South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Jan. 15: Four unbeatens remain unranked

Jan. 15—MITCHELL — Despite inclement weather wiping out many contests over the past week, the South Dakota Prep Media polls still produced movement in the second rankings of the 2024 calendar year.

Among the shifting, two teams — one newcomer and one returner — entered the rankings at No. 5 in their respective classes, while a tie near the top emerged in another class. However, three of the six classes went without a change to the top five teams.

The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Jan. 15, 2024, are listed below, ranking the top-five teams in each class. First-place votes are indicated in parentheses and teams are ranked by total points received.

1. Harrisburg (14), 6-1, 70; 2. Mitchell, 8-1, 55; 3. Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 5-2, 43; 4. O'Gorman, 4-3, 17; 5. Sioux Falls Washington, 5-3, 10.

Others receiving votes: Sioux Falls Lincoln 8, Watertown 7, Sioux Falls Jefferson 1.

Welcome, Washington: For the first time this season, Sioux Falls, Washington, has entered the top five of Class AA boys basketball. At 5-3, the Warriors were idle last week but checked in at No. 5 and hold the same position in the seed points standings. O'Gorman was also idle but move up to No. 4. Elsewhere in the class, the top three of Harrisburg, Mitchell and Sioux Falls Roosevelt remained firm for the third-consecutive poll dating back to Dec. 18.

1. Sioux Falls Christian (13), 7-0, 69; 2. Dakota Valley (1), 7-0, 52; 3. Hamlin, 6-2, 41; 4. Sioux Valley, 8-0, 29; 5. Pine Ridge, 7-1, 10.

Others receiving votes: Rapid City Christian 8, Hot Springs 1.

Pine Ridge returns: Though the same four programs have comprised the Class A boys basketball top four in each edition of this season's polls to date, the No. 5 slot has been a revolving door. Across the five editions of the poll, four different teams have claimed the spot, with Pine Ridge becoming the first to occupy the spot alone more than once. The Thorpes were No. 5 in the final poll of 2023 but fell just outside the rankings last week after their first loss. With a 7-1 record, Pine Ridge re-entered the poll while St Thomas More fell out.

1. Castlewood (13), 8-0, 68; 2. De Smet, 8-1, 42; 3. White River (1), 10-1, 34; 4. Viborg-Hurley, 5-1, 25; 5. Dell Rapids St. Mary, 7-1, 18.

Others receiving votes: Canistota 14, Leola/Frederick Area 4, Faith 4, Wessington Springs 1.

Competitive cluster: Four undefeated teams remain in Class B boys basketball, yet only one has a place inside the top five of this week's rankings. Leading the group is No. 1 Castlewood, which garnered 13 of 14 first-place votes at the top of the poll. However, Canistota (7-0), Faith (8-0) and Leola/Frederick Area (9-0) are on the outside of the top five looking in behind one-loss teams from De Smet, White River (the other first-place vote recipient), Viborg-Hurley and Sell Rapids St. Mary. In all 14 teams in Class B have one or no losses to date.

1. O'Gorman (14), 6-0, 70; 2. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 8-1, 50; 3. Harrisburg, 4-2, 37; 4. Mitchell, 8-0, 31; 5. Aberdeen Central, 8-1, 15.

Others receiving votes: Sioux Falls Washington 6, Pierre 1.

Quiet week: During the past week, just three total games were played by the seven teams that received votes in last week's poll, all resulting in wins for the ranked side. As a result, the rankings remained almost entirely unchanged. O'Gorman held firm in control of all 14 first-place votes to lead an identical top five compared to last week, while Sioux Falls Washington and Pierre remained the lone programs receiving votes outside of the top five.

1. Sisseton (11) 8-0 67; T-2. Tea Area (3), 8-1, 44; T-2. Wagner, 7-1, 44; 4. Flandreau, 6-0, 28; 5. Red Cloud, 9-0, 20.

Others receiving votes: Sioux Falls Christian 4, Vermillion 2, Aberdeen Roncalli 1.

Tie at No. 2: Tea Area, which maintained control of three first-place votes following its first loss of the season (a five-point loss to Class AA No. 2 Jefferson), settled into a tie with Wagner for the No. 2 ranking in Class A girls basketball this week. No. 1 Sisseton, one of three remaining undefeated teams in the class, collected 11 first-place votes. Of note, Wagner currently holds the top spot in the Class A seed points standings, followed by Sisseton and No. 5-ranked Red Cloud, also unbeaten. No. 4 Flandreau, the final unbeaten, rounds out the poll but is seventh in seed points.

1. Centerville (9), 8-0, 65; 2. Ethan (3), 9-1, 57; 3. Lyman (1), 7-0, 35; 4. Wall, 8-2, 26; 5. Arlington, 8-1, 16.

Others receiving votes: Harding County (1) 9, Faith 2.

Ranchers on the rise: One of three remaining unbeaten programs in Class B girls basketball, Harding County received its first votes of the season this week, including one first-place nod. At 9-0, the Ranchers have the most wins of the undefeated trio that includes No. 1-ranked Centerville and No. 3-ranked Lyman. Harding County currently occupies the top spot in the seed point standings, just above Centerville and Ethan, which is ranked No. 2 in the poll with one loss.