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 5 – Tuesday, Nov. 10
Region 6 – Wednesday, Nov. 11
Region 7 – Friday, Nov. 13
Region 8 – Sunday, Nov. 15
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Monday, Nov. 16
Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich lost a few important pieces from last season and a big name District 8 player transferred to Dunseith. St. John and North Star return some solid players but is District 8 still L-E-M’s to lose?
District 8 2019-20 record: 77-63
2019-20 record: 4-17
Rolette returns three starters this upcoming season but will still be a young team in Craig Johnson’s second-year. Senior Brenna Boucher averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game last season for the Comets and will be called on to score and defend even more this season. For Rolette to take a step in the right direction, they’ll have to get more production out of upperclassmen like Sam Brien (Sr.), Eva Tastad (Jr.) and Sierra Heinz (Jr.). The Comets also bring back five returning underclassmen letter winners that will be called on to play some big minutes.
2019-20 record: 7-14
Rolla was close to being a 10 win team last season but lost three contests by five points or fewer and couldn’t finish out games late. On a positive note, sophomore star Morgan Leas is back after a freshman campaign where she averaged 19.7 points and 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Bulldogs will have some growing pains early with some inexperienced student-athletes filling holes but Jodi Hudson’s crew will lean on upperclassmen Isabelle Mears (6.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 spg, 1.6 apg) and Jaina Canapi (4.3 ppg) for leadership.
4. North Star
2019-20 record: 10-13
North Star returns nine letter winners from its 2019-20 roster that includes junior standout Danielle Hagler. The 5-foot-10 forward averaged 16.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season. She was also named to both All-District and All-Region teams as a sophomore and is going to be asked to do a lot again in 2020-21. The Bearcats are one of the taller teams in Class B with four student-athletes standing 5-foot-10 or taller. Jill Vote needs to find some other scorers besides Hagler and will look towards senior Sydney Staus (6.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and sophomore Aubrey Griedl (8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) for that. North Star was a young squad in 2019-20 and they have another young team this season but with another offseason under its belt they should see improvement from a year ago.
3. St. John
2019-20 record: 16-8
St. John brings back a small senior class for the upcoming season but Raycee Reed, Kelsey Bercier and Megan Boe have been playing varsity since their freshmen seasons. The Woodchucks also have one of the top players in the 2022-23 class with Natalie Decoteau back for her sophomore season. Decoteau averaged 16.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.3 assists last season and plays nothing like an underclassmen. St. John lacks size but brings back everyone from the 2019-20 team that finished fourth in Region 4. Jake McCloud’s team will be very strong defensively again this year but needs to improve in the rebounding category and find a little more depth in order to be successful in 2020-21.
2019-20 record: 13-11
Dunseith will have a new head coach in 2020-21 and two new players that transferred over from different schools. Senior Kendra Prouty transferred over from St. John and Avery LaFoutain (8.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg) comes over from Turtle Mountain. Steve Poitra will take over as the Dragon’s head coach this season and takes over a team that returns three starters. Junior All-District players Brailyn Davis (13.5 ppg, 13 rpg) and Rozalind Strong (21.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg) are back after stellar sophomore seasons, while junior Jorja Short will look to improve off a year where she averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Add Prouty and her 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 6.7 steals per game into the mix and Dunseith has one of the top lineups in Class B for the 2020-21 season. With a very talented offensive team, the Dragons are going to put up a lot of points this season and will compete with the top teams in Class B.
1. Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich
2019-20 record: 27-0
It’s hard to bet against the defending state champions and a team that hasn’t lost a regular season game since December 2018. Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich lost two great players in Callie Ronningen and Kaitlynn Scherr but bring back a group of experienced and tall student-athletes. The Cardinals have four players that are 5-foot-10 or taller that includes junior standout Morgan Freije. Freije averaged 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last season. L-E-M also brings back two other starters in seniors Lexi Olson (6.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.3 assists) and Kaylee Lowery (7.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg). The Cardinals won’t be as dominant as they were in 2019-20 but this team has the coaching and talent to win Region 4. If Rob Scherr can get improved played out of junior Marlee Hetletved and freshmen Jaya Henderson and Cora Badding, this squad should have another great season in District 8.