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 7 – Friday, Nov. 13
Region 8 – Sunday, Nov. 15
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Monday, Nov. 16
Region 6 will have a little bit of everything this upcoming season. From team’s looking to find their next group of players to other squad’s trying to take that next step with the players they’ve had in the system for awhile. I think District 12 will one of the more competitive district’s in 2020-21, so keep an eye out for that. Both District 11 and 12, however, have talented upperclassmen and underclassmen but what team can put it all together at the right time? Let’s dive in to the Region 6 season preview.
2019-20 record: 7-14
TGU lost a lot of scoring from last season including District 11 Senior Athlete of the Year in Jaidyn Brummond. The Titans will look to senior Grace Schmitt (6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) to handle most of the scoring as she returns with the most varsity experience. TGU brings back three other senior letter winners (Lita Prellwitz, Melanie Fosness and Kendra Kuhnhenn) that don’t have a ton of minutes recorded but will be needed in 2020-21. The Titans will also lean heavily on underclassmen this season. Eighth-grader Elise Fahnestock averaged 4.1 points per game in 2019-20 and has a good shot at being the Titans starting point guard. Head coach Faith Fahnestock has a quick team but they are team that lacks experience and height.
2019-20 record: 5-16
Last season, Nedrose scored 25 points or fewer in 10 of its 21 games. The Cardinals do, however, bring back four student-athletes that scored four points or more per contest in 2019-20. Leading the way offensively for Nedrose will be 5-foot-11 senior A’Lexis Crawford. Crawford averaged 7.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last season. Head coach Matt Hanson will also lean towards senior Alisha Cannon (6.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg) for offensive help and junior Alexis Lancaster, who made 16 3-pointers last season.
2019-20 record: 6-16
Drake-Anamoose will be one of the taller teams in Class B this season. The Raiders bring back two starters in junior Riley Hauff and sophomore Taryn Sieg that stand 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11 and have two underclassmen in Rylee Martin and Halie Fletschock that are 5-foot-10 or taller. Hauff was an All-District player last season and averaged 8.6 rebounds, 6.8 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. Five of the Raiders eight returning letter winners are underclassmen, so this team is going to be young in 2020-21. But head coach Chris Arnold has a nice core group of student-athletes to work with. Sieg averaged 5.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last year, while sophomore Jamie Lemer added 5.8 points per game and 2.8 rebounds. Drake-Anamoose has to become more consistent and needs to bring the right mindset from one gameday to the next. With just one senior on their roster, the Raiders are in good position to have a breakout season soon. This is also a team that had back-to-back-to-back one win seasons from 2016-17 to 2018-19 before winning six games last season, so they are moving in the right direction.
2019-20 record: 12-11
Half of Westhope-Newburg’s 12 wins in 2019-20 came within the last month of the season. The Sioux ended the 2019-20 regular season with four straight wins and then picked up two wins against Drake-Anamoose and TGU in the District 11 tournament. Head coach Bob Beaudrie hopes his team can carry that late season success into 2020-21. W-N brings back 12 letter winners but only three upperclassmen in Trinity Arnason, Destiny Hawkins and Serenity Trease. On the flip side, the Sioux bring back one of the top players in the 2022-23 recruiting class with Ellie Braaten back for her sophomore season. As a freshman, Braaten was named to the All-District and All-Region teams after she averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.6 steals. She also drilled 45 3-pointers. Sophomore Karen Solis (4.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and freshman Kimberly Tabarez (7.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) are also back and will look to build off their solid play from last season. The Sioux only lost one player from their 2019-20 roster but that player happened to be Harley Blada, who scored over 1,000 points in her career and finished Top 5 in almost every statistical category in W-N history. Beaudrie will lean a lot on his teams underclassmen and Braaten is going to bring it every night but other student-athletes outside of her have to step up their play this season.
