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    Weekly Top 10 - January 28

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of January 28, 2019.

     10.) The Dakota XII and Northeast Conference Clash was played over the weekend in Madison.  Dakota Valley, behind super soph Paul Bruns and his 24 points beat Hamlin 64-60.  Dell Rapids with the Rentz boys and 6’9 Logan Heim bested Sisseton 65-54.  Deuel best an under-performing Canton 60-40.  Lennox blitzed Britton Hecla 70-32.  Madison bested Worthington, MN 59-45 … I would have preferred Tiospa Zina to have been the Bulldogs opponent but TZ was committed to playing in the Dakota Oyate Challenge in Huron.  Redfield Doland beat Tri Valley 53-45.  Sioux Falls Christian had a breather game with Aberdeen Roncalli, 72-41 … the Chargers had a rougher week playing Tea and Dakota Valley in conference.  Vermillion beat Groton 58-45 despite a monster game from 6’5 junior Brodyn DeHoet who scored 19 with 20 rebounds.  In the most exciting game, Webster beat Elk Point Jefferson 93-90 in double overtime behind Matthew Block’s 24 and Kaleb Marx’s 23 … EPJ’s Adam Grasshof hit for 30.  West Central beat Milbank 45-34.  In the showcase game, top ranked Class A Tea beat the number 2 Class B team, Clark Willow Lake 69-51.  Noah Freidel scored 19 for the Titans. 

    9.) Class A top 5 Tiospa Zina continued their breakout season as they played in the Dakota Oyate Challenge in Huron and beat Lower Brule in the championship game 70-45 with Caleb White scoring 25.  Jameson Pratt scored 25 in the Wambdi opening round victory over Flandreau Indian School.  Earlier in the week the Wambdi pounded cross county rival Sisseton 78-53 as the usual stars were shining brightly: Jameson Pratt with 23; Caleb White 19; Payton Halseide 17; and Divante Greeley 10. 

     8.) Todd Neuendorf is finding the winning slow to come at Mitchell compared to his success at Aberdeen Roncalli.  Neuendorf won a state championship at Roncalli and won more than 200 games in his 11 seasons there.    After winning one game last year the Kernels are off to an 0-11 start this season, but it took Brookings overtime to beat them, 56-54.   Drew Cole scored 24 and Trent Broksieck added 19 for the Bobcats.  Freshman Caden Hinker led Mitchell with 16.    Last week the Kernels played top ranked and undefeated Sioux Falls Lincoln close before losing 62-59.    With the freshman Hinker playing the post and a sophomore point guard, Ben Helleloid, the building blocks for a strong foundation are in place. 

     7.) In Class AA, Harrisburg started the season slowly as they adjusted to life without their three senior stars: Ace Zorr, Chase Altenburg, Brady Van Holland, who dominated most of the opposition last season all the way to a 2nd place finish in the state tournament.  Returning all-state guard Nick Hoyt found the going especially challenging with the opposition keying on him this season.  The Tigers are slowly climbing the AA Seed Point ladder after winning 4 in a row and 6 out of their last 7.  Hoyt and fellow senior Blair Slaughter as well as big sophomore post Brayden Phipps are leading the surge. 

     6.) Now to something we haven’t reported many times … if at all … in recent seasons: Madison lost at home to a sub-500 Chamberlain, 67-62.  The Bulldogs record is now 7-5.  The defending champs face a steep uphill climb as they work to defend their title.  This is what life looks like after graduating three Division 1 athletes and bringing on a new coach attempting to coach and grow this year’s team into viable post season contenders. 

