

    Region 4: Tea should have little trouble with Elk Point Jefferson/Lennox.   On the other side of the bracket, Dakota Valley and Vermillion will both win first round games and meet to determine the Sweet 16 participant.   DV owns a ten point home win over Vermillion.   The Tanagers have the most prolific and exciting player in the state, AJ Plitzuweit.   It might take 40 plus from AJ and tighter defense on the Dakota Valley pair of Jacks (Graves and McCabe), but I am going with Vermillion to beat Dakota Valley. 

    Tea and Vermillion

    Region 5: Platte Geddes should get by Parkston for the right to beat Bon Homme again ... and I predict they will beat the Cavaliers.   Parker, led by Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen, should come out of the other side of the bracket.

    Platte Geddes and Parker

    Region 6: Miller and Crow Creek are the top 2 seeds.  Miller has already beaten Chamberlain and Stanley County ... the two teams on their side of the bracket.   Steven Fernholz and Karst Hunter lead the way again ... it’s Miller Time!   Crow Creek and McLaughlin will be a battle on the other side of the bracket.  This one will be closer than the 27 point win by Crow Creek in the LNI ... but with the same winning results for the Chieftains. 

    Miller and Crow Creek

    Region 7: Pine Ridge and Red Cloud are the top 2 seeds.   Pine Ridge and their fantastic group of juniors wins.   Red Cloud behind Ale Rama wins.

    Pine Ridge and Red Cloud

    Region 8: Top seed Hot Springs hasn’t been this good in years ... relatively speaking.   They split with Hill City and trounced Belle Fourche.   I think they will play Hill City and beat them ... again.   The bottom side of the bracket has “Rapid City intrigue” as St Thomas More will likely win the first round vs Lead Deadwood and ditto for RC Christian against Custer.   This means the two Rapid City private schools would play for the other Sweet 16 berth.  Tommie More has won two in a row to get back to 500.   Rapid City Christian has dropped 3 out of their last 4.   In a season where freshmen and sophomores have earned playing time and learned in the heat of the battle, the Cavaliers have never been above 500.   Coach Hollenbeck will bring his team into the Sweet 16 on a four game winning streak and with a 12-10 record. 

    Hot Springs and St Thomas More

     4.) The end of the regular season brings us: Brady Cameron from Avon had a huge game against Burke South Central scoring 32 and adding 21 rebounds.  Lincoln beat Harrisburg 67-61.  Alex Glanzer scored 17 and Jared Jaros 16 in the win.  Harrisburg’s Brady Van Holland had 19 and Nick Hoyt 17.  Bulldog Battle was won by Madison over Milbank, 71-49 … yawn … no surprise.  The dynamic duo of the week was Jaxon Janke with 27 and Aaron Fiegen with 24.  Sioux Falls Christian completes a perfect regular season at 20-0 after they beat Tri Valley 82-44.  Rapid City Stevens over spearfish 75-43.  Tommie More finishes the season at 10-10 and I predict they will make the round of 16 in Class A.  Hot Springs big over fading Rapid City Christian, 72-39.   

    3.) Region 3B seed point leader, Arlington, demonstrated that they can be a post season upset special.   Who would have thought that Clark Willow Lake would lose … at home … to Arlington?   The Cyclones were in command the entire first half and most of the 3rd quarter but that command was slipping with each Will Parry bucket.  Parry almost single handedly brought down the cyclones with 33 points, 25 in the 2nd half.   This was not unlike what Deuel’s Kellen Benck did to CWL earlier in the year.  The Cyclones are in dire need of a lock down perimeter defender.   Back to Parry: 61-60 CWL in the lead and Parry launches a 3 pointer with time expiring … 63-61 Arlington wins!  The Cardinals have a three headed scoring monster: Will Parry, Scott Sampson, and Devon Heuer, along with their big: Casey Stegman.  Arlington is capable of an upset special in the post season. 

     2.) My Sports Buzz boss has me on a maximum word count and I am bumping against the limit imposed on me.  So, here are the Class B Sweet 16 pick … sans commentary/analysis:

    Region 1:

    Clark Willow Lake and Langford

    Region 2:

    Sully Buttes and Potter County

    Region 3:

    Arlington and Wolsey Wessington

    Region 4:

    Colman Egan and Sanborn Central Woonsocket

    Region 5:

    Bridgewater Emery and Cansitota

    Region 6:

    Corsica Sticikney and Colome

    Region 7:

    White River and Lower Brule

    Region 8:

    Timber Lake and Harding County

    1.) The number 1 tidbit of the week comes out of Mitchell.   The Kernels had lost 42 in a row when Pierre came to visit the Corn Palace on Friday night.  Carter Cavanaugh, the Kernels best player, scored with 1.5 seconds left and Mitchell beat Pierre 47-45.  Cavanaugh led the Kernels with 16 points.  This was the Kernels last game of the season as they are the number 18 seed in AA and only the top 16 seeds advance to the post season in Class AA.  This was not only the game of the week but also the good news story of the week … for everybody except the Pierre faithful.   I am a huge fan of rewards for those who try hard … work hard … and do not give up.  This describes both the Mitchell players and Coach Neuendorf.  Some of these Mitchell players had never played in a winning varsity game.   What a positive way to end the season.   Mitchell will now be part of the answer to the trivia question: which four AA teams ended the season with a victory? 

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