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Class B SoDak 16 preview: Four area teams battle for state tournament bid

Bridgewater-Emery’s Jamin Arend splits a pair of Aberdeen Christian defenders during the DWU/Culver’s Classic on Feb. 9 at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

The Class B boys basketball SoDak 16 begins tonight with eight teams hoping to advance to the State B basketball tournament on March 14-16 in Aberdeen.

Four area teams—Bridgewater-Emery, Colome, Sanborn Central/Woonsocket and Corsica-Stickney—are vying to move on to Aberdeen, including a pair that have never done so before.

Here is a look at each of those games:

B-E, Colome to duel in offense versus defense matchup

The nightcap in the Corn Palace doubleheader today — which is kicked off with Viborg-Hurley and Northwestern — features No. 7 Bridgewater-Emery (18-4) looking for its third-straight trip to the state tournament, against No. 10 Colome (17-4), which is seeking its first-ever trip to the state tournament.

Both teams enter the 8 p.m. game at the Corn Palace on hot streaks. Since losing all four of its games in a row, the Cowboys have won nine consecutive games since Jan. 25, while the Huskies have won seven of their last eight.

Bridgewater-Emery features a high-powered offense that has put up 68.8 points per game this season, while the Colome defense has surrendered 47 points per game, while coming up with 10.4 steals.

The Cowboy defense is likely to focus on 6-foot-3 guard Sawyer Schultz, who is averaging 22.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, but Jamin Arend is also another proven playmaker that averages 13 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

Carter Dye (13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds) adds an inside presence, while Chase Arend is (10 points and 4.3 rebounds) is another viable scoring option for the Huskies.

For Colome, the senior tandem of Jackson Kinzer and Layton Thieman have proven to be versatile this season. Kinzer leads the team with 18.7 points, but also puts up 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Thieman, meanwhile, scores 16.1 points per game, to go along with a 7.1 rebounds, three assists, three steals and 1.6 blocks.

Bridgewater-Emery is 9-2 when scoring more than 70 points, something Colome has only allowed once all season. The Cowboys have gone 16-1 when scoring at least 50 points this year. B-E, which was the No. 1 seed in this round a year ago, successfully got past De Smet in last year's SoDak 16 in a 74-60 victory in Hartford.

SCW battles top-seeded White River

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket is searching for its first state tournament trip since the schools combined as one team in 2005. If the No. 16 Blackhawks (14-8) are going to do so, they are must go through top seed White River (19-2) at 8 p.m. in Pierre.

The Tigers are scoring 78.9 points per game and have only been held to fewer than 60 on two occasions (both losses). Their front line is long and athletic, with Luke Wells (6-foot-5), Teron Sazue (6-3) and Jadice Morrison (6-2) are talented scoring threats. White River dispatched Kimball/White Lake 77-44 as the No. 3 seed in Pierre in last year's SoDak 16.

SCW also has a talented frontcourt in double-double machine Noah Dickson, who averages 20.8 points and 13.4 rebounds. Tater Moody (6-3) adds 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds for a Blackhawk team that averages 31.6 rebounds per game.

Since SCW averages 52.5 points per game, controlling the glass could be the key for an upset win. SCW is in the SoDak 16 for a second straight year, after tangling with No. 5 Clark/Willow Lake last year in Huron, a game which the Cyclones won 54-37.

Corsica-Stickney aims for upset

A year ago, Corsica-Stickney found itself on the wrong end of an upset in the SoDak 16 in Class B. Tonight, as a No. 13 seed they'll try to turn the tables on fourth-seeded Jones County (18-2) in an 8 p.m. game in Chamberlain. A year ago, the Jaguars were a victim of an upset bid from 13th-seeded Lower Brule, as the Sioux upended the No. 4 seed in Huron 61-36.

The Coyotes, who haven't made the State B tournament since 1989, had an eight-game win streak to open the season after a loss to White River in the season opener, and fell to Colome on Jan. 11 at the Jones County Invitational in Murdo. Since then, Jones County has won 10 straight games, including a victory at home over No. 6 seed in Class B Sully Buttes (57-49) and avenging their previous loss to Colome on Jan. 15.

A win for Corsica-Stickney (15-5) would send the Jaguars to the state tournament for the first time since 2016.

The Jaguars qualified for the SoDak 16 with a 55-46 win over Kimball/White Lake in the Region 6B tournament. Trever Burke and Jaylen Kemp tossed in 15 and 14 points, respectively. Jaden Barse added 11 points and eight boards in the win.

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