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    Forum Pollsters Class A Poll: 2-21-19

    Pollsters haven’t lost their pith, actually gained some of its viscosity in the cold.  Contributing pith and insight this week are rufus, Artis Gilmore, Jackalope and yours truly. 

    1. Tea Area (40 pts)
    2. St. Thomas More (36 pts)
    3. Sioux Falls Christian (30 pts)
    4. TIE Pine Ridge, Lennox (26 pts)
    6. Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (18 pts)
    7. Tiospa Zina (10 pts)
    8. Madison (7 pts)
    9. Hot Springs (6 pts)
    10. TIE Parker, Winner (5 pts)
    12. Dakota Valley (4 pts)
    13. TIE RC Christian, Red Cloud (3 pts)
    15. Dell Rapids (1 pt) 

    Honorable Mention: Aberdeen Roncalli, Todd County, Vermillion, Little Wound, West Central, Tri Valley 

    General pithy comments from the pollsters: 

    HUGE jump by CEB in the polls this week, similar drop by Red Cloud. Pollsters are getting kind of fickle it seems so late in the season. 

    Not as much to report this week in the "A" ranks as most region leaders sit on commanding leads. Except in the "other" nearly forgotten region 2, where Sioux Valley is hanging on to the number one spot by a thread over the Bulldogs from Madison, who have sprung to life of late with some bite to go along with their growl.  

    The Cossacks won't get much of a point bump when they beat the Flandreau Indian School this week.  And the Blue Empire will not forget the beat down they took at the hands of SF Christian last week, and it is with near certainty that their next several opponents will pay a heavy price for it. 

    As the regular season draws to a close, you can see the regions with more than two worthy teams ... like Regions 4 and 7; and those regions with less than two worthy teams ... like Regions 5 and 6.  Oh well ... it happens every year.   

    I am still not sold with the “on paper” strength of Region 8.   If you look at Seed Points as a barometer of relative strength, then St Thomas More, Rapid City Christian, and Hot Springs are all better than Tiospa Zina, Roncalli, Madison, Sioux Valley, Dell Rapids, West Central, Dakota Valley, Little Wound.   Sorry, but I am still not buying it, except for STM.

    I would bet Da Prof’s Sports Buzzard paycheck that whomever joins Tommie More out of Region 8 will get smoked in the South Dakota 16 games. 

    I can hear it now: the losers in Regions 4 and 7 are going to whine so loud you would think they are babies about the injustice of teams like: take your pick from Regions 5 and 6 as there will be plenty of softies served up in the S.D. 16 from those barren basketball regions. 

    LENNOX
    After falling one point short of pulling off the upset of the decade, the angry orange birds rebound with convincing wins over two very solid teams, Beresford and Dell Rapids.

    The Lennox faithful would have us vote the Orioles 2nd right behind Tea based on their one point loss to Tea.   Sorry, but it is a season long body of work that all responsible Sportsbuzz pollsters work with.

    HOT SPRINGS
    Bison have a chance to shore up some Region 8 home court advantage if they can sweep Spearfish and Rapid City Christian this week.

    DAKOTA VALLEY

    TIOSPA ZINA
    Wambdi go down in a huge Cyclone in Clark.

    The Wambdi were flattened by the Cyclones in Clark County.   

    Tiospa Zina will get back in the win column when they travel to Deuel County.  

    Tiospa Zina was warned about the fury of the Cyclones season that happens every February and March in and around Clark County but you really have to experience it to fully appreciate.   

    WINNER
    Winner is coming up a winner more often than a loser this season. 

    The Warriors are ready to go to war as they want that trip to Sioux Falls in March.

    The Pheasants were flying higher than the Flyers when Chester came to town. 

    MADISON
    After extensive obedience school, these young canines have finally adapted to Coach Larsen's no nonsense drill sergeant style, have grown their winter coats, and have now put the bite on six straight.

    The Bulldogs are regaining their bite as they ride a 5 game win streak. 

    The Bulldogs young pups are finally understanding what it takes to win at the varsity level.   Can Madison repeat?   No!

    ABERDEEN RONCALLI
    Green Cavaliers lose a nail biter to their NEC rivals the Clark Willow Lake Cyclones. 

