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    Weekly Top 10 - February 11

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of February 11, 2019. 

    10.) There was a surprise game played in AA.  Yankton went to Watertown and lost to the Arrows 51-44.  I don’t think Yankton is invincible, but Watertown is so inconsistent it was surprising to watch this Bucks loss.  The Arrows have some athletes and have shown glimpses of good basketball … usually not for 32 minutes.  The Watertown defensive tactic on Matthew Mors was guard him with the tallest Arrow and best basketball player, 6’6 Solomon Bach.  When Bach was on the bench, Pierre Lear guarded him.  Mors was held to 13 points and struggled to get those points … the Arrows made him work.  Big 6’9 junior Hunter Kotrous made all of his field goal attempts and scored 13.  The Bucks could have used some more offense.   Senior Rex Ryken who was counted on to provide some of that additional offense was on the sideline in a boot.  For the Arrows, Brandon Florey was hot from behind the arc with 5 of 6 treys and 19 points.  Solomon Bach scored 17 and physical Blake Holden added 9 rebounds.  The Arrows were 9 of 19 on treys and the Bucks were 3 of 18 … and there was your game.

    9.) On February 9th, the DWU Culver’s Classic was played at the Corn Palace. 

    Freeman Academy/Marion vs Platte Geddes – advantage PG 51-47 in a game that was closer than I thought it would be.  Platte Geddes is young with only one senior and with a veteran coach … so that works for them.  Sophomore Kelby VanDerWerff scored 19 for the Black Panthers.  Freshman Quincy Blue scored 15 for FAM

    Pine Ridge vs Aberdeen Roncalli -- The Thorpes are tuning up for a long March drive … to Sioux Falls.  They pounded an overmatched Roncalli 59-36.  Pine Ridge is getting scoring from several players including Corey Brown and Charles Schrader with 14.  Point guard Halen Bad Bear is capable of high scoring as demonstrated by his 51 points last week.  When you add Jesse Jensen and Juwon Garnier and Joe O’Rourke to the lineup and this Thorpes team can put the ball in the basket.  Roncalli was led by sophomore Grayden Imbery with 16. 

    Sanborn Central Woonsocket vs Irene Wakonda -- This game featured two of the top players in Class B: Noah Dickson for SCW and Trey King for IW.  They did not disappoint as SCW nipped IW 57-56.  Dickson scored 29 with 19 big rebounds … he is an all-state level player.  Trey King scored 27 for Irene Wakonda … he is also all-state caliber. 

    Dell Rapids St Mary vs Corsica Stickney – this was a lopsided win for Dell Rapids St Mary 74-51.  There were several good teams with several really good players at the classic.  None played better than DRSM’s sophomore guard Connor Libis with 27 and fellow sophomore Max Herber with 14 and a workhorse effort on the boards with 9.  The Cardinals will be very good the next few years with their sophomore dominated lineup.  Sophomores led the Jaguars also: Brendan Wentland and Trever Burke with 14 each. 

    Parker vs Dell Rapids – This game was one with Class A pecking order significance.  Two Pheasants will continue playing basketball in college: Trey Christensen scored 21 and Camden Bialas 20.  Sophomore Connor Rentz led the Quarriers with 12.  Dells has now lost two straight and will travel to Sisseton this week in an effort to turn that around.  Parker, playing a mixed A and B schedule, was looking for Seed Point strength.  The Pheasants have lost twice in the last ten days and both losses were to Class B teams: Canistota and Viborg Hurley.   Although VH is 16-1 and rolling through their schedule and Canistota is playing well as demonstrated by their upset of top ranked White River at this classic.

    Sioux Falls Christian vs St Thomas More – SFC with a huge win over Tommie More 70-55.  The Chargers winning was not as surprising as the point differential.  The results of this game will shuffle the top of the Class A rankings just a bit as the Chargers will likely switch positions with the Blue Cavaliers: SFC is now 2nd and STM is now 3rd.  Mitchell Goodbary will be playing football in college, but he would make a really nice power forward also.  Mitch had another huge game with 29 points and 13 rebounds.  Mitchell Oostra added 14 and 6’7 Zach Witte 12.  STM got 15 from Ryder Kirsch.

    Hanson vs DeSmet – DeSmet over Hanson 73-50.  The Bulldogs get stronger each week … that’s what happens when you rely on so many freshmen and sophomores like DeSmet does.  Bulldog freshman Kalen Garry is garnering support as the top freshman in the state with each passing game.  Garry and Flandreau’s Tash Lunday are the two best freshmen I have seen.  This game was no different for Garry as he scored 34 and pulled down 12 rebounds … Hanson could simply not contain him.  Senior Trevin Holland also had a double double with 18/13.  Sophomore Ethan McCune helped the DeSmet rebounding dominance with 11 boards.  Payden Haiar had 18 and Riley Ferry 13 for Hanson. 

