North Dakota Class B Boys Basketball State Tournament Preview

Article by Ian Grande

The St. John Woodchucks are making their first appearance at the state tournament since 1949. The Woodchucks are lead by Region 4 Senior Athlete of the Year Kyler McGilis, who averages nearly 30 points per game. The #2 ranked Woodchucks will open up the tournament against Wyndmere-Lidgerwood. The Warbirds knocked off #3 ranked Oak Grove in the Region 1 Championship.

The second game of the opening round will be a battle between the #3 seeded Bishop Ryan Lions and the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks. The Lions beat the Skyhawks 54-50 on December 16th.

The Hillsboro/Central Valley Burros are back to defend their title, they come in as the tournaments top seeded team. Their first round opponent will be the the Beulah Miners, who are lead by Region 7 Senior Athlete of the Year Derek Ferebee.

#4 seeded Stanley will take on #5 seeded Carrington in the late game. The game will feature Region 3 Senior Athlete of the Year Garrett Bickett (Carrington), as well as Region 8 Senior Athlete of the Year Wyatt Hanson (Stanley). Hanson was unanimous All-State Tournament selection last season. He also eclipsed the 2000 point mark on February 5th.

Region 1 – Wyndmere-Lidgerwood Warbirds

Coach: Todd Hosford

Record: 21-2

Last State Appearance: 1971 (1st place)

Best State Finish: 1st place (1971 – Wydemere)

How they got here: Defeated #3 ranked Oak Grove 74-67

Leading scorers: Luke Foertsch (18 ppg), Wyatt Harles (12 ppg), Aaron Bohnenstingl (8.2 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Aaron Bohnenstingl (144 rebs), Luke Foertsch (102), Wyatt Harles (99)

All-Region Selections: Luke Foertsch and Wyatt Harles

Coaches Comments: “This team hasn’t lost since we played Oak Grove on January 16th (15 straight). Going back to our football season, a lot of these kids are a combined 33-2. We have a senior led team (8 on the roster) that just know how to win. No moment seems to big for them. The communities are excited to be going to the State B. We know we can compete with anyone as long as we can defend like we are capable of. I feel we are a pretty balanced team, but we go as our point guard goes. Luke likes to push the ball, and I have a team that loves to run with him. Wyatt Harles is our best shooter, and is my top defender as well. He can play the 1 through the 5 position and guard those spots too. Aaron Bohnenstingl is our spark plug. His energy and effort really make us play to our potential. I play 8-9 kids, all of them seniors except for my first guy off the bench, Evan Braaten.”


Region 2 – Hillsboro/Central Valley Burros

Coach: Elliot Rotvold

Record: 23-1

Last State Appearance: 2017 (1st)

Best State Finish: 1st (1993-Central Valley, 2017)

How they got here: Defeated Grafton/St. Thomas 49-37

Leading scorers: Carson Henningsgard (19.7 ppg), Jack Camrud (14.0 ppg), Cade Baesler (10.5 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Jack Camrud (14.7 rpg) , Cade Baesler (6.2 rpg), Tyler Bergstrom (5.8 rpg)

Assist Leaders: Carson Henningsgard (8.0 apg), Landen Reed (2.5 apg), Jack Camrud  (2.5 apg)

All-Region Selections: Jack Camrud and Carson Henningsgard

Coaches Comments: “The Hillsboro-Central Valley Burros had a great season in 2017-18.  The team lost 6 seniors, 4 starters, 70% of its offensive output, 2 1000 point scorers, a 500 career assist player and a 500 career rebounds player from last years’ State Championship team.  This team reloaded and was able to fight through a very tough Region 2 and earn a hard fought return to the state tournament.

This team is centered around the three players that returned with experience from last year.  Jack Camrud is the lone returning starter and is the rock in the middle for the team. Carson Henningsgard has taken over the reins at point guard for his older brother and has exceeded expectations and Cade Baesler has taken a bigger role on this team after coming on at the end of the season last year.  The HCV Burros are a different team this year with more size and a more balanced offensive attack between the inside and outside.  Jack, Cade and Tyler Bergstrom, who comes off the bench, give the team an excellent inside punch as the three are averaging about 32 points and 27 rebounds per game between the three of them.  The perimeter game, led by Carson, has shot the ball well and improved as the year has gone on.  When teams take away the inside, the perimeter is capable of having big games.  Landen Reed, Guy Suchor, Ryan Troftruben and Carson have combined for 115 threes during the season, shooting around 37%.  Defensively the team is different but still very good as we have played more zone to go with our man defense this year.  Rebounding has also been a strength again this season.

