Tuesday 9 p.m. sportscast

The South Dakota high school basketball season tips off this week around the region ... and for the Rapid City Central girls, building on the experience of last year's state tournament appearance is the goal.

Both the RAPID CITY CENTRAL BOYS AND GIRLS basketball teams will get their seasons started at the Gillette Invitational in Wyoming on Thursday. THE COBBLER girls RETURN SOME KEY PLAYERS FROM LAST YEAR'S SQUAD THAT took eighth place at the Class AA state tournament AND COACH Kraig Blomme KNOWS THIS WEEK'S GAMES WILL BE A great TEST FOR HIS SQUAD as it looks to get back to the state tournament this year.

Both the Cobbler teams will play games in Gillette on Thursday, Friday and Saturday against opponents to be determined. The girls will then return home to play Mitchell and Huron on December 14th and 15th while the boys hit the road to face the Kernels and Tigers.

The Spearfish wrestling team graduated 10 seniors off of last year's team, but the Spartans feel like there is some good, young talent to develop on this year's senior-less squad.

Young Spartans looking to grow | Graduated 10 seniors] The Spartans will look to 195-pound junior Evan Hehr, who compiled a 34-19 record and finished seventh in the state as a sophomore last season, and 132-pound sophomore Max Sailor who was 41-14 and also took seventh at 126 pounds last year as a freshman, to help some of their teammates grow this season.

The Spartans will get a great idea of where they stand this weekend as the Rapid City Inviational hits town on Friday and Saturday. That tournament begins Friday at 2 at Rapid City Central and continues all day Saturday beginning at 8 in the morning.

The Rapid City Rush dropped a tough shootout loss to the Allen Americans earlier today in Texas despite goals from Andrew Radjenovic and Garrett Klotz. The Americans put two out of four shots in the net in the shootout while only Tyler Poulsen managed to score for the Rush. Rapid City dropped to 10-8-2-2 with the loss and has 24 points, six behind first-place Tulsa in the Mountain Division. Allen moved to 5-15-0-2 with the win and is still in the Mountain cellar with 12 points. The two teams will play again in Allen tomorrow night before Rapid City moves on to take on the Wichita Thunder in a three-game series beginning Friday.