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District 8B boasts handful of teams over .500

Last year, the Hanson and Mitchell Christian girls’ basketball teams took home district titles.

The Beavers advanced to the Class B state tournament, while the Golden Eagles fell in the region championship.

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This year, however, only one of those teams could be crowned district champion because they both compete in District 8B. Five of the six teams in the district have records over .500.

“The Mitchell area has always been a hotbed for basketball, so that is not a big surprise to me,” Hanson girls’ basketball coach Jim Bridge said. “We are kind of used to it, but we still have to show up and play every game. This is going to create an interesting finish to the year.”

Hanson (14-2) sits atop the leaderboard in District 8B with 45.25 seed points, while Ethan (12-4) is second with 43.94 seed points. Mitchell Christian (13-3) is third with 43.50 seed points, Bridgewater-Emery (8-7) has 41.60 seed points and Canistota (8-7) has 40.60 seed points. Howard (4-11) rounds out the district with 39.27 seed points.

Seed points determine rankings when the district tournaments begin. The points are awarded based on opponents’ win percentage.

“There are a lot of good teams when you look at this district,” Bridgewater-Emery girls’ basketball coach Jeff VanLeur said. “It is a tough district and teams are going to have to play well in order to come out of it.”

Districts 3B and 10B each boast four teams that have records over .500, while District 2B, 6B and 9B each have only one team with a winning record.

“That is the way South Dakota is because we have a lot of places that are a lot of miles away from each other,” VanLeur said. “You still have to beat the best to get to the state tournament though. That is the way it has been and is the way it is going to continue for awhile.”

The district tournaments are set for the end of February.