For the first time in five years the championship game for Class AA boys will not feature a team from Sioux Falls.

The last time a state championship was won by a non Sioux Falls school was back in 2013 when Pierre defeated Brandon Valley 50-39. Roosevelt started the Sioux Falls streak in 2014 when they beat Lincoln. Since 1998, a Sioux Falls team has 13 of 20 possible championships in Class AA.

Sioux Falls Lincoln, O'Gorman, and Washington entered this year's tournament with the hope of securing another state championship. Lincoln won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, and O'Gorman won last year defeating Aberdeen Central. Washington made championship appearances in 2015 and 2016. But in 2018, one of the more uncommon events occurred.

All three teams lost in the quarterfinals.

Rapid City Stevens beat O'Gorman 53-40 to advance to play Harrisburg. The Tigers capped the night with a 64-47 victory over Washington. At the same time that Harrisburg was punching their ticket to the semifinals, the Yankton Bucks knocked down the Lincoln Patriots 59-57 off a 30-point performance by Yankton freshman Matthew Mors.

We are guaranteed to have either a first-time Class AA champion or see a longer streak come to a close. Rapid City Stevens is the only team in the championship field to win a Class AA title back in 1989. Rapid City Central last won a championship in 1980 as members of Class A. The Cobblers are 0-2 all-time in Class AA championship games. Yankton has never appeared in a Class AA title game, but have nine titles to their name between Class A and when South Dakota had a single class of basketball.

Oh, and the Harrisburg Tigers? That would be the most historic out of the three. Harrisburg has not appeared in a championship game since 1960. They were members of Class B at the time and defeated Willow Lake 59-55. Harrisburg's win over Washington during the quarterfinals was the team's first ever Class AA postseason win.

Coverage of the Class AA State Basketball Tournaments continue today on ESPN 99.1. Games include:

  • 3:00 - Aberdeen Central vs. Brandon Valley (G)
  • 4:45 - Rapid City Stevens vs. Harrisburg (B)
  • 6:30 - Sioux Falls Lincoln vs. Harrisburg (G)


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