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BALL FIVE: Big Dakota Conference loaded with quality teams

The Tigers and Lady Tigers open Big Dakota Conference play on Thursday when Miller comes to the Bridge City.
I have a feeling that both teams are going to go through what is as tough a conference schedule as any teams in the state. I’m not talking about just the Mobridge-Pollock teams, the other teams have to face each other, too. The BDC is stacked with good teams.
The Tigers get what should be their easiest conference matchup with Miller. The Rustlers are off to an 0-4 start. But after that, well, every other team is .500 or better in the early going. Along with the 5-1 Tigers, Crow Creek is 6-1 and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte is 5-1 with each team’s only loss to White River at the LNI. McLaughlin, who will be here Tuesday, is off to a 3-1 start. Winner is 3-2 with two quality losses, while Todd County is 4-4 and Chamberlain is 2-2. Most of their losses are of the quality kind, too.
What should bode well for the Tigers is a kind home schedule in the BDC. The Tigers get Miller, McLaughlin, Crow Creek, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte and Winner at home. Their only two road conference games are at Todd County and Chamberlain.
Why are McLaughlin and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte both home games when we play them twice each? Well, per BDC rules, the first of the two games played is the conference game. The Tigers play McLaughlin at home on Tuesday and on the road on Jan. 28. Cheyenne-Eagle Butte comes here on Feb. 4 and we go there on Feb. 24.
On the Lady Tigers’ side, man is this conference stacked.
Let’s start with Winner, the defending Class A champs and the number one team in state at 7-0. That Sully Buttes team that beat the Lady Tigers by 17, Winner beat by 32, in Onida. Crow Creek ran roughshod through the LNI, just beat West Central who was ranked fourth in state and enters the week at 7-0 and ranked fifth in state. Miller is 3-1 and their girls are coming off taking third in state in volleyball. Cheyenne-Eagle Butte is 4-3 and beat Miller in the season-opener. Todd County is 4-4 and just beat Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. McLaughlin and Chamberlain are off to rough starts. The Lady Mustangs are 0-3 and Chamberlain in 0-2, but McLaughlin has won its last seven against the Lady Tigers and Chamberlain has won its last five.
As for the Lady Tigers’ home and away split. Miller, Crow Creek, McLaughlin and Winner come here. The road games are at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, Todd County and Chamberlain.
The BDC is going to be an exciting place this year, not just for the Tigers and Lady Tigers, but for everyone involved.