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It's finals week at Dakota Wesleyan University. And the DWU men's basketball team faces its toughest test of the season to date on Saturday. The No. 20 Tigers host No. 5 Briar Cliff at 6 p.m. at the Corn Palace in a critical Great Plains Athletic Conference contest. "Monday through Wednesday, our guys will kind of be focused on finals," DWU coach Matt Wilber said. "We will be able to stay light on them early in the week and get back at it. It's going to be full prep for Briar Cliff and we will see if we can get ready to go. They are such a good basketball team."
BOYS' BASKETBALL Aberdeen Christian 68, James Valley Christian 65 Baltic 66, Deubrook 41 Clark/Willow Lake 73, Sioux Valley 58 Crazy Horse 59, Wakpala 23 Crow Creek 76, Little Wound 47 Douglas 76, Alliance, Neb. 43 Dupree 42, New Underwood 36 Eureka/Bowdle 62, McIntosh 27 Freeman Academy/Marion 43, Oldham-Ramona/Rutland 38 Groton Area 67, Leola/Frederick 41 Huron 46, Mitchell 32 Kadoka Area 49, Faith 45 Lead-Deadwood 52, Harding County 47
HURON—The Mitchell boys basketball team struggled to hit shots down the stretch and lost to Huron 46-32 on Saturday at the Huron Arena. In Todd Neuendorf's first game as the Kernel coach, Mitchell played tough defense against a taller and athletic Huron squad. "I am going to go back to this and this what I said when I first got hired, is we are going to play defense," Neuendorf said. "I don't know if we can play much better defense. I am proud of how hard the kids played and they bought in."
HURON—The Mitchell girls basketball team turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 16-point win over Huron on Saturday. The Kernels trailed 28-24 at the break, but their full-court press wore on the Tigers and they pulled away for a 62-46 Eastern South Dakota Conference win at the Huron Arena. The Kernels forced Huron into 28 turnovers and turned many of those into transition points. "We just kept the pressure on and let our guards do their job," Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. "(Huron) played last night and we used our depth to wear them down a little bit."
Wayne Stone's list of athletic accomplishments were long and impressive, but he wasn't one to gloat about them. "He was a real humble guy," said Jeff Stone, Wayne's son. "He wasn't real braggadocious about the things that he had accomplished."
Four months of non-stop high school basketball tips off tonight. And there's plenty of storylines to watch as we gear up for state tournaments in March. After the Sweet 16 postseason format went over well in Class A, Class AA and Class B will utilize the system. Class B will also finally use the 35-second shot clock this season. On the court, the state is again loaded with talented players across all three levels. Here's a look at some players to watch this season: Boys
Dakota Wesleyan University's Big 3 powered it to an 89-76 men's basketball win over Doane University on Saturday at the Corn Palace. Jason Spicer, Trae Vandeberg and Ty Hoglund combined for 71 points to carry DWU past Doane in the Great Plains Athletic Conference basketball game. Spicer tossed in 27 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds. Hoglund and Vandeberg both scored 22 points. "We will take that any day of the week, if those guys get those numbers," DWU coach Matt Wilber said.
Dakota Wesleyan University's defense came alive in the second quarter on Saturday as it broke open a first quarter tie and downed Doane University 82-51 in a women's basketball game at the Corn Palace. The No. 6 Tigers used a 25-9 second quarter spurt to put away Doane University in the Great Plains Athletic Conference game.
The players come and go for the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team, but one thing remains the same: the Tigers take care of the ball. One season after losing its All-American point guard, DWU is still among the nation's leaders in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio. Through 11 games this season, the Tigers are second in the nation with a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio. "That's something we harp on that a lot," DWU coach Matt Wilber said. "But that's a players deal. Coach can say don't turn it over all you want, but players have to execute that stuff."
BROOKINGS—Xavier Ward has been thrown in the fire. The South Dakota State University true freshman defensive tackle had his redshirt pulled early in fall camp and is now seeing valuable time for the Jackrabbits, who host Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the FCS playoffs. "I remember my first day of practice, I fell down more times than I actually succeeded," said Ward, who is a Freeman native and a Canistota graduate. "It has just been a big change and I have learned a lot."