    Canistota vs White River – the biggest shocker of the day as Canistota won 60-59.  Canistota rode a pair of sophomores, Tyce Ortman and Chase Merrill, junior Trey Ortman and steady seniors Tristan Pierce and Jared Tieszen to victory.  Jadice Morrison and Luke Wells both scored 18 in the Tigers loss.  Canistota didn’t start anybody taller than 6’1.  Was it an omen when 6’5 Luke Wells didn’t even jump on the opening tip against Canistota’s 6’1 Trey Ortman?  Canistota is well coached with slick ball handling and basket cuts and crisp passing.  It was fun to watch … if you weren’t a Tigers fan.  The Hawks will make some post season noise. 

    Bridgewater Emery vs Aberdeen Christian – I thought that AC would be outgunned by BE and I was wrong as the final score was: 45-37.  The Huskies senior experience and Sawyer Schultz’s ability to take over a game led to BE’s victory.  Sawyer scored 21 and pulled in 11 rebounds.  He was all the court and especially in the second half.  The Knights had a three-point halftime lead and led most of the first three quarters but couldn’t pull away as BE kept it close enough to close the win in the 4th … Sawyer Schultz is a joy to watch.  AC’s slick ball handling and smooth shooting junior guard Andrew Rorhbach scored 18. 

    8.) After weekend results, my top 13 regardless of class is in.

    1. Tea – a pair of one possession game wins after a gauntlet of undefeated teams each went home with a loss … Noah Freidel with 40 vs Lennox.

    2. Sioux Falls Christian – handily beat STM, last week’s number 2.

    3. Sioux Falls Lincoln – Patriots back on winning streak after suffering first loss to Tea.

    4. St Thomas More – beware Hollenbeck practices this week after the paddling from Sioux Falls Christian at Corn Palace.

    5. Sioux Falls O’Gorman – 3rd best team in the city … 4th best in the metro.

    6. Sioux Falls Roosevelt – 7 of last 8 with only loss by one point to O’Gorman. 

    7. Brandon Valley – toe stub last week with two losses. 

    8. Pine Ridge – top Reservation team with loads of scoring options.

    9. Huron – heating up after loss to Sturgis. 

    10. Bridgewater Emery – the terrific trio (Sawyer Schultz, Jamin Arend, Carter Dye) will carry Huskies deep into March. 

    11. Red Cloud – tears on my iPad as I type this: Ale Rama out for the season with a fractured ankle.

    12. Clark Willow Lake – lost for 2nd time at Flandreau but will be in the hunt on the 2nd night of the Class B tournament. 

    13. White River – wake up call with loss to Canistota at Corn Palace … beware Marshall practices this week. 

    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 – back on win streak after loss to Tea. 

    Yankton – inexplicably lost to the Arrows but Mors will keep them in every game. 

    Brandon Valley – the Lynx are solid and have added another scoring threat to go with Evan Talcott and Carter Olthoff and that is: sophomore Jackson Hilton.

    Sioux Falls O’Gorman – three game win streak and play at Mitchell this week before a big home game vs Lincoln next week. 

    Who is on the outside looking in?

    Huron at 11-6

    Roosevelt at 10-5

    Rapid City Stevens at 11-6

    Harrisburg at 9-5

    6.) The Tea Titans had two close calls this past week … after a grueling two week stretch of playing the best in the state game after game after game.  The Titans knocked off previously undefeated St Thomas More, Sioux Falls Christian, Clark Willow Lake, and Sioux Falls Lincoln.  Then one of Iowa’s traditional powers, Western Christian, came to town.  This turned out to be the closest game for Tea since their only loss of the season to LaLumierre Indiana, 54-52 victory for the Titans.  Tea led 29-26 at half but could never pull away from Western Christian.  As usual, Noah Freidel scored 25 for Tea and Jacob Vis hit 20 for the WC Wolfpack.  WC had a chance to pee in Tea’s tea at the buzzer, but a trey was off target.  Then Lennox hosted Tea in the Orioles Bird House.  Results: Tea 68 Lennox 67.  It took 40 from Noah Freidel to pull this one out.  Can the Titans get a breather?   Elk Point Jefferson and Beresford remain on the regular season schedule. 