    SIOUX FALLS CHRISTIAN
    The Schipper may not have Ginger and Mary Ann on deck, but he does have the next best thing, the Mitchell brothers (Goodbary and Oostra), who keep rolling over the AA competition, this time the Harrisburg Tigers.

    Ho hum, the Chargers beat another Class AA team from Harrisburg.   The competition against Class A teams is tougher. 

    Sioux Falls Christian proved on the floor that they are better than yet another AA team.  

    Some Tigers escaped from the Sioux Falls Zoo or maybe it was from around Harrisburg and Mr. Goodbar and the Schipper turned their gym into a Tiger taming exhibit.   

    PINE RIDGE
    Thorpes finish the season strong with six straight wins, including over Roncalli and Little Wound, not exactly push-over teams. 

    Pine Ridge is looking forward to the S.D. 16 and showing the East River types that they are worthy of playing in the A tournament in Sioux Falls. 

    The Thorpes will be in the A tournament .... you can bet on that. 

    ST. THOMAS MORE
    Blue Empire runs roughshod over their southern Ranger neighbors from Hill City, but don't look now Cavaliers, there is an angry herd of buffalo in your rear view mirror coming at you for a rematch.

    Coach Hollenbeck is happy to be back in The Black Hills and eating at their own dining rooms and sleeping in their own beds after that long trip to Mitchell last week. 

    That Blue Cavalier the SD Highway Patrol saw speeding away from the Bison road kill looked to be shooting less blue smoke than the version seen puffing away at low speed from the Corn Crib ..... in-season engine overhaul maybe? 

    Ford has a newly designed Ranger on the road but the old reliable Blue Cavalier put it to shame in that drag race down I-90 west of Rapid City.  

    RC CHRISTIAN
    Still only three losses, but if you read between the lines, its starting to look like the Catholics may still have the Protestants' number again this year.

    SIOUX VALLEY
    The Cossack white coat assistants have less than two weeks to get their muscle man Noah Puetz through physical rehab to shore up the paint against their next sweet sixteen opponent.  

    TEA AREA
    Not much to say about the Titans except they have beaten everyone they were supposed to beat, and even beat most of the teams they weren't supposed to. Some Orange birds just to the south were their biggest in state challenger, and might be looking forward to a post season rematch.

    Tea gets a breather game this week against Beresford before they get a bye in the first round of the post season. 

    Tea decided to turn up the volume again after a pair of close calls the previous week and Elk Point Jefferson got caught in the noise level.

    A pack of Huskies pulling a sled through the snow from south of Tea on I-29 was hit by a Titan packed with Tea basketball players and the Huskies and their sled did not survive the impact.   

    LITTLE WOUND
    Mustangs get the short straw and will face the Thorpes in first round playoff action. 

    DELL RAPIDS
    Those miners from Dell Rapids tried to put an Oriole instead of a canary down the mine shaft to test for carbon monoxide.  The Orioles came out winners in this game. 

    WINNER
    Pollsters finally showing some love to the Warriors. An Ale-less ‘Sader team all of the suddent looks beatable. 

    RED CLOUD
    So unfortunate that the supply of the ultimate basketball energy drink, Crusader Ale, is now exhausted, as Mr. Rama rehabs and prepares for college ball with the Hardrockers. The remaining Crusaders vow to not go down without a fight.

    TODD COUNTY
    Falcons look to be the odd man out in Region 7 playoff derby. 

    PARKER
    Pheasants get dinged hard for losing to Viborg-Hurley a couple of weeks ago before the Cougars were number one in Class B, so I suppose we can cut them some slack now. 

    Playing all those Class B teams helps the record but will only hurt Parker in March.   Three of the Pheasants 4 losses are to B teams ... well maybe the B teams are not helping Parker’s record. 

    Parker has back to back Flyers/Fliers coming to Parker and then they travel to Parkston to try on the ultra-thin Trojans for comfort and fit.   

    CHEYENNE-EAGLE BUTTE
    While other teams falter down the stretch, Braves have rattled off five in a row to slowly climb in the polls.

    Cheyenne Eagle Butte still has 25 percent of their schedule left while most teams are done with their regular season or maybe have a game left.  The Braves should be sharper in the post season as a result. 

    The Braves victory over Winner two weeks ago is starting to look like a quality win.   

    QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? CONTACT C.C. O’HARRA AT: admin@sdsportsbuzz.com

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