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Boys’ teams one step away from state tournaments

Aberdeen Christian’s Ethan Russell, left, goes after a rebound with Aberdeen Roncalli’s Zeezrom Mounga, right, during a game earlier this season at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Looking on at right is the Knights’ Kaden Clark. Photo by John Davis taken 2/17/2022

This is it.

Tuesday’s SoDak 16 games are set and if they are anything like last week’s region semifinals, fans will be on the edge of their seats.

As last week indicated, records and ratings mean next to nothing. And when teams reach this stage, there really aren’t many underdogs remaining.

For the winners, a trip to the State B in Aberdeen or the State A in Rapid City are in store. For those that come up short, it will be time to put the uniforms away for another year.

Here is a look at each of the games involving area teams:

5 Aberdeen Christian (19-3) vs. 12 Lyman (16-6), 6 p.m. at Huron

Both of these teams competed in last year’s State B Tournament so they know what it’s like to experience post-season success.

Christian, the runner-up in last year’s state tourney, will be the favorite here. The Knights won their SoDak 16 game a year ago at the Huron Arena and are highly motivated to get back to the Big Show.

Lyman has the size to match up with Christian and will not go lightly.

The squads faced two common foes. Both lost to White River (Lyman lost to the Tigers twice), and Waubay-Summit. Christan beat the Mustangs, while Lyman lost to W-S.

Waubay/Summit’s Wyatt Lawrence (24) holds up the SoDak 16 Qualifier plaque as he and his teammates celebrate their win over Warner Friday night in Webster. Photo by John Davis taken 3/4/2022

7 Platte-Geddes (17-5) vs. 10 Waubay-Summit (19-3), 6:30 p.m. at Sioux Falls Roosevelt

This will be an interesting matchup. Both teams fell just short of reaching the state tourney a year ago, losing in SoDak 16 contests. Both played quality schedules during the regular season

Waubay-Summit brings an 11-game winning streak into this matchup. Platte-Geddes played 11 Class A schools which could pay dividends in a pressure-packed game like this.

Both teams had one common opponent. Each lost to Aberdeen Christian.

This one won’t likely be decided until the closing moments.

4 Potter County (21-1) vs. 13 Ethan (16-6), 6 p.m. at Redfield

Few teams are hotter than Potter County right now. The Battlers bring a 15-game winning streak into this one, with all but one win by double-digit margins.

The Rustlers stumbled against a pair of solid Class A foes late in the season, but also have some quality victories on their resume.

A big key will be how well Ethan handles Potter County’s pressure defense.

The two did face one common opponent. Potter County defeated Hanson by 10, while Ethan lost to the Beavers by 19 points in its first game of the season.

Aberdeen Christian’s Andrew Brennan, left, ties up the ball with Groton Area’s Lane Tietz, right, during a game recently at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 2/25/2022

6 Groton (19-3) vs. 11 Mount Vernon-Plankinton (16-6), 7:30 p.m. at Redfield

This looks to be an interesting matchup on paper.

Groton features a smaller lineup, but creates mismatches with its quickness and athleticism. Mount Vernon-Plankinton will own the size advantage, but struggled stringing wins together, with its longest streak being just three games.

The two faced a pair common opponents during the regular season. Groton lost to Lennox by 10, while MVP lost to Lennox by 14. Groton defeated Redfield by 12, and the Titans defeated Redfield by 11.

Look for an intense battle filled with plenty of emotion in this one.

4 Flandreau (18-3) vs. 13 Clark-Willow Lake (15-7), 7 p.m. at Madison

These two won’t need any introductions when they face each other.

In addition to playing five common foes during the season, they also faced each other with Flandreau coming away with a 71-53 victory over C-WL.

A closer look at the common opponents shows that both defeated Castlewood and Deuel, both lost to Hamlin and De Smet, while the Cyclones lost to Sioux Valley, a team that Flandreau split with during the season.

Flandreau was rated fourth in the final Class A poll of the season and will be favored in this contest.

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