    5.) Some high scoring games this past week:

    DeSmet just got by Castlewood 59-56 with freshman Rett Osthus scoring 18 and Kalen Garry 16.  Brandon Benike scored 29 for Castlewood.  Connor Bawdon scored 29 in Hamlin’s win over Arlington … just the 2nd loss for Arlington who received 23 points from Devon Heuer.  Sophomore Matthew Nibbe scored 22 with 11 rebounds for Elkton Lake Benton over Great Plains Lutheran.  Sophomore Riley Schmitz scored 22 for Elk Point Jefferson in win over Lawton – Bronson.  Viborg Hurley beat Canistota as Shane Andersen scored 24 for VH and sophomores Chase Merrill and Tyce Ortman scored 30 and 27 for the Hawks.  Connor Libis hit for 38 in Dell Rapids St Mary’s win over Gayville Volin.  Dakota Valley’s outstanding sophomore guard Paul Bruns had a great game with 30 points over Spirit Lake Iowa.  Lincoln got back in the winning column over Brandon Valley behind Jared Jaros’s 24 points.  It was the Evers boys leading Huron to victory over Pierre with Teegan scoring 24 and Tanner adding 23.  Skyler Olson had a double double 21/10 for Gayville Volin as they beat Centerville.  Tyler Kropenske scored 20 for Beresford over Elk Point Jefferson.  RC Christian junior Jack Roisum scored 24 as the Comets beat Belle Fourche and Kelby Olson who scored 29.  The Determan boys scored 44, Tommy with 23 and Coy 21, for Gregory over Scotland.  Sanborn Central Woonsocket’s Noah Dickson scored 32 in a win over Iroquois.  Dawson Simon had a big game in Potter County’s win over Redfield Doland by scoring 33.  Micah Lau from Tripp Delmont Armour scored 27 over Wagner.  Nathan Boettcher scored 27 in Parkston’s loss to Mc Cook Central Montrose who received 20 from Isaac McCormick.  Chamberlain’s Louie Running Horse knocked in 26 in the Cubs win over Crow Creek.  Layton Thieman scored 21 for Colome over North Central Nebraska.  Kyler Meyer scored 25 as Britton Hecla lost to Milbank.  Bert Zephier scored 26 for Wagner over Chamberlain.  Lower Brule’s Shane Sazue scored 24 in a win over Wessington Springs.  Freshman Kalen Garry scored 27 as DeSmet beat Flandreau … Nate Kneebone scored 23 for Flandreau.  Lincoln beat RC Central behind 21 from Jared Jaros … Elijah Williams scored 21 for Rapid City Central.  6’7 junior Ramsey Hennicke scored 22 as Sisseton lost to Clark Willow Lake as Jacob Prouty scored 18.  Brady Fritz had a big game for Winner vs St Francis with 35/10 … seems St Francis has a propensity for allowing high scoring games recently.  Dylan Pourier led RC Stevens with 24 over Washington.  Nolan Sampson scored 26 as Mount Vernon Plankinton beat Ethan.  Connor Libis scored 21 for Dell Rapids St Mary over Centerville.  Brodee Sherman scored 21 as Viborg Hurley just keeps on winning.  Paul Bruns scored 22 when Dakota Valley beat Vermillion.  Kobe Busch scored 34 and Teegan Evers 17 as Huron beat Brandon Valley who got 21 from Jackson Hilton, 19 from Evan Talcott, and 18 from Carter Olthoff.  Isaac McComick scored 29 for McCook Central Montrose vs Crofton Nebraska.  Micah Lau scored 24 for TDA over Avon.  Noah Freidel scored 40 in Tea’s win over Lennox.  Matthew Mors continued his high scoring with 37 and 11 rebounds in Yankton’s win over Washington.  Jared Jaros scored 23 for Lincoln over RC Stevens.  Karst Hunter scored 38 for Miller and the state’s highest scoring 8th grader Spencer Fernholz added 21 in a loss to Todd County who got 37 from Aiden Bizardie.  Joey Slama scored 24 for Bon Homme in loss to Parker.  Watertown’s Solomon Bach scored 28 in the Arrows win over Aberdeen Central who got 20 from 6’8 sophomore Reece Burckhard.  That’s a name rarely mentioned in discussions about top AA players, but Reece is a solid player who pairs with 6’7 junior Andrew Bergan as the Golden Eagles offense flows through the two bigs.  Mitchell Christian’s high scoring Alec Nelson hit for 31 over Sunshine Bible Academy.  Max Baloun scored 23 with 12 rebounds for Redfield Doland over Langford.  Carter Shields scored 32 for Washington as they beat RC Central.  Highmore Harrold’s Jharett Bloomenrader scored 22 with 10 rebounds over Edmunds Central and followed that up with a 21-point game over Sanborn central Woonsocket.    

