Area high school games to watch this week: The more the merrier in Fosston
As expected, Garrett Carlin has made a big jump in production in his senior basketball season. What might not have been as anticipated, however, is that Carlin has plenty of firepower around him in the Fosston lineup. That balance has resulted in...
As expected, Garrett Carlin has made a big jump in production in his senior basketball season.
What might not have been as anticipated, however, is that Carlin has plenty of firepower around him in the Fosston lineup. That balance has resulted in a 5-1 start for the Greyhounds, who play at Mahnomen on Thursday in a matchup of two of the top teams in Minnesota's East Subsection 8A.
"Teams probably figured Garrett would bust loose a little more than he has in the past, and he has stepped up his game," Fosston coach Ben Hemberger said. "He's been shooting well and he's more assertive this season.
"But we've had some real nice balance to go with Garrett. Every night, we seem to get somebody else going off for a big game. We're averaging about eight more points a game than we did last year, and we're doing it with balance."
The 6-foot-7 Carlin, the second-leading scorer on last season's 16-10 team with a 13.6 average, has been a model of consistency. He's the lone player averaging double figures with a 19.0 mark, and has been between 16 and 22 points in every game. A dominant inside player, Carlin also averages 11 rebounds and 2 blocks a game.
No other Greyhound averages 10 points, but the balance has the team averaging 63.3 points. Kyle Arneson is second with a 9.6 scoring average, followed by Taylor Carlson (7.7) and Mark Goss (6.7). Arneson, Carlson, Goss and reserve Ryan Paulson (5.7 ppg) each has had at least one double-figure scoring game.
"I think people looked for me to be that 20-point scorer like we've always had in the past," Carlin said. "But I never thought I could do it by myself. And, every night, somebody seems to step up. I knew we had other guys who could capitalize if they got the opportunity. It's a team effort."
Fosston has a veteran lineup. Carlin, Goss, Paulson and Drew Viken (3.3 ppg) all saw starting time last season.
But one of the biggest reasons for success has been Arneson, a first-year regular at point guard. He's averaging a team-high 3 assists and is a big reason why Fosston averages 12 turnovers a game, down five from a year ago.
"We had a lot of experience coming back and expected to be competitive," Hemberger said. "The question mark was at point guard. But Kyle has taken the spot and done a phenomenal job. He's looking to create for others. He's shown good composure against pressure."
Hemberger said the defense, led by Goss, Viken and reserve Zach O'Keeffe, has played well. It will be tested by a veteran Mahnomen team. The Indians -- with four starters back from last season's 19-7, subsection runner-up team -- are off to a 5-3 start and have scored 71 or more points in four of their wins.
"They always give us problems with their pressure," Hemberger said. "They're a physical team."
In other games in the area to watch this week:
n Roseau at Warroad, Thursday: This is the first meeting this season in one of the most storied rivalries in Minnesota hockey.
n Warroad at Crookston, Tuesday: Two of Minnesota's best meet. Warroad, ranked No. 1 in the state poll, has a veteran team back from last season's state-championship squad. Crookston is ranked fourth in the latest state poll. Warroad beat Crookston 5-1 in their first meeting.
n Grafton at Cavalier, today: Grafton and Valley-Edinburg share the lead in District 4. Grafton's stingy defense will be challenged by the high-scoring offense of the once-beaten Tornadoes.
n Four Winds-Minnewaukan at New Rockford-Sheyenne, Tuesday: The teams with the best overall records in District 7 meet. High-scoring Four Winds-Minnewaukan is 9-2; New Rockford-Sheyenne is 8-1 with a defense that has allowed more than 50 points just once.
n Dakota Prairie at Central Valley, Thursday: This is the first of challenging back-to-back District 3 games for 6-2 Central Valley. Dakota Prairie is coming off a title in the Lake Region Invitational tournament. On Friday, the Valiants host defending Region 2 champion Thompson.
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to email@example.com .