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Minnesota area boys basketball outlook

Capsule preview of area Minnesota boys basketball teams

012220 S GFH EGFBBB SamVotava01.jpg
East Grand Forks Senior High guard Sam Votava (20) looks to pass against Thief River Falls. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

2020-21 Minnesota area boys basketball at a glance

East Grand Forks

EGF Senior High

Coach: Josh Perkerewicz

2019-20: 26-3, eliminated in semifinals in Section 8AA tournament.

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Key graduation losses: Julian Benson, Nathan Willett, Tyler Amodt.

Returning starters: Sr. Sam Votava (all-conference, 15 ppg, 5.6 apg, 7.5 rpg, 3.8 spg), jr. Tanner Campos (8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2 apg).

Other returning rotation regulars: Sr. Tyson Mahar (1.8 ppg), soph. Ayden Stainbrook (9.7 ppg), sr. Jeremiah Haavig (2 ppg, 2.2 rpg), jr. Carter Vasek (2.4 ppg).

Potential impact players: Jr. Joey Votava, jr. Jonathan Krueger, sr. Cole Gerber.

Green Wave coach Perkerewicz says: “This year's going to be different for us because we don’t have height. We will have to force teams to play faster than they would like. We’re going to play 10-12 guys per night.”

Sacred Heart

Coach: Destry Sterkel

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2019-20: 14-13, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Key graduation losses: John Fontaine, James Fontaine.

Returning starters: Jr. Kobe Tomkinson (all-conference, 17.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg), jr. Sam Gapp (all-conference, 11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.9 spg, 2.5 apg), sr. Adam Sczepanski (4.1 ppg).

Other returning rotation regulars: Sr. Beau Votava (4.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), jr. Isaac Zavoral (1.6 ppg), sr. Sam Modeen (1.5 ppg), sr. Adam Sobolik (1.2 ppg), jr. Cullen Rohrich (1.1 ppg).

Potential new impact players: Jr. Zach Martin, soph. Carmello Rojas.

Eagles coach Sterkel says: “We return a lot of depth. We have kids who really had tremendous JV seasons and had quality minutes at the varsity level last year and we think that can translate into a really successful season for us this year. We have a core of seven guys who played heavy varsity minutes a season ago and they will be depending on as our leaders for this upcoming season. We have a transfer student, Carmello Rojas, who can really bring some athleticism to this team and someone who works hard and is unselfish. We are excited to have a season after so much unknown heading into it. We hope we stay healthy and make another strong push at the section title.”

Section 8AA

Bagley

Coach: Darin Carstens

2019-20: 11-16, eliminated in first round in Section 8AA tournament.

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Top returners: Sr. Kenly Gordon (all-conference, 11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 4 spg), sr. Alec Norum (all-conference, 12.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg), sr. Jaxsyn Lewis (6.6 ppg, 5 rpg), sr. Zach Anderson (3 ppg, 3.2 rpg), sr. Rem Aufforth (1.6 ppg).

Potential impact players: soph. Dante Frank (6.0 ppg), jr. Mark McKinley.

Crookston

Coach: Greg Garmen

2019-20: 9-18, eliminated in first round in Section 8AA tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Carter Bruggeman (9.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg), jr. Jack Garmen (10.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg), sr. Easton Tangquist (10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg), jr. Jacob Hesby (1.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg).

Roseau

Coach: Kenneth Hayden

2019-20: 7-21, eliminated in first round in Section 8AA tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Jeremiah Bender (6.9 ppg, 6 rpg), sr. Jed Dunham (all-conference, 6.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg), jr. Steele Walsh (4.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), sr. Clive Gordon (4.7 ppg), sr. Aiden Walsh (3.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

Thief River Falls

Coach: Jonathan Hams

2019-20: 13-14, eliminated in quarterfinals in Section 8AA tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Brevyn Lingen (all-conference, 10.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2 spg), soph. Jack Manning (11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg).

Potential new impact players: Jr. Brady Olson, soph. Jack Rosendahl.

Warroad

Coach: Vichita Ounchith

2019-20: 17-11, eliminated in quarterfinals in Section 8AA tournament.

Top returners: Jr. Evan Grover (all-conference, 15.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.1 spg), jr. Dylan Fox (all-conference, 15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), sr. Virgil Laznicka (11.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2 bpg), jr. Cole Spenst (8.9 ppg, 3 rpg, 4.1 apg), sr. Kyle Thompson (4.7 ppg).
Returning regulars: Sr. Daniel Rose (5.0 ppg).

Section 8A

Badger-Greenbush-Middle River

Coach: Kent Christian

2019-20: 21-7, eliminated in quarterfinals in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Adam Benke (all-conference, 16.6 ppg, 3 rpg), sr. Kasen Swenson (all-conference, 9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg), soph. Zac Blawat (all-conference, 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg), jr. Kobey Dallager (7.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), sr. Aaron Westling (5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg), jr. Jaden Kostrzewski (3.3 ppg).

Clearbrook-Gonvick

Coach: Chris Westrum

2019-20: 14-13, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Alex Dawson (all-conference, 22.7 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 bpg), sr. Kolten Schultz (7.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg), jr. Aiden Churness (3.3 ppg).

