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    Weekly Top 10 - February 25

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of February 25, 2019.

    10.) The post season has started.  My look at seeds brings me to conclusions about the undervalued seeds in each class.

    AA – Huron … the Tigers have a potent junior duo: Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers; late season skid has led to drop in seed to 9. 

    A – Dakota Valley … twelve teams are seeded higher than the Panthers.  Among their losses are three to top teams in Iowa and to Tea and Sioux Falls Christian.  Sophomore guard Paul Bruns keeps them in every game.

    B – Bridgewater Emery … The 7 seed Huskies behind Sawyer Schultz are on the short list of probable Class B champs … they are a 7 seed that no number 2 seed (currently Timber Lake) wants to face.

    9.) My last installment of top 8th graders and freshmen is in and you can watch some of these young men as the post season plays out.

    You need to add Brian Laroche from Lower Brule to the list of best 8th graders in the state.  Brian is a slick ball handling guard with excellent defensive skills and the ability to both score on drives and from the perimeter. 

    There is another 8th grader on the rise from Mt. Vernon Plankinton where 5’11 guard Reed Rus has been playing and contributing on the varsity for the Titans.  Reed has a bright future for MVP.

    Freshman Harrison Reede is earning more playing time for Aberdeen Roncalli.  He is taking advantage of that court time by launching and making treys.  With Harrison and sophomore Grayden Imbery playing well, the future looks bright for the Green Cavaliers. 

    Freshman guard Lathan Prince is earning more playing time for Stanley County as he matures into a good-looking player for the Buffaloes while racking up double figure scoring games.  The multi-sport athlete has already established in track and field and on the football field.

    Groton is very young with just one senior.  One of the youngest players seeing big minutes and contributing as one of the Tigers leading scorers is freshman guard Kaden Kurtz.  Kaden saw action last year as an 8th grader and is really growing into his role on this team in his freshman season.

    Canistota has a star in the making with freshman guard Isiah Robertson who recently had a high game of 23 points.  Isiah is another multi-sport player having established himself as a running back on the state champion Canistota football team.

    Freshman Bennett Schwenn from Milbank is playing more as the season progresses.  The 5’11 guard is athletic with very springy legs and is going to be a very good player for the Bulldogs.  He already holds the school record for the triple jump with 41 feet … as an 8th grader.

    Sutton Fritz is a freshman guard for Deuel averaging 10 points per game.  Sutton is one of the leading freshman scorers in Class A.  He plays well with the underclassmen on the team and has a bright future.

    Parker Puetz is a 6’2 freshman guard for Sioux Valley.  Parker is earning playing time on the basketball court.  He is another multi-sport athlete in the Class of 2022 as he also plays quarterback for the Cossacks.

    Freshman Jacob Krempges is a point guard for West Central.  Jacob has shown the ability to shoot from the perimeter and score for the Trojans.

    Owen Besmer is a freshman guard for Tri Valley.  Owen continues to earn playing time as the season progresses.  He has led TV in scoring in recent games.

    Freshman Conner Libby for Irene Wakonda is emerging as a solid scoring and rebounding complement to star trey King.  Conner has several recent double figure scoring games … including a 26 point game against Menno.

    Freshman Quincy Blue from Freeman Academy/Marion is a 6’0 guard who has been the leading scorer for the Bearcats multiple times this season.  He is a young leader on a very young … one senior … FAM team.

    Burke’s freshman guard Bryce Frank is carrying on the family name and filling up the stat sheet while playing significant minutes in the rotation.

    Stratton Eppard is a freshman guard for Chester.  Stratton played some last year as an 8th grader and is a big contributor for the Flyers.

    Potter County has two freshmen in the rotation: Cooper Logan and Grant Luikens.  Both are making major contributions for the 13-6 Battlers.  Both are future track stars and football players as well.

