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Posted On: 10/7/18 11:00 AM
The West Central Conference has two of the best teams in their respective classes in BOLD and Melrose. Both teams won more than 20 games a year ago and could push for state tournament appearances this winter. Here is what you need to know about the league:
BOLD is a sneaky pick to win the Class A State Title at this point. The Warriors went 20-6 last season and nearly took out Springfield in the Section semifinals and they return almost their entire rotation. They’ve got terrific guards in Gavin Vosick (16.4 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals) and Jordan Sagedahl and they’ve got a big man that few teams in Class A can match in Carter Henry who averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Their guards are experienced but still young and they’ve got depth across the lineup. They are a top-five team in Class A.
Melrose was one of the best teams in Class AA last season — despite losing a massive senior class the year prior — and figures to be among the elites again this winter. Preston Keaveny is one of the top guards in the league and Reegan and Rowan Nelson give the team two valuable frontcourt options. The Flyers are always well-coached and do a great job controlling the tempo of the game. They’ll win 20-plus games and compete for a spot in the state tournament.
Should Compete: Morris, Minnewaska, Sauk Centre, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
Minnewaska went to the state tournament last year on the back of a very good senior class. The Lakers will face something of a retooling season as their three top scorers are gone to graduation. Shawn Carsten was solid in the frontcourt and will assume a bigger offensive role underneath. Grant Jensen earned rotation minutes as a sophomore and will likely become one of the go-to offensive players.
Morris was right around .500 most of the season and return one of the best inside-outside duos in the conference in Jaret Johnson and Camden Arndt. Those two will give them roughly 30 points per game combined and with another talented returner in Jackson Loge, the Tigers will be a tough club to play against night in and night out.
Sauk Centre returns several key guys including Casey Schirmers in the backcourt and Jacob Jennissen up front. Jennissen’s ability to control the paint helped Sauk Centre have one of the best defenses in the conference.
ACGC was a middle team last year and the Falcons are probably in a similar spot heading into this season. Dawson Miller and Josh Kinzler had solid sophomore years and look like guys to build around going forward though.
Rebuilding: Montevideo, Benson
Montevideo struggled last season, winning just four games. But the Thunder Hawks have some talented guys coming back including senior guard Jackson Snell and junior forward Cole Sandven.
Benson didn’t win a game last year and only averaged 38 points per game as a team.
18-19 Season Predictions
West Central All Conference
Carter Henry, Sr., BOLD (POY)
Gavin Vosicka, Jr. BOLD
Preston Keaveny, Sr., Melrose
Camden Arndt, Sr., Morris
Reegan Nelson, Sr., Melrose
Jordan Sagedahl, Jr., BOLD
Jaret Johnson, Sr., Morris
Casey Schirmers, Jr., Sauk Centre
Jacob Jennessen, Jr., Sauk Centre
Dawson Miller, ACGC, Jr., ACGC