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 4 – Wednesday Nov. 25
Region 5 – Thursday Nov. 26
Region 6 – Sunday Nov. 29
Region 7 – Monday, Nov. 30
Region 8 – Wednesday, Dec. 2
2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Thursday, Dec. 3
Region 3 features a handful of senior-laden teams but what District 5 and District 6 squads bring back the most talent to compete for a championship? Let’s dive into the Region 3 2020-21 season preview.

District 5

7. Carrington

2019-20 record: 3-19

It was a down year for Carrington in 2019-20 but head coach Tim Ranum is hoping his squad grew over the offseason. The Cardinals return two talented sophomores in Hudson Schmitz and Hudson Topp, who combined for 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season. Both student-athletes are strong shooters and have the potential to be top players in Region 3 with three seasons left at the high school level. The Cardinals return just one senior in Nathan Unruh (1.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and he’ll have to look to score more this year. Junior Lucas Hendrickson returns as one of Carrington’s starters from last season and is a good defensive player but needs to be more aggressive at times on both ends of the court. The Cardinals will also look to juniors Cole Seaburg (1.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg) and Drew Schroeder for some minutes. Freshman Grady Shipman gave Carrington some good minutes as an eighth-grader and averaged 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Shipman will continue to grow into a household name in Region 3 as he grows with this team. The Cardinals have a lot of good young talent but I think they are still at least one season away from being back to competing with the top teams in Region 3.

6. Barnes County North

2019-20 record: 14-7

Barnes County North returns eight upperclassmen but graduated two student-athletes in Colby Bruner and Tristin Roaldson, who combined for 2,062 career points. Fortunately for the Bison, they bring back double-digit scorers in seniors Tucker Brown and Max Fehr. Brown (11.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 spg and 1.7 apg) is a do-it-all type of player for Stacy Schaffer’s team and Fehr (10.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 2.1 spg) prides himself on his defensive play. Senior Tanner Soupir (5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg) was sidelined for a few games due to injuries last season but will look to help his team more in 2020-21. BCN has some depth with nine underclassmen on its roster but need to get improved play out of a couple upperclassmen to have success this season.

5. Griggs-Midkota

District 5 will feature a new co-op this season as Griggs County Central and Midkota have teamed up to create Griggs-Midkota. The Titans return 12 upperclassmen that includes four student-athletes that averaged five points per game or more in 2019-20. Senior Hunter Gronneberg will lead G-M in 2020-21 and averaged 15.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a junior. He also made 54 3-pointers. Senior Tanner Haugen gives the Titans a solid post presence and added 13.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest a year ago. One of G-M’s strengths this season will be its depth but they’ll need to work on communication and learn how to play with each other.

4. LaMoure-Litchville/Marion

2019-20 record: 12-11

Last season, LaMoure-Litchville/Marion battled injuries en route to its 12-11 finish. Senior James Sandness (1.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg) dealt with a foot injury, while junior Landon Piehl (3.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg) missed time with an ankle injury. With a healthy group to start the upcoming season, the Loboes are excited to get back on the court. With only one senior on its roster, L-L/M has a solid junior and sophomore class that features Corban Potts. Potts averaged 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game as a sophomore and will be called on to lead the Loboes this season. Along with Potts and Piehl, L-L/M also returns junior Charlie Bowman along with sophomore Colton Ness. Bowman (4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.2 apg) showed some bright spots in 2019-20 and is a strong shooter, while Ness (5.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is a tough player in the post but needs to work on becoming more of a threat outside of the paint. I like the group that Darren Thielges has in 2020-21 and hopefully that experience those younger student-athletes earned last year and a healthy lineup can help them make some noise in District 5.

3. Ellendale

2019-20 record: 16-9

Ellendale returns six student-athletes that saw varsity action last season including 6-foot-7 junior Scott Wagner. Wagner averaged 18.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore and made the All-State second-team. He’ll need to improve his foot work and outside shooting but with another offseason to get stronger, Wagner is well on his way to becoming a top post player in Class B. The Cardinals need to find a couple more scorers this season and underclassmen Levi Reis (So.) and Riley Thorpe (So.) will compete for starting spots. Seniors Wyatt Henningsen (4.2 ppg, 3.8 spg and 3.2 rpg), Eric Blondo (4.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and Chance Durheim (2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg) are all strong players but need to improve from their junior seasons but will give Ellendale some good upperclassmen leadership.

2. Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier

2019-20 record: 20-4

Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier returns seven upperclassmen from its 2019-20 team that won a Region 3 championship. Senior Alex Huber returns as one of the Rebels’ leaders and scorers. E-E-K also returns four other seniors in Jorgen Paulson, Paxton Mathern, Chayse Entzi and Lucas Rich along with two juniors in Adam Nitschke and Dalton Madcke. Nitschke and Paulson combined for 12 points in the 2019-20 Region 3 title game, while Huber poured in a game-high 25.