2019-20 record: 9-14
Although, Bottineau will have undersized guards this upcoming season, seniors Mya Troska, Olivia Nero and Sabra Peterson are the strength of this Stars squad. Peterson and Troska can shoot the lights out of the basketball and combined to make 76 3-pointers last season. Peterson averaged 12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.8 assists per contest in 2019-20, while Nero and Troska averaged both around six points and five rebounds per game. Bottineau also has a standout freshman in Kylie Simpson, who is on the path to be a very strong player for the Stars. She averaged 7.8 points and 3.5 rebounds as an eighth-grader. Michael Vandal’s team this season will be one of Bottineau’s best shooting teams within the last few years and will look towards its backcourt to show up in big time moments.
2019-20 record: 14-10
Velva is one of the few teams in Region 6 that will have a strong senior class presence on its 2020-21 roster. The Aggies welcome back seven seniors that includes Madison Effertz that saw quality minutes a season ago on a team that won District 11 and earned a runner-up finish in the region. But when you look at Velva’s roster, you’ll notice that one of their best player is a sophomore. Olivia Passa will be asked to do more this season and is a top recruit in the 2022-23 class. She’s coming off a freshman season where she averaged 10.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 steals. With nine upperclassmen on its roster, Velva will have a lot of depth this season to keep everyone fresh.
2019-20 record: 23-4
Rugby is going to be a tough team to beat this season as they return all five starters from its 2019-20 team that earned a fifth-place finish at the state tournament. The Panthers return All-District and All-Region players in seniors Brooke Blessum and Sarah Blessum and sophomore Mykell Heidlebaugh. All three of those players have the ability and knowledge to play different spots on the court. Brooke had a stellar junior season and averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 2.5 assists and 2.4 blocks per game, while Sarah added 7.5 points per contest and 3.2 steals. Heidlebaugh doubled her scoring last season from her eighth-grade season and can hold her own against other top players in Class B. This Rugby group has built a lot of chemistry together and will continue to play even more like a team in 2020-21. Look for senior Tesha Sobolik to have a strong final season as a high school student-athlete after having a strong three games at the 2019-20 state tournament. The Panthers lost to Kindred in the 2018-19 state championship game but this year with nine upperclassmen and a talented sophomore class, Rugby has a strong shot to get back there.
8. Lewis & Clark – Berthold
2019-20 record: 8-13
Lewis & Clark – Berthold brings back four letter winners that includes three juniors and one sophomore. The Bombers will be paced by junior guard Ashley Seaver, who averaged 8.1 points per game last season.
7. South Prairie
2019-20 record: 3-18
South Prairie returns four of its five starters from last year’s 3-18 team. Junior McKynna Stenberg (9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and senior Haley O’Connor (7.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg) will lead the Royals and should see a nice jump in development after successful campaigns in 2019-20. South Prairie will also have to find some underclassmen that want to step up in order to compete in District 12 this season. Sophomore Raven Pelfrey leads that group and is coming off a freshman season where she averaged 2.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
2019-20 record: 9-13
Surrey had a sour taste in its mouth going into the 2020-21 offseason after losing nine of 11 to end last season. The Mustangs need to shake it off and forget about how they finished their 2019-20 campaign and focus on the fact that they didn’t lose anybody from last year’s roster. Surrey has a lot of height coming into this season as seven of its 12 letter winners are 5-foot-9 or taller. Senior Katie Aberle will be the captain of the ship for Surrey again in 2020-21 and averaged 13.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game in her junior season. She was also named to the All-District team for the second time in a row. The Mustangs also welcome back senior Saylm Klimpel (8.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg). As long as this team continues to work on its defense and outside shooting, Surrey will be competitive in a strong district.
5. Bishop Ryan
2019-20 record: 11-12
Bishop Ryan brings back eight upperclassmen that includes two talented seniors in Nora Kramer and Sylvie Kramer along with junior Sydney Upton. The three of them combined for 30 of the Lions’ 33 points in last year’s 47-33 loss to Velva in a Region 6 quarterfinal contest. Bishop Ryan also welcomes back strong sophomore student-athlete in Magee Rovig, who will continue to develop into a solid player for head coach Roger Coleman.