    4.) These are the results of the games with the biggest impact across the state last week:


    Lincoln over Brandon Valley 68-59.  This game caused the BV ten game win streak to screech to a halt and put  Lincoln back in the win column after suffering their first loss of the season to Tea.  These two teams are in the hunt for the AA title. 

    Watertown over Yankton 51-44.  The Arrows have been hit or miss all season … mostly miss.  However, this demonstrates that Watertown has some talent and could be a post season nuisance for some unsuspecting top 5 team looking too far ahead in March.  It also shows the blueprint for beating Yankton continues to be make someone other than Mors step up and beat you … although the Arrows defense also did a great job in holding Mors to half his season average. 

    O’Gorman over Roosevelt 42-41 as the 2nd and 3rd best Sioux Falls AA teams jostle for Seed Point supremacy.

    Huron over Brandon Valley 71-66.  Lincoln softened up BV and Huron’s super juniors, Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers, went for the kill shot.  The Tigers made a statement that they are a team to be feared if everyone is healthy.

    Class A

    Tea over Western Christian 54-52.  Sure, Tea won, but did the outcome expose a chink in the Titans armor or was the game a natural letdown by Tea after the previous two weeks strength of schedule? 

    Tea over Lennox 68-67.  Ditto the comments above.  Tea wins their second straight one possession game.  That takes some strong leadership.  Lennox, even in losing, makes a statement that the Orioles are a strong team.   It also showed the rest of the state that Tea might not be wearing Nike Pro base layers with a big S on the chest after all. 

    Sioux Falls Christian over St Thomas More 70-55.  This game proved better than a poll in showing the state who is the 2nd best team in Class A.  The Chargers convincingly beat the Cavaliers on a neutral court … not unlike what would need to occur in the state tournament. 

    St Thomas More over Red Cloud 53-46.  This game was a clash of top 5 teams but is was the season ending injury to the top scorer in the state, Ale Rama, that was the real story line.  Oh, and the Crusaders played well when they hung tight with the Cavaliers for virtually an entire game without Rama.

    Parker over Dell Rapids 59-45 at the Corn Palace.  Just when the Pheasants were about to be counted out, they show some life and beat a good Dak XII team.

    Flandreau big over Clark Willow Lake 65-48.  This is an impact game for both Class A and B.  Can Flandreau make a late season and post season push in an uncharacteristically average Region 2?  Perennial powerhouses Madison and Sioux Valley are good but not as overpowering as in recent seasons.  Flandreau has the talent to beat either of these teams if they play like they did Saturday against Class B power CWL.  The Cyclones beat Sioux Valley 80-62 in the season opening game.  A game where the Cossacks could not defend Cyclones star Jacob Prouty who scored 45.  Flandreau did a much better job with Prouty and his 6’6 running mate Micah Burke as the Fliers held them to 19 and 11.  As usual freshman Tash Lunday had a big game for Flandreau with 23, Connor LeBrun added 22, and Nate Kneebone had 14.  There you have it: better defense by Flandreau and good balanced scoring and they win a big game. 

    Class B

    DeSmet over Hanson 73-48.  The Bulldogs are on a six-game win streak.  The young lineup with several sophomores and freshmen flanking senior big Trevin Holland is maturing right in front of our eyes.  Freshman Kalen Garry is making a strong bid for top freshman in the state. 

    Canistota over White River 60-59.  The number 1 ranked White River Tigers suffer their first loss to a Class B team.  The Tigers are still one of the favorites for the B title.  Canistota now must be considered a threat in the loaded Region 5 to Bridgewater Emery and Viborg Hurley.

    Northwestern clobbered Webster 81-53.  It is more about the season’s body of work and the number 2 Seed Point ranking the boys from Mellette and Spink County are showing the state.

    Viborg Hurley over Parker 55-48.  The Cougars 14 game winning streak is the longest in the state and their 16-1 record is the best in Class B

    Jones County over Sully Buttes 57-49.  The defending champs from Sully Buttes are in most expert’s field of view when looking for potential B champions … Jones County was not.  The Coyotes are 15-2 with losses to Colome and White River … not too bad.     How much noise can JC make in the post season? 

    Almost a month after the game was originally scheduled, Arlington beat Elkton Lake Benton 62-43 for the Dakota Valley Conference tournament championship.  Devon Heuer scored 21 for Arlington and 6’9 Casey Stegeman hit for 20 with 11 boards.  Elk Lake Benton’s stud sophomore Matthew Nibbe scored 21. 

