JAY DAVIS: Braves are last team to pull off 8 vs. 1 upset


After Platte-Geddes beat Clark-Willow Lake 66-51 in the first round of the State A Basketball Tournament on March 14, a misquote was widely reported.

The reports came out that the last time an eight seed had defeated a one seed in the opening round was in 1985 when Mobridge defeated Armour 57-56 in the first round of the Class B Basketball Tournament.

It actually happened again the very next year. The next season, 1985-86, was the first season for three classes in South Dakota basketball. The Tigers and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves were in the A division.

While the Tigers beat the Braves in the District 12A tournament, it was the Braves who eventually went to state. The district winner and runner-up advanced to the region. The Tigers lost to Hoven in the first round, while Cheyenne-Eagle Butte beat Ipswich and then Hoven to win the Region 6A title.

The Braves went to the state tournament as the eighth seed and had to play number one Redfield. The Braves beat the previously undefeated Pheasants 55-51 to pull off the upset after trailing by 12 points at the half. In the semifinals, Hanson edged the Braves 50-45 (and then went on to defeat Beresford 48-43 for the title). The Braves had to settle for fourth when they lost a 91-75 shootout to Pine Ridge in the third-place game.

One other note, the Braves had a lot of work to do to get to state. Not only did they lose a 57-45 game to Mobridge in the 12A title game, they trailed 11A champ Ipswich until current coach Rob Mendoza hit a 25-foot buzzer-beater to win a 66-65 game. There was not so much drama in the championship game when the Braves beat Hoven 82-66.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed since the end of basketball season: The Vikings would rather have a family man and clubhouse leader than a man who gets and gives headaches; Tiger Woods is still pretty good; the NCAA tournament has broken every bracket; and Major League Baseball is starting soon.


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