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2020-21 Class B Boys Season Preview: Region 2

Welcome to our 2020-21 Class B boys season preview series. Every other day a Region preview will be published at nodakbasketballhub.com. You can also find all the previews including the girls’ previews under the 2020-21 Season Links tab on the home page of our website. After we preview all eight regions, we’ll drop our Top 10 Preseason Power Rankings. 

Click here to find all the Region previews.

Also, here’s the schedule for the upcoming boys previews:

Region 3 – Sunday, Nov. 22
Region 4 – Tuesday, Nov. 24
Region 5 – Thursday, Nov. 26
Region 6 – Thursday, Nov. 26
Region 7 – Sunday, Nov. 29
Region 8 – Tuesday, Dec. 1
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Wednesday, Dec. 2

Grafton returns all five starters from last season that includes three players that averaged 10 points per game or more. The Spoilers will be tough to beat in Region 2 this year and with Hillsboro-Central Valley and Thompson taking steps back that leaves the door open for some other programs to compete for a region title.

12. May-Port-CG

2019-20 record: 3-18

May-Port-CG returns six letter winners that includes senior Logan Vaagene. The 6-foo-1 guard averaged 11.6 points per game in 2019-20 and 3.2 rebounds. The Patriots also bring back 6-foot-3 senior Jordan Evans, who averaged 6.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds last season. M-P-CG will have to get more production out of senior Jack Bradner (3.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and senior Josh Evans will have to continue to knock down shots from beyond the arc in 2020-21. The Patriots have a heavy upperclassmen class that includes six seniors.

11. Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page

2019-20 record: 1-21

It’s been a rough couple of seasons for Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page but the Spartans hope that trend ends this season. Chelsey Beaton’s squad returns multiple student-athletes that saw varsity minutes in 2019-20 along with a strong sophomore class. Senior Owen Zurface and sophomore Landon Koenig combined for 21.2 points per game last season and 8.8 rebounds. The Spartans will look for seniors Dalton Stein and Ryan Tuite to step up more this year and sophomores Bryce Juliuson and Xyler Carlson will look to build off their strong freshmen campaigns. F-S/H-P brings back six juniors and need them to help out defensively as the Spartans allowed 70 points or more seven times last season.

10. Larimore

2019-20 record: 3-18

Larimore brings back four seniors that saw varsity action last season that includes its leader in senior Ryan Sletten. Sletten averaged 14.9 points per game along with 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 rebounds in his junior season. He also knocked down a team-high 36 3-pointers and has the potential to an All-Region player this season. Another scorer that returns for Larimore is senior Bode Gram. He averaged 7.2 points per game as a junior and 2.2 rebounds. Seniors Allen Farrell and Bo Salander will also have to step up and increase their production for Jennifer Collison’s team. The Polar Bears return eight letter winners but will lean on some underclassmen for depth.

9. Park River/Fordville-Lankin

2019-20 record: 6-15

Park River/Fordville-Lankin enters the 2020-21 season with six student-athletes that started multiple games last season. The Aggies did graduate four seniors but return one of the top players in Region 2 in senior Sam Hagen. The 6-foot-6 All-Region center averaged a double-double (19.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg) in 2019-20 and is very smooth around the basket. Outside of Hagen, PR/F-L will have to find scoring. Senior Jake Olson averaged 4.7 points per game as a junior and 2.2 assists but needs to improve his outside game. Olson can finish strong at the rim and grab rebounds but will need to take that next step in his game this season. The Aggies will look towards freshmen Avery Rosinski and Mitchell Shirek to increase their play after strong freshmen seasons. Both student-athletes saw varsity action in 2019-20 and will be called on to contribute even more this season.

8. Thompson

2019-20 record: 15-7

Thompson returns just two student-athletes with varsity experience this season after graduating five seniors that made up close to all of its scoring. Senior Sam Roller returns as the Tommies leading scorer as he averaged 7.3 points per game, 1.9 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 2019-20. Junior Kyle Odenbach (2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg) is Thompson’s other student-athlete with varsity minutes under his belt and will be called on to take on a much larger role in 2020-21 compared to what he had in the past. Thompson will call on senior Logan Maus and juniors Tyler Cunningham, Connor Welsh and Connor Praska to fill holes left by that strong 2019-20 senior class.

7. Cavalier

2019-20 record: 15-10

Cavalier returns one of the top players in Region 2 with Brodie Cluchie back for his senior season. Cluchie averaged 14.5 points per game last season and 5.1 rebounds. He has the green light from anywhere on the court and is a strong defensive player but will need to get help from his senior teammates in Daniel Hinkle and Brannin Cleem as they combined for eight points per contest in 2019-20. Cleem played through a knee injury last season but should be healthy to start this season for the Tornadoes. Cavalier returns seven letter winners as juniors Caden DeMars, Coby Morden and Ty Holmquist will see increased roles in 2020-21.

