South Dakota

South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Jan. 16: Hanson Classic win boosts Vermillion girls to No. 2 – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL – As it turns out almost every season, the 40th edition of the girls’ Hanson Classic has been a melting pot for ranked teams from across the state to show off their skills.

On Saturday, Vermillion, St. Thomas More, Class A’s Florence/Henry and Hanson, and Class B’s Viborg-Hurley, Howard, Arlington and Colman-Egan pleaded why they can compete for state tournament spots and maybe even a state championship coming up March.

South Dakota Prep Media’s basketball polls for the week of January 16 are listed below and indicate the top five teams in each class. First place votes are in parentheses and teams are ranked by total points.

1. Sioux Falls Jefferson (18), 6-0, 90; 2. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 6-1, 71; 3. Pierre, 6-2, 46; 4. Mitchell, 6-1, 34; 5. Sioux Falls Washington, 4-2, 17.
Others get votes: Yankton 8, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 3, Brandon Valley 1.

Keep Strong: The Class AA boys were the only top 5 unchanged from the previous week as the ranked teams went 7-1 combined. The lone rise was a 65-56 loss by No. 5 Sioux Falls Washington to leader Sioux Falls Jefferson.

Last week, a total of 22 votes were outside the top five, but this week it’s down to 12, with Yankton claiming eight. Harrisburg, No. 2 last season, has dropped out of the polls for the first time after a two-point loss at Huron that dropped Harrisburg to 5-4 on the season.

1. Dakota Valley (18), 8-0, 90; 2. Sioux Valley, 9-0, 70; 3. Sioux Falls Christian, 8-0, 46; 4. St. Thomas More, 9-0, 44; 5. Rapid City Christian, 10-0, 13.
Others get votes: Dell Rapids 7.

Metro Climbers: Sioux Falls Christian and Rapid City Christian were among the biggest climbers in the state this week. The Chargers improved 8-0 on the season with home wins over then-No. 4 Dell Rapids and Class AA Watertown, jumping from No. 5 to No. 3. Meanwhile, the 10-0 Comets are making their first comeback in the Top 5 up after spending the last three weeks as the top team in the Votes section.

The hurdle for entry into the boys’ Class A rankings is currently the steepest of any class, with the five ranked teams going 44-0 combined — though that’s guaranteed to change as No. 1 Dakota Valley and No. 1 at this Saturday’s Hanson Classic 2 Sioux Valley face off in a repeat of last season’s state championship game.

1. White River (16), 10-1, 88; 2. Aberdeen Christian (1), 7-0, 69; 3. De Smet (1), 7-1, 57; 4.Lower Brule, 7-2, 37; 5.Castlewood, 8-1, 17.
Others get votes: Faith 1, Ethan 1.

A revolution seems imminent: The only move in Boys’ Class B this week was a Nos. 4-5 swap when Lower Brule outplayed Castlewood, 64-61, with a 3-pointer from Brian LaRoche Jr.

But that’s likely to change soon as No. 1 White River and No. 2 Aberdeen Christian go head-to-head at this weekend’s Hanson Classic, as will No. 3 De Smet and No. 4 Lower Brule in another rematch the state championship.

1. Sioux Falls Washington (18), 7-0, 90; 2. O’Gorman, 5-2, 63; 3. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 6-2, 44; 4. Pierre, 7-1, 43; 5. Harrisburg, 7-1, 23.
Others get votes: Rapid City Stevens 6, Brandon Valley 1.

New (unanimous) No. 1: There’s a new leader in girls’ AA as O’Gorman lost the grip that had held her at the top of the rankings since last season. Sioux Falls Washington, who have held a top-three finish all season (ranked second last week), toppled O’Gorman head-to-head and kept the Knights at a season-low 33 points.

1. Hamelin (15), 8-0, 86; 2. Vermillion (3), 10-0, 67; 3. St. Thomas More, 9-2, 50; 4. Wagner, 8-1, 43; 5. Red Cloud, 9-0, 16.
Others get votes: Florence/Henry 8.

Beware of the tanagers: Ahead of last week’s poll, Vermillion has then-No. 4 Tea Area, 62-34, to capture the Titans’ place in the top four. Vermillion made a similar move this week, defeating Wagner, 53-52, in the girls’ edition of the Hanson Classic when the Tanagers and Red Raiders traded places to finish 2nd and 4th, respectively. Notably, the win took Vermillion’s record to 10-0, the first (and prior to the Jan. 16 promotion, only) girls’ program in the state to reach that mark in 2022-23.

1. Viborg-Hurley (18), 9-1, 90; 2. Wolsey-Wessington, 7-1, 71; 3. Wood Lake, 8-0, 36; 4. Centerville, 7-2, 18; 5. Warner, 6-2, 13.
Others get votes: Arlington 8, James Valley Christian 7, Jones County 7, Sully Buttes 7, De Smet 5, Ethan 3, Wall 3, Howard 2.

Cougars cement top spot: The defending B-class champion from Viborg-Hurley made a statement at the Hanson Classic on Saturday night. The Cougars played second-placed Wolsey-Wessington and turned a six-point lead into a 20-point win after three quarters, cementing their place at the top of the table. To date, Viborg-Hurley’s only loss came by a point against Campbell County (Wyo.), who finishes within Wyoming Prep Sports’ largest enrollment division.

Also of note is that Timber Lake, which received just one vote last week, shot up to No. 3 this week after beating then-No. 4 Sully Buttes that made the Panthers go 8-0 this season. Sully Buttes fell out of the top 5 this week, while Centerville fell from 3rd to 4th after a Hanson Classic loss to Arlington.

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