BEARCATS WILL PLAY IN FRIDAY’S REGION 5B FINAL
For the third year in a row, the Freeman Academy/Marion boys will be playing in the final round of the Region 5B Tournament. But this time they’re the favorite to win.
The Bearcats are the region’s top seed and will square off against No. 4 Irene-Wakonda Friday night, March 4 in a game scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. at Freeman Public.
Freeman Public is hosting both Region 5B finals on Friday; No. 2 Viborg-Hurley will face No. 3 Centerville in the second game.
The winners of Friday’s games will play in the SoDak 16 next Tuesday.
FA/Marion earned a spot in Friday’s action with a 70-34 win over No. 8 Alcester-Hudson in Marion on Tuesday and will take a 19-2 record into its game against Irene-Wakonda. The Eagles are seeded fourth and go into the game 9-12 following their 57-51 win over No. 5 Scotland on Tuesday.
While on paper they appear to have a clear advantage, the Bearcats struggled against Irene-Wakonda during the regular season, coming away with just an eight-point win at 58-50 on Jan. 27.
But FA/Marion won against tougher opponents in the weeks that followed, including Viborg-Hurley and Burke, and received a vote in the season’s final South Dakota Prep Media High School Basketball Poll released late on Monday.
The Bearcats are tied with Platte-Geddes for sixth in seed points in the overall Class B standings.
FA/Marion is aiming for what would be the first state basketball tournament in Freeman Academy school history. Marion played at the State Bs in 1999, when the Bears won the consolation championship.