    Ipswich has another Kadlec on the rise … freshman guard Ty Kadlec is getting better as the season progresses and has multiple double figure scoring games to his credit.  Ty is one of the reasons Ipswich has been successful this season.  As with most of these outstanding 8th graders and freshmen making an impact at the varsity level, Ty is a multi-sport athlete and was a bright star on the track team as an 8th grader.

    8.) After weekend results, my top 10 regardless of class is in.

    1. Tea

    2. Sioux Falls Lincoln

    3. Yankton

    4. Sioux Falls Christian

    5. Sioux Falls O’Gorman

    6. Brandon Valley

    7. St Thomas More

    8. Pine Ridge

    9. White River

    10. Sioux Falls Roosevelt

    10. Rapid City Stevens

    10. Clark Willow Lake

    10. Bridgewater Emery

    7.) Some of the big games across the state last week include:

    Clark Willow Lake on the road over Aberdeen Roncalli 59-58.  This locks up the 7th straight NEC title for the Cyclones.  Micah Burke was hot as he hit 9 of 10 for 20 points.  Roncalli could not defend him in the 1st half and the Cyclones did a nice job of finding him in the offense.  Max Reede scored 25 as he hit 6 treys.  Jacob Prouty hit two free throws in the final 20 seconds for the win.  He scored 17.  Roncalli had a chance to win on a final shot … and missed.

    Sully Buttes over Aberdeen Christian 59-54 in overtime at AC.  Junior Nick Wittler got a taste of playing and winning on the last Saturday night of the season last year and is doing his best to push Sully Buttes to the same outcome this season.  Nick tied the game with a three pointer at the end of regulation as he scored 34 in the victory.  For AC, Jackson Becker scored 22 and Andrew Rorhbach 14 … those two combined for 2 more than Wittler scored himself. 

    It was the Cardinals vs the Cardinals in Arlington as they beat Dell Rapids St Mary 64-50.  Arlington is the 2 seed behind DeSmet and ahead of Wolsey Wessington in Region 3B.  Devon Heuer scored 29.  DRSM is the 2 seed behind Hanson in Region 4B.  Connor Libis scored 25 in the loss.

    Dakota Valley beat Lennox 78-70 in a matchup of Region 4A teams.  Lennox finished as the 2 seed and DV is 3 seed.  It puts both teams on the same side of the bracket and opposite Tea meaning they are on a course to meet again for one of the 4A South Dakota 16 spots.

    Sioux Falls Christian beat Madison 65-61.  The loss breaks a six game win streak for Madison and drops them to the 2 seed in Region 2A behind 1 seed Sioux Valley.  Both SV and Madison get first round byes and are on opposite sides of the bracket.

    Rapid City Stevens over Sturgis 64-63.  Stevens is a top 5 AA team with a 14-6 record.  Sturgis is the 8 seed at 15-5.  However, upon closer review of the Scoopers record we see they have only one win over an AA team with a winning record: 48-42 over Huron in early February.  Stevens will ride the DWU commit, Dylan Pourier, long and hard … he led the Raiders with 17.  6’7 junior post Mason Steele had 14/12.  Sturgis had a six game winning streak stopped, and star Ryan Garland scored 23.

    One of the best Class A teams played one of the best AA teams in Yankton when St Thomas More played the Bucks.  This game was indicative of how the top teams in the two largest classes don’t even have one degree of separation.  Yankton prevailed 64-59 in overtime.  As usual, Matthew Mors was the big gun for the Bucks scoring 34.  However, it was senior night at Yankton and two seniors were at least part of the story in the win.  Senior Rex Ryken returned from an injury to play on senior night and scored 6.  Senior Owen Feser forced overtime with a last second shot after the Cavaliers Caden Casey had put More up by two with 14 seconds left.  Casey scored 32 for STM.

