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    Weekly Top 10 - March 18

    Here it is: The Weekly Jackalope Top 10 for the week of March 18, 2019.

    10.) The games are all played and it is official: we have three new champs.    

    AA – Brandon Valley – the last time the Lynx played in the championship game was 2013 when they lost to Pierre.  Their last championship was 1998 when Austin Hansen led the Lynx to victory over O’Gorman.

    A – Tea – the Titans have played in the last three title games winning this year and in 2017 over Madison.

    B – Clark Willow Lake – the Cyclones win their first ever state title after falling just short last year against Sully Buttes. 

    9.) The recap of the B tournament:

    It was a Boom Cyclone weather phenomenon across the state last week.  It hit hardest in Aberdeen where the Clark Willow Lake Cyclones blew through three games to win the Class B championship. 

    Three of the four lower seeds won opening round games.  8 seed Viborg Hurley over 1 seed White River; 5 seed DeSmet over 4 seed Jones County; 7 seed Bridgewater Emery over 2 seed Timber Lake; 3 seed CWL over 6 seed Sully Buttes.

    White River lost two regular season games.  One loss was to a loaded Pine Ridge team that ended up 3rd in Class A.  The other loss was to a team with good guards, athletic, well coached, and with an offense capable of beating the Tigers pressure defense to get/make high percentage shots: Canistota.  Viborg Hurley has the same characteristics as Canistota.  It was not smoke and mirrors that carried the Cougars into the state tournament with a 21-2 record … tied with DeSmet for the best record in B. 

    Viborg Hurley’s Brodee Sherman had a great opening round game with 31 points … including 14-16 free throws.  The trio of sophomore starters for the Cougars foretell continued success next season.  One of the sophomores, Chase Mason, displayed his spectacular athleticism. 

    Jones County and their great senior class almost pulled it out against the young DeSmet Bulldogs.  I saw the Bulldogs freshman Kalen Garry early in the season, twice at mid-season and then again in the playoffs.  When I first watched him, I reserved my “best freshman” in Class B pronouncement.   At midseason I thought he had earned it.  The young man has the uncanny ability to always be around the ball … loose balls are a magnet to him.  He is a tough rebounder and an excellent scorer.  Kalen physically looks like a freshman but he plays with the skills and poise of a senior.  Fellow freshman Rett Osthus had a nice first round game also. 

    Timber lake played well enough to beat Bridgewater Emery.  Brayden PayPay had a huge game with 25 points and Isaac Kraft played a nice floor game.  Sawyer Schultz had a double double with 25/11.

    Clark Willow Lake vs Sully Buttes was a reprise of last year’s state championship won by SB … except the Cyclones turned the score around and blitzed the Chargers this time.  It was 15-0 after the first quarter.  The blowout enabled all the Cyclones to see court time but Jacob Prouty and Stone Burke and Micah Burke in the post led the way to victory. 

    The Clark Willow Lake semifinal game with Bridgewater Emery was good enough and close enough to be the state title game as the Cyclones won 56-55.  Too bad these two teams were on the same side of the bracket as 3 and 7 seeds.  The score was tied 8 times and there were 9 lead changes … that is a heckuva game.  Sawyer Schultz scored 25 with 12 rebounds.  Jacob Prouty was once again the best player on the floor … as he is in so many big games.  Jacob scored 37 and played a great floor game.  Micah Burke dominated inside with 12 points and 16 rebounds. 

    The championship game was a rematch of a game played in early December at DeSmet that resulted in a 22 point win for CWL.  Both teams have grown since then but especially the Bulldogs.  I doubt in December that very many people had a bracket with DeSmet playing in the final game on Saturday night.  Starting two freshmen, two sophomores, and a senior, DeSmet’s young players have matured into seasoned players after 20 plus games.  Kalen Garry is a freshman star.  The title game result: DeSmet 41 and Jacob Prouty 35.  The CWL team kept the pedal to the metal and won 49-41.  The Burke boys (Micah and Stone) dominated inside and Stone especially with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  Stone, just a junior, will be a load next season but the Cyclones will be hit hard with graduation losses. 

    Bridgewater Emery and their outstanding seniors: Sawyer Schultz, Jamin Arend, and Carter Dye, finished up a terrific three year run with their second straight 3rd place finish following a state championship as sophomores.  Their three year record: 69-9. 

