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Posted On: 11/14/18 6:00 PM
The Cougars have arguably the best player in the conference in big man Mason Miller. The 6-foot-8 junior is a top football and basketball prospect and provides an interior presence few teams can contend with. Jared Brainard and Tommy Stewart are back to give Ada a dynamic backcourt pairing as well.
Should Contend: Mahnomen/Waubun
The Thunderbirds went 14-11 during the regular season but got hot late and rattled off four straight wins to get to the state tournament. They could be better overall this season as Jayden Heisler, Parker Syverson, Treston Spalla and Jon Starkey are all back after starting. Logan Pazdernik returns as well and the young talent in the program should take a step forward.
Should Compete: Norman County East, Norman County West, Win-E-Mac
Norman County East is always good and while the Titans lose a big chunk of their core from a 24-win team a year ago, Noah Klemetson is back as is Kale McCollum. Riley Resnick is a player to watch.
Win-E-Mac won 17 games a year ago and the Patriots should be strong again this year as Parker Gerber, Gavin Walker and Brekken Lindberg are all back. Lindberg is one of the best bigs in the conference.
Norman County West won just six games a year ago but should be improved as the Panthers only graduated three guys. Bailey Speath could be one of the conference’s leading scorers.
Rebuilding: Fertile-Beltrami, Lake Park-Audubon, Park Christian, Fosston, Climax/Fisher, Bagley
Lake Park-Audubon graduates three of its top scorers including 20 point-per-game guy Grant Pederson. Tyler Bjerke is back after averaging about eight a game as a sophomore.
Park Christian won 11 games last year but will have to replace a scoring machine and do-it-all senior in Steele Senske.
Fosston won 21 games last year but with Brett Sundquist graduating and Karsten Broadley transferring to Cretin-Derham Hall, the Greyhounds will have to replace two all-conference caliber guys.
Bagley was a middling club last year but the Flyers will have to replace almost their entire rotation. Damien Stevens returns and should be featured heavily.
Climax/Fisher won just two games a year ago and graduates a number of main rotation guys. The Knights will need to make a lot of strides to be more competitive.
2018-19 Conference Predictions
Pine to Prairie All Conference
Mason Miller, Jr., Ada-Borup (POY)
Brekken Lindberg, Sr., Win-E-Mac
Jared Brainard, Sr., Ada-Borup
Jayden Heisler, Sr., Mahnomen/Waubun
Bailey Speath, Sr., NCW
Noah Klemetson, Sr., NCE/U-H
Tommy Stewart, Sr., Ada-Borup
Tyler Bjerke, Jr., LP-A
Parker Syverson, Sr., Mahnomen/Waubun
Parker Gerber, Jr., Win-E-Mac