    Little Wound, the Mustangs don’t get much respect out in Region 7A with Pine Ridge and Red Cloud and Winner dominating the region seed points.  Pine Ridge hosted LW last week and had just enough in the tank to hold off the Mustangs 76-75.  The Thorpes are widely considered a title contender in Class A … the Mustangs will have to spring an upset or two to make the state tournament.  This game demonstrated Little Wound’s competitiveness.  For Pine Ridge, Halin Bad Bear scored 22, Charles Schrader 14, and Corey Brown had 8 rebounds.  Little Wound was led by Tex anis with 24/13 and Mankato Lebeau with 18.

    The top seed in Region 8A is STM.  That puts seeds 2 and 3 on the other side of the bracket.  Those two teams played each other Friday night and Hot Springs beat Rapid City Christian 48-42 but Hot Springs still ended the regular season as the 3 seed to RC Christian as the 2 seed.  If both teams win their first round Region 8 games, they will meet again this Friday to determine one of the Region 8A South Dakota 16 qualifiers.  The Bison had a big lead early … the Comets came back to close the gap and even take the lead.  These two teams are veteran and evenly matched.  Kelton Harris led Hot Springs with 15.  Zane Schlabach led the Comets with 18. 

    Region 6A has one team above 500: Cheyenne Eagle Butte and one team at 500: Mobridge Pollock.  These two teams played twice in the last week and the Braves won both times: 63-48 and then 47-45.  Two teams will come out of the Region 6A playoff and it should be these two … barring the ubiquitous post season upset.  High scorers for CEB in the 63-48 win were Cecilio Montgomery with 22 and sophomore Rance Harrison with 18.  MP was led by Braxton Albers with 21 and Noah Feyereisen with a double 10/11.

    In a clash between two top Region 3B teams, DeSmet topped Wolsey Wessington 54-51.  DeSmet is the top seed and WW is 3 seed.  This puts DeSmet on one side of the bracket and Arlington and Wolsey Wessington on the opposite side.  Freshman Kalen Garry led the Bulldogs with 21 and Lynden Williams had 15/11 for WW.

    6.) Some big scoring games last week:

    Scott Lovre 22/18 in Deuel’s loss to Tiospa Zina.  Caleb White scored 17 for Tiospa Zina in the win over Deuel.  Nate Nielson scored 29 for Sisseton in a loss to Redfield Doland.  Trevor Sumption scored 20 for Leola Frederick over Florence Henry.  Sophomore Trever Burke scored 21/8 for Corsica Stickney over Parkston.  Joey Slama scored 29 for Bon Homme over Irene Wakonda.  Trey King scored 27/9 for Irene Wakonda.  Trevin Holland scored 20 for DeSmet over Elkton Lake Benton.  Trey Christensen scored 23/12 for Parker over Flandreau.  Tash Lunday 23/10 for Flandreau in the loss to Parker.  Tash Lunday 25/12 in Flandreau’s win over Baltic.  Kelby VanDerwerff scored 26 as Platte Geddes beat Wagner.  Paul Bruns scored 24/13 as Dakota Valley beat Lennox.  Will Daugherty had 26 as Lennox lost to Dakota Valley.  Max Nielson scored 26 for Sioux Valley over Flandreau Indian School.  Carter Shields scored 22 as Washington beat Mitchell.  Caden Hinker scored 22 in Mitchell’s loss to Washington.  Kellan Benck scored 26 as Deuel lost to Sisseton.  Karst Hunter scored 26 with 13 rebounds for Miller over Stanley County.  Tyler Schumacher added 22 for Miller.  Joey Fischer scored 25 for Stanley County in the loss to Miller.  Andes Central Dakota Christian beat freeman Academy Marion as Daaron Tronvold scored 23/11 and Cliff Johnson 22/8.  Thaniel Schroeder scored 22 as Freeman Academy Marion lost to AC/DC.  Brandon Volmer scored 22 for Winner over Stanley County.  Kobe Busch scored 29 for Huron in a loss to Harrisburg.  Teegan Evers added 23.  Blair Slaughter scored 23 as Harrisburg beat Huron.  Freshman Caden Hinker scored 23 as Mitchell beat Aberdeen Central.  Jacob Prouty scored 25 as CWL beat Arlington.

