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    Weekly Top 10 - March 19

    Here it is: the Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of March 19, 2018.   Plus, I have added bonus content with top 10 previews for the upcoming season, 2018-19, in all classes. 

    10.) The AA champions are a surprise to me.  Not many picked Yankton … except the residents of Yankton.  The Bucks started the tournament slow as they trailed Lincoln by 16 in the quarterfinal game.  Super freshman Matthew Mors scored 30 in that win.  Then Mors scored 38 in the semifinal win over Rapid City Central.   The championship game was Yankton vs Harrisburg.  I predicted Harrisburg playing in the final game but not the Bucks.  This game was 39-37 and brought back painful memories of the AA games from 8-10 years ago … where scoring 39 was often enough to win most games.  Young Mr. Mors will be joined by juniors Rex Ryken and Owen Feser and sophomore Cooper Cornemann for an AA preseason top 5 team in 2018-19. 

    9.) If you had told me last week that Harrisburg, Madison, and Clark Willow Lake were each playing in their respective class championship games, based on the brackets, I would have expected that Harrisburg would win, Madison would lose and Clark Willow Lake would win.  Shows what I know. 

    8.) “Mind the gap” … not surprisingly in Class A the DAK XII teams and Sioux Valley were all playing in the semifinals.  Congratulations to Red Cloud on winning the consolation championship.  Congratulations to Crow Creek for placing 7th.  Congratulations to Pine Ridge for a strong season.  There was a definite gap between the top 4 teams and the rest of the state.  The average margin of victory, 22 + points average per game, in the opening round games clearly emphasized that.  Tea had the closest first round game when they beat Crow Creek by 13.  Freshman Trevin McBride is a really nice player for Crow Creek. 

    7.) Timber Lake won the consolation championship and represented Region 8 very well in Class B.  The Panthers with no seniors will be a top 10 preseason team in 2018-19.  Brayden PayPay clearly proved he could play play.  Brayden averaged 21 ppg in the tourney.  The other four starters all had tournaments as well: Trey Bollinger, Tucker Kraft, Isaac Kraft, and Jackson Harrison.  Lower Brule sophomore Shane Sazue really impressed me.  East River low information posters should be eating their crow for not respecting the West River teams. 

    6.) The Bridgewater Emery duo of Sawyer Schultz and Carter Dye developed into a more potent twosome than returning all-staters Schultz and Jamin Arend.  In the tournament Schultz averaged 27 ppg and 10.3 rebounds per game; Dye averaged 18.3 and 10.7.   The Huskies seniors will be missed but the nucleus of outstanding juniors: Sawyer Schultz, Carter Dye, and Jamin Arend, will make BE a top 10 preseason pick in 2018-19. 

    5.) It was an all ESD final in AA with Yankton beating Harrisburg while the two Rapid City public schools: Stevens and Central, battled for 3rd as they played for the 3rd time this season.  Stevens won this time, 59-49.  In a dramatic reversal of fortunes, the three Sioux Falls schools: O’Gorman, Washington and Lincoln, ended up 6-7-8.  Rapid City Central’s outstanding guard tandem of Dylan Hay and Kailleb Walton-Bland concluded their careers with a super senior season and a great state tournament.  Douglas finished a really nice season by winning the consolation championship.  Congratulations on a really good season for the Patriots. 

    4.) The Madison trio of Aaron Fiegen, Jaxon Janke, and Jadon Janke were dominant the entire season and the state tournament was simply more of the same.   In the title game, Jadon scored 23, Jaxon scored 22, and Aaron 16.  The Bulldogs always seem to be in the hunt under Coach Ricke … but how in the world does he replace Janke, Janke, and Fiegen??

    3.) The heart of a champion is hard to measure but defending B champ, Bridgewater Emery and defending A champ, Tea, fought valiantly to defend their crowns.   Tea’s Noah Freidel averaged 25.3 in the tourney and fellow junior Justin Hohn will make the Titans a preseason top 10 team in Class A for 2018-19.  Bridgewater Emery’s Sawyer Schultz and fellow juniors Carter Dye and Jamin Arend played their butts off in the B tourney. 

    2.) Sioux Valley’s Trevor Hanson had a great tournament and was one of the most dominant players all classes considered with games of 21 points/8 rebounds, 28/11, and 23/10.  Sioux Falls Christian ran into a hot and determined Tea in the semifinals and their undefeated season crash landed in the 76-68 loss.   The Chargers will be right in the thick of things again next season with returning starters Gavin Schipper and Mitchell Goodbary.  Mitchell was particularly impressive with a strong tourney: 17 points/9 rebounds, 30/13, 15/12.  Red Cloud concluded a successful season with the Class A consolation championship.  Ale Rama will be back next year and he averaged 18.7 points per game in the tournament. 

    1.) Sully Buttes prepared for their tourney title run with a weak regular season (said with my tongue in cheek).   The Chargers behind all-stater Lincoln Jordre, Nick Wittler, and Jacob Howard won the title by finishing off Clark Willow Lake, 58-55.  The Cyclones had SB down by 10 in the 3rd quarter.  Anybody who doesn’t think CWL’s junior guard Jacob Prouty is not one of the best players in the state doesn’t know schitt.  

    The preseason outlook for 2018-19:

    Class AA

    1. Yankton – Matthew Mors and Rex Ryken return
    2. Brandon Valley – Evan Talcott and Carter Olthoff return
    3. O’Gorman – Zach Norton and Akoi Akoi return
    4. Harrisburg – Nick Hoyt and Blair Slaughter return
    5. Lincoln – Jared Jaros returns

    Class A

    1. Tea – Noah Freidel and Justin Hohn return
    2. Sioux Falls Christian – Mitchell Goodbary and Gavin Schipper return
    3. St Thomas More – Ryder Kirsch and Ryan Wojcik return
    4. Pine Ridge – Corey Brown and Joe O’Rourke return
    5. Red Cloud – Ale Rama and Jesse Jensen return
    6. Dakota Valley – Paul Bruns and Charlie Cox return
    7. Crow Creek – Luke Wells and Jayden McBride return
    8. Tiospa Zina – Divante Greeley and Jameson Pratt return
    9. Parker – Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen return
    10. Sioux Valley – Max Nielson and Ryan Schuster return

    Honorable Mention: Hot Springs, Madison, Rapid City Christian, McLaughlin

    Class B

    1. Bridgewater Emery – Sawyer Schultz, Jamin Arend and Carter Dye return
    2. Clark Willow Lake – Jacob Prouty and Micah Burke return
    3. White River – Jadice Morrison and Teron Sazue return
    4. Timber Lake – Brayden PayPay and Tucker Kraft return
    5. Sully Buttes – Nick Wittler and Cameron Ogle return
    6. Canistota – Trey and Tyce Ortman return
    7. Colome – Jackson Kinzer and Layton Thieman return
    8. Aberdeen Christian – Andrew Rorhbach and Jackson Becker return
    9. Sanborn Central Woonsocket – Noah Dickson and Tater Moody return
    10. Elkton Lake Benton – Matthew Nibbe and Grant DeRuyter return

    Honorable Mention: Irene Wakonda, Wolsey Wessington, Kimball White Lake, Castlewood

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