Posted On: 06/6/18 1:48 PM

A lot of teams in Class AA basketball lost long time contributors.  With every loss there are guys ready to step in and take on bigger roles.  Who are some of those guys?  PHD gives you some of the names that are Next Up!

Andrew Bergan of Aberdeen Central.  At 6-foot-7 entering his junior year Andrew looks ready to handle expectations that are coming his way now that his brother Cole has graduated.  Bergan has shown strong sings in his underclassmen years.  We’ve seen him go in scoring runs changing the game like against Huron or when Bergan led his own personal attack on the rim breaking the game wide open against Mitchell. Bergan is getting ready for this year by playing on the 17u team for the Pentagon Schoolers.

Kobe Busch of Huron.  The 6-foot-5 guard put up some big numbers and earned a scholarship from Augustana as a sophomore while his team had a losing record.  Where Kobe is “Next Up” is his time to step into the statewide spotlight.  There are some big names in South Dakota that have graduated and Kobe is ready to step into the big spot as one of the state’s best.

Jared Jaros of SF Lincoln.  The highly pumped up 2018 graduating class is now gone but 6-foot-3 guard Jared Jaros is an all conference player who stepped into a big role as a junior.  Jared was at times Lincoln’s most reliable guy a year ago so now he moves into a position of being the team leader in many facets.  Jared played both guard spots last year and is one of the hardest working players in the 2019 class.  Teams need to close out on his left handed stroke quickly!

Dylan Pourier of Douglas.  Douglas won 75 percent of their games a year ago and played in the state tournament.  It was a very balanced team with experienced seniors all over the court.  This year will have a lot of guys that will need some experience so Dylan will go from one of the main contributors last year, to THE main contributor.  So far from what we’ve seen this spring the six foot guard can handle it.

Dawson Paulsen of RC Stevens.  What we just wrote about Pourier we can reiterate here with Dawson Paulsen.  The 6-foot-3 wing scored a dozen a game last year and is putting up similar results for the SD Venom right now.  Paulsen is a high percentage guy that scored on over half of his field goals a year ago taking advantage of the great team basketball the state’s third place team played.  Paulsen has shown the potential to shoulder more of the offensive load as a senior. He’s also a guy college programs need to keep up with as he’s a confident scoring threat that forces little.

Carter Shields of SF Washington.  Washington was a senior dominated team but one junior that really played well for the Warriors this year was Carter Shields, a 6-foot-1 guard.  If Washington needed a guy to hit with feet set Carter did it.  When the team needed another handler he did that and the team always got good passing from Shields.  Had a strong junior year doing what his team needed and now a big senior year could be coming.

Elijah Williams of RC Central.  The Cobblers lost just five games a year ago but they graduated a load of backcourt talent.  The guy the team will lean on this year?  He’s a 6-foot-6 forward that leaned on last year, Elijah Williams.  Elijah is a double figure scoring guy that will be expected to handle a lot of the scoring load this winter and based on last year’s team, as long as that ball is moving and finds him Elijah will put points up and have an excellent year.

Akoi Akoi/Jack Cartwright/Zach Norton of SF O’Gorman. The Knights sophomore trio stepped into good minutes as a sophomore gaining experiences through some of the tough nights and through the late season run to the state tournament.  Once these players gained experience and gelled with the older players the Knights won eight of their last nine games.  Akoi is a 6-foot-5 frontcourt player while Cartwright and Norton are wings.