South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for Feb. 5: Mitchell boys earn unanimous No. 1 in Class AA

Feb. 5—MITCHELL — The first poll of February provided plenty of movement, as programs continue to jockey for position entering the final stretch of the regular-season schedule.

Among the six classes, two No. 1 rankings exchanged hands, and only Class B girls had its top five remain unchanged from the final week of January. In total, 16 programs have a different ranking from a week ago, including one team entering the top-five rankings for the first time this season.

Here are this week's polls and a breakdown of the most recent changes.

The South Dakota Prep Media basketball polls for the week of Feb. 5, 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. Mitchell (18), 13-1, 90; 2. Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 10-3, 63; 3. Harrisburg, 9-3, 55; 4. Sioux Falls Washington, 10-4, 33; 5. Brandon Valley, 9-3, 21.

Others receiving votes: Rapid City Stevens 8.

Kernels collect unanimous No. 1: As the final remaining Class AA boys team with fewer than three losses, Mitchell firmed up its place atop the poll by taking control of all 18 first-place votes this week. Harrisburg, which received three top votes last week, was upset by Aberdeen Central and dropped to No. 3, and Sioux Falls Washington slipped to No. 4 following a loss to Watertown. Meanwhile, Sioux Falls Roosevelt reclaimed the No. 2 spot. Slotting in at No. 5 to replace O'Gorman, which fell to Rapid City Stevens, Brandon Valley entered the poll for the first time this season, having last appeared in the Class AA boys top five on Feb. 6, 2023.

1. Sioux Falls Christian (18), 15-0, 90; 2. Hamlin, 12-3, 70; 3. Pine Ridge, 13-1, 43; 4. Sioux Valley, 14-1, 36; 5. Dakota Valley, 11-2, 29.

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

And then there was one: With Sioux Valley's first loss of the season, top-ranked Sioux Falls Christian is now the lone remaining unbeaten team in all of South Dakota boys basketball. The Chargers entered as the preseason No. 1 In the Class A boys poll and have controlled that mantle during a 15-0 start. Sioux Valley fell in overtime to Class B No. 3 De Smet and slipped to No. 4 this week, while Pine Ridge took over the No. 3 ranking. Hamlin at No. 2 and Dakota Valley at No. 5 occupied the same positions as last week.

1. White River (14), 15-1, 81; 2. Castlewood (2), 14-2, 64; 3. De Smet (2), 13-3, 53; 4. Viborg-Hurley, 11-3, 39; 5. Wessington Springs, 14-1, 18.

Others receiving votes: Canistota 6, Leola/Frederick Area 5, Faith 2, Howard 1, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1.

Taking over at the top: This week, White River became the fourth different program to hold the Class B No. 1 ranking this season, marking the most turnover of any class to date. The longest any of the four has held the top spot was three weeks, with De Smet topping the preseason poll and the first two in-season editions. Viborg-Hurley dropped from the top spot to No. 4 following two losses, as Castlewood and De Smet (each with two first-place votes) moved up behind White River. Wessington Springs remained at No. 5.

1. O'Gorman (18), 15-0, 90; 2. Mitchell, 14-0, 72; 3. Harrisburg, 9-3, 54; 4. Brandon Valley, 10-3, 29; 5. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 11-4, 23.

Others receiving votes: Pierre 2.

Settling down: With three straight weeks of the same five teams comprising the top five, the Class AA girls poll is in the midst of its longest calm stretch of the season to date. Of note this week, O'Gorman is back to unanimous No. 1 after Mitchell swiped away one top vote last week. Two weeks ago, nine teams were voted for in the poll, but this week Pierre was the lone team outside the top five to receive votes, getting two.

1. Flandreau (14), 15-0, 85; 2. Red Cloud (1), 16-0, 54; 3. SF Christian (1), 14-2, 50; 4. Sisseton (2), 14-1, 46; 5. Tea Area, 12-3, 21.

Others receiving votes: Vermillion 9, Wagner 5.

Flying up the rankings: Two weeks ago, Flandreau checked in at No. 4 in the Class A girls poll, but now the Fliers are the newest No. 1 in the class. Flandreau, one of two remaining undefeated teams in the class along with No. 2 Red Cloud, defeated Class B No. 2 Centerville at the Corn Palace on Saturday, while Sisseton fell to Sioux Falls Christian in Madison, opening the door for the Fliers to move up. Sisseton, now No. 4, had held the No. 1 ranking for four consecutive polls dating back to Jan. 8. Sioux Falls Christian climbed to No. 3, while Tea Area held firm at No. 5.

1. Ethan (17), 15-1, 89; 2. Centerville (1), 12-2, 68; 3. Harding County, 14-0, 38; 4. Wall, 12-3, 33; 5. Lyman, 14-1, 24.

Others receiving votes: Arlington 18.

Mind the gap: When Ethan took over the No. 1 spot in the Class B girls poll on Jan. 22, the Rustlers held a five-point edge over No. 2 Centerville. Since, that gap expanded to 12 points last week and is up to 21 points this week, as Ethan now holds 17 of the 18 first-place votes. Centerville clung to one top vote this week but comfortably maintained its spot at No. 2, with a 30-point cushion on No. 3 Harding County. Rounding out the rankings are No. 4 Wall and No. 5 Lyman, and Arlington is now the lone team receiving votes outside the top five.