Posted On: 01/3/18 3:45 PM
Who are the hottest teams in South Dakota and who is struggling entering the New Year? PHD runs you through it in Three Up, Three Down.
Class AA – Rapid City Central. The Cobbles went to Gillette, Wyoming and defeated three Cheyenne area teams to start the season. They followed that with three homes wins beating Mitchell, Huron, and Douglas. Finally, a near 20 point win over Dickinson of North Dakota has put the Cobblers at 7-0. The next task? Prove they are among the best in the state when they play January games against O’Gorman, Roosevelt, and Aberdeen Central plus a local match-up with Sturgis Brown.
The balance of the Cobbler team is what has everyone dreaming big in Rapid City. Tough 5-foot-9 senior guard Dylan Hay couldn’t be slowed by the North Dakota team while 6-foot-2 senior Kailleb Walton-Blanden was a playmaker again with his ten points and six assists. In the win against Douglas Walton-Blanden had 19, Hay scored 17, and senior forward Cameron Hall had 16. In the 25 point blowout of Huron, Hay had 23, Walton-Blanden nine points and six assists, and 6-foot-6 junior Elijah Williams missed a double-double by a basket (ten boards). In the Mitchell win Kailleb put on a show scoring 21 and throwing down a couple nasty dunks.
All in all the Cobblers are a deep and scary team to play against. This month the schedule steps up considerably.
Others: SF Lincoln, Harrisburg, RC Stevens. Lincoln and Harrisburg were expected to be among the best and so far they’ve played at or above expectations with an undefeated start. Stevens lost their opener but have since won five in a row including wins over Spearfish and Roosevelt.
Class A – Dakota Valley. The Panthers are 5-1 and on a five game winning streak with four double figure cities and then a big overtime win over Sergeant Bluff out of Iowa. In that big win freshmen guard Paul Bruns grabbed the attention of the state by scoring a dozen and making some huge plays down the stretch. Add in the key minutes of senior Jack Graves and the muscle minutes up from double-double threat Brennan Moran and the Panthers had a huge win last night.
Jack McCabe is off to a great start this year including his perfect game against Sully Buttes going nine for nine and scoring 24 plus he had 22 against Canton. Bruns and Tanner Smith, signed with Briar Cliff, have made for an excellent backcourt pair as they both had double figures beating Woodbury Central. Between Bruns, Smith, and McCabe the basketball the ball is always moving for DV.
Others: Roncalli, Tea Area, Madison, Bon Homme, Stanley County, and Sioux Falls Christian are all undefeated. The Chargers earned a massive win over O’Gorman in overtime last night.
Class B – Warner. The Monarchs are the happiest team in Class B right now having put losses on Potter by one and two scores recently. Veteran play has been big for Warner with 6-foot-1 senior guard Alex Bohle having a big 19 to beat MVP over the break supported by seniors Joel Young, Jackson Cramer, and Danzan Gilborne plus key plays from junior Daylin Simon. Bohle is becoming a top go-to guy in Class B as he also scored 17 against Potter County while Simon has been on the opposite side as a consistent second option. At 6-foot-1 Cramer is fighting for near double-double numbers in the paint.
Others: The season is early but only a few Class B teams are undefeated. That would be Warner, Clark/Willow Lake, Colome, and White River.
Class AA – Aberdeen Central. The Golden Eagles started the year as the preseason ranked top team in Class AA but have since been upset by Watertown and Brandon Valley locally. The Eagles have beaten struggling Huron and Pierre squads plus a one score win over Sturgis. At 3-3, about two games below what was expected, Central has a very important road trip coming up this weekend against RC Central and RC Stevens.
Class A – St. Thomas More/Tri-Valley. A let down was expected but nobody was thinking these proud clubs would start 1-5. The Mustangs beat Garretson but then dropped five in a row all by double figures. It doesn’t get easier for Tri-Valley either with Tea Area and MVP coming up. The Cavs are 0-5 against South Dakota teams although they have played Washignton, Douglas, Sturgis, Roncalli, and Madison. There are some winnable games approaching and you knew with all the seniors graduating things would be tougher but most of the games they’ve played haven’t been close.
Class B – Chester Area. After a nice 5-1 start it was a tough Christmas break for the Flyers who dropped a heartbreaker to Beresford and then were swamped by Castlewood 66-36. The Warriors are a tough bunch but a 30 point win over Chester caught us off guard. The Flyers have that in their minds as they play the BEC Tournament this week.