At the end of the regular season, De Smet is widely considered by coaches as the top Class B boys basketball team, but a host of schools aren’t far behind.
It’s a deep and talented year for Class B basketball as the March 18-20 state tournament in Aberdeen approaches. While the Bulldogs are No. 1 in the prep media poll and seed points (46.650), there are seven teams between 44.250 and 45.650 seed points, and that doesn’t even include teams consistently in the media poll in Dell Rapids St. Mary and Platte-Geddes.
“It’s probably one of the years teams are really more even than I can remember in a long time,” Canistota coach Pat Jolley said. “There’s a lot of teams that can beat other teams on any night. It’s exciting in Class B basketball right now.”
There’s more pressure to perform on a nightly basis when schedules are jam-packed with formidable opponents, especially with seed points replacing district tournaments. But ask any coach, and that’s what makes the regular season exciting.
Outside of De Smet, which is 19-1 and without a Class B loss, there is constant movement in the Class B hierarchy. And what adds to the parity is how often the top teams have played each other this season.
Here’s a look at how the top-5 teams in the prep media poll have fared against ranked opponents:
De Smet: def. No. 4 Viborg-Hurley (58-54), No. 3 Howard (54-51), No. 2 Canistota (48-35), No. 5 DRSM (69-33).
Viborg-Hurley: def. No. 2 Canistota (80-58); lost to No. 1 De Smet (58-54), No. 3 Howard (63-52).
Howard: def. No. 4 Viborg-Hurley (63-52); lost to No. 1 De Smet (54-51), No. 2 Canistota (63-54); No. 5 DRSM (66-61)
Canistota: def. No. 3 Howard (63-54); lost to No. 1 De Smet (48-35), No. 4 Viborg-Hurley (80-58); def. No. 5 DRSM (61-56).
DRSM: def. No. 3 Howard (66-61); lost to No. 1 De Smet (69-33), No. 2 Canistota (61-56).
“It can only help your team because first you face them and experience what they do,” White River coach Eldon Marshall said. “… To be able to play teams that excel in different things, it shows you what you need to work on. It shows you what your deficiencies are and what you need to improve on.”
And that list doesn’t include teams like Potter County, Lyman, Hanson and Elkton-Lake Benton, which are all among the top 10 in seed points.
Hanson and ELB make up part of the tough Region 4B. There are five teams with at least 15 wins, while Howard, Hanson, ELB and DRSM all have at least 43.900 seed points. No other region has more than two teams with 43.000+ seed points. It puts an extra emphasis on seeding in region tournaments.
“You want to try to get the top seed if you can,” Viborg-Hurley Galen Schoenfeld said. “Trying to get as favorable of a matchup as possible. But going into that regional semifinal, you’re going to face a good opponent and you have to be ready.”
--Mitchell Republic sports reporter Jeremy Karll
Libis, Mors crack top-5 on all-time scoring list
Dell Rapids St. Mary’s Connor Libis and Yankton’s Matthew Mors recently broke into the top-5 all-time scoring list.
Libis tossed in 26 points in a 67-55 win over Bridgewater-Emery on Friday. He’s now third on the all-time scoring list with 2,603 points. The Cardinals will begin Region 4B tournament play on Monday.
Mors netted 20 points in Yankton’s 60-50 win over Rapid City Central on Friday. He’s fourth on the all-time scoring list with 2,590 points. Yankton hosts Douglas in its season finale on Saturday.
Top-10 boys basketball scorers
1. Louie Krogman, White River, 3,521
2. Don Jacobsen, Lake Norden, 2,825
3. Connor Libis, Dell Rapids St. Mary, 2,603 (active)
4. Matthew Mors, Yankton, 2,590 (active)
5. Milt Sorenson, Wakonda, 2,577
6. Josh Mueller, West Central, 2,563
7. Chuck Welke, Warner, 2,550
8. Bob Swanhorst, Cresbard, 2,402
9. Lamoine Torgerson, Forestburg, 2,381
10. Jerry Wingen, Canova, 2,333
Valandra-Prue continues climb up scoring list
Caelyn Valandra-Prue poured in 42 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in White River’s 75-42 win over Philip on Thursday. She now has 2,440 points and is 11th on the all-time scoring list.