     5.) Everybody has the top teams in Class B nailed: White River, Bridgewater Emery, Clark Willow Lake, Timber Lake.  What about the other top contenders?   There are multiple surprise/breakout teams in Class B this season looking to take down the big dogs in March.  The region breakdown:

    Region 1

    Northwestern is 8-2.  The Wildcats are building on a 12-win season with a pair of really good and big 6’3 guards: junior Zech Clemens and senior Caleb Schentzel … Clemens has several 20 plus point games on his resume.  The team is athletic and plays good defense and gets up and down the court with several football and track athletes in the rotation: Jarret Haven, Gavin Bohl, Dalton Peterson, Danny Orr, Jace Haven and Justin Haven. 

    Aberdeen Christian is 12-2.  The Knights are having a breakout season behind 1000-point scoring senior Jackson Becker scoring 16 ppg and standout junior Andrew Rorhbach scoring 18 ppg and Nehemiah Becker scoring 10 ppg.  The Knights started on fire at 11-0 but suffered consecutive losses to Viborg Hurley at The Hanson Classic and Herreid Selby last week. 

    Warner is 10-2.  Their only losses are to region foes Aberdeen Christian and Northwestern and they beat the consensus top team in Region 2: Sully Buttes.  Seniors Daylin Simon and Zach Jones lead the Monarchs.

    Region 2

    Sully Buttes is 10-2.  The defending champs are hanging tough this season even after suffering big graduation losses.  SB doesn’t have the big 6’9 Lincoln Jordre or Jacob Howard and Devan Kleven suiting up, but they still have plenty of talent: juniors Nick Wittler, Quinn Jordre, Grant Johnson, and Jett Lamb; seniors: Sebastian Frost, Cameron Ogle, and Morris Hofer. 

    Region 3

    Arlington is 9-1.  The Cardinals graduated virtually everybody except Devon Heuer but still they are sitting on top of the region.  Heuer has played as expected … including a 33 point game.  Juniors Trey Ramstad, Trevor Larsen, and 6’9 Casey Stegeman provide scoring and rebounding support.

    DeSmet is 8-2.  The Bulldog losses are to powerhouse Clark Willow Lake and Class A Hamlin … they handed Arlington their only loss and beat Sioux Valley.  The Bulldogs are fueled by senior post Trevin Holland.  Sophomore guard Ethan McCune was a steady player in the rotation last year and continues this season.  But the catalyst to the Bulldogs fine season is a strong freshman class: Kalen Garry is the leading scorer, Rett Osthus, Tory Holland, and Colt Wilkinson are the other freshmen on the varsity roster.  They are primed to make some noise in the post season. 

    Region 4

    Hanson is 10-3.  The Beavers are a solid 10-3 behind high scoring junior guard Reggie Slaba.  Payden Haiar gives the Beavers senior leadership and on court presence.  Sophomores 6’6 Haydon Bahmuller and 6’3 Riley Ferry show that the future looks bright for Hanson.

    Sanborn Central Woonsocket is 8-4.  Two of those losses are to James Valley Christian.  Junior Noah Dickson averages a double double and is playing at all-state level.

    Region 5

    Viborg Hurley is 11-1.  They keep jockeying for the region seed point lead with Bridgewater Emery.  The Cougars only loss is to Irene Wakonda by 3 points.  Senior guard Brodee Sherman is the floor leader.  There is plenty of other talent in the rotation including junior Shane Andersen and a loaded sophomore class: Chase Mason, Gradee Sherman, and Grant Mikkelsen. 

    Region 6

    Kimball White Lake is 10-3.  KWL is one of the few teams in the state with legitimate twin towers: 6’7 junior Justin Becker and 6’6 senior Kordel Kiehn.  Senior guard Carter Fredericksen balances out that height at 5’9 and Javen Holan is the long-range sharpshooter.  Sophomore guard Bennett Namanny gets plenty of minutes in the rotation. 

    Colome is 8-4.   The Cowboys are back on a winning streak … of one game … they went 8-0 and then lost 4 straight.  1000-point scorer and outstanding point guard Jackson Kinzer is the star and leader of the team.   Colome is senior heavy: Layton Thiemann, Calvin Ringing Shield, Chase Dufek, and Wyatt Cahoy.

