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The two active winningest boys basketball coaches in South Dakota will go head-to-head in the featured game of the 35th annual boys Hanson Classic today at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Class B No. 1 Langford Area, coached by Paul Raasch, takes on No. 4 Corsica-Stickney, coached by Mike Tuschen, at 8:30 p.m. Raasch, who is in his 31st year coaching, currently sits eighth on the South Dakota boys basketball coaches all-time wins list with 482 wins, while Tuschen, who is in this 32nd year coaching, is 10th with 465 wins.
Jan. 7, 2017, is a day Brent Havlik will cherish forever. It’s when the former Mitchell Kernel and three-time Class A state wrestling champion returned to the sport he loved after nearly three years. “It was pretty crazy, but it felt really good. I was just really thankful and grateful to be back,” said Havlik, who is wrestling for Augustana University. “I wasn’t terribly nervous or anything. It was something I missed quite a bit. It was a great feeling.” That feeling was 1,037 days in the making.
HARRISBURG -- Still searching for its first victory, the Mitchell High School boys basketball did its best to try and erase a 14-point halftime deficit. Once again, however, too many bad possessions -- both offensively and defensively -- doomed the Kernels’ chances of a comeback against Harrisburg, which earned a 69-55 Eastern South Dakota Conference win on Tuesday in Harrisburg.
SALEM—It's not hard for McCook Central/Montrose head coach Doug Durfee to describe what Rachael Laetsch means to his team. Laetsch, a three-year starter at point guard for the No. 4 ranked Fighting Cougars, has played varsity basketball for Durfee since she was an eighth-grader. "She's the engine of the team," Durfee said. "She means everything. The point guard runs the show on the court and she really makes things go offensively."
CHAMBERLAIN—In a contest between two one-loss Class A schools, Mount Vernon/Plankinton wanted to play fast. And the Chamberlain Cubs were more than happy to oblige. Chamberlain continually broke MVP's full-court press and ran loose on the court for a 81-56 win on Monday night at the Chamberlain Armory. Fueled by Tiegen Priebe's speed and Seth Friesz's shooting, the Cubs built a 37-25 halftime lead and started the second half on a 18-3 run to break the game wide open.
After a lackluster victory over Briar Cliff on Wednesday night, Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball head coach Jason Christensen challenged his No. 9-ranked Tigers to put together more complete performances as the season progresses. On Friday night against College of Saint Mary, DWU did just that.
Both No. 1 Ethan and No. 3 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket will put undefeated records to the test today in the 34th annual Hanson Girls Classic. The Rustlers (9-0) take on Class A No. 1 St. Thomas More at 8:30 p.m., while the Blackhawks (8-0) face Nebraska powerhouse Crofton at 7 p.m. Both Ethan head coach Tom Young and SCW co-head coach Tim McCain said their respective teams are embracing the tough matchups.
The offensive woes for the Mitchell boys basketball team were on full display Thursday night. Scoring was slow and tough for the hometown Kernels as the Pierre Governors cruised to a 69-36 Eastern South Dakota Conference win at the Corn Palace. "We really felt good about our offense after (Tuesday's game against) Brookings. Tonight, it left us," MHS head coach Erik Skoglund said. "They did a great job pushing us off ball screens and closing out on us. They took us out of our game."
Zeb Parsons is starting to find his groove on the wrestling mat. The 220-pounder for the Mitchell High School wrestling team is one of three seniors on the roster and entering the final stretch of the season is starting to pick up wins. Parsons has won his last four matches at 220 pounds for the Kernels, including two wins in duals against Aberdeen Central and Chamberlain. Overall, he's 8-6 on the season, 6-4 at 220 pounds and has five pins, which ranks among the team's highest for varsity wrestlers.
It's a good time to be a girls basketball fan in the Mitchell area. Saturday's 34th rendition of the Hanson Girls Classic will feature a full lineup of many of South Dakota's and some of Nebraska's best prep girls hoopsters, putting some of the best teams in the Mitchell area against some of the region's well-known girls basketball powerhouses. All of it equals state tournament-level competition, held here in Mitchell at the World's Only Corn Palace.