Posted On: 03/22/18 10:00 AM
The Lester Prairie Bulldogs were a young team that won a dozen games this winter and their leader in most categories (scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks) was junior combo guard Michael Ziermann.
Ziermann is a 6-foot-1/6-foot-2 guard that gave the Bulldogs 16.1 points per game shooting 42 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the foul line. Ziermann also gave his team 6.3 rebounds, five assists, and 1.5 steals a contest. It was a learning year but the top five Bulldog players return for the 2018-19 season.
“Our season was definitely a growing and learning season for me and the rest of the team we really started to find our groove towards the end of the season, and we are very excited for next season with all of our experience,” Ziermann said.
“We finished our regular season with an 11-15 record. We won our first round playoff game but then came up short against a very talented BOLD team. We would have loved to go deeper but the loss will help fuel our run for next year.”
Michael said it perfectly when he mentioned the excitement for next year. Freshman guard Evan Lee averaged ten a game as a freshmen and will be a more experienced point guard next year. Undersized big Parker Bayerl is a hard working forward that is very intelligent moving off the ball and he will be a senior next year as will be Dylan Ruzicka who had an incredible shooting stretch late in the year. Add in tough guy Tyler Scheevel as a working senior and the expectations are there.
Ziermann has high expectations for himself as well. Michael is the quarterback of the football team as well as the statistical production leader in all major categories on the court so the talent is there. For Ziermann it was a year of growth.
“For me, I’ve seen the most improvement at getting to the basket easily and creating for everyone else,” Michael told NHR. “I’ve found myself attacking the boards more and just trying to do a little bit of everything for the team. When I need to score I look to attack the rim and finish strong at the rim, and when the team needs me to create then I look to drive and kick out to our shooters.
“One of the biggest changes for me was my shooting. Early in my career I was mostly a shooter that occasionally went to the rim. Now I find myself passing up a lot of 3 pointers to get to the rim. I am getting very comfortable with getting inside. I am definitely seeing the court way better than I did in years past. I can see the next pass very well and I know where the ball needs to go and can react quickly to the defense.
“A lot of times this season I had to teach the younger guys on the team and tell them what they needed to do at certain points. Earlier in my career I just sat back a little more.”
This spring and summer Ziermann will once again play for the high octane Comets K club that includes Jackson Jangula (who had a big night last night at state), Cade Googleye the North Woods sharp shooter, Nick Schaefer from Cathedral who also had a big Wednesday at state, Nevis leading scorer Michael Landquist, Morris Area skilled tough guy Camden Arndt, and others on a solid team.
While playing with Comets K there will be several schools keeping track of the talent on the team including Ziermann. Michael has already hear from four programs about his college basketball future.
“So far I have talked to Gustavus, Jamestown, University of Chicago, and Concordia-Moorhead about playing college basketball,” Ziermann said.