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:

2020-21 Preseason Power Rankings – Sunday, Dec. 7

White Shield and Powers Lake return a lot of talent from last season but what other Region 8 teams have the skills to compete for a title in 2020-21. Let’s dive into the Region 8 season preview.

District 15

8. Alexander

2019-20 record: 0-18

Alexander returns eight letter winners from its 2019-20 roster. Senior Bradyn Modine (6.1 ppg) is a good leader for the Comets and juniors Randall Gowing (8.1 ppg) and Lane Rider (8.1 ppg) are strong scorers for AJ Allard’s squad. Freshmen Max Heen and Keaton Wehrman saw varsity action as eighth-graders last season and both have bright futures in Comet uniforms. Alexander will need to be improved on both ends of the court in 2020-21. The Comets averaged 25 points per game last season and gave up just over 72 points.

7. Williston Trinity Christian

2019-20 record: 5-16

Williston Trinity Christian will be paced by senior Caleb Babcock in 2020-21 as he’s coming off a junior season where he averaged 10.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.5 blocks. One of Babcock’s strengths is his defensive skills and will usually guard the Crusaders opponents’ best player. WTC returns six upperclassmen that includes four juniors. Head coach Jacob Braaten’s squad also returns five sophomores. The Crusaders are looking to buck the trend of three straight seasons without double-digit wins.

6. New Town

2019-20 record: 21-6

New Town lost eight student-athletes to graduation and will have no seniors on its 2020-21 roster. The Eagles return a class of seven juniors and two sophomores. Jay Hale will have an inexperienced squad as he enters his second-year as New Town’s head coach.

5. Mandaree

2019-20 record: 8-12

Mandaree returns six seniors from its 2019-20 roster along with one junior and two sophomores. The Warriors will lack some height this season as they only return student-athlete over 6-foot-0 is freshman Alano Antonio (6-foot-3).

4. Lewis & Clark, North Shore-Plaza

2019-20 record: 19-6

Head coach Josh Johnson has built Lewis & Clark, North Shore-Plaza into a strong program over the last few seasons. The Wildcats have won double-digit games in each of the last four seasons but Johnson will have a somewhat inexperienced squad in 2020-21 after losing some key seniors. L & C, NS-P will lean on senior Lane Underdahl (5.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and junior Tanner Severance (6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) for leadership, while they’ll look to two sophomores in Rylie Rogers (5.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Quincy Dixon (1.1 ppg) to fill in spots left by graduating seniors. The Wildcats will have some height with Rogers (6-foot-2) and newcomer junior Jadakyss Humphreys (6-foot-5) but L & C, NS-P is going to have to get increased production out of student-athletes that don’t have a lot of varsity experience.

3. Parshall

2019-20 record: 5-17  

Parshall had a very young squad last season and will have a relatively young team again in 2020-21. With no seniors on their roster, the Braves return seven juniors along with four underclassmen that saw varsity action in 2019-20. Junior Lawrence Polanco returns for Coby Rabbithead’s team as one of the top scorers in Region 8 and averaged 19.1 points per game in 2019-20 along with 6.1 rebounds, 4.1 steals, 4.1 assists and 1.1 blocks. Polanco earned Al-District honors last season and has the potential to be an All-Region player this year. The Braves have a lot of talented shooters that include juniors Dylan Locken, Dreamer White and Andrew Hankinson. Look for senior Landen Young Bird (7.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and freshman River Querikiol (6.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg) to build off strong 2019-20 campaigns. Parshall has a talented group of juniors and some solid underclassmen pieces to build off its five win season from last season.

2. Trenton

2019-20 record: 12-11

Trenton will be one of the taller teams in Class B this season as they return three student-athletes that are 6-foot-3 or taller. Junior Caden Houle (6-foot-4) returns as the Tigers starting center and averaged 6.1 points per game in 2019-20. Junior Jordan Brown (6-foot-5) and sophomore Nate Norby (6-foot-3) will also be called on to make an impact in the paint and will see their minutes increased from last season. Senior Cade Smith (14 ppg) returns as the Tigers leading scorer and senior teammate Chris Martinez (8.1 ppg) saw starting minutes last year but will need to be more productive on both ends of the court. Both Smith and Martinez earned All-District tournament honors in 2019-20 and will lead Trenton this upcoming season. Head coach Wade Smith has some talented student-athletes heading into this year but some players need to step up and take on those starting roles for Trenton in 2020-21.

1. White Shield

2019-20 record: 12-11

White Shield returns one of the top players in Class B with Jesse White back for his senior season. White averaged 25 points per game along with 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 steals in 2019-20 and can hit from anywhere on the court. He has good court vision and isn’t afraid to get it done on the defensive side of the basketball, either. The Warriors also return one of the top student-athletes in the 2022-23 class with Jase Dickens back for his sophomore season. Dickens averaged 16.1 points per game as a freshman and 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Dickens has been making an impact since his eighth-grade year and will only continue to improve and grow into a strong player for White Shield. A third scorer that returns for the Warriors is freshman Oscar Felix. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 11.1 points per game last season and 6.1 rebounds. Senior Daryn White (3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and juniors Xavier Enno (3.1 ppg) and Cash Draper (2.1 ppg) will also see their minutes increased in 2020-21. I like what the Warriors have in their six returning letter winners. From scoring to defense, White Shield has the pieces to win a District 15 title this season.

