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Posted On: 09/5/18 3:52 PM
Bismarck Century earned the 2017-18 state title by learning from December defeats and going undefeated through the 2018 portion of their schedule. Should a repeat be expected?
Must Be Replaced: Kade Lynch, Josh Sipes, Kade Amundson, Devyn Vance
In all seven players graduated from the Patriot championship team and four of them played every game (the four listed above) while Edward Jones, Tyler Hauglie, and Oakley Martin provided deep bench support in most games. Sipes and Amundson are both at the U of Mary now continuing their basketball careers so Century has to replace their combined 27 points and 15 rebounds a game plus the 11 points a contest from Lynch.
Returning Starters: Cade Feeney, Trey Mattern
Trey Mattern led the champs in assists plus scored 12.6 points a contest. Mattern was highly impressive with ECI this summer leading to scholarship offers and victories cementing his spot as an elite guard in North Dakota. Cade Feeney – led the team in steals and scored nine points a game – is one of the elite juniors in state meaning Century has a returning championship backcourt. Feeney also led the team in threes made last year and was the most reliant shooter at the arc overall.
Stepping into Bigger Roles: Steve Kraljic, Blake Stuart, Mason Peterson, Bryce Auck
Kraljic and Stuart are both 6-foot-5 and will give the Patriots a frontcourt. Kraljic came off the bench last year and played in every game while Stuart competed with the junior varsity last year. Both are seniors and will have a great chance to earn strong minutes (especially considering the way Kraljic has crashed the offensive glass). Peterson and Auck both played well for the ECI second team over the summer with Auck having some massive scoring games which should excite the Century staff. At least two of these seniors should start and it could even be three.
Griffen Jensen is a junior guard to keep an eye on and Century had three freshmen competing on the sophomore squad (guard Ian Ely and forwards Justice Coleman and Andrew Leingang).