Wessington Springs, Winner lead area boys basketball teams in seed-point standings as season winds down

Feb. 6—MITCHELL — With the first week of February in the rearview mirror, the South Dakota boys basketball postseason is within view, and the regional playoff pictures are coming into focus.

From top-heavy regions with several teams in the top 20 of their respective classes to regions featuring class-leading programs that have separated themselves, the push toward the postseason includes region races of all sorts.

Here's a look at the regions containing Mitchell-area programs and where the races stand entering the final weeks of the regular season.

Note: All records are current through contests on Monday, Feb. 5.

High atop the overall Class A seed points standings, 1.3 points ahead of No. 2 in the class, Sioux Falls Christian (15-0) stands at the forefront of Region 3A. The Chargers are the lone unbeaten boys basketball team remaining in all of South Dakota boys basketball.

As the two other teams in the region with winning records, Dell Rapids (12-4) and Baltic (11-5) are battling for second position. Dell Rapids is eighth overall in the class standings, while Baltic is 21st.

West Central (7-8) and Madison (6-8) are both hovering around .500, while Tri-Valley (5-10), McCook Central/Montrose (4-11) and Garretson (3-12) round out the region standings.

With just over one seed point separating first from fourth in the Region 5A standings, a clear frontrunner has yet to emerge.

Leading the way is Parkston (10-5), followed by Wagner (10-4), Sanborn Central/Woonsocket (7-8) and Hanson (9-6). A Tuesday night meeting between Parkston and SCW in Forestburg looms large as the last remaining regular season game between two top-five teams in the region and could go a long way in determining the region race.

Lurking in the middle of the pack is Platte-Geddes (8-5), which has contests against Winner and Class B foes Gregory and Bridgewater-Emery ahead as opportunities to climb the ladder.

Battling for sixth position is a cluster that includes Bon Homme (7-7), Mount Vernon/Plankinton (5-9) and Kimball/White Lake (4-10), while Chamberlain (2-13) completes the region.

At No. 3 in the seed points standings and South Dakota Prep Media poll, Pine Ridge (12-1) has a comfortable cushion of more than 2.5 points on Winner (11-4) for the top spot in Region 7A. The Thorpes and Warriors are the lone teams above .500 in the region.

On top of a meeting with Platte-Geddes, Winner still has matchups with the top two teams from Region 6A — McLaughlin and Mobridge-Pollock — remaining as chances to improve their position in Class A, where the Warriors are No. 11 overall.

Right at .500 entering the final stretch, Lakota Tech (6-6), St. Francis (7-7) and Red Cloud (8-8) make up the middle of the pack, with Little Wound not far behind. Lakota Tech has a two-point edge for the third position, as fourth through sixth is separated by less than 0.4 seed points.

At the bottom of the region standings are Todd County (3-12) and Bennett County (3-8).

Winning teams from other Class A regions

Region 1A: Groton Area (10-4), Milbank (9-5), Tiospa Zina (8-6), Waubay/Summit (10-5), Aberdeen Roncalli (9-6)

Region 2A: Hamlin (13-3), Sioux Valley (14-2), Flandreau (10-6), Clark/Willow Lake (8-6), Estelline/Hendricks (10-5), Great Plains Lutheran (9-5)

Region 4A: Dakota Valley (11-2), Lennox (11-4), Vermillion (10-4), Canton (9-5), Tea Area (8-8)

Region 6A: McLaughlin (11-3), Mobridge-Pollock (10-4), Stanley County (10-7), Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (8-7)

Region 8A: Rapid City Christian (13-2), Hot Springs (10-3), Custer (11-5), St. Thomas More (11-4), Hill City (9-7)

SoDak 16 pairings if the postseason started today

Based on the top two teams in each region through action on Feb. 5

Class A

No. 1 Sioux Falls Christian (15-0) vs. No. 16 Mobridge-Pollock (10-4)

No. 2 Hamlin (13-3) vs. No. 15 Wagner (10-4)

No. 3 Pine Ridge (12-1) vs. No. 14 Milbank (9-5)

No. 4 Sioux Valley (14-2) vs. No. 13 McLaughlin (11-3)

No. 5 Rapid City Christian (13-2) vs. No. 12 Parkston (10-5)

No. 6 Dakota Valley (11-2) vs. No. 11 Groton Area (10-4)

No. 7 Hot Springs (10-3) vs. No. 10 Winner (11-4)

No. 8 Dell Rapids (12-4) vs. No. 9 Lennox (11-4)

With four teams inside the top 13 overall in Class B, Region 3B is among the most top-heavy regions in the state this season. Canistota (10-3), the No. 7 overall squad in Class B, leads the way, followed closely by Howard (11-3, 10th), Ethan (13-3, 11th) and Dell Rapids St. Mary (10-3, 13th).