6. Drayton/Valley-Edinburg

2019-20 record: 8-15

Drayton/Valley-Edinburg returns a strong one-two punch with seniors Tyson Backer and Gage Pollestad. Backer averaged 10.9 points per game last season and 5.4 rebounds, while Pollestad added a team-high 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds. The Titans also bring back a solid scorer in senior Sam Johnson (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg), who shot 28 percent from beyond the arc in 2019-20. D/V-E needs to be more consistent this season and limit its turnovers, however, they’ll have some nice depth with eight student-athletes competing for varsity minutes.

5. Hillsboro-Central Valley

2019-20 record: 20-4

Hillsboro-Central Valley graduated seven seniors but brings back three student-athletes that scored 3.5 points per game or more in 2019-20. Seniors Sam Preston (3.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.3 apg) and Jackson Anderson (4.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 spg and 1.2 assists) will lead H-CV and are both solid defenders and offensive playmakers. The Burros will also have some height this season as six players stand 6-foot-2 or taller. Senior Dylan Bye (6-foot-5) gives the Burros a post presence and junior Gannon Limke (6-foot-4) has the potential to be a top player in this region by the end of his time with H-CV. Limke averaged 3.4 points per game last season ad 3.3 rebounds. He also added 10 blocks, while Preston finished with 23. H-CV will lack some varsity experience in 2020-21 and may go through some ups and downs early but head coach Elliot Rotvold will have his team playing their best towards the end of the season.

4. Midway-Minto

2019-20 record: 6-15

Midway-Minto returns one of the larger senior classes in Region 2 this season that includes All-Region student-athlete Seth Robinson. The 6-foot-2 senior had an outstanding junior season where he averaged 18.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals. He does a little bit of everything for the Mustangs and one of his many strengths include taking it to the rim. M-M also returns senior William Schuster, who is one of the top 3-point shooters in Region 2. Schuster made 48 3-pointers in 2019-20 and has good court vision as well as he averaged around three assists per game. Senior Jamison Irwin is a strong post player for the Mustangs even though he is undersized but averaged 10.5 points per game and 7.1 rebounds as a junior. The Mustangs have a nice trio of players with Robinson, Schuster and Irwin back for one more season but will also need Levi Napier (Sr.), Kanon Moen (Sr.) and Joshua Anderson (Sr.) to have improved seasons in order to have success in 2020-21.

3. North Border

2019-20 record: 16-6

North Border returns a strong core of student-athletes that features four senior letter winners, three juniors and one sophomore. Senior Jaden Lee will lead the charge for the Eagles and is coming off a junior season where he earned All-Region honors and averaged 14.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Lee is a do-it-all type of player and can make an impact on both ends of the court. Junior Jaxen Johnson gives the Eagles a post presence and averaged 8.1 points per game and 7.1 rebounds last season. North Border also returns senior Loghan Nupdahl (3.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg), junior Kyler Moore (5.1 ppg, 2 rpg) and sophomore Trenton Cosley (8.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg). Cosley is a strong shooter but will have to increase his scoring and play better defense in 2020-21. If North Border’s bench players can find ways to contribute this season, watch out for the Eagles come tournament time.

2. Hatton-Northwood

2019-20 record:21-3

Hatton-Northwood returns two Top 20 players in Region 2 in senior Colton Konschak and junior Kelby Azure along with its sixth-man in senior Carter Myron. Konschak averaged 14.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks last season, while Azure chipped in 8.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. Both student-athletes can defend and have the potential to earn All-Region honors in 2020-21. Myron had a solid junior season and averaged 5.1 points per game and 3.2 rebounds but will be called on to knock down more shots from beyond the arc this year. The Thunder will also need student-athletes like seniors Grant Mundahl and Logan Sherva and junior Austin Rygg to take a step forward this year after strong junior varsity season. With Konschak and Azure leading the way, the Thunder have two talented players to build a squad around this upcoming season.

1. Grafton

2019-20 record: 18-7

Grafton will have one of the stronger teams in Class B this season as they return everybody from its 2019-20 team that won 18 games. Senior Stevan Garza returns as the Spoilers leading scorer and is one of the top players in the state. He averaged 18.8 points per game as a junior along with 6.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals. He along with seniors Brandon Albrecht, Justin Garza and Luis Balderas combined for 138 total 3-pointers last year. Albrecht averaged 11.5 points per game and 4.9 rebounds as a junior, while Justin Garza added 11.8 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.2 steals. The Spoilers also have a strong player in 6-foot-2 junior William Jiskra, who averaged 8.5 points per game and 8.1 rebounds as a sophomore. Grafton is loaded with talented players that can score and defend and is favored to win Region 2.

Pace
Once led his home state in total fouls during his senior high school basketball season. Never turned down a 3-pointer he didn't like. Will dominate anyone in a game of PIG. Follow on Twitter @PaceTheAce_

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