4. Des Lacs-Burlington
2019-20 record: 14-8
Des Lacs-Burlington was a few possessions away from winning 17 games last season. The Lakers got edged by North Star by five points, lost to Bishop Ryan by one and lost to Rugby by three in overtime. Tracy Bonn’s squad brings back everybody from last year’s 14-8 team except one player in Sara Bonn. DL-B will be a very upperclassmen led team as all 10 letter winners are either seniors or juniors. Senior Brooklyn Benno earned All-District honors last season and averaged 9.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Six players return for the Lakers that averaged four points or more in 2019-20, so this team has the weapons to compete with the top teams in Region 6. Some of those other weapons include senior Brynley Benno (5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and juniors MacKenzie Rist (7.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Krysta Berard (4.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg). DL-B needs to continue to work on in-game situations but hopefully that upperclassmen leadership will help with that this season.
3. Our Redeemer’s
2019-20 record: 17-8
After losing All-Region player Hailey Roberts to graduation, Our Redeemer’s has to find that next go-to player. Trending towards the top of that list is freshman Maya Vibeto. The 5-foot-4 guard guard earned All-District honors in 2019-20 and averaged 12.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists per contest as an eighth-grader. She also has a nice 3-point shot and made 45 3-pointers a year ago. The Knights do bring back some talented upperclassmen in seniors Kendal Braun and Olivia Nelson along with junior Emily Brugman but after that this team will have to lean on their underclassmen. Our Redeemer’s has a strong group of four players but will need sophomores Elise Altringer (3.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg), Megan Swenson and Mya Borud to take that next step forward for the Knight’s. It was good for those younger letter winners to get that big game experience last season as the Knight’s earned a third-place finish in the region tournament.
2019-20 record: 16-7
Glenburn brings back two offensive studs in senior McKenna Rolland and junior Lorelei McIver. Rolland can play inside out and averaged 15.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 2019-20 but needs to improve defensively this season. McIver has good energy and is a do-it-all type of player for the Panthers and averaged close to a double-double (9 ppg, 8 rpg) her junior season. She also averaged 4.1 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 assists. Outside of those two student-athletes, Glenburn has to find some other scoring. Senior Nadia Post and freshman Sophie Bachmeier combined for 21 3-pointers last season and will be asked to take more shots this season. Glenburn also gets a new player in sophomore Deanna Heinze (7.5 ppg, 2.3 steals) as she transferred from Surrey. She’s a good defensive player and can play well at both ends of the court. The Panthers have experience with six upperclassmen on its roster but will need strong leadership out of them to help the younger players perform well at the varsity level.
2019-20 record: 22-3
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood is going to have a tough time getting back to where they were last season, however, they return two players who are highly touted in their respected classes. Junior Kylie Abernathey and 6-foot-2 sophomore Allison Undlin earned All-District and All-Region honors in 2019-20 and are back for the Mavericks. Now, M-L-S will be without its star from the last handful of seasons in Leah Feland but the Mavericks are in good hands with Abernathey (13.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 apg) and Undlin (9.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.9 bpg, 3.4 apg). Undlin needs to be more consistent this season and Abernathey needs to show more grit on the court but both players are in good spots to be able to take their game to the next level. At the end of the day, those two players can’t do it all for M-L-S this season. In order for the Mustangs to beat out the top teams in District 12 and hold onto the No. 1 spot, they’ll need to get some stronger play out of juniors Madison Moberg, Lauren Steeves and Lainey Schmidt. Underclassmen Emma Southam (So.), Isabell Buynak (So.) and Jamie Thompson (Fr.) will also be called on to step up and play more minutes in 2020-21. The Mustangs have big shoes to fill with Feland and Janie Savelkoul gone but if this team can find pieces to put around their top four players, they’ll be in a good spot towards the end of the season.