Posted On: 11/26/18 3:56 PM

Today PHD gives the main headlines everybody is talking about heading into the 2018-19 season.  Get ready the season with PHD today!

One.  Two of Three?  Should Be!  Guys like Noah Freidel, Sawyer Schultz, Justin Hohn, Jamin Arend, Kade Stearns, and Carter Dye, they remember the feeling of championship glory all to well.  Both Tea Area and Bridgewater-Emery had a lot of young players in their line-up when they won state titles in 2016-17.  Expectations were high in 2017-18 and although Tea Area took second at Class A State with the Huskies earning third in Class B (talented teams from Madison and Sully Buttes brought home gold) there was a bit of a sting following the season.  So here we are now, both Tea Area and Bridgewater-Emery have felt the glory as well as the agony, what happens in the final run?  Tea Area has a pair of division one signed players in Freidel (Wright State) and Hohn (UC-Irvine) plus several returning players with experience.  Schultz (one of the 2-3 best seniors in the state) is back along with Dye, Arend, and others.  With more top end returning talent than anybody in their respective classes the pressure will be on to win gold, and these teams have the players to back it up.

Two. A Historic Path. In Matthew Mors the Yankton High School basketball team has a player that is pushing his way to a historic area.  The sophomore big man is nationally ranked and holds several scholarship offers from high major programs plus he’s put up strong numbers through his first three years of high school basketball and earned a state title.  Between his accomplishments, physical ability, and national standing as a prospect Matthew Mors is being talked about with the best of all time (to this point).  How about as a high school basketball player?  The first name to come up is fellow Yankton star Chad Nelson who led the Bucks to a 1974 championship.  Nelson was honored as a three time all state player.  From there the statewide comparisons of “best of all time” starts with Mike Miller, the three time state champ from Mitchell who was also a McDonald’s All American. You also have legends like Jim Iverson of Platte and Eric Piatkowski of RC Stevens to consider (among many others) before the conversation is pushed too far.

Three.  Class AA is Wide Open, Again.  The beauty of Class AA hoops is that there are so many contenders that anything can happen on any given night.  Yankton won the title a year ago plus returns the state’s best player Matthew Mors so they will be considered the favorite but contenders will be gunning for them.  Harrisburg may have lost their senior core but a strong culture was left behind led now by Nick Hoyt and and Blair Slaughter.  The transfer of Dylan Pourier joining him with Dawson Paulsen should keep RC Stevens strong, Jared Jaros has big expectations as the leader at SF Lincoln, and there is a returning talent at SF O’Gorman that has them excited. 

Four. Who will be the top Class A Contender?  The basketball at the Class A level continues to draw the excitement of fans at a statewide level.  Tea Area is the pick of many but the run to a title will not come easy.  Sioux Falls Christian lost just one game a season ago and returns Gavin Schipper and Mitchell Goodbary among others. If you are looking for a top contender the Chargers are it.  From there Red Cloud, Crow Creek, Dakota Valley, Sioux Valley, and others will have a say. 

Five. What Match-Ups will Fans Crave?  The Tea Area vs Sioux Falls Christian games should be “get there very early” status if you want a seat.  Also, you can expect any game with Matthew Mors to draw not just Yankton fans and opposing fans, but also simple basketball fans that enjoy the rich tradition of hoops in the state (Huron with top junior Kobe Busch taking on Yankton will be fun to watch). With all the talent back at Bridgewater-Emery, if or when they take on Timber Lake (21-4 last season) the match-up should be outstanding.