The Hoop City Classic continues to exceed expectations.
The ninth annual event-formerly the Mike Miller Classic-ballooned to four days this year and it was perhaps the best yet.
The buzz builds leading into the event each year and this year was no different. The Mitchell basketball community rallies around the classic and always prides itself on showing its support at the Corn Palace.
The headliner between No. 1 La Lumiere (Ind.) and fellow national power Findlay Prep (Nev.) on Friday night certainly lived up to the hype. But there were other games and top-tier players that made the classic another successful one.
So, as we flip the calendar to 2019 and gear up for the local basketball scene, here's a quick look back at the Hoop City Classic by the numbers:
101: DeLaSalle (Minn.) point guard Tyrell Terry scored 101 total points-the most by any player during the classic. That was good for an average of 33.6 points through his three games.
43: Ty Hoglund dropped 43 points in Dakota Wesleyan University's 112-110 overtime loss against Peru State on Saturday. It was two shy of his career high and the most points scored by any collegiate player in the event since college games were introduced in 2015.
38: Terry scored 38 points in DeLaSalle's 63-62 buzzer-beating win over Mountain Brook (Ala.) on Friday. It was the most points scored by a prep player during this year's event. Terry, who also scored his 1,000th career point on Thursday, will play next season at Stanford University. Terry was, without a doubt. my favorite to player to watch and he became a fan favorite by the Corn Palace faithful. I will be rooting for him to succeed at the next level.
24: There were 24 total games played from Thursday to Sunday at both the Corn Palace and the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. There were a whopping 13 total games on Saturday at both sites.
23: From Thursday to Sunday, I spent roughly 23 hours at the Corn Palace covering and watching the games. To Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt, my rent check is in the mail.
11.4: Mitchell was hit with 11.4 inches of snow during the classic, but that didn't stop hoopheads from making a strong appearance at the Palace.
8: Teams from eight different states: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alabama, Nevada and Indiana.
7-1: Seven-foot-1 freshman Sidy Diallo, of Findlay Prep, was the tallest player in the classic.
5: Five overtime games, including Dakota State's triple-overtime 95-93 win over St. Mary on Saturday.
2: There were two nationally ranked teams by USA Today-No. 1 La Lumiere and No. 16 Mountain Brook. La Lumiere went 2-0 at the event and remained No. 1 in the newest rankings, while Mountain Brook dropped to No. 22 in the nation. The Spartans finished 2-1 at the classic.
2: I scarfed down only two hot dogs, courtesy the Corn Palace hospitality room. I am rather proud of myself for this feat. The over/under entering the classic was 9.5.