SD Class AA Boys Basketball State Tournament Preview

The Class AA boys state basketball tournament begins March 14 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. No one has been more consistent than Mitchell this year, but everyone agrees that this tournament is wide open. Let's take a look at the quarterfinal matchups!

 1) Mitchell vs. 8) Jefferson

The Mitchell Kernels come in as the top dogs in this tourney, this is their best regular season since 1985. Mitchell and Jefferson faced off back on January 30 and Mitchell took it to the Cavs. Since then Jefferson has gone 6-0 against AA competition. 





 1)  Mitchell 20-1

61.4 48.7

Coach Ryker Kreutzfeldt, Mitchell: 

Jefferson is an extremely athletic team who wants to play at a high pace. We imagine they will try to wear down our guys throughout the game through full-court pressure and transition offense. It should be a great game to open the tournament.

 8) Jefferson 12-9

58.6 56.0

Coach Tim Reck, SF Jefferson:

“We are going into the tournament playing with a lot of confidence right now. We hit a real rough patch in the middle of the season and the guys stuck together and believed in each other. We are going in with mindset we want to play at night. We had a lot of growing up to do this year with our lack of experience. We are a veteran team now.”



4) Roosevelt vs. 5) Washington

Two streaky teams with similar records will face off. This will be the third time they play this year. The first was back at the Presidents Bowl classic where Roosevelt got off to a slow start and lost. The second Washington won a close one 56-52. This one promises to be good.






 4) Roosevelt 15-6

56.7 50.5

Coach Mitch Begeman, SF Roosevelt

“Our message to this team this week has been to create memories and take nothing for granted. Our kids have really embraced this and we are looking forward to the opportunity to play in the State Tournament. We feel that we have prepared ourselves and are ready to take on the challenges!"

 5) Washington 14-7

54.6 53.6

Jeff Tobin, Washington :

“We don't want to be satisfied with "just making the tourney", we want to prove to ourselves that we can put 3 great days of basketball together in a way that not many people thought we could. Little underdog mentality.”



2) Harrisburg vs. 7) Watertown

The Harrisburg Tigers haven’t won a state title since 1960… could this be the year? Harrisburg is on a 9-game win streak that includes a 53-37 win over Watertown. The Arrows get another shot at them on Thursday. 






 2) Harrisburg 18-3

63.8 47.0

Coach Scott Langerock, Harrisburg:

“We talk about doing what the Tigers do at the highest level this weekend.  We will need to be physically and mentally tough to play through times of frustration.  Play thru the paint with either a post touch or off the dribble attack.  Good things happen for us when the ball gets to the paint.  Defensively, we will need to communicate constantly, stop the dribble and rebound.  Play free and play for one another.”

 7) Watertown 13-8

55.8 54.6

Coach Pat McClemans, Watertown:

"Our message I don't think is really any different than it has all season.   We are preparing our team to compete.   Trying to keep the same preparation, consistency, and message as possible.  Obviously, this is a little easier said than done.   We want are kids to play free and easy as I believe the expectations and/or pressure came on us during the SODAK game. The opportunity to get to a state tournament, after having not been there for so long I think, weighed heavily on our players."



3) Brandon Valley vs. 6) Huron

These two squared off just a couple weeks ago. Brandon Valley got a comfortable 64-43 win. Huron is young but have the top scorer in this tournament in sophomore Blake Ellwein.






 3) Brandon Valley 16-5

60.6 48.6

Brandon Valley started the season 2-3 and finished 14-2. They play great team ball and have one of the best paint presences in the state with Josh Olthoff (12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg). AIden Zerr has stepped up in a big way this year and Landon Dulaney controls the flow of the offense at point. Brandon Valley plays great team defense and will be in any game they play. 

 6) Huron 13-8

55.4 53.6

Coach  Tim Buddenhagen, Huron:

“The message is Champions don't show up to get everything they want; they show up to give everything they have.  Be a gunslinger and go for it, don't be afraid to take a risk. Brandon is a tough match up because of their size, physicality, patience, and they are well coached.  I have a ton of respect for the BV program.  I expect they will pound the ball inside and attack the offensive glass.  They play a pack line defense so it makes it difficult to get the ball in the paint by driving the basketball.  We will need to pick up the tempo and force Brandon to shoot a lot of 3's then we have to be very good on the defensive glass.” 


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