A key contest between Canistota and Howard is slated for Feb. 13 in Canistota. Meanwhile, both the Hawks and Tigers face top competition in this weekend's DWU Classic, was Canistota battles current No. 1 White River and Howard matches up with Class A Parkston. Howard also meets a top-10 team in Viborg-Hurley on Feb. 15.

Hovering in the middle of the pack are Bridgewater-Emery (9-6) and Chester (7-9), both of which are more than one full seed point behind DRSM but more than 2.5 points up on the teams in seventh through ninth in the region.

Rounding out the standings are Colman-Egan (4-10), Mitchell Christian (4-11) and Sioux Falls Lutheran (2-6).

A clear top contender in Region 4B, Viborg-Hurley (11-3) stands at No. 8 overall in Class B. With a cushion of just over two seed points on Freeman (9-4), the Cougars are the region's lone team in the top 20.

Freeman has two games against Class A competition still on its schedule, part of a seven-game stretch to end the regular season that features six teams with winning records.

Chasing the Flyers are Centerville (9-5) and Gayville-Volin (7-6), the remaining two teams in the region with a winning record. Also in the middle of the pack are Alcester-Hudson (6-10) and Freeman Academy/Marion (4-10).

Rounding out the region standings are Irene-Wakonda (1-16), Menno (1-13) and Scotland (1-15).

A top-5 team in the class, Wessington Springs (14-1) owns the top spot in Region 5B with a comfortable lead of 1.8 seed points on second-position Gregory (12-3).

A Tuesday night meeting with nearby Wolsey-Wessington is the Spartans' lone remaining game with a team above .500. Meanwhile, Gregory still has Class A Wagner, Platte-Geddes and Bon Homme along with Dell Rapids St. Mary at the DWU Classic left on its schedule.

In a tight battle right behind the Gorillas, Corsica-Stickney (9-4), Tripp-Delmont/Armour (10-4) and Marty (9-5) could all shoot up the standings with a late-season winning streak. All three are also in the top-25 overall in the class.

Completing the region standings are Andes Central/Dakota Chrisitian (4-9), Avon (3-11), Burke (2-11) and Colome (0-12).

Clustered between No.14 and No. 24 overall in Class B, it appears to be a three-way race at the top of Region 6B between Faulkton Area (12-3), Lower Brule (9-7) and Ipswich (11-5).

Potter County (7-5) is also top 30 and with eight games left to play, could still factor into the race. The Battlers have games against Faulkton on Feb. 8 and Ipswich on Feb. 15 still to play. Of note, Lower Brule is in action at the DWU Classic against Freeman and has a Warner Classic clash with Wolsey-Wessington.

Sully Buttes (5-7) and Highmore-Harrold (8-7) are separated by 0.35 seed points in the middle of the pack, as Lyman (3-9), Herreid/Selby Area (3-13) and Sunshine Bible Academy (1-12) complete the standings.

Winning teams from other Class B regions

Region 1B: Leola/Frederick Area (16-1), Aberdeen Christian (8-4), Waverly-South Shore (11-5), Hitchcock-Tulare (7-7)

Region 2B: Castlewood (14-2), De Smet (13-3), Wolsey-Wessington (13-2), Deubrook Area (8-7)

Region 7B: White River (15-1), Philip (11-5), Wall (10-6), Crazy Horse (9-6), Jones County (10-7), New Underwood (8-4)

Region 8B: Faith (14-1), Lemmon (12-2), Timber Lake (9-6), Wakpala (9-6)

SoDak 16 pairings if the postseason started today

Based on the top two teams in each region through action on Feb. 5

Class B

No. 1 White River (15-1) vs. No. 16 Freeman (9-4)

No. 2 Castlewood (14-2) vs. No. 15 Lower Brule (9-7)

No. 3 Leola/Frederick Area (16-1) vs. No. 14 Lemmon (12-2)

No. 4 De Smet (13-3) vs. No. 13 Aberdeen Christian (8-4)

No. 5 Wessington Springs (14-1) vs. No. 12 Gregory (12-3)

No. 6 Faith (14-1) vs. No. 11 Faulkton Area (12-3)

No. 7 Canistota (10-3) vs. No. 10 Philip (11-5)

No. 8 Viborg-Hurley (11-3) vs. No. 9 Howard (11-3)