Climax-Fisher

Coach: Brenda Slyt

2019-20: 2-23, eliminated in Section 8A play-in round.

Top returners: Sr. Dylan Evitts (all-conference, 18.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.8 apg), sr. Jory Vasek (1.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
Returning regulars: Jr. Aidan Rogenes (1.3 ppg), jr. Paul Dimas (1.3 ppg).
Potential new impact players: Fr. Ryan Morris, fr. Ethan Evitts.

Fertile-Beltrami

Coach: Neil Steffes

2019-20: 25-5, eliminated in semifinals in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Jr. Everett Balstad (9.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg), jr. Rylin Petry (8.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg), fr. Derek Sorenson (2.4 ppg), fr. Caiden Swenby (2.7 ppg).

Fosston

Coach: Ben Hemberger

2019-20: 5-18, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Soph. Cullen Norland (6.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.1 apg), soph. Aaron Norland (4 ppg, 2.6 rpg), sr. Logan Hemberger (3.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg), sr. Max Staehnke (4 ppg, 2.3 rpg), sr. Lance Balstad (6.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg).

Goodridge-Grygla

Coach: Andrew Sundberg

2019-20: 7-21, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Jr. Jordan Coan (all-conference, 11.9 ppg, 7 rpg), sr. Riley Manderud (all-conference, 11 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.4 apg), sr. Ian Haugen (3.6 ppg, 3 rpg), sr. Jake Olson (2.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), jr. Nick Groven (2.5 ppg).

Potential new impact players: Fr. Lewis Jones, soph. Matt Busse.

Kittson County Central

Coach: Kris Folland

2019-20: 18-9, eliminated in quarterfinals in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Jr. Evan Austad (3.4 ppg, 3.2 apg), soph. Chisum Schmiedeberg (1.3 ppg).

Returning regulars: Soph. Braden Faken, soph. Brandon Ristad, soph. Isaac Folland, soph. Kaden Vig, soph. Andrew Knutson, soph. Eyan Whitlock.

Lake of the Woods

Coach: Chad Hazelton

2019-20: 3-22, eliminated in Section 8A play-in round.

Top returners: Jr. Chad Bruyere (14.0 ppg), soph. Wyatt Shaw (11.0 ppg), soph. Garett Jenson (2.0 ppg), sr. Wyatt Palm (4.0 ppg), soph. Waylon Johnson (2.0 ppg).
Returning regulars: Jr. Brady Zemke, soph. Matt Johnson, jr. Haydn Rennemo.

Northern Freeze

Coach: Sean Spilde

2019-20: 9-18, eliminated in Section 8A play-in round.

Top returners: Sr. Jaacks Spilde (all-conference, 11.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg), sr. Keaton Klegstad (all-conference, 11.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), sr. Braxton Boe (8.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg), sr. Jackson Spilde (3.8 ppg, 2 rpg), jr. Austin Kautzman (3.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg).

Red Lake County

Coach: Steve Philion

2019-20: 20-7, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Eric Gieseke (all-conference, 13.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 4.4 apg, 2.2 spg), sr. Isiah Olson (8.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg), sr. Bailey Hince (7.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), sr. Carter Williams (3.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg), sr. Jake Duden (2.5 ppg).
Returning regulars: Sr. Brody Moen, sr. Isaiah Aquino (3.0 ppg), sr. Brady Leuthner, sr. Wakely Bryl, soph. Gerald Melin.

Stephen-Argyle

Coach: Nevin Lubarski

2019-20: 9-19, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Jason Lindgren (all-conference, 13.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.1 spg), sr. Brandon Kroll (13 ppg, 4.7 rpg), jr. Colten Pagnac (8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg), sr. Kole Szczepanski (3.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg), sr. Zachary McGlynn (2.1 ppg).

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo

Coach: Christian Erickson

2019-20: 10-17, eliminated in first round in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Soph. Tyson Mortimer (10.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 apg), jr. Gavin Gullikson (9.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), soph. Jackson Woinarowicz (7.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg), jr. Hunter Steer (4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg), soph. Nathan Sedlacek (3 ppg).
Potential impact players: Sr. Spencer Wittman, sr. Thomas Jones.

Win-E-Mac

Coach: Vern Johnson

2019-20: 11-17, eliminated in quarterfinals in Section 8A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Gavin Walker (12.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), sr. Bryer Strom (15.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 5.6 apg), sr. Kobe Hamre (10.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2 apg), sr. Remy Goodwin (4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.4 apg), sr. Alex Jacobson (2.5 ppg), sr. Reed Neubert (1.8 ppg).

Section 6A

Mahnomen-Waubun

Coach: John Clark Jr.

2019-20: 17-11, eliminated in semifinals in Section 6A tournament.

Top returners: Sr. Payton Keezer (all-conference, 18.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.5 spg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 bpg), jr. Tanner Pazdernik (all-conference, 14.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.3 spg), jr. Loden Clark (11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.8 spg), sr. Cooper Houdek (5.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.4 spg), jr. Justin Littlewolf (5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg), jr. Will Starkey (3 ppg, 2.8 rpg).

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