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No. 1 Viborg-Hurley, No. 2 De Smet headline Hanson Classic lineup

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Viborg-Hurley's Chase Mason, right, attacks the basket against De Smet's Kalen Garry last season at the State B boys basketball tournament in Aberdeen.

The top-two teams in Class B will collide today at the Corn Palace.

No. 1 Viborg-Hurley and No. 2 De Smet will play at 7 p.m. to headline the eight-game Hanson Classic.

The top-two clash is a rematch of last year’s State B semifinals, which the Bulldogs won by a 70-48 score on their way to a runner-up finish. The Cougars and Bulldogs have sat atop the polls each week this season, with De Smet beginning the season No. 1 in the preseason poll.

“We knew at the beginning of the season that if we took care of our business, that we would get a really good matchup (at the Hanson Classic) and it turns out it be a really good one,” De Smet coach Jeff Gruenhagen said. “Viborg is a very talented team.”

The rosters were loaded with underclassmen standouts last season and they will again headline the matchup at the prestigious classic today.

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“We are looking forward to it,” Viborg-Hurley coach Galen Schoenefeld. “Anytime you get a chance to play a high quality team in front of a big crowd, it’s just a great atmosphere and great opportunity.”

It’s also an opportunity to make a move in the seed points standings. De Smet (7-1) currently has the most seed points in Class B with 46.750. Viborg-Hurley (7-0) is in the middle of the pack with 44.714 points.

But both coaches said they don’t stress the points much with their teams and said that will play itself out as the season goes on.

On the court, it’s a fine collection of all-state caliber players and it’s a matchup of speed vs. size.

De Smet is more guard heavy and is paced by all-state guard Kalen Garry. The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard is averaging 23.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Rett Osthus (11.5 ppg) and sophomore big Tory Holland (10.1 ppg/7.3 rpg) also score in double figures. Junior guards Ethan McCune (7 ppg) and Cody Cavanaugh (5.4 ppg) round out the starting five.

“We are going to give up quite a bit of size in the physicality with those guys,” Gruenhagen said. “They have a lot of 6-4 guys.”

The Cougars have six players 6-foot-2 or taller. Juniors Gradee Sherman (17.3 ppg/9 rpg), Chase Mason (12 ppg/6.3 rpg), Eli Boomgarden (11.1 ppg/5.6 rpg) and Grant Mikkelsen (10.1 ppg) score in double figures for the Cougars.

Sherman, Mason and Boomgarden are all 6-foot-4, while Mikkelsen stands 6-foot-3. Senior starter Justin Harms (5 ppg) is 6-foot-2.

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“We probably have a little bit more length than they do and maybe they have a little bit more quickness than we do,” Schoenefeld said. “Beyond that I feel both teams have a lot of good players.”

Mason missed Viborg-Hurley’s 61-29 win over Howard on Monday with an illness and Schoenefeld said his status is undetermined for today.

The classic features eight Class A or B teams ranked or honorable mention in the latest South Dakota Prep Media Basketball Poll.

Parkston and Aberdeen Roncalli begin the day at 10 a.m., followed by Bridgewater-Emery and Faith at 11:30 a.m. and Clark/Willow Lake against Tea Area at 1 p.m. Corsica-Stickney plays Aberdeen Christian (honorable mention) at 2:30 p.m., Class B No. 3 White River plays Canistota (honorable mention) at 4 p.m. and Platte-Geddes takes on Hanson (honorable mention) at 5:30 p.m.

Following De Smet vs. Viborg-Hurley, Class A No. 1 St. Thomas More plays Class A No. 3 Sioux Valley at 8 p.m. in the nightcap.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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