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Posted On: 11/27/18 3:56 PM
The basketball season is oh so close to tipping off in North Dakota meaning nearly four months of full court excitement. With that in mind PHD gives you our five storylines heading into the basketball season.
Can the EDC bring the title back East? Bismarck Century’s first title in seven seasons meant the end of the Minot three-peat but also the continuation of WDA’s title run. The WDA has won the Class A championship four straight seasons in a row, so who in the EDC can potentially bring the title back east? Fargo Davies and West Fargo Sheyenne seem to be the best candidates. Christian Kuntz is an all-state player returning for Sheyenne while Davies has three double figure scorers returning to their rotation. Class A state titles have gone in waves. WDA teams won 8 of 9 from 2003 to 2011 followed by three straight from the EDC and then the current run of four for the WDA.
The Mr. Basketball Race is Wide Open. This could be a fantastic race for the top individual honor. Treyton Mattern will start the year with the edge of a state title to his name and if he wins a second straight the U of Mary commit would be tough to beat. Ben Bohl has pushed his team deep into March and some believe the Minot State commit is the best player in the senior class. That said, Joe Jahner is the best prospect out there senior wise and if Joe has the season he is capable of he could be hoisting the trophy. Christian Kuntz and Dalton Albrecht are two more names to watch close.
Who is the Favorite in Class B? Depends on who you ask. Led by Mason Hedberg and Ben Bohl you have to put Bishop Ryan near the top or at the top of the list for a state title favorite. They went 25-3 a year ago including the loss to HCV in the title game. Carson Henningsgard returns to push HCV for a third state title and against the state’s toughest schedule, Shiloh Christian won 20 games a year ago making state. That team brings back all but one player from their rotation. Throw in Thompson and I believe you have a wide open, but quality group of favorites.
Jamestown Should Be One of the States Most Improved Teams. Junior Boden Skunberg is the most recruited player in all of North Dakota. The local offers are there and the interest is coming from some of the high major conference programs in the upper Midwest. Then theres Mason Walters up front (Mason is headed to Jamestown), a forward that put 16/8 in the books every night last year and did it in workmanlike fashion. At 12-14 last year Jamestown was a bit short of their own expectations but this season the team has the talent to push for a much better record.
The Sleepers of Class B. Grafton Area was 20-4 last season before falling to HCV by a dozen in the playoffs. Bemidji State bound Dalton Albrecht should have his team back at the 20 win area. It might be pushing it to call the Spoilers a sleeper but they deserve mention when people talk about title contenders. Oak Grove is common contender and that won’t change with Tyrell Rodriguez back to man the paint with double-doubles. Rugby and Four Winds-Minnewaukan are traditional powers that will be improved Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky who could have the state’s leading scorer in Trapper Jacobs.