1. Oakes

2019-20 record: 16-9

Oakes returns 11 letter winners from 2019-20 that includes two student-athletes that averaged 15 points per game or more. Seniors Steele Hansen and Garret Meehl are hard working student-athletes that can get it done at both ends of the floor. Hansen averaged 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest last season, while Meehl added 16.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Both players earned All-District honors in 2019-20 and have the talent to lead the Tornadoes to the state tournament this season. Oakes will have a very strong senior class as Ashton Biesterfield, Dalton Schmit (5.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Alex Muggli (3.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg) return. Biesterfield is one of the top post players in Region 3 and is coming off a junior season where he averaged 9.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. First-year head coach Rod Kramer took over a team with a ton of talent but now he needs the student-athletes to buy into his system. If that happens, the sky’s the limit for these Tornadoes.

District 6

6. South Border

2019-20 record: 0-21

It’s been a rough three season’s for South Border as they’ve combined for six wins dating back to the 2017-18 season. The Mustangs will be another young team this season as six of their eight returning student-athletes are either juniors or sophomores. Senior Trentan Finck will lead this young team in 2020-21 and averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season. Juniors Seth Wolf and Kaleb Thiery are important pieces for South Border as they combined for 12 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest a year ago. Senior Nelson Meidinger, juniors Colton Martz, Jackson Meidinger, Blake Meyer and sophomore Luke Scherbenske saw varsity minutes last season and will have to take a step forward if the Mustangs want to win some games in 2020-21.

5. Medina/Pingree-Buchanan

2019-20 record: 6-15

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan returns just two upperclassmen in seniors Alec Horn and Logan Reister this season. The Thunder’s 2020-21 roster features 10 underclassmen (five sophomores and five freshmen).

4. Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter

2019-20 record: 6-16

Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter will have one of the shorter rosters in Region 3 this season as they return just two student-athletes that stand 6-foot-0 or taller. Senior Ethan Johnson (6-foot-2) and sophomore Trenton Erbele (6-foot-0) are two players that can play above the rim for N/G-S and are skilled rebounders. As a freshman, Erbele averaged 11.5 points per game and 10.1 rebounds and is already a top players in Region 3. The Imperials also bring back two talented juniors in Kayden Sperle (9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and Jaxcen Glatt (13.3 ppg). Sperle does a little bit of everything at both ends of the court and Glatt is one of the top 3-point shooters in the region as he made 69 shots from beyond the arc in 2019-20. The Imperials return just three seniors, so they do have some youth with a strong junior and sophomore class to build off last season’s 6-17 record as they enter year one of the Bryan Schumacher era.

3. Kidder County

2019-20 record: 15-7

Kidder County returns two double-digit scoring threats in seniors Jayden Rath (13.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Payton Cauthon (12.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Look for senior Jonah Harter (6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and junior Luke Rath (2.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg) to make more of an impact this season for Brent Stroh’s team as well. This team does have the depth to keep up with everybody else in District 6 as they bring back seven letter winners along with three sophomores in Simon Hager, Blake Braun and Jace Larson.

2. Strasburg-Zeeland

2019-20 record: 18-6

Strasburg-Zeeland is looking to make it three season’s in a row with double-digit wins. The Clippers return three starters from its 2019-20 lineup along with their top two bench players. This team is eager to get back on the court after falling to E-E-K 63-55 in last year’s Region 3 title game. Senior Jake Wagner returns as one of the top players in Class B and is coming off a junior season where he averaged 17.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. The Clippers also return senior sharp shooter Mac Kramer and an athletic 6-foot-1 forward in Max Vander Vortse. Both student-athletes are strong defenders but will need to be more consistent offensively this year. Senior Josh Lauinger is the Clippers X-factor and will need to take a step forward in all aspects of his game and will be called on to play more minutes in 2020-21. S-Z brings back six seniors and no juniors but will have to get some bench scoring from its underclassmen to get back to the Region 3 championship game.

1. Linton-HMB

2019-20 record: 13-10

Linton-HMB returns six letter winners from last season that includes senior Lucas Shumacher, who is one of the top players in the 2020-21 class. Schumacher can hit from anywhere on the floor and has wonderful court vision. He averaged 22.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game last season and can make plays at both ends of the floor. The Lions also return two other seniors in 6-foot-4 Carter Renz (10.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and 6-foot-2 Korrigan Look (5.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Both student-athletes can score inside out and defend but Renz is more of 3-point threat as he connected on a team-high 62 last season. Three sophomores in Landon Bosch (7.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Grant Bosch (5.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and Trace King (1.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg) saw a good chunk of varsity action in 2019-20 and are a strong trio of underclassmen players. At 6-foot-2, Grant Bosch has the skills to play all five positions and Landon Bosch gives the Lions a solid post presence, while King is another offensive weapon. The Lions have the talent and a Hall of Fame head coach in Dan Carr that a state tournament berth could very well be in their future.

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