Mobridge Weather

32°F
wind speed: 4 mph SE
 

BAlL FIVE:You can have have one, but having two is tough task

I noticed a few weeks ago that there are not very many teams in South Dakota that have good wrestling and basketball teams.
With the numbers in from state wrestling and basketball’s regular season, I think it is a pretty convincing argument that a school or co-op has to get a little lucky to have enough boys to pull off the feat of being good at both sports.
I researched the top 10 Class B wrestling teams, according to their team finish at state this weekend.
Canton won state. Their basketball team went 7-13. Winner Area took second, while it’s basketball team, Winner only, went 6-14. Howard took third as its hoops team went 1-19. Philip and the entire area took fourth as the Scottie hoopsters went 6-14. The Tigers took seventh, while our basketball team had to fight hard and improve all year to get to 6-14. McCook Central/Montrose wrestled to eighth and played basketball to 9-11. Redfield added Area to its name this year and took ninth in state, while Redfield/Doland went 10-10 on the hardwood. Wagner slipped into 10th at state as its basketball team slid to 1-19.
You’ll notice fifth-place Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon and sixth-place Clark/Willow Lake were not mentioned. They are the two anomalies. Bon Homme has a 17-3 basketball and Clark/Willow Lake went 15-5. I went through the boys’ average daily attendance for each school, but we can’t dig too deeply there because that would make this column a million words long. But I can tell you that with Bon Homme, Scotland and Avon they have 118 boys to choose from. That’s a lot. Canton has the second highest enrollment with 98. That makes Clark/Willow Lake the real abnormality here. Between the two schools, there are just 41 boys, so those young men are a talented group.
Now let’s look at the top 10 basketball teams in Class A. Sioux Falls Christian is 20-0, and with a male population of 99 does not even have a wrestling program. Madison is 19-1 and did well at wrestling, taking nine guys to the State A tourney and scoring 53 points. Madison does have a male population of 147. Sioux Valley is ranked third, went 18-2 and took zero wrestlers to state. Dell Rapids, 16-4 and ranked fourth sent six wrestlers who combined for 15 points. Tea Area, fifth at 15-5, sent three wrestlers to state. All three went 0-2. Miller is sixth at 17-3. The Rustlers, even with their Highmore-Harrold co-op took three wrestlers to state. Seventh-ranked Crow Creek, 17-3, does not have wrestling. Dakota Valley is 14-6 and ranked eighth. They took two wrestlers to state. I put 17-3 Bon Homme at ninth (the state rankings had just eight teams last week). That’s pretty good and their numbers drop from 118 to 56 without the co-op. I did look at their schedule. It was pretty weak this year. Their opponents had a combined winning percentage of .492. You can compare that to the Tigers’ schedule. The Tigers’ opponents had a winning percentage of .587. Pine Ridge at 15-5 is 10th. The Thorpes sent one wrestler to state.
So there you have it. Of the top 10 wrestling teams, two have winning records in basketball. The top 10 basketball schools combined to have nine wrestlers place in a state tournament (Madison four, Miller/Highmore-Harrold two, Dell Rapids, Dakota Valley, Pine Ridge one each).
By the way, there are 16 Class B basketball teams with at least 14 wins. Of those teams only Clark/Willow Lake, Sully Buttes and Potter County have their own wrestling program, and only Corsica-Stickney (Mt. Vernon/Plankinton), Warner (Northwestern) and the Woonsocket half of Sanborn Central/Woonsocket (Wessington Springs) even have co-op wrestling.
The Tigers have had years where both winter teams were good at the same time. We should consider ourselves lucky to have enough kids to pull that off once in a while, because it is a difficult task