If history repeats itself, basketball fans will be in for a real treat around 7:30 p.m. today at the Corn Palace.
No. 1 Bridgewater-Emery and No. 3 White River play at today's Hanson Classic, marking the third game in the past two seasons between the Class B powers. The Huskies defeated the Tigers in both meetings last season, including an 87-79 double overtime thriller for third place at the state tournament.
"Those were two great games against them," Bridgewater-Emery coach Scott Schultz said. "I would just expect more of the same. I am sure it will be a great battle."
Fans will be salivating for a repeat performance and it very well could happen. The Huskies (9-1) return three core players in all-state guards Sawyer Schultz and Jamin Arend, along with post player Carter Dye.
"They are No. 1 rated for a reason," White River coach Eldon Marshall said. "They have one of the top players in the state in Sawyer Schultz and he has a couple very good players along with him that have been a part of their team success in the past couple of years. So being able to compete against them is very good for us because we get to see where we are at this time of the year and against a very good team."
The Tigers (11-0) also bring back a bulk of their roster, including all-state guard Jadice Morrison, Nick Sayler, Tyson Iyotte, Teron Sazue and Izaiah Sorace.
"They are real talented and they are very athletic as a group," coach Schultz said. "They shoot the ball extremely well. They have some good depth. They have some kids that come off the bench that do a good job for them. They really isn't a weakness that you can pick out."
White River also added Crow Creek transfer Luke Wells and the 6-foot-5 junior gives the Tigers an added dimension in the post.
"He's got really good body control and he can challenge and block shots and of course he can rebound on both ends," Marshall said. "He's been a big plus for us. He's only been improving and getting better. So this will be a really good challenge for him to see where we stand against a very good Carter Dye and a very good team."
Coach Schultz said the Wells addition has solidified the post position for the Tigers, who always have a bevy of quick and athletic guards.
"That's a big help to them," coach Schultz said. "I think that he was a nice addition. He's real athletic and excellent ball player. I think overall they really don't have a weak spot. They are really athletic and very talented kids."
Prior to the White River vs. Bridgewater-Emery contest, two other Class B ranked teams will tangle at 6 p.m. No. 2 Clark/Willow Lake (7-0) plays No. 4 Timber Lake (8-1) in a matchup between two state tourney participants from last season. Clark/Willow Lake is powered by all-state guard Jacob Prouty, while Timber Lake is led by sharpshooter Brayden PayPay.
In the nightcap, Class A No. 1 Tea Area (10-1) plays No. 3 St. Thomas More (9-0) at 9 p.m. The Titans are paced by Division I signees Noah Freidel (Wright State) and Justin Hohn (University of California-Irvine). The Cavaliers are led by 6-foot-6 junior Ryder Kirsch.
The event starts at 9 a.m. with Castlewood facing Irene-Wakonda, followed by Leola-Frederick Area vs. Flandreau at 10:30 a.m., Parker vs. Rapid City Christian at noon, Hanson vs. Colome at 1:30 p.m., Sioux Valley vs. Aberdeen Roncalli at 3 p.m. and No. 5 Aberdeen Christian vs. Viborg-Hurley at 4:30 p.m.