    5.) My predictions for Class B brackets:

    Region 1: this region goes 5 deep and has a potential final 4 team.

    Clark Willow Lake – the Cyclones are state title contenders powered by Jacob Prouty.  They will have to beat either Andrew Rorhbach and Aberdeen Christian or Kyler Meyer and Britton Hecla to advance.

    Northwestern – Zech Clemens and Caleb Schentzel are the 2nd best 1 -2 punch in the region and will beat Warner for the 2nd time this season.

    Region 2: this region is home to defending state champs Sully Buttes.

    Sully Buttes – the Chargers are not as loaded as last year but are still tough with Cameron Ogle and Nick Wittler.

    Leola Frederick – beat Potter County in overtime back in December.  I like LF behind Tanner Geffre to win again. 

    Region 3: this region has a surprise top 4 team: DeSmet … and a potential final 4 team.

    DeSmet – a loss to Clark Willow Lake and Hamlin are the only two stains on the Bulldogs record.  One of the top freshmen in the state: Kalen Garry and Mount Marty recruit Trevin Holland are a big-time duo.

    Arlington – doesn’t have any slug losses to a sub-500 team … Wolsey Wessington does.  Devon Heuer will power Arlington.

    Region 4: this region has stars on every top team … which star shines brightest, and which team has the best complementary players will decide the two SD 16 qualifiers. 

    Hanson – Reggie Slaba is a long-range sniper and the Beavers will avenge a mid-season loss to Sanborn Central Woonsocket.

    Dell Rapids St Mary – the Cardinals are 3-2 in their five overtime games this season and will avenge one of those losses, to Colman Egan, behind high scoring Connor Libis.

    Region 5: this region is complex … and has a potential final 4 team.  Two years ago, Bridgewater Emery won the state title behind three sophomores who are now seniors.  Viborg Hurley is tied for the most wins with (DeSmet also has 18).  Canistota is the only Class B team to beat presumptive number 1 White River. 

    Bridgewater Emery – Sawyer Schultz, Jamin Arend, and Carter Dye.

    Viborg Hurley – beats Canistota for the 2nd time behind Brodee Sherman and Chase Mason.

    Region 6: this region has teams with good looking records but none of the top teams has fared well when playing the top teams across the state. 

    Kimball White Lake – nice combination of twin towers and Javen Holan shooting from deep.

    Colome – Cowboys have a cake walk to SD 16 round.  Layton Thieman and Jackson Kinzer are a very good duo.

    Region 7: this region has been owned by White River and this season is no different … has a potential final 4 team.

    White River – state title contenders have leveraged transfer Luke Wells to the top of the polls.

    Jones County – have opened eyes of basketball fans outside of Jones County.  Morgan Feddersen will lead a senior heavy rotation.

    Region 8: this region is top heavy and especially with an excellent Timber Lake.

    Timber Lake – the Panthers played well in the state tourney last year with no seniors.  1000-point scorer Brayden PayPay fuels the engine.

    Lemmon – surprise team from the west with no seniors on the roster; led by juniors: Peyton Anderson, Alec O’Donnell, and Britt Oliver.

    4.) My predictions for Class A brackets:

    Region 1: this region has a top seed, Tiospa Zina, whose engine stalled a bit in February. 

    Tiospa Zina – had no trouble earlier in the season with either Groton or Milbank.  Transfer Caleb White is the difference maker.

    Aberdeen Roncalli – beat everybody on their side of the bracket and Max Reede has stepped up his game.

    Region 2: this region has the defending champs, Madison, and another long time power, Sioux Valley.

    Sioux Valley – Flandreau has upset potential as evidenced by their win over CWL; but Sioux Valley has more talent and Max Nielson.

    Madison – the Bulldogs showed steady improvement and the younger pups are better now … Nic Comes is the leader.

