State Boys Basketball Tournaments set to tip off on Thursday

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It's been 29 years since Rapid City Stevens last hoisted the championship trophy at the State 'AA' Boys Basketball Tournament.

It's been 38 years for Rapid City Central.

But one of those streaks could be coming to an end this weekend.

The Raiders enter the state tournament as the No. 1 seed, while the Cobblers are No. 2. Both teams have identical records of 17-3. 

Stevens faces a tough first round opponent in Sioux Falls O'Gorman.

The two teams split during the regular season with O'Gorman winning the first meeting by four points.

But then the Raiders defeated the Knights by five points back on January 20 in Sioux Falls. 

"We know there's a handful of teams in this tournament that can win it all and O'Gorman on Thursday is one of those teams," Stevens boys basketball coach Chris Stoebner said. "So yes, we're going to have to play very well. We split with them. We're very similar. We're very good defensively I feel like. We've got a lot of guys that can score. Maybe not one guy that necessarily gets you 25. But a lot of guys that can score around 10 making it tough to defend."

Meanwhile, Rapid City Central opens the state 'AA' tournament on Thursday against a familiar opponent, the Douglas Patriots.

The Cobblers defeated the Patriots back in December, 77-70.

But Douglas has been on fire as of late. The Patriots wrapped up the regular season by winning eight out of nine games and defeated Brandon Valley in double overtime in the Round of 16.

Douglas is making its first trip to the state tournament since 1997 and first ever as a 'AA' school.

Central head coach TJ Hay says the Douglas Patriots are a difficult team to defend.

"We have to get out and contest and we have to control penetration," Central boys basketball coach TJ Hay said. "Because if we have to rely on one or two extra guys to help, then they're going to find the open guy. They have four guys out on the court at a time that can knock down the three and then their post players can score inside. So its one of those things where defensively, you have got to be on the top of your game."    

State AA Boys Basketball Tournament

Schedule for Thursday, March 15 in Sioux Falls

#8 SF O'Gorman vs #1 RC Stevens     2 p.m.

#10 Douglas vs #2 RC Central             2 p.m.

#5 SF Washington vs #4 Harrisburg     6 p.m.

#11 Yankton vs #3 SF Lincoln               6 p.m.

State A Boys Basketball Tournament

Schedule for Thursday in Rapid City

#8 Red Cloud vs #1 SF Christian     12 p.m.

#5 Tea Area vs #4 Crow Creek        1:45 p.m.

#7 Pine Ridge vs #2 Madison           6 p.m.

#6 Dakota Valley vs #3 Sioux Valley  7:45 p.m.

State B Boys Basketball Tournament

Schedule for Thursday in Aberdeen

#8 Lower Brule vs #1 Bridgewater   11 a.m.

#5 Canistota vs #4 Clark-Willow Lake    12:45 p.m.

#7 Timber Lake vs #2 Sully Buttes    5 p.m.

#6 Langford Area vs #3 White River   6:45 p.m.

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