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Still perfect: Area basketball teams holding unbeaten records

PLATTE -- Coming off a 60-51 win over Douglas Saturday at the East/West Classic in Chamberlain, the Platte-Geddes boys' basketball team is 4-0.

The Black Panthers, one of five Class A boys' teams still unbeaten, are playing in three classics this year, including the Dakota Schooler's Classic on Jan. 12 and the Hanson Classic on Jan. 19. Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler said while classics are good to help teams get ready for postseason atmosphere, his squad will also have some tough regular-season opponents such as Chamberlain, Todd County and Harrisburg, just to name a few.

"Usually you think you're going to play a really good opponent in those classics, but I don't know if you should treat it any differently," said Cutler, who's in his 24th year as head coach.

At the Schooler's Classic, Platte-Geddes will play Dakota Valley, which is 4-0 this season and was the Class A state-runner-up a season ago. Pairings for the Hanson Classic have not yet been determined.

Before Platte-Geddes takes the court against Dakota Valley, it plays Corsica/Stickney today in Corsica and travels to Harrisburg Saturday.

"We're happy to be undefeated still," Cutler said. "We've had good balance and good scoring. We've also had rebounding from a bunch of different people, which we think is a strength of ours.

"I think we've had parts of our games where we've played really well, but we haven't been consistent for a whole game."

Leading the scoring for the Black Panthers this season are Tate Van Zee and Matthew Randall, who each average 12 points per game. Coby Johnson averages 10.3 points and seven rebounds per game and Randall leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game.

SCW boys have plenty of scorers

Several scorers have helped the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket boys' basketball team to a 4-0 record.

Co-head coaches Rod Weber and Troy Olson have watched their team average 66.7 points per game, led by senior forward Nick Miller's 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

"We have quite a few kids playing very unselfishly," Weber said. "We're also taking care of the basketball."

Other players on the team averaging in double-scoring figures are Davion Brooks at 13 points per game and Todd Stekl at 12 points per game.

This is the second year of the cooperative between Sanborn Central and Woonsocket in basketball and the second year Weber and Olson have shared duties as head coach.

"I think it's a lot of give and take for the coaches, but we want to set the example that if we can work together, then the kids from each school can work together also," Weber said.

Last year, the Blackhawks finished the season winning five of their six final games, but were defeated by Wolsey-Wessington in the semifinals of the district tournament.

Up next for Sanborn Central/Woonsocket is a game today against Andes Central in Woonsocket.

Last year's state tourney helping Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls this year

After taking fourth place at the state tournament a year ago, the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls' basketball team is dominating its opponents early this year.

SCW (4-0) has beaten all of its opponents by double-digit figures, including a 45-point victory on Dec. 13 over Tripp-Delmont/Armour. Its other wins are by margins of 29, 18 and 38 points.

"We do have some tough games coming up that will provide some challenges for us," head coach Tim McCain said.

SCW, which is in its second year as a cooperative, returned all five of its starters from last year's squad. Shelby Selland, a junior center, leads the team with 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Marissa Weber averages 13 points and Rachelle Moore is at 11 points per game.

"We have some size, speed and a nice inside game to go along with some shooters from the perimeter," McCain said.

Up next for SCW is Mount Vernon/Plankinton Saturday in Plankinton.

Hanson boys not looking at last year's accomplishments

It's pretty easy to see why the Hanson boys' basketball team is 6-0.

Four of the Beavers' five starters are averaging in double-scoring figures, including sophomore guard Jordan Marquardt at 20 points per game.

"That has a lot to do with it right there," Hanson coach Josh Oltmanns said. "Even when Jordan has been down with single digits a couple of the games, someone else will step up."

Matt Huber is averaging 14 points, Sam Vander Stouwe is at 12 points and Trey Persson at 11 points per game this season.

Last year, Oltmanns and the Beavers took fifth place at the Class B state tournament. But that's in the past.

" 'Last year' is a term that no one is allowed to use," Oltmanns said. "That was last year's team and this year's team will make its own identity. Last year was fun and great, but we want to see what we can do this year."

Oltmanns listed wins over Bridgewater-Emery and Ethan as memorable ones early in the season. Up next for the Beavers is a road game Friday against Freeman Academy in Freeman.

Hanson girls winning despite tough schedule

Seven wins to open the season have not been an easy task for the Hanson girls' basketball team.

With an overtime win over Ethan to open the year, victories over two Class A teams and a big win at the Parkston Classic, Hanson head coach Jim Bridge says his team's successes are because of unselfish play. Last year, the Beavers were 3-3 early in the season.

Bridge, whose team took sixth at the Class B state tournament last year, said he knew going into the season the schedule was tough. But seven wins right away?

"Scheduling-wise, I thought we were capable of it," Bridge said. "But I don't know if I would have expected it. You have to be realistic against some of these teams."

Bridge didn't pick one game or another that sticks out, but he said his team did a good job of playing a complete game in the win over Centerville last week at the Parkston Classic.

While several players are seeing minutes for the Beavers, Cassidy Graham is leading the team at 15 points per game. Kynedi Cheeseman is at 12 points per game, Kendra Cheeseman is at 10 points per game and Lindsi Dey is the team's leading rebounder, averaging 7.5 per game.

"Our younger kids are making our older kids work hard every day," Bridge said. "This is as good as balance and depth as I ever had."

Kimball/White Lake led by Kirsch, Taylor

Last season, the Kimball/White Lake WiLdKats lost in the District 10B championship game to Mount Vernon in a back-and-forth game that went down to the final seconds.

KWL (5-0) opened its season with a 59-56 win over the newly formed cooperative Mount Vernon/Plankinton, which now plays in Class A. The WiLdKats have also defeated Mitchell Christian, Highmore-Harrold, Iroquois and Colome en route to a perfect start.

Seniors Jacob Kirsch and Jesse Taylor are leading KWL in scoring this year. Kirsch, a guard, is averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game. His season-high was a 30-point performance against Highmore-Harrold on Dec. 18. Taylor, a forward, is averaging 15.8 points per game.

On Friday, KWL travels to play James Valley Christian, which is also unbeaten at 3-0.

Canistota boys averaging more than 71 points

In four straight wins to open the season, the Canistota boys' basketball team is averaging 71.25 points per game.

The Hawks have won their four games by an average margin of 40.75 points, including an 82-25 win over Dell Rapids St. Mary in its most recent competition on Dec. 20.

Cody Bunger and Alex Robertson are two of the team's top scorers. Bunger is averaging 15.75 points per game and Robertson is at 12.5 points. Jason Van Winkle has also been a scoring threat, putting up more than 20 points in two of the four games.

The Hawks are back in action Saturday when they travel to play Freeman High School in Freeman.

Mitchell, Mitchell Christian girls winning in convincing fashion

Both of the girls' high school basketball teams in Mitchell are also undefeated. The defending Class AA champion Mitchell Kernels are 5-0, while Mitchell Christian is also 5-0.

The Kernels, who've won all of their games by at least 30 points, opened their season with one-sided victories over three Eastern South Dakota Conference schools and two Rapid City opponents. The Kernels, ranked No. 1 in Class AA, put their undefeated record up against Sioux Falls Washington at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a rematch of last year's state championship game.

Mitchell Christian is also winning its games in convincing fashion. The Eagles are averaging 52 points per game and have won all of their games by at least 10 points. Their biggest margin of victory was a 58-11 win over Aberdeen Christian on Dec. 21, which was their most recent game.

MCHS plays Tripp-Delmont/Armour today in Tripp in its next game.