Welcome to the 2020-21 Class B boys team season previews. You find the list of all Class B boys 2020-21 team previews here.
Throughout the September-November months, the North Dakota Basketball Hub is going to preview every Class B boys teams.
After a bitter end to the 2019-20 season for Enderlin, this past offseason has been filled with positive and national headlines.
Junior Joe Hurlburt has received nine Division-I offers over the last handful of months. Programs like Ohio State, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa just to name a few have offered the 6-foot-10, 220-pound prospect an early scholarship. 247 Sports has Hurlburt ranked No. 47 on their Top 150 basketball rankings for the class of 2022.
— Enderlin Basketball (@enderlinbball) July 22, 2020
“He’s pretty humble about it all,” Eagles head coach Calvin Kraft said about Hurlburt’s recruiting journey. “He goes about his business and whatever happens, happens and he’s just taking it one day at a time.”
“He’s done a lot of things this summer in the weight room, basketball things but yet he brings something that hasn’t really happened around here in North Dakota. … It’s just kind of a rare thing and good for the community, our town, our school and good for our program.”
Hurlburt and the Eagles bust onto the Class B scene last season and finished 18-3, which was eight wins more compared to their 2018-19 campaign. However, a first-round exit in the Region 1 tournament ended Enderlin’s season.
That finish is behind them Kraft said and his team has shifted focus onto the upcoming season.
“There’s some growing pains that we took last year in that first round,” Kraft added. “We just didn’t get it done but this offseason everyone’s grown by a year, which helps.”
“We took a huge step last year (and) did everything right, just got clipped when we probably shouldn’t (have) and that was on us. Hopefully, we’ll learn from that and grow.”
The Eagles lost four seniors but welcome back the majority of their lineup that includes Hurlburt along with twin brother Gus Hurlburt (junior), who has an offer from the University of North Dakota and stands 6-foot-8.
Gus put on close to 20 pounds this offseason and his improved shooting will “really spread the floor for us,” Kraft said.
“He’s really a hard worker in the post and has really good post moves and starts the 1-5 positions,” Kraft added. “He’s very coachable, so he’ll just (continue to) improve on everything that he has going for him right now.”
Joe averaged 21 points per game and 15 rebounds last season while Gus put up 14 points per game and eight rebounds.
To go along with that one-two punch, Enderlin also brings back senior guard Dawson Lemna (6-foot-0), senior guard Zeke Parsons (5-foot-11), junior guard Alijah Dixson (5-foot-10) and sophomore forward Carson Bartholomay (6-foot-5).
One of the strengths of the Eagles this season is their veteran presence as they’ll have nine upperclassmen.
“Its been a while since you could say that,” Kraft said about having a handful of upperclassmen. “The biggest part, we’ve seen it now and we’ve played in big moments.”
Lemna is one of the four seniors on the Eagles roster and is one of the main leaders in the locker room.
“Dawson’s steady,” Kraft added, “and (he) keeps everybody level headed.”
“He’ll be the first to tell you that it didn’t end well for us last year and he’ll kind of right the ship and make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
Two other student-athletes that played a significant role in Enderlin’s successful 2019-20 season were Dixson and Bartholomay.
Dixson is one of the quickest guards in Class B and is tough to stay in front of when he’s on offense.
While Bartholomay is a very skilled underclassmen and has played in big moments for the Eagles.
“In big moments he (Bartholomay) shows up whether its hit a 3-pointer or take a charge or guard somebody and that’ll only improve,” Kraft said.
Enderlin will have to get some solid play out of underclassmen like sophomore guard Trey Wall (5-foot-8) and sophomore forward Caden Amerman (6-foot-2).
Senior guard Lane McCleary (5-foot-9) and junior forward/center Sadrais Alcox (6-foot-3) will also be key factors coming off the bench for the Eagles.
“He (Alcox) just started playing basketball last year and has a really good body and a motor and will be counted on for some things,” Kraft said.
Kraft added that his team needs to work on staying in the moment and maintain focus every night.
“We kind of expected things last year after we started winning games,” Kraft added. … (We need to) make sure we are ready for every single moment and know that if we don’t show up, we can get beat and not kind of be complacent where we are at and keep improving in practice.”
“So, hopefully this season happens here coming up and we can take another step forward.”
Head Coach: Calvin Kraft
2019-20 record: 18-3
Outcome: Lost to Tri-State 81-78 in first round of Region 1 tournament
Seniors Lost: 4
2020-21 Roster Breakdown