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JAY DAVIS: Tigers, McLaughlin have hoops centennial

I wish I had come across this little nugget earlier, but I didn’t so you all get to hear about it a little bit after the fact.
Mobridge and McLaughlin first played a basketball game in 1917. That makes last night’s contest a centennial game. That’s right. Mobridge and McLaughlin have been facing off on the basketball court for 100 years.
That is a pretty cool thing. People around the state would have to care about it enough to dig through their own files, but it would be a difficult task for anyone to find two schools who have as rich a basketball history as our two schools.
Last night was also the 155th game in this history-laden rivalry. So that is an average of a little more than a game and a half a year and there were a few years that the two teams did not play. In fact, after the 1917 game, the teams did not play again for four years. From 1921 to 1962 the teams played at least once a year. Mobridge went Class A that year and the teams did not play again until the 1971-72 season. They took one year off during the 1987-88 season and have not missed a year since.
Esteemed sports announcer Pat Morrison played his first game against McLaughlin 76 years ago in 1940.
McLaughlin had a fellow named Hank Taken Alive who starred for the team during my high school years in the ‘70s. Thirty-nine years and 59 games later, Hank is coaching his alma mater against mine.
Game after game after game between the two schools have become the stuff of legend.
Raise your glass. Here’s a centennial toast to what is certainly the greatest rivalry in South Dakota high school basketball history.