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By AARON SAUNDERS The Daily Republic With two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Mitchell Christian boys' basketball team looked to be heading to its first victory in three games. Despite being down by nine points at halftime, the Eagles were leading the Avon Pirates 37-33. The perfect storm was brewing and either the game would end as a sweet, yet gritty, victory for MCHS or a loss more brutal than a Tarantino movie. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it was the latter.
For the second year in a row the Pierre Governors won the Jerry Opbroek Invitational Saturday at Mitchell High School. The Governor wrestling team finished with a team score of 175 and edged out Parkston, which finished with 165 points. Eight Pierre wrestlers reached the championship round, but only Kyle Sarringar was able to win an individual title. Sarringar defeated Isaac Florell, of Totino Grace, Minn., 11-9 in the 182-pound title match. "We had some kids wrestle well and do a good job, but there were some matches there we wish we could get back," Pierre head coach Ryan Noyes said.
The Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball team is 14-5 this season and eight of those wins have come at home. In fact, this season the Tigers have only lost once at the Corn Palace. The lone loss came to Great Plains Athletic Conference rival Morningside, which was then ranked third in the NAIA Division II Coaches' Poll. "We talked about protecting our home at the beginning of the season," DWU coach Jason Christensen said.
The Corn Palace once again plays host to a basketball classic. This time, however, things will be a little different than last month's Mike Miller Classic. Girls will be gracing the court in a one-day event -- the Hanson Classic. "There are a lot of classics, but we feel this is one of the better ones just because it feels like a tournament atmosphere," Hanson coach Jim Bridge said. "For some teams, this is their state tournament." This year the classic has its fair share of top-tier matchups.
There are many elements of college athletics. There is the classroom, the field or court and the gym, just to name a few. As a former South Dakota State University football player, Jake Steffen is familiar with all of those. Now, Steffen is getting accustomed to working with athletes, rather than being one. Steffen, a 2007 graduate of Mount Vernon High School, is in his first year as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Sioux Falls. His job is to help athletes at the NCAA Division II school get bigger, better, stronger and faster.
Fourteen-year-olds Tessa Bitterman and Tevyn Wadell and 11-year-olds Ethan Huber and Cailey Scott, all of the Mitchell Aquatic Club, are joining other top swimmers from South Dakota to compete in the Midwest All-Stars Invitational Saturday and Sunday in Lawrence, Kan. "They are all very talented to be going to a meet like this," Mitchell Aquatic Club coach Kyle Margheim said.
MURDO -- In 1969, Richard Nixon was inaugurated, the United States put a man on the moon and the Murdo Invitational was created. Forty-five years later, the invitational is the longest running annual basketball invitational in the state. The tournament, which starts today and runs through Saturday, is now named the Jones County Invitational after Murdo and Draper high schools merged to form Jones County High School. Despite that change, the tournament still takes place in the Murdo City Auditorium. "This tournament is special," Jones County High School Athletic Director Larry Ball said.
Points were hard to come by for the Mitchell Christian boys' basketball team Tuesday night. The Eagles scored 14 points in the first half and just four points in the third quarter en route to losing their sixth game of the season to Corsica/Stickney 73-31 at Mitchell Christian School. "We came out kind of slow, and of course we had a really hard game last night over in Canistota," Mitchell Christian coach Dennis Martin said, referring to Monday's loss to the Hawks. "We knew it was going to be another tough one, and we were a little flat coming out.
The Mitchell boys' basketball team came out fast, but that didn't halt Aberdeen Central. The Kernels took a 10-point lead in the first quarter, but the Aberdeen Eagles slowly, but surely, crept back into the Eastern South Dakota Conference game before winning it 62-52 Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The Kernels jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the early stages of the first quarter. Aided by the dribble drive, the Kernel offense was firing on all cylinders and held an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
After dropping a 46-27 dual to Yankton, Mitchell head coach Travis Carpenter said his team will go back to work. Mitchell is now 1-5 in head-to-head duals. "We didn't wrestle well, but that was the first match after Christmas and we'll move forward," Carpenter said. The Kernels got off to a rough start, dropping their first three matches to fall behind 15-0. "We lost of three of four matches we could've won, and that cost us the dual," Carpenter said.