This years’ tournament looks like it is going to be wide open with all teams coming in playing good basketball.  There are 6 teams that were ranked in the top 10 at the end of the season with the other two receiving votes for most of the year.  It looks like there should be some great games and no clear cut favorites to bring home the trophy.  Buckle up fans it should be a great State B.”

Carson Henningsgard (Photo by Ian Grande)
Carson Henningsgard (Photo by Ian Grande)

Region 3 – Carrington Cardinals

Coach: Tim Ranum

Record: 22-2

Last State Appearance: 2010

Best State Finish: 1st place (1995, 2010)

How they got here: Defeated Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 64-49

Leading scorers: Garrett Bickett (19.8 ppg), Seth Nelson (12.4 ppg),  Kolton Vetter (11.6 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Seth Nelson (6.7 rpg), Trey Rosenau  (6.1 rpg),  Garrett Bickett (3.9 rpg)

All-District Selections: Garrett Bickett (Region 3 Senior Athlete of the Year), Seth Nelson, Kolton Vetter

Coaches Comments: “This is a group that was right on the doorstep of reaching the state tournament last year losing to Ellendale in the region championship. The kids worked hard to get back to that point, and we were able to defeat a tough E/K/M team to reach the state tournament. We’re excited for the opportunity to play.”


Region 4 – St. John Woodchucks

Coach: Steve Poitra

Record: 23-1

Last State Appearance: 1949 (4th– Class C)

Best State Finish: 4th Place (1949)

How they got here: Defeated Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich 68-66

Leading scorers: Kyler McGillis-  29.6 (ppg), Dalton Prouty- 17.6 (ppg), Bradley Defender (7.5 ppg), Dylan Davis (7.5 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Dalton Prouty- 12.9 (rpg) , Bradley Defender (5.4 rpg), Kyler McGillis (4.4 rpg)

All-Region Selections: Kyler McGillis (Region 4 Senior Athlete of the Year) and Dalton Prouty

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Region 5 – Shiloh Christian Skyhawks

Coach: Brad Miller

Record: 19-5

Last State Appearance: 2016 (4th place)

Best State Finish: 3rd place (2003, 2012)

How they got here: Defeated Standing Rock/Selfridge 69-61

Leading scorers: Macauley Young (16 PPG), Jonas Mitzel (13 PPG) , Jaden Mitzel 12 (PPG)

Leading rebounders: Macauley Young (12 RPG), Jaden Mitzel (8 RPG), Matthew Reep (5 RPG)

All-Region Selections: Macauley Young and Jonas Mitzel

Coaches Comments: “Competitive hard working young group, has one lone senior (Jonas Mitzel). Good defensive group holding opponents to 48 points per game.”


Region 6 – Bishop Ryan Lions

Coach: Jeremy Feller

Record: 23-2

Last State Appearance: 2017 (6th place)

Best State Finish: 1st place (1994)

How they got here: Defeated Rugby 56-45

Leading scorers: Ben Bohl (19.6 ppg), Mason Hedberg (16.4 ppg), Anthony Vetter (14.1 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Ben Bohl (7.5 rpg), Anthony Vetter (6.4)

All-Region Selections: Ben Bohl, Mason Hedberg, and Anthony Vetter

Ben Bohl-Bishop Ryan (Photo by Ian Grande)
Ben Bohl-Bishop Ryan (Photo by Ian Grande)


Region 7 – Beulah Miners

Coach: Jeremy Brandt

Record: 20-4

Last State Appearance: 2014

Best State Finish:  1st place (2012)

How they got here: Defeated Dickinson Trinity 74-71 (2 OT)

