Posted On: 11/16/18 10:00 AM

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton is coming off a state title winning season and one of the top teams in Class A again heading into the 2018-19 season. A guy who has had his fingerprints all over the team’s success recently is Carter Hansen.

Hansen, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, averaged better than 11 points, five rebounds and four assists per game as a junior. He and his brother Cooper are the two returning starters for the Knights and he’s looking forward to the upcoming season.

“I’m really excited, I love to compete,” Hansen said. “Cooper and I are looking forward to having a fun year.”

RTR won the state title last year but Hansen realizes this is a different campaign. While it may be easy to rest on past success, there are new goals and more things to accomplish.

“It’s going to be tough for us to move from last year but it’s a new season,” said Hansen. “We have a great coaching staff and as a leader, it’s got to be a ‘last year was great but now let’s look forward to this year and go try and defend it’ kind of mindset for us.”

With three starters gone to graduation including the team’s top two scorers from last year, Hansen’s role changes drastically. While he was something of a table-setter last year on the offensive end, he’ll need to produce more this winter while continuing to supply top-notch defense.

“I just think I will have to make plays more, we’ll look to step outside and if teams want to sit back and zone us, we’ll step back and knock down shots,” Hansen said. “I definitely want to show that my outside shot has gotten better. When guys go under ball screens on me, I want to be able to make them pay. My strength has always been getting down hill offensively and defending.”

Hansen’s two-way game has certainly drawn the attention of collegiate programs. He’s a multi-sport stud at RTR and will also have a chance to play football at the next level if he so chooses.

“I’m thinking basketball but I’m still open to playing football too,” said Hansen. “It’s something I’d love to keep doing. I’ve talked to Bethany Lutheran a lot. I’m really familiar with their coach from his days playing at SMSU. SMSU is definitely an option and staying home would be really cool. Football wise, we’ve looked at Dakota State in Madison, South Dakota.”

College options have presented themselves and will be there for both Hansen brothers But the focus for now is also on this upcoming basketball season (after football ends). In what appears to be another fairly wide-open Class A, RTR has high expectations.

“I’d like to think we’ll compete,” said Hansen. “There are some great teams around the state and in our section. Sprinfield, Mayer Lutheran, BOLD, North Woods; Southwest Christian, Minneota even right in our section. If we can play and defend like we did last year, I think we’ll be as good as anybody.”