Thursday 9 p.m. sportscast

The Rapid City Central and Stevens boys met on the hardwood tonight as they jockey for position in the South Dakota High School Class AA Round of 16 games that will be played on March 2nd to decide the state tournament field. With seeding highly important in a win and your in scenario, tonight's game took on a little added importance ...

Down to Howard Naasz Gymnasium we go and as always, a spirited crowd on hand ... We start things off with Stevens moving the ball around and finding Daniel Vigoren from straightaway at the top of the key and he knocks down the triple to get the scoring started for the Raiders, who jumped all over Central early in this one. The Raiders' Dylan Pourier with the strong take but Central big man Elijah Williams isn't having it as he swats the shot away ... Stevens' Mason Steele picks up the loose ball but can't get the bucket. More from Pourier as he sights up a three from the left side of the top of the key and knocks it down ... he led all scorers on the night with 16 points, the only player to reach double figures ... Clock running down in the first quarter and Pourier with the pump fake as he shakes free and buries the baseline jumper ... Raiders lead this one 11-0 at the end of one and the Cobblers and their fans felt a bit shellshocked ... Second quarter and Blake Weaver knocks down one of his three first-half 3-pointers off the feed from Pourier ... 14-0 Raiders ...

And the Cobblers finally break the seal on their bucket in the second quarter as Joe Woods gets the ball and takes what the defense gives him as he buries the triple ... but that was Central's only field goal of the half as the Cobblers dug way too big a hole early, trailing 29 to 5 after the first 16 minutes and falling by a final score of 54 to 26 ...

And in other action from around the area ... on the girls side, Belle Fourche nipped New Underwood 59 to 54 in overtime in what looked like a great game ... Lead-Deadwood topped Custer in Black Hills Conference action 42 to 31 and Douglas knocked off Spearfish in another overtime contest 72 to 64 as Jordynn Tolliver had a game-high 32 points for the Patriots ... In other girls games Newell handled Harding County ... Wall topped Hill City 51 to 43 in a nice win for the Eagles ... and Kadoka Area popped Bennett COunty 62 to 25 ... {TAKE THIRD} In boy action, Pine Ridge kept rolling with an 87 to 54 pasting of Todd County and Rapid City Christian drilled New Underwood 54 to 28 ... In one other boys game, White River knocked off Stanley County 73 to 57 ... Custer topped Lead-Deadwood and

The South Dakota state wrestling tournament will be in Rapid City on February 22 and 23rd but before high school grapplers can worry too much about that event, they have to take care of business at their region tournaments this weekend.

The Region 4A Tournament will be held Saturday in Belle Fourche as some of the top teams in the state look to qualify as many athletes as possible for the state tourney. For Rapid City Central, the No. 2-ranked team in the state behind cross-town rival Stevens, last week's dual loss to the Raiders will serve as equal parts motivation and learning experience.

Pearson said, "Had a great dual last Friday night with Stevens, came out on the short end of that but that doesn't tear me up too bad because it keeps a few of our guys real hungry for this weekend and another shot at a few of thsoe guys so it's probably the right time of year though for regions to be coming around."

Pearson says that it's going to be hard for anybody to surprise anybody else within the region as most of the athletes know each other quite well. With that said, however, adjusting a bit down the stretch can pay dividends in a sport where the margin for error can be razor thin.

Pearson said, "Most of these kids have been seeing each other since AAU so these are the guys where you've really just got to bring your best stuff and maybe just tweak a thing here or there and just set yourself up for the state tournament."

The Region 4A Tournament will begin Saturday morning at 10 o'clock in Belle Fourche ... the Class A and Class B state tournaments will be held at the Civic Center beginning next Friday.

The South Dakota State men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker against Omaha, as the Mavericks hit a last-second bucket to snap the Jacks' nine-game winning streak in an 85-84 setback. Omaha's (15-9, 9-2 Summit League) Mitch Hahn led the Mavs with 22 points and hit the game's final shot. SDSU's David Jenkins tied a school record with 10 3-pointers in the contest, finishing with 34 points on the night to lead the Jackrabbits. Mike Daum added 29 points and 12 rebounds. Daum entered the game 14th on the NCAA's scoring list with 2,883 career points and is now 13th on the list with 2,912 career points, passing Houston great Elvin Hayes.