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Eric Witte gets to start from scratch at Mitchell High School. For the 27 year old, the unique and exciting chance to build the Kernels' strength and conditioning program from the ground floor fires him up each day he comes to work. "To be able to work alongside athletes and coaches and to get them to be the best they can be, that's the big motivation for me," Witte said.
It may very well be the year of parity in South Dakota high school basketball. We're less than a month out from the postseason getting underway and the six classes of play all appear to be without an absolute, clear-cut favorite. That's pretty rare, because in most years there's at least one class that has a dominating power. For example, that's been St. Thomas More basketball in the last few years for Class A girls basketball but, while still a threat, they've already lost twice this season.
The performance wasn't perfect Wednesday but it was more than enough for Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team. Behind 22 points from Ashley Bray, the 12th-ranked Tigers overpowered their in-state rivals from Mount Marty College in blistering fashion 82-46 at the Corn Palace in Great Plains Athletic Conference play. The win makes DWU 21-4 on the season and 12-3 in the conference ahead of a Saturday contest at Briar Cliff.
It’s always the annual question for me regarding the Super Bowl: Will it be a good game? Given that it’s the Super Bowl and I’m a football fan, I’ll be watching every year and for many non-football fans, it’s the one time all year they will watch the game. It’s an event, for football fans or not.
It’s the envy of every other high school gymnastics program in the state. The depth of the Mitchell gymnastics team. And it has been especially impressive this season, as the Kernels have led the team scores almost all season, while fielding junior varsity teams that can regularly beat varsity programs at other Class AA schools.
There was some surprise and some shock Thursday night at Frost Arena. Not so much with the 67-61 University of South Dakota win over the rivals at South Dakota State. The Coyotes had blown through the first segment of the conference schedule without much resistance and the victory was the second in three years for USD in Brookings. Surprising was in the manner in which USD got it done, getting the key shots in the face of a tough road crowd and from their athletic forward Kate Liveringhouse, who had a season-high 20 points.
BROOKINGS—In front of a big, boisterous and blue-clad crowd Thursday night, the University of South Dakota women's basketball team never cowered. When the Coyotes needed the important shots to fall late, they got them and USD picked up a crucial road win at Frost Arena, knocking off South Dakota State 67-61. With its 10th straight win, USD moves to 7-0 in the Summit League halfway through the conference schedule.
Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's boys basketball team has a little bit of everything: size, scoring and experience. And it's all starting with defense. Since a three-point loss to Miller at the Huron Holiday Classic Dec. 30 and a 70-49 loss at then-No. 1 Bridgewater-Emery, SCW has rattled off six straight wins. The win streak reached a crescendo Jan. 18, with a 53-45 win over longtime conference rival Wolsey-Wessington for the 281 Conference Tournament title at the Huron Arena. With a record of 10-2, SCW has the top seed-point total in Region 4B.
The Cornbelt Conference dates back more than 30 years and has been a stalwart league in many sports, especially football. But the league added two teams prior to this season for all sports — Irene-Wakonda and Viborg-Hurley — which has turned out to be a significant move in boys basketball this season. The longtime members of the Cornbelt include Bridgewater-Emery, Canistota, Freeman, Hanson, Howard and Menno.
Once Aberdeen Central got going Friday night at the Corn Palace, the Mitchell boys basketball team could not answer. The Golden Eagles shot 61 percent in the first half, while the Kernels were held to 19 percent shooting, as Aberdeen Central had a 20-point halftime lead and cruised to a 62-30 Eastern South Dakota Conference victory. Decided by 32 points, the game was easily Aberdeen Central's most convincing win of the season, while Mitchell (0-12, 0-8 ESD) was held to a season-low 30 points, continuing the Kernels' offensive struggles for another night.