South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Feb. 27: Mitchell ranks fourth in final Class AA poll

This week marked the final rankings of the 2022-23 season, as Sioux Falls Jefferson, Dakota Valley and Aberdeen Christian topped the three classes of boys polls.

Mitchell's Markus Talley (4) drives by a Pierre defender on his way toward the basket during a Class AA boys basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The final South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls of the season have arrived.

As boys postseason region tournaments get underway on Monday and Tuesday night, everyone is looking up at top-ranked Dakota Valley, Class A's unanimous No. 1, and Aberdeen Christian, who owns all but one first-place vote in Class B. Meanwhile, the Class AA SoDak 16 field will be finalized Monday night, with the largest classification chasing unanimous No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson.

The final girls rankings of the season were included last week, prior to the start of the postseason region tournaments.

The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Feb. 27 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 (19), 18-1, 95; 2. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 17-3, 74; 3. Sioux Falls Washington, 14-6, 52; 4. Mitchell, 16-4, 44; 5. Yankton, 15-5, 20.


Others receiving votes: None.

Finishing at No. 4: After wrapping up the regular season with a second consecutive Eastern South Dakota Conference championship, Mitchell slots in at No. 4 in the final poll with a record of 16-4. The Kernels received votes in every edition of the poll this season, first entering the top five on Jan. 2 and staying there for the next eight weeks. Mitchell ranked as high as No. 3 — matching its highest ranking from each of the past two seasons — a spot it held from Jan. 23 through the week of Feb. 13.

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Dakota Valley coach Jason Kleis talks to his team during a timeout against Sioux Valley during a high school basketball game at the boys Hanson Classic on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

Class A

1. Dakota Valley (19), 20-0, 95; 2. Sioux Falls Christian, 16-4, 74; 3. Sioux Valley, 18-2, 57; 4. Winner, 19-1, 33; 5. St. Thomas More, 18-2, 20.

Others receiving votes: Lennox 3, Hamlin 2, Rapid City Christian 1.

Chasing history: Coming off an undefeated state championship season, Dakota Valley was the preseason No. 1 and gave voters no reason to question that status. For the season, only one total first-place vote (all the way back in the preseason poll) didn’t go to the Panthers, who enter the postseason at 20-0 once again. Dakota Valley’s win streak currently stands at 47 games, with a chance to tie the all-time Class A record at 48 with a Region 4A quarterfinal victory on Tuesday.

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Aberdeen Christian's Kaden Clark drives to the basket during the boys Hanson Classic on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Class B

1. Aberdeen Christian (18), 18-2, 94; 2. De Smet (1), 17-3, 75; 3. Lower Brule, 17-3, 59; 4. White River, 16-4, 37; 5. Faith, 19-1, 16.


Others receiving votes: Viborg-Hurley 2, Castlewood 2.

Knights at No. 1, again: For the second time in four seasons, Aberdeen Christian is headed into the postseason with the No. 1 ranking, having held the top spot for the past five weeks. The Knights finished at the top in 2020, but were denied the opportunity to prove their ranking when the state tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. Aberdeen Christian is looking to qualify for a fourth-straight state tournament. The Knights finished in seventh last season and as runner-up in 2021.

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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