Posted On: 01/29/18 2:03 PM
Who is starting to play well at the right time and who in North Dakota is slipping? PHD breaks it down today in Three Up, Three Down.
Bismarck Century. The eight game win streak doesn’t make them one of the hottest teams in the state as much as the one score wins over Mandan and Bismarck do. It took buzzer beaters to do it but getting those two recent wins means that Century has avenged their two earlier season losses. The games won were nail bitters and when these teams play again it could go either way, but Century is riding a major confidence wave at the moment. The balance of the Patriots is crucial with Josh Sipes leading the way Kade Lynch, Kade Amundson, and Trey Mattern each scoring 5-6 times a night and sophomore Cade Feeney also being an important piece.
Maple Valley. The Raiders are one of three undefeated teams in the state but likely the least talked about (Stanley and St. John are also undefeated). What has made this team special is their ability to win close games. They went on the road and beat North Cass by four scores which was very important. From there Maple Valley beat Enderlin by a score, Hankinson in overtime, and then beat LLM by a score. Winning close games like that has given the Raiders confidence. This Thursday Maple Valley has a huge game with 11-2 Wyndmere/Lidgerwood. This is a senior strong team with quality sophomores in support. Hunter Smith, Brandon Pierce, and Arthur Punton are all dependable players getting consistent results.
Carrington/Ellendale. This Friday Carrington is at Ellendale in a huge game for District 5. Both are two losses teams and both want to get this win badly for confidence and leverage down the stretch and into the playoffs. Carrington has won nine in a row with several blowouts and a key win at Velva. Ellendale has won eight games in a row working it’s way through some dog fights with several teams but they have come out on top. Carrington is the team many think will win but the game is on the road so it could go in a couple ways. Carrington is more than Jamestown bound Garrett Bickett as teams have found out. Seth Nelson and Kolton Vetter are good supporting players while Trey Rosenau and Jayden Shipman are quality as well. Ellendale has good pieces to counter led by senior Lucas Hofer, who is coming off a 27 point game, as well as Austin Molan, a junior who is scoring solid numbers next to Hofer.
GFRR. With Jordan Polynice finishing his high school basketball career at West Ranch in California, the Rough Riders have hit a rough patch. They lost to Grand Forks Central as a part of their three game losing streak which included giving up 93 points to Sheyenne. Senior Tommy Stephenson has had a nice year but is going to need to shoulder a whole more scoring than he did when Jordan was in the line-up.
MLS. Over the weekend the Loboes finally broke free and one a close game. It was the end to some recent close game heartbreak as they had lost to Maple Valley by a score, Richland by two scores, and Ellendale by two scores. That win against Enderlin ended a tough skid for LLM that included four losses in their last five games. The good news is that they grabbed that win and can maybe propel them to more Ws as more good teams are coming up.
Grant County. The Coyotes are the only team in the state that hasn’t lost won a game yet. They’ve had three games they were very close but scoring 35 points a game makes it tough. A home game in February against Center-Stanton is marked on the calendar as Center-Stanton has just one win so that could be the day.