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Posted On: 09/29/18 11:00 AM
North Woods put together another dominant season, winning 31 games which culminated in a second straight trip to the state tournament and state title game. The Grizzlies cruised through the first two games at state before losing a nail-biter to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. With several key contributors back along with arguably the two stars of that success, North Woods heads into the 2018-19 season one of the favorites to win the Class A State Title.
Must Be Replaced: Tate Olson, Brendan Parson, Tanner Lokken, Isaiah Squires
The Grizzlies will have some big shoes to fill on the wings as Tate Olson and Brendan Parson are both gone to graduation. Between the two of them, Olson and Parson averaged roughly 30 points per game and provided terrific outside shooting. Olson’s one of the school’s all-time leading scorers while Parson was one of the best shooters in the state last season. Lokken and Squires weren’t feature offensive players but were solid rotation guys.
Returning Starters: Cade Goggleye, Trevor Morrison, Chase Kleppe
Any talk of North Woods winning a state title starts with Cade Goggleye. The now-senior point guard is one of the best guards in the state and averaged 22 points, seven assists and five steals a season ago. He can score from all levels on the court and does a great job balancing finding his own offense with getting his teammates open shots. And while he’ll be missing two strong perimeter scorers, he’s still got teammates capable of putting up points. Trevor Morrison emerged as perhaps North Woods’ second best player last year, providing double double efforts inside regularly. He’ll be asked to take on an even bigger offensive role while continuing to anchor an aggressive defense. Kleppe is also back after averaging roughly nine points per game as a junior. He’ll join Goggleye as a key ball handler.
Stepping into Key Roles: Kleppe, Dylan Chiabotti, Blake Scofield, Darius Goggleye, TJ Chiabotti
Kleppe’s role will increase dramatically as the Grizzlies look for points outside their star duo. And with defenses tilted towards Goggleye outside and Morrison inside, there should be extra operating room for Kleppe and others. Dylan Chiabotti and Blake Scofield were fringe rotation guys a season and could see a big uptick in minutes this year. Two guys who saw bit minutes last year were underclassmen Darius Goggleye and TJ Chiabotti. Neither guy will be thrown into the fire in that they’ll be expected to produce big numbers right away, but both guys will likely need to fill roles and develop as the season goes along.
The Future: Goggleye, Chiabotti
Earning minutes as freshman and an eighth-grader speaks to the talent level and how the coaching staff feels about these two guys. The North Woods program is loaded with talent and the Grizzlies will be good for a while. Expect these two guys to become household names possibly as early as later this year.
North Woods has been to two straight state tournaments and played in back-to-back state titles. There are several viable contenders in Class A as it stands, but it’s not crazy to consider them the favorite to win the title this upcoming season. Goggleye controls the game as well as any guard in Class A and can dominate a game on both ends of the floor. Morrison should only continue to get better and has a chance to join his teammate in the ‘dominant’ category. And there’s young talent in the pipeline that should continue to evolve. They’ll be no lower than No. 3 in any preseason ranking for Class A going into the year.