    Region 7

    Jones County is 12-2.  The Coyotes lost to White River to open the season and then suffered a loss to Colome in the Jones County Tournament … a week later they avenged that loss by beating Colome.  The Coyotes have a group of seniors who have been playing together for years: leading scorer Alec Whitney, Austin Olson, Morgan Feddersen, and Kade Brost.  They hold quality victories over Highmore Harrold and Class A Bon Homme and Rapid City Christian.  JC has a big test this week when Sully Buttes comes to Murdo.

    Region 8

    Lemmon is 11-3.  The Cowboys are making noise and Coach Kostelecky has no seniors on the roster … the future looks bright.  The Cowboys are getting good play from juniors: Peyton Anderson, Britt Oliver, and Alec O’Donnell, and sophomores: Jaden Kelley, Jacob Hetzel, and Cody Thompson.  They can defend and like to run and drain threes.  The Cowboys already have a win over region foe Faith, and they play Harding County and Bison later in February.

    My Class B top 10

    1.       White River

    2.       Bridgewater Emery

    3.       Clark Willow Lake

    4.       Viborg Hurley

    5.       Timber Lake

    6.       Sully Buttes

    7.       DeSmet

    8.       Warner

    9.       Arlington

    10.   Kimball White Lake

     4.) Multiple players had big scoring and rebounding games this week.  Will Kulzer scored 30 in Tri Valley’s win over EPJ.  Eli Skoglund scored 31 for Alcester Hudson vs Scotland.  Daaron Tronvold of Andes Central/Dakota Christian continued his high scoring season when he hit for 28 against Wessington Springs.  Mitchell Christian’s Alec Nelson had two big games as he scored 35 and 29.  Little Wound’s Riley Cross scored 29 in their victory over Canistota.  Adam Grasshof notched 30 in Elk Point Jefferson’s double OT loss to Webster.  Nate Tolley, Colman Egan junior, scored 26 in a win over Gayville Volin.  Sophomore Kelby VanDerWerff of Platte Geddes scored 29 in a loss to Parkston who got 23 from Braden Bruening.  Kelby then scored 27 in a game vs Colome.  Timber Lake got back to winning after losing to Clark Willow Lake for the first time at The Hanson Classic.  Brayden PayPay had 32 in TL’s win over Region 8 foe Harding County … The Ranchers received a high scoring game from junior Zach Anders with 30.  Parker’s Trey Christensen scored 25 and Irene Wakonda’s Trey King matched that with 25 of his own … the Pheasants supporting cast was stronger in the 77-49 win as Camden Bialas notched a double double with 13/10.  DeSmet got a huge win over Class A Sioux Valley, 73-65.  The Bulldogs got another big scoring game from freshman Kalen Garry with 30 and 6’6 Trevin Holland added 14.  The Cossacks Max Nielson hit for 27 and Sioux Valley’s 8th grader Oliver Vincent contributed 10.  Lennox’s Quincy Ihnen had a big scoring game with 26 in the win over Parkston.  In the “all in the family” category, Gregory’s Tommy Determan scored 28 and freshman Coy Determan scored 25 for Gregory vs Avon.  Jared Jaros continued his all-state caliber play for Lincoln with 27 vs Washington.  Grayson Florey scored 23 in Clark Willow Lake’s victory over Groton … nice to see another scoring threat for CWL.  Kyler Meyer added another 30 plus point game by scoring 32 in Britton Hecla’s win over Redfield Doland.  Connor Libis … another player performing in a high scoring all-state caliber season … scored 35 for Dell Rapids St Mary in a win over Lake Preston.  Juniors Teegan Evers and Kobe Busch got Huron winning again with 23 and 22 over Pierre.  Zech Clemens notched 21 in Northwestern’s win over Langford.  Javen Holan scored 22 for Kimball White Lake in a big win over Wolsey Wessington.  Matthew Mors scored 27 for Yankton in their loss to Roosevelt. 

