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.”

Canistota is No. 2 in seed points in Class B this season. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Canistota is No. 2 in seed points in Class B this season. (Matt Gade / Republic)

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.

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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.”

Howard is No. 3 in seed points in Class B this year. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Howard is No. 3 in seed points in Class B this year. (Matt Gade / Republic)

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.

Class B

March 4

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

Corsica-Stickney cheers on Thursday as it advanced to the SoDak 16. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Corsica-Stickney cheers on Thursday as it advanced to the SoDak 16. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Class A

March 4

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

Winner's Bella Swedlund, left, tries to drive past Ethan's Hannah Bartscher on Saturday at the Corn Palace during the girls Hanson Classic. (Jeremy Karll / Republic)
Winner's Bella Swedlund, left, tries to drive past Ethan's Hannah Bartscher on Saturday at the Corn Palace during the girls Hanson Classic. (Jeremy Karll / Republic)


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.

Honor roll

Girls basketball

  • 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.