South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Feb. 6: Winner boys continue climb, slot in at No. 4 in Class A

Three classes maintained identical top fives compared to last week, as only one new team entered the rankings across all six classes.

12123.Blake Volmer-2.JPG
Winner's Blake Volmer dishes off a pass as he drives into the lane against St. Thomas More during a boys Hanson Classic high school basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — In the first South Dakota Prep Media basketball poll release of February, there was minimal movement.

Across all six classes, there was just one team that wasn’t in its respective top five last week that climbed into the rankings this week, while three of the six classes had identical top fives compared to last week.

Perhaps the most notable happenings of the week were the shifts of power for the No. 1s in Class A girls and Class B boys and girls. Across those three classes, one program gained unanimous control of first place, while two lost their firm grip on the top spot.

The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Feb. 6 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.

In this edition of the Full Court Press, we take a look at eight of the most-stacked region races as only two programs from each can reach the statewide postseason.



Class AA

1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (19), 14-0, 95; 2. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 13-1, 76; 3. Mitchell, 11-3, 56; 4. Brandon Valley, 10-4, 38; 5. Yankton, 7-4, 19.

Others receiving votes: Sioux Falls Roosevelt 1.

Narrowing it down: Until this week, at least three teams could always be found in the receiving votes section of the Class AA boys poll, with as many as five as two different junctures. But this week, there’s only one — Sioux Falls Roosevelt — and the Rough Riders got just one vote. As such, the top five has solidified, with almost all voters in agreement on the order. The top four remain unchanged from a week ago, with Pierre falling out to make room for Yankton to rejoin the rankings for the fifth week (last appearance on Jan. 23). The Bucks are the only new team in rankings across all six classes compared to a week ago.

Class A

1. Dakota Valley (19), 14-0, 95; 2. Sioux Valley, 13-1, 71; 3. Sioux Falls Christian, 14-2, 62; 4. Winner, 14-1, 23; 5. St. Thomas More, 14-2, 21.

Others receiving votes: Dell Rapids 9, Lennox 2, Rapid City Christian 2.

Warriors to No. 4: Winner’s steady rise up the Class A rankings continued this week, as the Warriors have now gone from unranked with no votes to No. 4 in the span of four polls. Though Winner had defeated St. Thomas More head-to-head at the Hanson Classic, the Cavaliers remained ahead in the polls until this week. A defeat to second-ranked Sioux Valley was enough to knock St. Thomas More to No. 5 and allow the Warriors to slide in front by two votes.

Class B

1. Aberdeen Christian (18), 14-1, 94; 2. White River (1), 12-3, 68; 3. De Smet, 13-3, 57; 4. Lower Brule, 14-3, 43; 5. Faith, 14-1, 16.

Others receiving votes: Castlewood 3, Viborg-Hurley 1, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1, Wolsey-Wessington 1, James Valley Christian 1.


Unanimous no more: Aberdeen Christian, the final undefeated Class B team, was knocked from the unbeaten ranks with a loss to Class A Dell Rapids over the weekend. While the loss didn’t threaten the Knights’ place atop their own class (they still have a 26-point cushion on No. 2 in the poll), it was enough to convince one voter White River deserved attention for the top spot. This disrupted Aberdeen Christian’s unanimous control of the first-place votes, which the Knights had earned with a sound 19-point defeat of then-No. 1 White River at the Hanson Classic.


Class AA

1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (18), 12-2, 94; 2. Sioux Falls Washington (1), 11-2, 77; 3. Pierre, 12-2, 54; 4. O’Gorman, 10-3, 28; 5. Harrisburg, 11-3, 27.

Others receiving votes: Brandon Valley 5.

Tigers back to No. 5: After a two-week stint at No. 4, Harrisburg is back in a familiar position. The Tigers occupied the No. 5 spot for four consecutive weeks after moving into the rankings for the first time on Dec. 19 and have returned following a home loss to third-ranked Pierre. O’Gorman slipped ahead of the Tigers at No. 4 by a single vote this week.

Also of note, Rapid City Stevens lost a pair of road contests at O’Gorman and Brandon Valley over the weekend, which dropped the Raiders completely out of the poll for the first time this season. Brandon Valley is now the only program receiving votes outside of the top five.

Class A

1. Hamlin (19), 16-0, 95; 2. Vermillion, 16-1, 74; 3. Wagner, 16-1, 56; 4. Red Cloud, 15-0, 32; 5. St. Thomas More, 13-3, 24.

Others receiving votes: Florence/Henry 3, Sioux Falls Christian 1.

Undisputed at last: For the first time this season, the No. 1 team in Class A girls now owns all of the first-place votes. Hamlin ascended to No. 1 on Jan. 2 and has been there ever since, but either Wagner, Vermillion or both has claimed a share of the first-place votes until now. The Chargers took control of the final three top votes belonging to Vermillion by virtue of a 17-point head-to-head win against the still second-ranked Tanagers at the Dak XII-NEC Clash in Madison. Apart from Hamlin, the only other remaining undefeated Class A squad is Red Cloud, which slots in at No. 4 for the second-straight week.


Class B

1. Viborg-Hurley (16), 14-2, 92; 2. Wolsey-Wessington (3), 14-2, 79; 3. Centerville, 12-3, 42; 4. Sully Buttes, 12-2, 38; 5. Ethan, 12-2, 24.

Others receiving votes: Arlington 6, Howard 2, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1, Warner 1.

Unanimous no more, part 2: Another team that lost to a higher-class opponent and was punished by a few voters was Viborg-Hurley. The Cougars took their first loss of the season to a South Dakota opponent, falling to Class A third-ranked Wagner at a neutral site in Yankton. The result caused three voters to flip first-place votes from Viborg-Hurley, previously the unanimous No. 1 for three-straight weeks, to No. 2 Wolsey-Wessington, even though the Cougars defeated the Warbirds head-to-head at the Hanson Classic.

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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