    3.) The biggest surprise teams are:

    Class AA

    Sioux Falls Roosevelt – not much recent success in the past few seasons but good mix of seniors and underclassmen; impacting players: Tyler Feldkamp and Tucker West.

    Rapid City Stevens – big graduation losses with Dawson Paulsen returning; impacting players: transfer in Dylan Pourier and junior Daniel Vigoren has emerged.

    Class A

    Lennox – 2nd to Tea in Region 4 at 13-4; impacting players: Quincy Ihnen, Josh Arlt, and Brock Anderson.

    Tiospa Zina – expected to be good team with entire lineup returning but transfer Caleb White has turned the Wambdi into an elite team; impacting players: Caleb White, Jameson Pratt, and Divante Greeley.

    Cheyenne Eagle Butte – Braves do not get much state-wide publicity but are getting region respect with Region 6 leading 11-3 record; impacting players: Cecilio Montgomery, Naden Saucedo, Leon Brown Otter was a nice transfer in and Lane Mousseau gives the Braves size in the lane at 6’6.

    Mobridge Pollock – returned everybody from last year and are quietly putting together 10-6 record with six game win streak; impacting players: Noah Feyereisen, Braxton Albers, Braden Goehring, and Bryston Goehring.

    Hot Springs – 14-2 record with litmus test this week against St Thomas More; impacting players: Kelton Harris, Matt Norton, and Morgan Harkless.

    Class B

    Northwestern – Wildcats are strong 11-2 with some good athletes; impacting players: Zech Clemens, Dalton Peterson, and Caleb Schentzel.

    Highmore Harrold – SDSU football recruit Jharett Bloomenrader was all-state as a sophomore and playing at that level as a senior; impacting players: Jharett Bloomenrader, Treymaine Eagle Thunder Alger.

    DeSmet – better than their last state tournament team with youngsters surrounding Trevin Holland … freshman Kalen Garry making noise as potential top Class B player in class of 2022; impacting players: Trevin Holland and Kalen Garry.

    Arlington – graduated strong senior class but Devon Heuer is ensuring Cardinals relevancy again this season; impacting players: Devon Heuer and Casey Stegeman.

    Dell Rapids St Mary – high scoring Connor Libis leading good and deep sophomore class; impacting players: Connor Libis and Max Herber.

    Hanson – has spent most of the season on top of Region 4; impacting players: Reggie Slaba, Riley Ferry, Payden Haiar.

    Viborg Hurley – not mentioned on too many early season top 10 polls but VH now has top record in B at 16-1; impacting players: Brodee Sherman, Chase Mason, Gradee Sherman.

    Kimball White Lake – twin towers making good things happen; impacting players: 6’7 Justin Becker, 6’6 Kordel Kiehn, and Javen Holan.

    Jones County – strong senior class have the Coyotes with best record in years, 15-2, and running 2nd to White River in region; impacting players: Morgan Feddersen, Alec Whitney, and Austin Olson.

    Lemmon – Cowboys 2nd to Timber Lake in region at 13-4; impacting players: Alec O’Donnell, Bitt Oliver, and Jimal Storm.

    2.) Some of the best basketball in the state is being played on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Red Cloud is 12-5 and were considered a top 5 team with superstar Ale Rama on the court.  Pine Ridge is 14-3 and widely considered a threat to win it all at the Class A state tournament.  The Thorpes have two 1000-point scorers in the lineup after Halin Bad Bear joined Corey Brown in that elite company.  Bad Bear scored his career point 1000 in a game against St Francis Indian and kept on scoring in that game.  Halin did not stop until he scored 51 points!  This places him in a tie for 9th all-time in Class A single game scoring … tied with Ray Taken Alive, McLaughlin 2004; Josh Mueller, West Central 1998; and Travis Palmer, Ipswich 1997.  Congratulations to Halin on his individual accomplishment and to the entire Pine Ridge team for an outstanding season to this point. 

    1.) The number 1 tidbit this week comes to us from Rapid City where two top 5 Class A teams went after it at St Thomas More as Red Cloud came to town.  Everyone expected another great game from Crusaders star Ale Rama but that didn’t happen … Ale didn’t play long enough for much of anything to happen except for him to break his ankle in the opening minute … out for the season.  This effectively brings to a close Mr. Rama’s sensational career.  Tommie More won the game 53-46.  Coach Christian McGhee will rely on junior Riyen Carlow and sophomore Beau Donovan to contribute even more than they already have.  Good luck to Ale Rama as he finishes his senior year and prepares for college at South Dakota School of Mines where Ale will play basketball and get a great education. 

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