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Changes in start times new to MHS basketball games this season

Class AA high school basketball have tipped off at 7:30 p.m. in the past, but Eastern South Dakota Conference athletic directors decided to move the start time forward this year.

This year, ESD boys’ and girls’ basketball contests are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

“We just wanted to keep things congruent with the rest of the activities we have,” Mitchell High School Athletic Director Geoff Gross said, adding some Sioux Falls and Rapid City schools have followed suit.

Volleyball has had a 7 p.m. start time for several years and wrestling and football events were moved up to 7 p.m. this year, according to Gross.

He said the half-hour start difference allows players and fans to get home sooner and gets rid of wasted time.

“We thought there was a lot of dead time between a lot of the games,” Gross said. “Sometimes we’d have a 45-minute break between the junior varsity and sophomore games.”

Subvarsity games begin at 4 and 5:30 p.m., with the varsity set to follow.

The Kernel boys’ and girls’ teams have each played at home once this season. Both games started no earlier than 7:15 p.m., but Gross said that’s expected with a rolling schedule.

“We kind of figured most of the time they’d be a little later than 7, but there will be the nights where we can start at 7 or 7:05,” Gross said. “Realistically, it will probably be closer to 7:10 or 7:15, but this gives us the option to speed the night up in general.”

The Kernel girls are back in action today as they host Rapid City Central at 7 p.m. at the Corn Palace.

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