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Starting Saturday at 11 a.m., the small Mitchell High School gymnasium will play host to eight of the state's top-ranked wrestling teams at the highly-competitive Jerry Opbroek Invitational. With 10 total teams in attendance, and eight being ranked, it shows the top talent brought in for one of the toughest wrestling tournaments in the state. "It's always very competitive," Mitchell coach Travis Carpenter said. "It's one of the best one-day tournaments probably in the state.
The Mitchell Christian boys' basketball team is seven games into the season, still undefeated. The Eagles came into the season without the preseason rankings or the target on their backs like the past two years, but after claiming their latest victim, Corsica, on Tuesday night, No. 7 MCHS clearly is one of the top teams in Class B. Mitchell Christian's Jesse Tolsma, the player with the most experience going into the season, scored 43 points in the team's 70-57 win over the Comets.
CORSICA -- At 5-foot-3, Emily VanRoekel and Class B Corsica had a huge win over Class A Wagner Saturday. The freshman recorded her first triple-double, along with seven steals, in the 47-44 victory, giving Corsica its sixth win of the season. Comets' head coach Lorisa Broughton said in her 10-plus years of coaching, it was the first triple-double she's ever seen. VanRoekel made her presence known in the game despite being a quiet person, according to Broughton.
The state high school wrestling tournaments are a little less than two months away. Many coaches will be pushing their wrestlers harder in the next few weeks than ever, preparing them for the end of the season. Many area schools have wrestlers ranked at the top of the state in their respective weight classes, and many area teams are ranked as well. In the Class A team rankings, Winner is No. 3 and, despite defeating No. 5-ranked Huron in its last dual, Mitchell is at No. 10. "I really don't put a lot of weight into rankings," Winner head coach Bill Kaiser said.
After taking a brief lead in the second quarter, the Mitchell girls' basketball team let up enough for Brandon Valley to take full advantage. Between the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third, the Lynx went on a combined 26-5 run that virtually paralyzed Mitchell for the rest of the game. The Kernels lost to Brandon Valley, 59-37, Friday night at the Corn Palace due to "a lot of little things," according to head coach Wes Morgan. Mitchell scored a combined 14 points in the second and third quarters, while Brandon Valley's offensive dominated.
Starting this afternoon, a state conference for the National Wild Turkey Federation chapters will be held in Mitchell at the Highland Conference Center. Mitchell is hosting the two-day event for the first time, and more than 30 chapters from around the state will be in attendance. The NWTF is a nationwide organization dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and persevering hunting traditions. It is headquartered in South Carolina. The state chapter meeting begins at 2 p.m.
The Mitchell girls' basketball team played its most complete game of the season Thursday night against Yankton, according to head coach Wes Morgan. The Kernels defeated the Gazelles, 52-41, at the Corn Palace, grabbing their second win of the season and keeping the Gazelles winless at 0-5.
HOWARD -- Losing in the state title match twice has frustrated Howard 140-pound wrestler Dan Noonan, and it's showed this year. Noonan is currently 17-0 this season and has three big tournament wins, including most recently at the Floyd Farrand Invite, hosted by Sioux Falls Lincoln Dec. 29 and 30. Last year as a sophomore, Noonan fell to Wagner's three-time state champion, Daniel Koupal, in the 140-pound Class B state title match. Two years earlier, as an eighth grader, Noonan knocked out the No.
The Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball team dropped 3-pointers from all angles in the second half of Monday's game at the Corn Palace against Dickinson State. The Tigers overcame a four-point halftime deficit by hitting 6-of-8 shots from behind the arc, upsetting the No. 23 ranked Blue Hawks, 76-63. "We made some key threes in the second half," DWU head coach Aaron Kahl said. "That really opened some things up for us, and if we shoot it well we can really be OK." At 15:10 in the second half, DWU and Dickinson started exchanging 3-point shots.
Mitchell Christian junior Jesse Tolsma is the only remaining starter for the Eagles' basketball team who saw major court time each of the past two seasons. Tolsma was on the court when the Eagles lost in the Class B title game two seasons ago, and was on the court when the team lost a heart-breaker to Scotland in the 5B regional title game last year. With an inexperienced team this year and the lack of high-preseason rankings, Tolsma and the Eagles have flown under the radar with a 2-0 record to start the season, both in convincing fashion. The 6-foot-2 forward helped Mitchell Christian ope