South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Jan. 30: Ethan girls check in at No. 5 for first time
All six classes featured movement this week, including four that had teams move from receiving votes into the top five.
MITCHELL — As February draws near, there was plenty of movement across the prep basketball landscape this week, as none of the six classes had an identical top five compared to last week.
All three boys classes had one team move from the receiving-votes section into the top five this week, and on the girls side, Class B had two make the same climb. Additionally, across Class AA and Class A girls, two teams jumped up two places, while two others dropped by at least two spots.
The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Jan. 30 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.
1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (18), 12-0, 90; 2. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 10-1, 72; 3. Mitchell, 9-2, 51; 4. Brandon Valley, 8-4, 31; 5. Pierre, 8-5, 15.
Others receiving votes: Yankton 8, Harrisburg 1, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 1, Aberdeen Central 1.
Lynx leap to No. 4: A one-point loss to No. 1 Jefferson and a four-point win over then-No. 5 Yankton, coupled with a one-point win over then-No. 3 Pierre back on Jan. 19, was enough to vault Brandon Valley into the top five for the first time since Dec. 12. The Lynx knocked Yankton out of the poll and leapfrogged Pierre to land at No. 4.
1. Dakota Valley (18), 12-0, 90; 2. Sioux Valley, 11-1, 68; 3. Sioux Falls Christian, 11-1, 57; 4. St. Thomas More, 13-1, 28; 5. Winner, 11-1, 13.
Others receiving votes: Dell Rapids 6, Rapid City Christian 5, Lennox 2, Hot Springs 1.
Winner is in: As recently as Jan. 16, Winner was not receiving any votes in the poll. But now at 11-1 and on a five-game win streak, the Warriors have entered the top five for the first time this season. St. Thomas More, which remains one spot ahead of Winner despite the Warriors' head-to-head win at the Hanson Classic on Jan. 21, ultimately helped the Warriors crack the rankings by way of defeating then-No. 4 Rapid City Christian, which dropped out of the top five.
1. Aberdeen Christian (18), 12-0, 90; 2. White River, 11-2, 66; 3. De Smet, 12-2, 60; 4. Lower Brule, 12-3, 35; 5. Faith, 11-1, 8.
Others receiving votes: Castlewood 7, Wolsey-Wessington 2, James Valley Christian 1, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1.
Door No. 5: The revolving door at No. 5 continued to turn this week, as Ethan was tripped up by Howard to make way for Faith to become the fourth different team to occupy the final place in the rankings in as many weeks. The Longhorns own an 11-1 record and have received at least one vote in every poll to date, though this is the first time Faith as been included in the top five.
1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (16), 11-2, 87; 2. Sioux Falls Washington (2), 9-2, 69; 3. Pierre, 10-2, 40; 4. Harrisburg, 10-2, 34; 5. O’Gorman, 8-3, 22.
Others receiving votes: Rapid City Stevens 16, Brandon Valley 2.
Cavs climb to No. 1: For the first time this season, a program other than O'Gorman or Sioux Falls Washington is No. 1. Jefferson started the season ranked No. 2 and has been ranked no lower than No. 4 this season. After slotting in at No. 3 for each of the past three weeks, the Cavaliers knocked off Washington and benefitted from new No. 3 Pierre taking out O'Gorman, which fell to No. 5.
1. Hamlin (15), 13-0, 86; 2. Vermillion (3), 14-0, 75; 3. Wagner, 12-1, 52; 4. Red Cloud, 13-0, 29; 5. St. Thomas More, 11-3, 22.
Others receiving votes: Florence/Henry 4, Sioux Falls Christian 2.
Shifting spots: The same five teams from last week occupy the top five, but only No. 1 and No. 2 remained in the same place. St. Thomas More dropped from No. 3 to No.5 after losing to Class AA Spearfish. As a result, Wagner and Red Cloud (which remains unbeaten) each bumped up one position to Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.
1. Viborg-Hurley (18), 12-1, 90; 2. Wolsey-Wessington, 11-2, 72; 3. Centerville, 10-3, 37; 4. Sully Buttes, 10-2, 23; 5. Ethan, 10-2, 14.
Others receiving votes: Timber Lake 11, Jones County 7, Arlington 6, Howard 4, Warner 4, Wall 1, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1.
Muddying the water: As Viborg-Hurley and Wolsey-Wessington continue to separate themselves, the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 from last week all lost to create even more questions in the race for state tournament positions.
The upsets made room for Ethan, which had received votes in each of the past two polls, to enter the top five for the first time this season. The Rustlers are 10-2 overall (undefeated against Class B) and on a five-game win streak. Meanwhile, Centerville's loss came to Viborg-Hurley, which allowed the Tornadoes to remain at No. 3, while Sully Buttes rejoined the rankings at No. 4 thanks to a 69-65 overtime win over then-No. 5 Warner. The Chargers had previously dropped out of the rankings on Jan. 16.