Milbank’s Amber Wollschlager is 10th on the all-time scoring list with 2,487 points.
White River plays Aberdeen Christian on March 4 in the SoDak at the Corn Palace.
Top-15 girls basketball scorers
1. Jill Young, Mitchell Christian, 3,317
2. Becky Flynn, Wakonda 3,268
3. Carla Allard, Bennett County 2,835
4. Jordan Stapp, Newell, 2,815
5. Kieran O’Malley, Centerville, 2,599
6. JoEllen Hofer, Hitchcock 2,564
7. SuAnne Big Crow, Pine Ridge, 2,541
8. Jolonna Sazue, Pine Ridge, 2,506
9. Lori Wohlleber, Summit 2,490
10. Amber Wollschlager, Grant-Deuel/Milbank, 2,487
11. Caelyn Valandra-Prue, White River, 2,440 (active)
12. Robin Anderson, Clear Lake, 2,332
13. Dana Nielsen, Armour, 2,310
14. Alex Kneeland, Summit, 2,293
15. Myah Selland, Sanborn Central/Woonsocket, 2,219
SoDak 16 pairings
The Class A and B girls SoDak 16 pairings are set. It takes place on March 4, with the eight winners re-seeded for the state tournament.
No. 1 Castlewood (19-0) vs. No. 16 De Smet (11-11), 7:15 p.m., at Watertown
No. 2 White River (20-1) vs. No. 15 Aberdeen Christian (12-8), 6 p.m., at Corn Palace
No. 3 Corsica-Stickney (20-2) vs. No. 14 Timber Lake (13-8), 5:30 p.m., at Huron Arena
No. 4 Hanson (18-3) vs. No. 13 Faith (13-9), 7:15 p.m., at Huron Arena
No. 5 Ethan (19-3) vs. No. 12 Faulkton Area (15-7), 7:45 p.m., at Corn Palace
No. 6 Herreid/Selby Area (19-3) vs. No. 11 Menno (15-6), 6:30 p.m., at James Valley Christian, Huron.
No. 7 Viborg-Hurley (17-4) vs. No. 10 Andes Central/Dakota Christian (17-5), 7 p.m., at Centerville.
No. 8 New Underwood (16-4) vs. No. 9 Waverly-South Shore (15-4), 6 p.m., at Chamberlain
No. 1 St. Thomas More (19-1) vs. No. 16 Miller (12-9), 6:30 p.m., at Wall.
No. 2 Winner (19-2) vs. No. 15 Tri-Valley (13-9), 6:30 p.m., at Wagner.
No. 3 Hamlin (19-2) vs. No. 14 Mobridge-Pollock (14-7), 5:30 p.m., at Watertown
No. 4 Aberdeen Roncalli (19-2) vs. No. 13 Redfield (16-6), 7 p.m., at Ipswich
No. 5 Sioux Falls Christian (18-3) vs. No. 12 Flandreau (14-6), 7:45, at Harrisburg
No. 6 Belle Fourche (17-4) vs. No. 11 Parkston (15-6), 5:30 p.m., at Kadoka
No. 7 Hill City (16-4) vs. No. 10 McCook Central/Montrose (16-5), 7:15 p.m., at Kadoka
No. 8 Dakota Valley (15-5) vs. No. 9 Tea Area (16-6), 6 p.m., at Harrisburg
Roosevelt’s Large breaks school for steals in a season
Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Tucker Large broke a 28-year old record on Tuesday. Large broke the school record for most steals in a season with 61. He will play football at South Dakota State University next year.
De Smet’s Kennadi Buchholz recorded a massive 16-point, 22-rebound double-double in a win over Arlington on Thursday.
In McCook Central/Montrose’s win over Wagner on Thursday, Ashtyn Wobig flirted with a triple-double. She recorded 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help MCM advance to the SoDak 16.
Emma Yost powered Parkston past Mount Vernon/Plankinton with a 12-point, 18-rebound double-double. She also dished out three assists.
On Tuesday, Coral Mason made an impact on both ends of the court for Viborg-Hurley. She had 25 points, five rebounds and three steals in a win over Freeman.
Wagner’s Shalayne Nagel stuffed the stat sheet on Tuesday with 25 points, 11 boards and six assists.