Posted On: 12/4/18 8:00 AM

The season is upon us. With a number of top-notch teams testing themselves early in the season, there’s bound to be some compelling basketball going on in North Dakota at both levels in the early stages of the season. Here are some games to watch in Class A this week:

Fargo Shanley vs. West Fargo

Fargo Shanley earned a 78-64 win Friday to open the season against Bismarck St. Mary’s while West Fargo will make its season opener. Both these teams lost a lot from last year’s state tournament teams so this will be a bit of a litmus test game for both clubs. West Fargo’s interior duo of Luke Lennon and Hunter Lyman could be a problem most teams in the EDC but the Deacons are off to a nice start led by big man Daniel Wanner and junior guard Talon Hoffer.

West Fargo Sheyenne vs. Grand Forks Red River

West Fargo Sheyenne earned a high-quality win in its first game of the year, beating Mandan 65-60 led by 17 points from Blake Berg. Tyler Terhark added 14 and Christian Kuntz chipped in 12 as four Mustangs scored in double figures. Red River beat Roseau to open its season without much resistance so this will be a much stiffer test. But the Roughriders have the talent to be an upper-echelon team in the EDC. A win or competitive showing would go a long way here.

Mandan vs. Bismarck

This is a big one (relative of course given it’s the first week of the season) as Mandan is 0-1 to start the year and Bismarck has aspirations of contending in the WDA. Mandan lost at West Fargo Sheyenne (a contender in the EDC) while the Demons dispatched Fargo North. Mandan doesn’t want to start the year 0-2 and a loss against a team in its class could set the Braves back a bit in the WDA (in terms of contending). It’s a big week for Bismarck too as the Demons have Mandan Tuesday then Jamestown Friday. A pair of wins would look awfully good early in the season.