South Dakota Girls Basketball
In this week’s blog I’ll mention my impact player for each class. This is the player I expect to shoulder the load for their team and take over games to lead their team to victories in the post-season. This is not necessarily the best player in each class, but the one I see making the biggest impact on the post-season.
Now that the AA regular season is behind us it’s time to expect the unexpected in the postseason. The stars will come out and the best teams better be ready for some of the challengers’ top performances. Last season Brandon Valley came out of nowhere to take the title with a junior leader named Heidi Hoff.
Heidi is my impact player in Class AA again. Hoff Hoff of Brandon Valley averaged 26 pts. 11 rebounds last year in the state tournament on her way to a state title. This year she’s put up over 21 ppg and could do the same.
My final edition of the power rankings reflect the volatility of the top five this season. Although Washington’s record suggests they should remain at number two, their back to back home losses have me a little worried as they head into the playoffs. They haven’t been able to put up enough offense in the last three games and they’ll have to get a better team effort to advance out of the toughest district in the class.
Mitchell continues to hold steady at number one. The junior led group quietly remains the top team and is definitely the odds on favorite. Yankton and their potent trio of Chloe Cornemann, Emily Fedders and Mikayla Hora have been climbing up the rankings and have proven they belong among the elite in the state.
SD GIRLS AA POWER RANKINGS
5. Brandon Valley
In class A they are already in the midst of district play so I won’t be making any more power rankings. But my impact player is Caitlin Duffy of St. Thomas More. Duffy may be the most versatile player in the class and she’s proven that she can take games over. The Cavs have played a tough schedule and are the top threat to unbeaten Wagner in the class.
I was all set to name Kieran O’Malley of Centerville as my impact player, but the Tornadoes were beaten on Tuesday by Alcester-Hudson in a big upset. That was a good reminder to the top teams that one bad night can end your season. Now I’ll look to Summit’s Logan and Presley O’Farrell as the impact players in Class B. A lot of people wrote off Summit after Alex Kneeland graduated, but Head Coach Mark Amdahl has the luxury of having the six-foot O’Farrell twins leading the way.