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Vikings in the title mix in Class B

Posted: Friday, Mar 15th, 2013

James Valley Christian’s Adam Hofer (24) drives as Wolsey-Wessington’s Alex Babcock (33) guards him during the Class 9B tournament. PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN

ABERDEEN — After starting the season with 17 consecutive wins, the James Valley Christian boys’ basketball team find itself just three wins shy of claiming the school’s first Class B championship in its fourth state tournament appearance.

The Vikings went on to finish the regular season at 18-2 and will carry the No. 2 seed into the Class B State Tournament, which begins today at the Barnett Center in Aberdeen, after moving to 21-2 with three postseason victories.

“We are very fortunate to be where we are seeded. There are so many good teams in the state tournament and several teams that didn’t make it there,” JVC coach Darwin Hofer said. “We will have our work cut out for us, every team is going for the top seeds.”

The Vikings will begin their quest for the state championship at 6 p.m. today against No. 7-seeded Viborg-Hurley.

The other games in the opening round will feature top-seeded White River (22-1) facing No. 8 Langford Area (19-4) at noon; fourth-seeded Potter County (22-0) playing No. 5 South Central (21-2) at 1:45 p.m.; and third-seeded Dupree (22-1) playing No. 6 Arlington (17-4) at 7:45 p.m.

“White River has to be the favorite of the eight teams, but after that, all the teams this year could make it to the championship game,” Hofer said. “There really is not a weak team in the tournament.”

JVC returned a veteran group of players to make its third trip to the state tournament in the past four years. Making up that group are seniors Donnie Decker, Leon Brondsema, Adam Hofer and Caleb Stahl, along with juniors Cole Glanzer, Ben Loewen, Alex Waldner, Nathan Wedel and Andrew Ulvestad.

The Vikings are familiar with their opening round opponent after recording a 53-35 victory against Viborg-Hurley during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

However, Hofer knows his team will need to come ready to play against the Cougars, who also have a senior-laden roster.

“Viborg-Hurley faced a very tough district and region to get to the state tournament. They are a well-experienced team, having played in the State B championship game last season and the State A championship game two years ago,” Hofer said. “They are a very tough No. 7 seed.”

A win today would move JVC into a semi-final matchup with Dupree or Arlington at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, while a loss would set up a game in the consolation semifinals against one of those teams at 1:45 p.m. on Friday.

Although there is a lot of basketball to be played before then, many Class B basketball fans are looking forward to a White River and James Valley Christian meeting in the championship game at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The two teams met on Feb. 14 in Fort Pierre, with White River escaping with a 77-74 victory.

For the complete article see the 03-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-14-2013 paper.

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