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Top matchups clash today

James Valley Christian's Adam Hofer goes up for a basket against Sanborn Central/Woonsocket in a high school boys' basketball game earlier this year. The No. 4-ranked Vikings play No. 3-ranked Viborg-Hurley at 7 p.m. today at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

When the new state Class B boys' basketball rankings are unveiled next week, there could be some shuffling.

The culprit is the 31st annual Hanson Classic, which begins at 10 a.m. today at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

This year, the Classic pits Class B's No. 1-ranked White River and No. 2 Canistota against each other, as well as the No. 3 Viborg-Hurley Cougars and fourth-ranked James Valley Christian.

"The last two or three years all of these teams have been great," Hanson coach Josh Oltmanns said. "It will be fun to see them play to see where they are at by the end of the classic."

Oltmanns' Hanson squad is 8-2 and will take on Centerville (7-2) at 2:30 p.m. today.

"We really have to start playing better defense," Oltmanns said. "Centerville has a really good junior guard named (Seamus) O' Malley, and we have to do something to limit him on the offensive end."

The Hanson Classic is loaded with several teams like Centerville and Hanson, who have winning records. But the premier game is the No. 1 and No. 2 matchup, which takes place at 8:30 tonight.

Canistota comes into the game undefeated with a record of 9-0 on the heels of a victory Thursday over Hanson, while White River is 9-1 with its lone loss from Minnesota's DeLaSalle at the Mike Miller Classic.

"White River is such an experienced team, and they are so well coached that you can't make a lot of mistakes," Canistota coach Pat Jolley said. "If you are going to beat White River, you are going to have to get back on defense, play good defense and take care of the ball."

The Hawks are playing in their third consecutive Hanson Classic, beating James Valley Christian 59-52 last year.

Out of the classic's 16 teams, nine of them competed in last year's event.

The tournament, which was originally started by then-Hanson Superintendent Darwin Peterson and Athletic Director Steve Pociask, has evolved from four teams playing an afternoon session to an all-day event.

"It is a fun atmosphere to play in," said Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler. "We usually get a great game and somebody different to play who is not in our region.

Platte-Geddes takes on McCook Central/Montrose in the opening game of the classic at 10 a.m.

Admission to the classic is $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Hanson Classic Schedule

Today at the Corn Palace, Mitchell

10 a.m.: McCook Central/Montrose vs. Platte-Geddes

11:30 a.m.: Kimball/White Lake vs. Warner

1 p.m.: Vermillion vs. Sioux Valley

2:30 p.m.: Hanson vs. Centerville

4 p.m.: Aberdeen Roncalli vs. Dell Rapids

5:30 p.m.: St. Thomas More vs. Deuel

7 p.m.: James Valley Christian vs. Viborg-Hurley

8:30 p.m.: White River vs. Canistota, 8:30 p.m.