Leading scorers: Derek Ferebee (21.2 ppg), Jacob Weigel (13 ppg), Logan Miller (11.4 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Jacob Weigel (5.1 rpg), Logan Miller (4 rpg), Derek Ferebee (3.7 rpg)

Assist leaders: Mason Dolbec (5.1 apg), Derek Ferebee (5 apg)

All-Region Selections: Derek Ferebee (Region 7 Player of the Year), Jacob Weigel, Logan Miller

Coaches Comments: “We started the year out a bit inconsistent, we lost Chad Morsette Jr. to an acl tear, he was a returning starter and one of our better players, I think it took us a while to adjust to not having him, we also played some very good teams early in the year in which three of our 4 losses came during our first six games.  Since the end of December we are 17-1 beating the likes of New Town, Shiloh-Christian, Hettinger, Dickinson Trinity twice, and Rugby among others.  We did lose Shaye Yeager our 6/7th man to an injury about a month ago and are hoping to get him back for the state tournament, this would be a big boost to our depth.

We are a senior oriented team as we start five seniors, these kids have been close the last two years getting beat in the region championship both times until this year.  We have good length at the guard and forward positions and have a lot of versatility there, but we are usually undersized at the post position.  Our bench was very inexperienced coming in to the season, but have done a nice job for us and have been big at the end of the year especially in the region championship game.

The key for us to win is we have to rebound the basketball, we are not a big physical team we are long and skilled so the more free flowing the game is the better off we are, we normally shoot the ball pretty well so that is usually a key for us as well.”


Region 8 – Stanley Blue Jays

Coach: Kory Anderson

Record: 22-2

Last State Appearance: 2017 (7th place)

Best State Finish:  2nd place (1938)

How they got here: Defeated New Town (RV) 56-49

Leading scorers: Wyatt Hanson (20.9 ppg), Matt Patten (15.1 ppg), Seth Hetzel (13.7 ppg), Kaedyn Hanson (12.3 ppg)

Leading rebounders: Kaedyn Hanson (7.6 rpg), Wyatt Hanson 6.7 rpg), Matt Patten (5.4 rpg)

Assist leaders: Wyatt Hanson (4.7 apg), Matt Patten 3.8 apg)

All-Region Selections: Wyatt Hanson (Region 8 Senior Athlete of the Year), Kaedyn Hanson, Rhett Hanson

Coaches Comments: “As a coaching staff we are very excited for the boys and their chance to play on the biggest stage for the second year in a row. We have a very balanced team with size, speed, and skill and if we can pair that with effort and stay together through the ups and downs that comes with playing tough competition we have a chance. We are led by some talented seniors in Wyatt Hanson, Matt Patten, and Kaedyn Hanson who have played well for us all season. While we are led by those three, the role players Rhett Hanson, Roderick McIntosh, Mickey Gunderson and Quayde Lee have really excited our crowd. They stepped up during the regional tournament, made a big impact, and provided a spark.  It’s an exciting time as a coach and program but we need to remember it’s time to compete and stay focused. We hope our community can live up to the standards of the class B tournament and pack the stands.

What an exciting time to be a Blue Jay Fan. We’re excited for the seniors and team that they get another chance to play at the best tournament in the state. I can’t thank the seniors enough for making this happen. It’s no fluke that our team is going back to “The B”. We have a handful of seniors that put in a tone of time in the gym working on their skills. Wyatt Hanson and I were talking just a week ago. He had a part in 73 of my 100 wins as a coach. He started playing varsity as an 8th grader and helped us start the tradition of making the Regional tournament every year. Once we get to the Regional we can then set new goals. I’ve seen a lot of excitement in the community over the past two years and the best part of it all is the young kids. They love our boys and look up to them and want to be like them.  I hope the team success from the past two years can light a fire not just under the younger generation but also their parents to motivate kids to get into a gym and spend time with friends and family as they work on building their skills. You don’t get as good as these dedicated seniors, by not putting in extra gym time. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to coach such dedicated kids and will always be grateful to them for taking me on the memorable rides these past and current years.”

Wyatt Hanson (Photo by Ian Grande)
Wyatt Hanson (Photo by Ian Grande)

See full bracket: 2018 North Dakota Class B Boys Basketball State Tournament Bracket

*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email


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