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 6 – Wednesday, Nov. 11
Region 7 – Friday, Nov. 13
Region 8 – Sunday, Nov. 15
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Monday, Nov. 16
Both District 9 and District 10 will have some heavy hitters at the top this season. Region 5 also features a lot of talented underclassmen. Shiloh Christian has seen tough battles the last two seasons in the Region 5 championship games but came out on top both times. Will we see a new team come out of Region 5 this season? Let’s dive into the 2020-21 Region 5 season preview.
6. New Salem-Almont
2019-20 record: 3-18
After missing last season with a knee injury, junior Grace Toepke is back for New Salem-Almont. The Holsteins won just three games in 2019-20 but return eight letter winners including seven upperclassmen. The only student-athlete that returns that averaged five points per game or more last season is junior Kendyl Hoger. The 5-foot-7 forward averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest as a sophomore. NS-A also brings back a talented underclassmen sophomore in Mackenzie Brandt. As a freshman, Brandt averaged 4.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game and added 15 blocks. However, 5-foot-8 junior Emily Morman led the Holsteins in blocks with 23. Jerome Slag will have an aggressive group in 2020-21 but needs everyone that comes back to be improved from last season and Toepke should give the Holsteins a little energy after sitting out a year.
2019-20 record: 9-11
Solen will lean heavily on senior Teyah Uses Arrow this season as she’s the only returning starter for the District 9 team. Uses Arrow averaged 4.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 2019-20. She’s a four-year starter and will be called on to do a lot for the Sioux this upcoming season. Solen brings back seven letter winners from last season that includes two underclassmen. Freshman Cienna Red Bear and junior Angel Thunderhawk are key pieces to the Sioux’s success this year and combined for six points last season but will need to take a step forward in their game. Solen is a young squad that lacks height but they’ll play hard every possession. If the team can find some more scoring and defend better this season they’ll be improved from 2019-20.
4. Standing Rock
2019-20 record: 6-12
Standing Rock won two games at the District 9 tournament last season and will try to bring that positive play into the new season. The Warriors bring back six letter winners including senior Chania Crow Ghost, who averaged 11.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest last season. She also knocked down 32 3-pointers. Standing Rock also brings back talented players in junior Keighanna Iron Shield (9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and sophomore OShea Elk (6.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg). If the Warriors can find that success that finished with last year, Mike Busch’s squad will see more wins
2019-20 record: 19-5
Flasher returns four senior playmakers in Leandra Schmidt, Faith Marion, Peyton Black and Tymber Boldt. Marion and Boldt both earned All-District honors last season and combined for 19.6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs lost some talented players in Coral Alt, Camryn Alt and Hannah Roth but bring back plenty of talent. The question for head coach Heidi Alt is who is going to step up outside of those four seniors. Flasher brings back nine letter winners that includes four freshmen in Carlee Fuchs, Jayden Miller, Joselyn Froelich and Summer Fleck.
2. Grant County
2019-20 record: 18-5
Grant County brings back one of the top players in the 2020-21 class with Isabelle Boyer along with eight letter winners from a year ago. Boyer averaged 22.9 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals last season. She also earned All-District and All-Region honors and made the All-State second-team. She’s a dominant player, who can make an impact anywhere on the court. Alongside Boyer, the Coyotes bring back two other starter’s from their 2019-20 roster in senior Laura Muggli (5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and sophomore Zoey Heid (6.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg). Boyer and company should have a solid 2020-21 season and will have a chance to knock off some top tier teams in Class B if they can find some good leadership from the upperclassmen.
1. Shiloh Christian
2019-20 record: 18-9
Shiloh Christian will enter the Dan Seifert era this season as he replaced Darryl Bearstail in May. I don’t expect the Skyhawks to take a step back from its state tournament season a year ago considering Seifert is a talented coach and with what the squad returns. The Skyhawks bring back six letter winners that includes a talented group of three in senior Jacie Hall (12.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and juniors Grace Kelly (14.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Kennady Walth (6.1 ppg and 4.6 rpg). Shiloh Christian will also get a boost from Cherstin Mitzel, the Bismarck Century transfer and sophomore Kaitleigh Brady returns after missing 2019-20 with a torn ACL. If the Skyhawks can get their freshmen players to step up to add some depth and find that chemistry, this team could very well see another state tournament appearance in 2020-21.
2019-20 record: 1-20
Max struggled to score the basketball last season but returns experience with 11 letter winners back. The Cossacks need to be better defensively in 2020-21 and put last season behind them.
2019-20 record: 6-18
Washburn didn’t have a senior on its roster last season, so the nine letter winners that are back have some experience under their belt. After spending the 2019-20 season trying to figure out everyone’s roles, the Cardinals should be able to use that learning season and take a step forward in 2020-21.
2019-20 record: 12-13
Center-Stanton had a solid 2019-20 postseason that featured two District 10 tournament wins and a 51-46 Region 5 victory over Grant County. The Wildcats bring back four of its top 5 scorers from that Grant County game and return 11 letter winners from 2019-20. Center-Stanton will have seven upperclassmen that includes five seniors. Seniors Kori Nagel, Kathryn Kraft and Hannah Hoffman will look to have solid seasons in 2020-21, while sophomore Katelyn Frank will continue to be an important player for Drew Erhardt’s team. The Wildcats may not have the most talented roster this season but they are a scrappy bunch that no team should overlook.
3. Central McLean
2019-20 record: Underwood (19-6), Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky (13-9)
Central McLean is another new Class B co-op this season with Underwood and Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky merging together. The Cougars will have some depth in 2020-21 and return an All-District player in senior Sophie Sparrow (11.3 ppg). Sophomore Daisy Sparrow is also another bright spot for the Cougars and is coming off a freshman season where she averaged 6.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. It may take time to get these players to mesh together but once that happens, Wes Jacobson has a team that’ll play hard every night. They’ll just need to figure out who plays well together and what lineup works best.
2019-20 record: 11-11
Garrison returns seven letter winners from 2019-20 but none of those student-athletes will be seniors this season. The Troopers, however, bring back All-Region player in sophomore Karli Klein, who is one of the top players in the 2022-23 class. Klein averaged 12.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals1.5 assists and just under a block per game as a freshman. Garrison will be tough to defend with Klein in the middle and three great shooters in junior Cedar Perkins and sophomores Mia Gehring and Katie Zook on the outside. Perkins and Zook combined for 68 3-pointers last season. This is a young squad but they aren’t afraid of the big game moments. First-year head coach Matt Chase has a talented roster to work with not only for the 2020-21 season but for future seasons as well with a handful of underclassmen prospects.
2019-20 record: 16-7
Wilton-Wing will have one of more balanced teams in Class B this season. With everyone back from their 2019-20 roster, the Miners have four seniors, six juniors and two sophomores on its 2020-21 roster. One of those sophomore’s is one of the top players in the 2022-23 class in Hailey Quam. Quam dominated as a freshman and averaged 21.1 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest. It’ll be fun to watch her take another strong step forward this season. W-W welcomes back senior All-Region player Kiara Johnson (13.1 ppg, 3.1 spg, 2.1 apg) and senior junior Kalyssa Schock (12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg. 2.3 apg). The Miners also get back senior Jordan Tooke after she missed last season with a knee injury. This team is very talented and has all the pieces to compete for a Region 5 championship, if they limit the turnovers and improve from beyond the arc. If you take out Schock’s 28 3-pointers, the Miners only managed to make 25 as a team in 2019-20.