Opportunity Remains for Class AA Boys with Half of the Season Left
It's hard to believe that the high school basketball season is half way done, but the second half of the season could become a fun race.
The field for Class AA Boys is interesting with no one team really taking control of the class. Eight of 17 teams currently sit at .500 or better. The two top records, as of now, include Huron (9-2) and Watertown (8-2).
Watertown has been looked at as the top team for the South Dakota Sportswriters throughout the season on the boys side. Sioux Falls Washington may have changed that thinking on Thursday night when they defeated Watertown 69-60. Both of Huron's two losses have been to Watertown.
Here is where we stand when it comes to the Sioux Falls schools.
Sioux Falls O'Gorman (7-4, 43.45 seed points)
Currently, the O'Gorman Knights are the top of the Sioux Falls teams based on seed points and a head-to-head victory over Washington. O'Gorman has played a majority of the first half of their schedule on the road or at neutral court locations. So far, the Knights have played just two games on their home floor. The Knights have won their last two games over Washington and Yankton. Still to come for O'Gorman includes a game against each Sioux Falls school (two remaining against Roosevelt), and a trip to Sioux City North. O'Gorman will play five of its remaining nine games at home. The Knights are currently ranked 2nd in District 1.
Sioux Falls Washington (7-4, 42.09 seed points)
Washington is starting to pull everything together. The Warriors are 7-4 with nine games remaining in the regular season. Craig Nelson's team started 3-0 before losing four of the next five, bringing them to 4-4. Since that time, Washington has won another three in a row against Lincoln, Brookings, and Watertown. Key games remaining include another matchup with the Sioux Falls schools and a trip out west to face Rapid City Stevens and Rapid City Central. They are currently the top team in District 2.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt (5-5, 39.90 seed points)
It's taken a little bit of time, but the Roosevelt Rough Riders might have found the spark they need. Roosevelt, at one point, was 3-5 before winning their last two games to get back to .500. The Rough Riders will have plenty of games inside of Sioux Falls to end the season. They have six remaining home games, one at the Sanford Pentagon, and one trip to Lincoln. Roosevelt will just travel to Watertown and Yankton in their last 10. Roosevelt is currently ranked 3rd in District 1.
Sioux Falls Lincoln (3-7, 39.40 seed points)
The Lincoln Patriots have a lot of work to do, but there is still plenty of opportunity. Jeff Halseth's crew is currently trying to find their identity on the basketball floor. The Patriots have a LOT of great athletes, but just haven't been able to string together a run of wins. Both of their wins against Class AA teams were against two teams with below .500 records but within the district (Brandon Valley, Yankton). Their other win came against Sioux Valley (Class A, 10-2). Currently, the Patriots are on a three game skid. Their last ten games includes one game against each Sioux Falls school, and trips to South Sioux City and Rapid City. Lincoln is currently second ranked in District 2, ahead of Yankton (4-6, 38.90), Brandon Valley (4-8, 38.17), and Harrisburg (1-8, 35.67).
Seedings for the district tournaments and state tournament are based on these "seed points." They are calculated by wins/losses against the records of opponents faced on a graded system, and then divided by the number of games played. Also, with the way the state tournament bids are given out, a team like Lincoln still have a great shot of making the dance.
If the state tournament was to start today this would be the top eight teams based on seed points (not based on district/region tournaments).
1) Watertown (8-2, 44.20)
2) Sioux Falls O'Gorman (7-4, 43.45)
3) Huron (9-2, 43.36)
4) Pierre (7-2, 42.56)
5) Sioux Falls Washington (7-4, 42.09)
6) Aberdeen Central (7-3, 41.90)
7) Rapid City Stevens (6-5, 41.00)
8) Sioux Falls Roosevelt (5-5, 39.90)
The state tournament takes place at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center March 17-19.