    Nick Wittler of Sully Buttes scored 38 in a consolation round win over Timber Lake.

    Tyson Iyotte of White River scored 28 as the Tigers beat Sully Buttes for 5th

    Sophomore Chase Mason scored 20 for VH in their loss to BE in the 3rd place game. 

    8.) The recap of the A tournament:

    The only “close” quarterfinal game was Lennox over St Thomas More 48-40. 

    Tea beat Dell Rapids behind Noah Freidel with 25 and Justin Hohn with 19.  

    Sioux Falls Christian ended defending champ Madison’s title chase behind 31/12 from Mitchell Goodbary.

    Pine Ridge, the only non-DAK XII team in the semifinals, poured it on Hot Springs with a well balanced display of power.

    Lennox did a lot of things right in their win over St Thomas More … like out rebound the Cavaliers and defensively hold them to 28% shooting.  Brock Anderson had a huge game with 11 rebounds and Will Daugherty shot 3 of 4 from behind the three point line. 

    Tea wins their 2nd title in three years with a 68-57 win over Sioux Falls Christian.  Noah Freidel contributed 17/12 and Justin Hohn scored 19 and had 6 assists.  Pine Ridge played the Titans as close as anybody in the semifinals before losing 57-51.  Tea played in the last three state championship games.  Coach Fechner wins his last game and retires.

    The Dak XII conference confirmed what many had already thought: this is the best conference in the state.  How the conference teams finished:

    Tea – 1st

    SFC – 2nd

    Lennox – 4th

    Dell Rapids – 6th

    Madison – 7th

    Pine Ridge and their outstanding senior class completed a strong season with a 3rd place finish behind Halen Bad Bear and Corey Brown.

    7.) The recap of the AA tournament:

    Yankton was the only defending champ to survive the opening round of the state tournament by beating Huron 62-42.  Star Matthew Mors has some scoring help as junior Cooper Corneman led the Bucks with 29.  Huron’s Kobe Busch scored half of the Tigers points with 21. 

    Harrisburg upset top seed Lincoln 41-39.  Harrisburg lost 5 of their last 8 regular season games including an 18 point loss to Lincoln.  That’s why the game is played on the court and not on paper.  This was an ugly game with poor shooting rampant from both teams … from both the field and free throw line.

    O’Gorman pounded Roosevelt behind a double double from the guy with the double double name: Akoi Akoi.  The Knights were the hottest team in AA entering the tournament … but I really don’t think that means much today.

    Brandon Valley’s Carter Olthoff matched Rapid City Stevens’s Dylan Pourier with 21 points each.  The Lynx got unexpected scoring from 6’8 Gavin Terhark with 18 … offsetting the low scoring game from Evan Talcott with … plus 10 big rebounds.

    O’Gorman beat Yankton in a semifinal game that will be talked about for ages as the game that triggered the SDHSAA to adopt instant replay in basketball.  In the only 1921 second game played in the history of South Dakota basketball, O’Gorman beat Yankton 43-42 on a shot by Luke Ronsiek at the 1921 second mark … and then the horn went off ending the Yankton title hopes.  Made me wonder two things: what does the person upstairs have against the Bucks?   And, how would the Bucks have fared against Brandon Valley?  What a way to be eliminated in your title defense.

    Brandon Valley made it a boys and girls sweep in AA after the Lynx beat O’Gorman 54-47.   

    Top seed Lincoln must have peaked in February as they ended up 6th.

    BV did what was needed to win the championship: play three good games in three days.  When you have seniors like Carter Olthoff and Evan Talcott, you stand a better chance of playing and winning those three good games. 

    Harrisburg’s Nick Hoyt played well … including a 29 point game.

    Stevens could have used some help for standout senior Dylan Pourier. 

    Matthew Mors performed well enough to play in the championship game again.  With junior Cooper Corneman emerging as a scoring threat, the Bucks will be a title contender in 2019-20.

