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No. 1 vs. No. 2 to highlight DWU/Culver’s Classic

With postseason play looming, basketball teams are looking to be tested now in order to make a run in March. The 8th Annual Dakota Wesleyan/Culver's Classic will do just that and it will provide 16 boys' basketball teams the opportunity to face q...

Bridgewater-Emery's Cade Schmitt, left, drives to the basket as Warner's Jack Braun, right, tries to defend him during a high school boys basketball game at the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palce in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)
Bridgewater-Emery's Cade Schmitt, left, drives to the basket as Warner's Jack Braun, right, tries to defend him during a high school boys basketball game at the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palce in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

With postseason play looming, basketball teams are looking to be tested now in order to make a run in March.

The 8th Annual Dakota Wesleyan/Culver’s Classic will do just that and it will provide 16 boys’ basketball teams the opportunity to face quality competition before district and region play.

The eight-game event starts at 10 a.m. today at the Corn Palace and it features nine teams either ranked or receiving votes in the latest South Dakota Sportswriters Association polls. It will conclude at 8:30 p.m. in the finale between the two top teams in Class B -- No. 1 Bridgewater-Emery (15-0) and No. 2 Corsica-Stickney (14-1).

The electric atmosphere will have a tournament feel and coaches hope the experience will prepare their teams for later in the season.

“That is the other plus about being in a classic, it is tournament atmosphere,” Corsica-Stickney coach Mike Tuschen said. “Win or lose, it’s all going to be a very good and positive learning experience that we can use coming into postseason play.”

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Both teams have already played at the Corn Palace this season. Corsica-Stickney defeated Langford Area during the Hanson Classic last month. It will be Bridgewater-Emery’s fifth time playing at the arena this season. It’s also the third classic appearance for the Huskies at the venue. Bridgewater-Emery defeated Chester Area and Prairie Seeds Academy, Minnesota at the Mike Miller Classic and Warner during the Hanson Classic.

Tonight’s clash will give the Huskies another chance to test their mettle against a quality foe.

“You try to go in and play against the best teams that you can and it is a real good measuring stick for us to see where we are,” Bridgewater-Emery coach Scott Schultz said. “We are excited and we know they are going to bring their best game. It will be a fun atmosphere. It will be a fun game hopefully for the fans to watch.”

The Huskies are the only undefeated team remaining in boys’ basketball this season. Bridgewater-Emery needs one more win to surpass last season’s win total. The Huskies feature a balanced scoring attack, with four players scoring more than 10 points per game.

“They have got a lot of offensive weapons and it just seems like offensively they have got some different players that can score,” Tuschen said. “They have put together a pretty good inside-outside combination.”

So do the Jaguars, who finished fifth at last year’s state tournament and returned a bulk of their players.

“He has got a very good combination of kids,” Schultz said. “They have a real nice inside game and they have got some very good perimeter players. Clayton Menning and of course Cordel Menning inside. They have a great mix of kids.”

Schedule

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10 a.m.: De Smet vs. Irene-Wakonda

11:30 a.m.: Mount Vernon/Plankinton vs. Pine Ridge

1 p.m.: Aberdeen Roncalli vs. No. 3 Sioux Falls Christian

2:30 p.m.: No. 4 St. Thomas More vs. Dell Rapids (receiving votes)

4 p.m.: No. 3 Langford Area vs. Chamberlain (receiving votes)

5:30 p.m.: No. 5 Sully Buttes vs. White River

7 p.m.: Sanborn Central/Woonsocket vs. Chester Area (receiving votes)

8:30 p.m.: No. 1 Bridgewater-Emery vs. No. 2 Corsica-Stickney

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Corsica-Stickney's Kyle Menning, left, goes up for a shot against Langford Area's Ryan Punt during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Corsica-Stickney's Kyle Menning, left, goes up for a shot against Langford Area's Ryan Punt during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

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