     3.) And then there was one ... Sioux Falls Lincoln is the only undefeated team left in the state.  After losses by previously unbeaten Class B teams White River … lost to Pine Ridge … and Clark Willow Lake … lost to Tea; Class B has zero undefeated teams.  In Class A, Sioux Falls Christian lost to Tea … Class A has zero undefeated teams. 

     2.) The week Pine Ridge had would normally be a number 1 tidbit but not this week.  Still, the Thorpes had a big week with a road win over White River, 67-51 … that avenged a 4 point loss Pine Ridge had to White River in the LNI.  Then they loaded up the bus and drove to Madison where they played Bridgewater Emery in the Mustang Seeds – DSU Shoot Out … where the Thorpes lost to BE, 85-77.  The White River game was a game of runs until Pine Ridge took control in the third quarter.  PR led 21-14 early and then had a slow 2nd quarter to trail the Tigers 28-25 at halftime.  The Tigers had way too many turnovers and cold three-point shooting.  Pine Ridge had big games from Halen Bad Bear with 20 points … including a flurry of treys in the 2nd half, junior Charles Schrader with 20, and rebounding and defense from Corey Brown and Jesse Jensen.  Luke Wells had 12 for White River.  In the Bridgewater Emery game, BE led 35-26 at half as Pine Ridge took some time getting off the bus and warmed up.  Bridgewater Emery started pulling away in the 2nd half and stretched the lead to double digits for most of the 2nd half until the Thorpes closed the lead to 4 points.  The Huskies hit their free throws down the stretch.  Sawyer Schultz scored 28 and added 8 assists despite being ice cold from three-point land.  Carter Dye had a double double with 19/14 as he battled foul trouble and sat for stretches.  Jamin Arend chipped in with 21 points and 9 rebounds.  For the Thorpes, Halen Bad Bear had a huge game with 27 points and 9 rebounds, Charles Schrader added 21, and Corey Brown had his usual great all-around game with 13/10 until he fouled out late in the game. 

     1.) The number 1 tidbit for the week comes from the Sioux Falls suburb of Tea.  The Titans had the most impressive week I have seen in recent memory.  Tea has played three undefeated teams in their last three games: St Thomas More, Sioux Falls Christian, and Clark Willow Lake.  All three went down in flames to the 13-1 Titans: 58-54 over STM; 73-50 over SFC; and 69-51 over CWL.  The Titans only loss is to consensus number 1 in the country LA Lumiere, Indiana.  Tea went into Sioux Falls Christian’s gym and flexed muscles when the Titans pounded the Chargers 73-50.  This was a huge statement in terms of how strong Tea is.  Both these teams will likely be playing in the state tournament at the Premiere Center in Sioux Falls … barring any major post season upsets.  The Titans were just too much for the Chargers … especially on the defensive end.  The Chargers have some parts of their game to work on in order to make any potential future game more competitive.  The Tea - SFC game also gives us the dynamic duo of the week with Noah Freidel scoring 23 and Justin Hohn 22.  Mitchell Goodbary had 14/13 for SFC and Gavin Schipper added 12.  Tommie More will likely join Tea and Sioux Falls Christian in the state tournament … these are the three best teams in Class A.  Clark Willow Lake is a likely Class B state tournament team and are a consensus top 3 pick in B.  Behind Noah Freidel’s 19 points the Cyclones were no match for Tea.  Just like that … three games against three undefeated teams and each one left the gym with their first loss.   

    The next big game of the season for Tea is February 2 when the Titans play the last undefeated team in the state: Sioux Falls Lincoln at the Pentagon.  This game will be for unofficial bragging rights in the entire state … not just the Sioux Empire.  Can Tea send Lincoln home with their first loss?   The Titans better not overlook the West Central game Thursday in Hartford … Tea should win but they need to focus on the next game on the schedule. 

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