Sunday Spotlight: Brilliant week for Class A boys basketball in South Dakota

Noah Friedel and Justin Hohn helped Tea Area knock off class AA No. 1 ranked Sioux Falls Lincoln. Center, Red Cloud’s Alejandro Rama scored 60 in a win over St. Francis. At far right, St. Thomas More beat 8-5 AA school Harrisburg.

By Rich Winter

With all due respect to the other classes of boys basketball in South Dakota, the Class A boys put on a show this week unlike anything we’ve seen in a while. This whole thing kinda got rolling last Tuesday when Pine Ridge senior Halin Bad Bear unleashed a 53 point effort (originally reported as 51, score book said 53). Three nights later Red Cloud’s Alejandro Rama just scorched the nets at St. Francis Indian School, tying West Central’s Josh Mueller (2001) for the most points EVER scored in a Class A game, 60.

EVER!!

And so just when we get all riled up with two terrific scoring outbursts and No. 1 Tea Area just dismantles No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated AA squad, Sioux Falls Lincoln - 65-47.

And then, in a game I just can’t find a box-score 4, Class A No. 2 St. Thomas More beat an 8-5 Harrisburg squad (receiving votes in the AA poll) - 67-55.

For Chris Fechner’s squad, Tea Area still just the one loss on the season to high powered, La Lumiere of Indiana.

They’ve beaten everybody: Saturday was a statement victory for the 15-1 Titans, who now own wins over No. 1 (AA) Lincoln, No. 3 (A) Sioux Falls Christian, No. 2 (A) St. Thomas More and No. 2 (B) Clark/Willow Lake.

Dakota State student coach, Greg Kahler, on assignment for Dakota Sports blast watched both games last night and had this to say about Tea Area and STM both getting big wins.

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Tea vs LHS: The two headed monster from Tea did their thing like they normally do. Noah Freidel stepped into his usual scoring role finishing with 33 points. Justin Hohn invested his focus on the defensive end of the floor with his 3 blocks and 3 steals and six assists. Hohn spent most of the first half in Jared Jaros’ Jersey. It was clear the focus was take him away. If Jaros tried coming off ball screens Tea was switching 1-4. Proved to be very affective. Lincoln just didn’t have it last night.

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STM: First thing that comes to mind when I hear Saint Thomas More is “Ryder Kirsch.” One of the top 2020 prospects in SD. Helps when you’re 6’7, have a long wingspan, and score at all 3 levels. But what I was most impressed about were the pieces around him. The 3 guards STM has showed great discipline on offense. Constant ball movement, but above all else they were always shot ready. I’m a firm believer that the most disciplined team wins, and that was proven by STM’s play last night.

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Rama: Pretty evident that Ale is strongly making his case for Mr. Basketball. What I find most impressive on his season thus far is his consistency. Being able to put up these numbers night in and night out. In my opinion, for a player like Ale, you’re supposed to play well, that’s your responsibility. But, it’s the ability to repeat that result over and over again, never being satisfied with your end result.