JAY DAVIS: Tigers-Midgets hoops have richest rivalry in Mobridge sports history
This weekend and early next week, the Tigers will tip off against two of their most storied basketball rivals. McLaughlin and Miller have too much history with the Tigers for this stuff to be hidden away at the end of the game article.
We’ll get to the Lady Tigers and their upcoming rivalries too, but first, the longest and richest rivalry in Tiger sports.
When the Tigers and McLaughlin Midgets meet in Mobridge on Tuesday, it will be the 146th time the two teams have met on the basketball court! How’s that for a rich rivalry?
The rivalry dates back to the 1916-17 season when Mobridge won a 33-15 game. Since then Tigers have won 77 games, while the Midgets have won 68. Mobridge got the better of McLaughlin over the years and held a 37-23 record in the series after winning in the 1948-49 season. The ‘50s were nothing but Midgets win after Midgets win. McLaughlin won 16 games in a row before the Tigers put the long losing streak to rest with two wins during the 1957-58 season. After that year the teams were tied at 39 wins each. After the Midgets beat the Tigers in the 1990-91 season, the series was knotted at 59-59 and then the Tigers went on a nine-game winning streak that did not end until the Midgets won in the 2000-01 season. Bringing us up to date, the Midgets beat the Tigers 83-65 and 82-75 during the regular season last year before the Tigers won a 58-41 game in the district tournament, bringing the current series score to 77-68. The teams have met 25 times in the postseason alone. The Tigers hold a 13-5 record in district competition and lead 5-2 in regional play.
If we started telling the stories of the many fantastic games the Tigers and Midgets have had over the years, well, a year of Ball Five columns would be consumed.
The Tigers and Miller Rustlers have not been playing that long, but the rivalry does date back to 1938-39 when the Rustlers beat the Tigers 32-7. Miller holds an all-time 44-40 edge over the Tigers, mostly due to winning seven of the last eight contests.
The Tigers have only played 13 games against Groton. The teams played three times in the 30s and once in the 90s before starting a regular rivalry in 2002-03. Last year’s 63-43 win over Groton gave the Tigers an 8-5 record against them.
The Lady Tigers and Miller have been playing since 1977. The series was nip and tuck until 1990 came along. That was when Miller went on a 10-1 streak to lead the series 18-8. The Lady Tigers came back with six wins in a row. Then Miller won four straight. The Lady Tigers won 56-47 during the regular season and 57-44 in the region finals last year. Heading into Friday, Miller holds a 22-16 lead in the all-time series.
The Lady Tigers have a deeper history with Groton than the boys. Mobridge and Groton started playing in 1983. The series has bounced back and fourth. The Lady Tigers won six straight from ‘88 to ‘94 to take an 8-3 lead. Groton took the series over, winning seven of the next eight to take a 10-9 lead. Then the Lady Tigers won four in a row. Then Groton won three in a row before the Lady Tigers won in 2009-10 and 59-40 last year to forge a 15-13 lead the rivalry.
The girls have been playing Crow Creek since 2000 and knew nothing but success until last season. The Lady Tigers won the first 11 games of the series before Crow Creek broke through with a 53-45 win last season.
Isn’t history fun?