Welcome to our 2020-21 season preview series. This year we’ll start with the girls’ previews and we’ll drop our 2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings after we preview all eight Regions and then move into the boys’ previews. Every other day a Region preview will be published at nodakbasketballhub.com. You can also find all the previews under the 2020-21 Season Links tab on the home page of our website.
Click here to find all the Region previews.
Also, here’s the schedule for the upcoming girls previews:
Region 4 – Sunday, Nov. 8
Region 5 – Monday, Nov. 9
Region 6 – Wednesday, Nov. 11
Region 7 – Friday, Nov. 13
Region 8 – Sunday, Nov. 15
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Monday, Nov. 16
District 6 features a team in Linton-HMB that many will pick to be a Top 5 team in Class B and rightfully so with the talent they bring back but don’t count out Kidder County or Medina-Pingree/Buchanan.
District 6 2019-20 record: 66-66
2019-20 record: 1-20
Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter struggled to score the basketball last season but return a group of student-athletes that saw a lot of playing time last season. It’ll be year two of Richard Bjerklie project, so it’ll be fun to see how N-G-S has grown from last season. The Imperials bring back a stellar freshman forward in Teagan Erbele, who averaged 10.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as an eighth-grader. Erbele is one of the top players in the 2022-23 class and earned All-District honors in 2019-20. Bjerklie has a young squad that features just three upperclassmen in senior Janae Weigel (2.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and juniors Kylie Breidenbach (2.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg) and Courtney Thompson (3.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg). The Imperials will be much improved from last season but don’t have a ton a size as no player is over 5-foot-7.
5. South Border
South Border is going to be very competitive in 2020-21. With eight letter winners back the Mustangs should be improved from last season but they also need to see improvement on the offensive side of the basketball. In 2019-20, Jason Schmidt’s squad scored 30 or fewer points six times. Senior Reagen Gross and Nicole Schmidt are back after a season where they combined for close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per contest. The Mustangs also have a strong player in sophomore Emily Jochim (7.1 ppg, 2.9 spg), who will look to take another jump forward in her game this season. South Border has an experienced group coming back this season but need to improve its shooting.
2019-20 record: 6-14
Strasburg-Zeeland brings back eight letter winners from last season that includes juniors Abby Scherr and Shelby Vander Vorst. Sophomore Lily Hack will also see an increased role this season but the Clippers need to get more scoring out of its lineup and better defensive play.
2019-20 record: 16-8
Medina-Pingree/Buchanan brings back nine letter winners that includes four upperclassmen. The Thunder bring back their two top scorers from the 2019-20 Region 3 semifinal game in senior Brittney Reister and junior Ryleigh Martin. Cory Mack’s squad has some solid underclassmen play in sophomore Lilly Bohl and freshman Allison Thomas. The Thunder lack height but have a good group of student-athletes that have been apart of success in the past.
2. Kidder County
2019-20 record: 21-3
Kidder County brings back three starters from its 2019-20 squad that finished 21-3. This scrappy team welcomes back a talented group of both upperclassmen and underclassmen with senior standout Madelyn Schmidt leading the charge. One of the top players in Class B, Schmidt is coming off a year where she averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals. She also made 79 3-pointers in 24 games and is a complete player even at her 5-foot-5 size. Senior Hailey Pfaff and sophomore Kennedy Harter will look to build off solid seasons in 2019-20 and where they combined for just over 13 points and seven rebounds per contest. One of the Wolves’ strengths is team chemistry and even though Dan Welder has three scorers in Schmidt, Pfaff and Harter, some underclassmen will have increased roles compared to last season. Sophomore Avery Rath (4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.1 apg) will bolster Kidder County’s lineup if she can take a step forward in 2020-21 and can do a combination of scoring and defending. Sophomores Janae Furman (6-foot-1) and Taylee Patzner (5-foot-9) also bring some height to the Wolves’ roster this season. Kidder County may have lost talent from a year ago but this team is no stranger to success and will perform like a top team in Region 3 this season.
2019-20 record: 15-8
Linton-HMB is one of the few Class B teams that didn’t lose a single player from its 2019-20 roster. The Lions return three All-District student-athletes in senior Erica Umber and juniors JayCee Richter and Teegan Scherr. Richter led the team in scoring last season with 15.1 points per game. She also knocked down a team-high 37 3-pointers and added four rebounds per contest. Umber (14 ppg, 8rpg) averaged close to a double-double in 2019-20, while Scherr averaged 10 points, 2.9 steals and 1.9 steals per game. Another strong scoring option for first-year head coach Beau Diegel is senior Precious Vetter. Vetter averaged 10.1 points per game as a junior and brings some nice energy to the defensive side of the basketball. The Lions aren’t the tallest team in District 6 by any means but their opponents will have a tough time guarding a lineup that features four student-athletes that averaged 10 or more points per game a season ago. With 11 letter winners returning, L-HMB can also add depth to its list of strengths for the 2020-21 season. If the Lions can make it out of Region 3, which they’re favored to do, watch out for them to make some noise at the state tournament.