District 16

7. Tioga

2019-20 record: 2-19

Tioga returns eight letter winners from 2019-20 that includes an All-District student-athlete in sophomore Joel Holmen. The 6-foot-0 guard averaged 12.6 points per game last season and 6.1 rebounds. The Pirates also return two other talented players in senior Elio Garcia (9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and junior Parker Goldade (12.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg). Garcia is a do-it-all type of player for head coach Patrick Alberts as he also averaged 2.7 assists per game and 2.4 steals. Senior Karter Longie (4.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg) will be the leader for Tioga this season and has the potential to be an All-District player. The Pirates are loaded with youth as they’ll have 11 sophomores on their roster that include Reed Kreuger and Branssen Volz. Both of those student-athletes should see an increase of minutes in 2020-21.

6. Ray

2019-20 record: 12-10

Ray returns just three letter winners from last season but that does include two double-digit scorers in senior Lane Veach and junior Jace Nelson. Nelson averaged 12.1 points per contest in 2019-20 along with 6.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals. Veach added 10.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds.  Both student-athletes are athletic players that can make plays at both ends of the court. Senior Jon Ketelsen gives the Jays some height at 6-foot-3 and averaged 8.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds as a junior. The student-athletes that return for Ray are talented but now head coach Michael Bergstrom will have to find some depth along with two other starters.

5. Stanley

2019-20 record: 10-12

Stanley will be a fairly young team in 2020-21 as they return just three seniors. The Blue Jays lost the 2019-20 Region 8 Senior Athlete of the Year in Rhett Hanson but return seven letter winners from last season. Senior Jace Wenger (3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) will need to step up and lead this Blue Jays squad that has six underclassmen of their roster. Of those six underclassmen, three of them averaged five points per game as either freshmen or eighth-graders in 2019-20. Sophomore Tucker Gorder (5.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and freshman Josh Hetzel (5.1 ppg, 3.1 apg) return as Stanley’s top 3-point threats and freshman Jack Hynek (5.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg) is coming off a season where he started every game for head coach Kory Anderson. The Blue Jays will lean on juniors Trystan Johnson (3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Reese Smith (3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg) to make plays defensively and senior Noah Rolfe (2.1 apg) will have to increase his production this season as well. Stanley has a solid group of underclassmen student-athletes but will need those upperclassmen to step into leadership roles and continue to help those younger players grow.

4. Bowbells/Burke Central

2019-20 record: 8-14

One of the teams in District 16 that’s flying under the radar for the upcoming season is Bowbells/Burke Central. The Titans will have strong numbers as their roster features four seniors, three juniors and four sophomores. Of those 11 student-athletes, B/BC returns potential All-Region player in senior Bo Thingvold. Last season, Thingvold averaged 16.2 points per game along with 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.7 assists. He’s a talented scorer and brings a lot of energy to every game. The Titans have another potential All-Region player on its roster in senior Caleb Erickson. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 10.2 points per game in 2019-20 and 7.5 rebounds. He gives his team a solid post presence and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. Senior Koby Koppelsloen was B/BC’s third best scorer last season and averaged 6.3 points per game and 2.7 rebounds. He also knocked down a team-high 22 3-pointers. Junior Kaiden Enander and sophomore Noah Erickson are also strong shooters and should see an increased role in 2020-21. The Titans have some depth and a leader in Thingvold, so I really think this team has the skills to compete with the top teams in Region 8 this season.

3. Kenmare

2019-20 record: 9-14

Kenmare will be paced by two seniors in Lucas Holter and Jaden McNeiley. Holter averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.7 assists per game last season, while McNeiley added 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Both student-athletes have the potential to be All-Region players in 2020-21. McNeiley is the Honkers point guard and best defender, while Holter is Kenmare’s best all-around scorer. The Honkers will have to find some more consistent scoring this season as six of their eight returning student-athletes spent most of their time at the junior varsity level in 2019-20. Junior Andrew King and freshman Jack Zimmer are two players that will have to step up for head coach Kacy Keysor. Senior Riley Feldman and juniors Mason Chrest and Arand Barlett will also have to be improve this season for Kenmare to have success. The Honkers will be one of the taller teams in District 16 this year with five student-athletes standing 6-foot-0 or taller.

2. Divide County

2019-20 record: 12-10

Divide County returns 10 letter winners from 2019-20 along with a lot of height. The Maroons roster features eight student-athletes that are 6-foot-0 or taller as junior Lane Caraballo (11.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is the tallest player at 6-foot-3. DC returns two talented sophomores in Wyatt Caraballo and Max Dhuyvetter. Wyatt Caraballo averaged 11.7 points per game as a freshman along with 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.4 assists and can make plays at both ends of the court. Divide County saw some good play out of Dhuyvetter (3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg) last season, so after another offseason, he should be improved as well heading into 2020-21. Depth will be an issue for head coach Dillon Loper but this team has been working together for the last few seasons and definitely has the talent to compete for a District 16 title.

1. Powers Lake

2019-20 record: 19-5

Powers Lake returns nine letter winners from 2019-20 that includes four All-District student-athletes and two All-Region players. Senior Carter Rystedt and sophomore Tyson Enget earned All-Region honors last season, while seniors Noah Frederickson and Noah Schroder (9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.1 apg) made the All-District team. Rystedt (12.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg), Frederickson (11.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.1 apg) and Enget (12.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 spg) all averaged double-figures in 2019-20. The Ranchers also return some depth with seniors Jerome Edwards and Tucker Kearsley back along with sophomore Gracin Shroeder. Powers Lake is loaded with student-athletes that can score but that can also distribute the basketball. The Ranchers are an unselfish team that just want to win at the end of the and they’ll be doing a lot of that in 2020-21.

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