The North Dakota District 16 Boys Basketball Tournament will kick of tomorrow afternoon (Friday) in Kenmare. Here is a preview of what you can expect to see:
#1 Stanley Blue Jays (17-2)
Notes: The 5th ranked Stanley Blue Jays opened the season with 15 straight wins, however the road has been a little rockier since then. The Blue Jays dropped games to MLS and North Shore/Plaza before topping Kenmare and Our Redeemers to close out the regular season.
Stanley appears to be back to full strength and they feature four scorers that can drop 20 points on any given night. The Blue Jays are led by Wyatt Hanson (MSUM) who should find himself squarely in the Mr. Basketball conversation in the coming weeks. Kaedyn Hanson (South Dakota School of the Mines), Matt Patten, and Seth Hetzel can all fill up the stat sheets on any given night as well.
They have flashed some depth this season as well. This is a team has the players and coaching staff to make a serious run this postseason.
#4 Burke County Titans (8-10)
Vs. Friday 4:30 PM
#5 Ray Jays (9-10)
Game notes: These two teams split their regular season games this season.
The Ray Jays come into the District 16 Tournament playing their best basketball of the season, winning 7 of their last 8 games. Senior Garrett Hodenfield can be deadly from deep, he will be a player to watch for the Jays.
The Titans feature one of the better posts in the region, senior Josh Kihle. This will be a really intriguing first round match-up. The winner figures to have a much easier track to the Region 8 Tournament.
#2 Kenmare Honkers (13-6)
Vs. Friday 6 PM
#7 Divide County Maroons
Game Notes: The Honkers have found themselves in familiar territory, near the top of the District 16 standings. The feat is even more impressive considering Co-Region 8 Senior Athlete of the Year Hunter Rodin graduated last season. Their ability to remain competitive has a lot to do with quality coaching and the play of standout Jacob Rodin, who has been lights out all season. The Honkers also feature an underrated supporting cast, this group has a variety of players who can contribute on both sides of ball.
The Maroons played a JV schedule this season, so they are a bit of an unknown.
#3 Powers Lake Ranchers (13-5)
Vs. Friday 7:30 PM
#6 Tioga Pirates (2-16)
Game Notes: The Ranchers won their only meeting with Tioga 81-38 on January 16th.
Despite a youthful roster, the Ranchers have some significant experience. Junior Aiden Nordloef is tough down low and Kyle Van Berkom (Jr.) is more of a slasher, both have been playing for a few years. Another player to watch is freshman Noah Fredrickson, he can do some serious damage from the perimeter.
The Ranchers won’t be a fun draw for any team in the postseason, teams better be ready to battle all over the court if they play Powers Lake.
The Pirates have put together some nice games at various points during the season, but they have also had some very rough outings. They have enough to keep things competitive with the middle of the pack teams if things go well.
What? North Dakota District 16 Boys Basketball Tournament
When? Friday, February 23rd @ 4:30PM
Where? Kenmare High School
*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email StanleyGazette@gmail.com
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