South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Feb. 13: DWU Classic sways Class A girls, Class B boys polls

Lower Brule topped White River in a top-five Class B boys tilt, while Sioux Falls Christian vaulted into the Class A girls rankings for the first time since Dec. 19.

Lower Brule's Brian LaRoche Jr. (4) scoops a layup attempt toward the hoop beyond the outstretched arm of White River's Nicolas Marshall during a boys basketball game in the DWU Classic on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — With just one week to play before girls postseason play begins — and only one more after that for the boys — the DWU Classic hosted at the Corn Palace over the weekend provided the opportunity for late movement in the South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls.

Among the biggest risers were the Sioux Falls Christian girls and Lower Brule boys, both of which took down ranked opposition at the event.

The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Feb. 13 are listed below, ranking the top-five teams in each class. First-place votes are indicated in parentheses and teams are ranked by total points received.


Class AA

1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (20), 16-0, 100; 2. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 15-1, 80; 3. Mitchell, 12-3, 60; 4. Yankton, 10-4, 40; 5. Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 10-6, 8.

Others receiving votes: Brandon Valley 5, Pierre 4, Harrisburg 2, Sioux Falls Washington 1.


Riders return: For the first time since Dec. 19, the two-time defending state champions from Sioux Falls Roosevelt are back in the top five, slotting in at No. 5. Last week's No. 4 Brandon Valley went 0-2 with losses to Sioux Falls Washington and Sioux Falls Lincoln, falling out of the top five to make way for Roosevelt as a result. Meanwhile, Yankton moved up to No. 4 from No. 5 and the top three of No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson, No. 2 Lincoln and No. 3 Mitchell remained firm. Though the Riders were the only team to receive votes outside of the top five a week ago, the receiving votes section is populated by Brandon Valley, Pierre, Harrisburg and Washington this week.

Class A

1. Dakota Valley (20), 16-0, 100; 2. Sioux Valley, 16-1, 77; 3. Sioux Falls Christian, 14-3, 53; 4. Winner, 16-1, 37; 5. St. Thomas More, 16-2, 22.

Others receiving votes: Lennox 4, Dell Rapids 3, Hamlin 2, Rapid City Christian 2.

All's quiet: It was business as usual for the top five, with no changes to the rankings as the quintet combined to go 9-1 last week. The lone loss by Sioux Falls Christian came to an out-of-state opponent, which didn't cost the Chargers their No. 3 ranking. There was minimal change to the receiving votes section, either. Lennox, Dell Rapids and Rapid City Christian stayed put and were joined by Hamlin — back in the mix for the first time since Dec. 12 — following the Chargers' win over Class B No. 1 Aberdeen Christian at the DWU Classic.

All the action from the boys DWU Classic on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Class B

1. Aberdeen Christian (18), 16-2, 97; 2. De Smet (1), 16-3, 79; 3. Lower Brule (1), 15-3, 63; 4. White River, 14-4, 40; 5. Faith, 16-1, 15.

Others receiving votes: Castlewood 3, Viborg-Hurley 3.

De Smet, Lower Brule move up: Lower Brule's defeat of White River at the DWU Classic spurred the most significant shift in the class since Aberdeen Christian took over the top spot on Jan. 23. For the first time this season, White River is not in the top-two spots, as the Tigers fell to No. 4, making room for De Smet and Lower Brule to take over No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. The receiving votes section was also as short as it's been since Jan. 16, with Castlewood and Viborg-Hurley the pair left standing from last week's group of five.



Class AA

1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (20), 14-2, 100; 2. Sioux Falls Washington, 12-3, 68; 3. Pierre, 13-3, 64; 4. Harrisburg, 14-3, 30; 5. O’Gorman, 11-4, 25.

Others receiving votes: Brandon Valley 13.

What to do: Losses by three of the top five in last week's poll created an interesting dilemma for voters, as the class's hierarchy seemingly gets more complicated by the week. Ultimately, Sioux Falls Washington remained at No. 2, as a win over then-No. 4 O'Gorman helped offset a loss to Brandon Valley, which is receiving votes for the fifth-straight week. Pierre, which lost to an out-of-state opponent, also stayed put at No. 3 and now sits just four points behind Washington in the poll (down from 23 points last week). O'Gorman's defeat allowed Harrisburg to swap positions with the Knights at No. 4, the only movement in the class this week.

Class A

1. Hamlin (20), 18-0, 100; 2. Vermillion, 18-1, 78; 3. Wagner, 18-1, 61; 4. Sioux Falls Christian, 17-2, 26; 5. St. Thomas More, 14-4, 21.

Others receiving votes: Florence/Henry 12, Red Cloud 2.

Charging to the finish: Sioux Falls Christian made a brief appearance in the top-five at No. 5 back on Dec. 19 before falling out of the poll and remaining there for more than a month. But now, the Chargers are coming on strong, having won 14 of their last 15 games (the lone loss by seven to No. 2 Vermillion). At the DWU Classic, Christian knocked off No. 5 St. Thomas More, helping them vault back into the poll at No. 4. Red Cloud fell out of the rankings from No. 4 following consecutive losses at STM and Rapid City Christian. The rest of the poll remained unchanged, with Hamlin reaffirming their top position with a win over Class B No. 1 Viborg-Hurley at the DWU Classic.

Action from the girls DWU Classic on Friday, Feb. 10.

Class B

1. Viborg-Hurley (17), 15-3, 96; 2. Wolsey-Wessington (3), 16-2, 83; 3. Sully Buttes, 15-2, 54; 4. Ethan, 14-2, 39; 5. Arlington, 15-4, 15.


Others receiving votes: Centerville 8, Howard 3, Andes Central/Dakota Christian 2.

Cardinals flying high: Winners of six in a row and 15 of 17 after a 0-2 start, Arlington finally cracked the top-five this week after spending three of the past four weeks as the top vote-getter outside the rankings. Wins over Dell Rapids St. Mary (another receiving-votes team outside the top five last week) and James Valley Christian helped push the Cardinals into the rankings for the first time this season. Centerville, which had been ranked in each of the previous nine polls including at No. 3 since Jan. 23, fell out for the first time after two losses last week and is 3-3 since rising to No. 3. In the Tornadoes' absence, Sully Buttes and Ethan each moved up one position to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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