The Gillette Hladky tournament over the weekend had bigger ramifications for Mitchell Post 18 than simply boosting its overall record by going 3-2 in five games.
It also kept it in line to host a postseason series by splitting a pair of games against Rapid City Post 320. Post 18 fell 5-2 in pool play to the Stars, but then ended the tournament with an 11-8 win. The split pushed Mitchell’s record to 11-9 overall and 8-6 against Class A teams, giving it a 40.7857 power-point average and placing it eighth at the end of the weekend.
This season marks the first year of Class A’s new postseason format, which features best-of-three series in regional play and the same power point system used by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
The first regional takes place on July 28-29, the second on August 3-4 and the four-team state tournament on August 7-9. The higher seed hosts throughout the postseason, including the state tournament. Brandon Valley was originally scheduled to be the state tournament host.
Post 18 has eight doubleheaders against Class A opponents scheduled in July, including a 5 p.m. doubleheader against Sioux Falls East today at Cadwell Park. It also plays Lennox and West Central, and competes in the Rapid City tournament on July 16-19, but only Class A opponents count toward the power points.
Monday’s contest could be a postseason preview given Sioux Falls East (3-3, 40.5000) sits ninth in the standings. It already defeated Sioux Falls, 5-1, in the Sioux Falls tournament on June 12.
The standings could see movement in the final month, though. Mitchell is part of a congested middle group, sitting less than a point behind fifth-place Harrisburg (6-5, 41.4545), sixth-place Sioux Falls West (3-4, 41.1429) and seventh-place Watertown (7-4, 41.0909). It split a doubleheader with Watertown on June 19.
Brandon Valley (6-1, 45.4286) and Rapid City Post 22 (12-2, 44.7857) are currently the top-two seeds, followed by Renner (3-3, 43.5000) and Pierre (12-4, 42.1875). Post 22 swept Mitchell in a doubleheader this season. Mitchell split with Pierre, which it plays on Thursday.
The bottom-seven teams, in order, include: Brookings (5-4, 39.4444), Rapid City Post 320 (1-5, 38.8333), Aberdeen (3-11, 38.3571), Sturgis (4-6, 38.3000), Yankton (0-6, 37.5000), Huron (0-4, 36.0000) and Spearfish (31.8000).