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Pierre boys, Mitchell girls marked top teams this season by ESD coaches

A few weeks into basketball season, Eastern South Dakota Conference coaches have sighted the teams to beat.

In the poll given by The Daily Republic to conference coaches last week, 13 of 16 head coaches submitted votes. Not all coaches who participated voted in both boys' and girls' rankings.

On the boys' side, the ESD coaches said Pierre, Brandon Valley, Huron and Watertown were the top teams in the conference.

Pierre (2-2), which lost its top spot in this week's sportswriter's poll when it suffered losses from Brandon Valley and Sioux Falls Roosevelt, last week, was given seven first-place votes from the coaches. All eight boys' coaches voted in the poll.

Watertown (3-0), which is ranked fourth in the poll this week, also received one first-place vote, along with one second-place vote, one third-place vote and two fourth-place votes. Brandon Valley (3-0) is ranked second in the poll behind Roosevelt. The Lynx earned two second-place tallies, three third-place votes and one fourth-place mark.

Huron (4-1) earned three second-place votes and two third-place tallies from conference coaches. The Tigers were slated as the fourth best team this week, according to the poll.

Brookings (3-1), Mitchell (2-4), Aberdeen Central (0-4) and Yankton (0-3) did not receive any top votes by the coaches.

However, Mitchell's girls' team swept the board in first-place votes in the poll. The Kernels (5-0) earned seven first-place tallies and are the top-ranked team in the girls' basketball poll.

Mitchell is the defending Class AA state champion and head coach Wes Morgan tabbed his team as the best in the conference.

Aberdeen Central (3-0), which is ranked third in the poll, tallied four second-place votes by ESD coaches. Pierre (3-0), which is slated fourth in the statewide poll, earned one third-place mark, and Brandon Valley (2-2) was given two third-place votes.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.