    6.) Class B Top 10 + for 2019-20

    1. DeSmet – four starters return including freshman star Kalen Garry

    2. White River – four junior starters return including Tyson Iyotte and Luke Wells

    3. Viborg Hurley – return super sophomore Chase Mason and two other starters

    4. Canistota – only two seniors on roster and Trey and Tyce Ortman return

    5. Dell Rapids St Mary – sophomore stars Connor Libis and Max Herber return

    6. Platte Geddes – return to Class B where sophomore Kelby VanDerWerff will be an instant star; only one senior on the roster

    7. Lemmon – no seniors on the roster where juniors had to be the leaders: Alec O’Donnell, Peyton Anderson, Britt Oliver, and Jimal Storm

    8. Hanson – star guard Reggie Slaba and a pair of sophomore bigs: Riley Ferry and Hayden Bahmuller will be back

    9. Sully Buttes – return three starters including star guard Nick Wittler

    10. Corsica Stickney – good nucleus of sophomores led by Brendan Wentland

    10. Aberdeen Christian – plenty of returning talent surrounding Andrew Rorhbach

    10. Northwestern – juniors Zech Clemens and Dalton Peterson keep the Wildcats competitive

    10. Warner – sophomore Landon Leidholt will lead the Monarchs

    10. Herreid Selby – everybody back including standout junior Clayton Randall

    10. Arlington – only two seniors on the roster and big man Casey Stegeman will be back

    10. Marty – return lots ot talent including Toriano Bohannon and Xavier Hare

    10. Lower Brule – will be good with Shane Sazue and Brian Laroche back

    10. Harding County – no seniors on the roster and high scoring Zack Anders and Camden Hett return

    5.) Class A Top 10 + for 2019-20

    1. St Thomas More – all five starters are back; including Ryder Kirsch and Caden Casey

    2. Sioux Valley – Cossacks will be very good with Max Nielson in the backcourt

    3. Dell Rapids – return four starters; including Connor and Colin Rentz

    4. Vermillion – one senior on the roster; Sam Ward and Max Mayer will be back

    5. Sioux Falls Christian – Chargers always seem to be in the top 10 conversation and with 6’7 Zach Witte will be again

    6. Lennox – starters Josh Arlt and Will Daugherty return

    7. Tiospa Zina – plenty of playmakers will be back; including Caleb White and Jameson Pratt

    8. Dakota Valley – will be good with star Paul Bruns back

    9. Parkston – Trojans have a solid junior class; including Braden Bruening

    10. McCook Central Montrose – plenty of returning talent led by Koltan Lindstrom

    10. Aberdeen Roncalli – still have a Reede (Harrison) and sophomore Grayden Imbery

    10. Madison – Bulldogs seem to peak in March; Tyler Tappe will extend that trend

    10. Flandreau – stud freshman Tash Lunday will lead the Fliers

    10. Red Cloud – Riyen Carlow and Beau Donovan had to step up when Ale Rama was injured; they will be the leaders next year

    10. Custer – only one senior on the roster; Jace Kelley returns

    4.) Class AA Top 5 + for 2019-20

    1. Yankton – one word: Matthew Mors

    2. O’Gorman – return three starters; Jack Cartwright, Akoi Akoi, Zach Norton

    3. Roosevelt – lots of returning talent; sophomores Tyler Feldkamp and Tucker Large

    4. Huron – two stud juniors return; Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers

    5. Stevens – return 6’7 Mason Steele and guard Daniel Vigoren … junior class is solid

    5. Brandon Valley – Jackson Hilton and Gavin Terhark will be back

    5. Aberdeen Central – junior class is deep led by Andrew Bergan and sophomore Reece Burckhard

    3.) Scott Schultz guided Bridgewater Emery to a 3rd place finish as they entered the tournament a 7 seed.  Their semifinal game with Clark Willow Lake was state championship game caliber as the Huskies lost 56-55.  Scott finished the season with 403 career wins.  Congratulations on a great season and a long and successful career!

    2.) Matthew Mors of Yankton is the Gatorade South Dakota Player of the Year.  This is awarded based on outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.  Congratulations to Matthew!

    1.) The number one tidbit of the week comes from Rapid City where the AA tournament games were played.   Yankton’s super sophomore Matthew Mors is now the Yankton boys career scoring leader with 1719 after passing former Buck standout Chad Nelson who scored 1668 in his distinguished career.  The AA all time record is former Aberdeen Central star Eric Kline with 2025.   That record should fall in January or February 2020. 

     Finally:

    This is a request for the SDHSAA to adopt instant replay in basketball … under very limited circumstances.   Thank You!

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