    Region 3: this region has a strong title contender: Sioux Falls Christian.

    Sioux Falls Christian – the Chargers are on the short list to play for the title and Mitchell Goodbary is the primary reason.

    West Central – beat Dell Rapids to start the season and will end the Quarriers season also.  Jackson Miller is the leader.

    Region 4: this region has the best team in the state: Tea.

    Tea – the Titans are the prohibitive favorite to play in their third straight A title game and their two D1 recruits are the primary reason: Noah Freidel and Justin Hohn.

    Dakota Valley – the Panthers just beat Lennox last week and the Orioles played Tea the closest of any South Dakota team in a one point loss.  Paul Bruns is the difference maker.

    Region 5: this region has some of the lowest enrollment Class A teams.

    Parker – the best this region has to offer.  Future college players Camden Bialas and Trey Christensen power the Pheasants.

    Platte Geddes – the Black Panthers beat main competition, Bon Homme, earlier in February and behind Kelby VanDerwerff will win again.

    Region 6: this region has only one team over 500: Cheyenne Eagle Butte. 

    Cheyenne Eagle Butte – the top seeded Braves have a bye and had better not overlook either Stanley County or Miller.  Cecilio Montgomery is the high scoring leader of the Braves.

    Mobridge Pollock – despite ending the regular season on a downer with four straight losses, the Tigers beat Crow Creek and Chamberlain in January … not a ringing endorsement?  Sorry, that is the best I can do.

    Region 7: this region features the best Reservation team: Pine Ridge.  Little Wound might have been the 2nd SD 16 qualifier is they were in the opposite side of the bracket from Pine Ridge.

    Pine Ridge – the Thorpes are loaded with experience and talent.  Halin Bad Bear, Corey Brown, and Charles Schrader are the leaders.

    Winner – the warriors heated up in the 2nd half of the season and Brandon Volmer was the main reason.

    Region 8: this region has one of the best in Class A: St Thomas More.’

    St Thomas More – the Cavaliers will coast into the SD 16.  Caden Casey is really burning the nets and Ryder Kirsch is a top tier player.

    Hot Springs – the Bison will beat Rapid City Christian for the 2nd time in a week.  Matt Norton and Kelton Harris are a pair of really good guards.

    3.) My predictions for Class AA brackets:

    Class AA will send forward the top 16 seeds into the SD 16.  

    Lincoln over Mitchell – Kernels have two chances against top seed Lincoln: slim and none.   Star Jared Jaros will lead the Patriots to victory.

    Yankton over Aberdeen Central – Bucks will ride the best player in the state, Matthew Mors, as far as he can carry the defending champs.

    O’Gorman over Pierre – Governors only win in their last 11 games was over two-win Mitchell.  OG and Mount Marty commit Luke Ronsiek roll.

    Brandon Valley over Brookings – the Bobcats are playing better now but the Lynx have too much talent: Evan Talcott, Carter Olthoff, and Jackson Hilton.

    RC Stevens over RC Central – the Raiders are hot, and Dylan Pourier is the main reason.

    Roosevelt over Washington – the Rough Riders and Tucker West are just too talented. 

    Watertown over Huron – a month ago I would have flipped this pick.  The Arrows are the hottest team in AA behind Solomon Bach.

    Harrisburg over Sturgis – the Tigers limp into the post season but still have more juice than Sturgis.  Blair Slaughter and Nick Hoyt bring senior leadership.

    2.) Final 4 predictions:

    Class B

    White River

    Clark Willow Lake


    Bridgewater Emery

    Class A


    Sioux Falls Christian

    St Thomas More

    Pine Ridge

    Class AA





    1.) The number one tidbit comes from the northeast, centered in the Britton Hecla area.  That is where Kyler Meyer plays for his father and is the senior leader for the Britton Hecla Braves.  Kyler recently scored his 1000th point in a win over Aberdeen Christian where he totaled 24 points.  Kyler will continue is basketball playing career at DWU next year.

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