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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.
South Dakota football fans will have another semiprofessional team to watch this year, and they even have a chance to be on the team. The Tri-State Buffalos, which will serve the South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota region, is starting a team that begins its season in April. Team owner Cody Scholten said the team is hosting open tryouts for all roster positions from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Falls. It will play nine-man football and play in the South Plains Football League along with nine other teams from Minnesota and Iowa.
Mitchell Aquatic Club's Tevyn Waddell broke her own state record in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 57.78 seconds over the weekend at the Midwest All-Stars swim meet in Lawrence, Kan. The previous record for her age group, set in November, was 57.81. Waddell finished second overall in the event, which included swimmers from Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri. The 14-year-old swimmer also broke team records in the 13-14 girls' age group's 500-meter freestyle and 400 individual medley en route to fifth- and eighth-place overall finishes, respectively.
All season long, Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball coach Jason Christensen has said his team doesn't have a go-to player. On any given night, anyone can lead the Tigers (15-6) in scoring. The third-year head coach's words were backed up by his players Wednesday, as five DWU players scored in double figures to help the Tigers defeat Dakota State 78-69 in a nonconference game at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Elizabeth Lamb led all Tigers players with 15 points. Eight of the senior guard's points came from the free-throw line, where she went 8-for-8.
Avon coach Brad Poppe challenged his point guard Chesney Nagel to protect the ball against a vaunted Mitchell Christian press defense. Nagel did that and more Tuesday night as she scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Pirates to a 52-44 victory over Mitchell Christian in Mitchell. Nagel finished with a game-high 22 points, two assists and Avon only committed seven turnovers. "I was aggressive to the hole and I made my free throws, which helped a lot so it was just an all-around game that went really well," Nagel said.
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.