Posted On: 03/9/18 1:22 PM
North Dakota Class B Region 7 basketball fans will be watching the semifinals tonight. Here are a few things to watch for and remember out tonight’s semifinal games.
Beulah vs Heart River
Last time Beulah and Heart River faced off they had a close one. Beulah won at home by three points 59-56. Beulah senior point guard Derek Ferebee scored 24 pts and Beulah senior shooting guard Jacob Weigel scored 15 to lead their attack.
Heart River was led by senior points guard Caleb Chruszch (16 pts) and Jesse Canode (17 pts). There’s a lot of questions heading into tonight’s Region 7 semifinal game and they are all important.
Beulah’s first big obvious question is can they be consistent? They started strong against Mott-Regent last night but were up and down after the first.
Beulah’s second question mark coming into this game is Weigel. Weigel, one of Beulah’s best shooters, went 2 of 10 from the field and 0 for 3 on 3-pointers. He played a big role last time Beulah and Heart River matched up. They’ll need him to come up big if Heart River plays any zone defense tonight.
For Heart River, the big question is can they force Beulah into turnovers. Last night against Beach, Heart River forced 18 turnovers. Region 7 fans need to keep in mind where Beach is as a program. Beach only won one game last year, so the Region 7 tournament was a new experience and intensity for them. Beulah won’t have the same early game nervous anxiety.
Fans for both teams will be worried about their starting point guards. Ferebee played all 32 minutes last night and late in the game, his mid-range jumper was short, which is usually because of fatigue.
Caleb Chruszch only rested for about 45 game seconds, other than that he was in the game. Will Chruszch still have the same explosiveness and be able to run around like a madman on defense? Will Ferebee be able to knock down shot late when his legs are tired.
Heart River had scoring balance last night with four players over 10 pts. Caleb Chruszch (21), Lane Chruszch (14), Cauy Shypkoski (14), Jesse Canode (10).
Caleb Chruszch can’t get in foul trouble because of how important he is for Heart River. Heart River has a quick transition attack but they also like to pull it out and run the clock. Caleb does a great job or green light, red light.
Logan Miller can play the point for Beulah and free up Weigel and Ferebee. If teams try to pressure Ferebee and make him work full-court Beulah can just run their offense through Miller and put Ferebee on the wing or high post.
Lane Chruszch emerged as an athletic forward who can cause matchup problems last night. Look to see who he guards and how Beulah defends his drives.
If Aaron Vallejo and Mason Dolbec combine for 15 points Beulah has a strong shot to win. When Dolbec and Vallejo add offense to their defensive ability it makes Beulah’s offense tough to stop.
The soft spot in Heart River’s zone is the corner 3-pointer. Weigel and Ferebee are very tough on open 3-point corner shots. Heart River is going to have to make that rotation fast if they play zone.
Hettinger-Scranton vs Dickinson Trinity
Hettinger-Scranton and Dickinson Trinity met early during the season. Things have changed a lot since then. Dickinson Trinity no longer has Noah Sickler, who was one of the top defenders in the region, and they are more of a perimeter team now.
Hettinger-Scranton hasn’t changed much roster-wise. They don’t have any key injuries but during their last matchup with Trinity, injuries played a big role. Isaiah Kludt got hurt during the game and had to leave for a bit to get treatment after an ankle roll.
Heading into tonight’s matchup Trinity fans will be wanting to see another big game from Arik Knopik. Knopick had a double-double last night (16 pts, 10 rebs). When he can impact the game rebounding, defending and scoring it makes things easier for everybody else.
Easton Walby also has to play well. Last night when Trinity needed a bucket they had Walby come off a double-screen for a 3-point look, which put them up for good. Hettinger-Scranton will have to make sure Walby doesn’t get his feet set on 3-pointers. Last night he was 3 for 6 on 3-pointers.
Keep in mind Trinity turned the ball over 19 times during their first matchup with Hettinger-Scranton. Walby (17 pts) and Kludt (24 pts) both played well in the first matchup.
Jaxon Mellmer emerged as a great defender last night. He was tagged with guarding Dylan Scott (Bowman) last night. Scott did his thing, scoring 18 points on 50 percent shooting but he was frustrated and out of his normal rhythm.
Mellmer forced a few turnovers and bad passes. His impact on Scott forced Bowman to find other players who could step up.
What happens if Mellmer can slow down Knopick or Walby? Will Trinity have a third offensive threat? Can Trinity avoid turnovers?
Will Hettinger-Scranton run out of gas? Kludt and Jarad Mattis played all 32 minutes last night. Keep an eye on how they’re handling fatigue. Trinity’s players played fewer minutes and will have fresher legs tonight.
We still haven’t seen Hettinger-Scranton play zone. Bowman didn’t post up. Trinity doesn’t have big guards but they have players who can take advantage of switches. How will both teams play the screen? Hettinger-Scranton can’t switch because of size reasons and Trinity can’t switch because of speed reasons.
Carson Schalesky is a great shot blocker. Last night he altered five shots for Hettinger-Scranton. If Trinity can get him in foul trouble early, it’ll remove one of the best shot blockers in the region.
Can Kludt stay hot? He scored 24 last night (8 of 18). Scary sidenote, that shooting performance contains 1 for 6 on 3-pointers. He torched Trinity on mid-range jumpers the first time they played.
Jacob Kubas went 0-for 6 from the field and 2 of 8 at the line last night for Trinity. Keep an eye on his performance. Especially if it’s late in the game and Hettinger-Scranton has to foul.
Watch Jarad Mattis. Obviously, he is great at attacking the hoop but what many Region 7 fans forget is his great ability to draw a charge. Last night he drew one charge. During Trinity and Hettinger-Scranton’s first game he drew about three.