For the third time in less than 12 months, North Star and Beulah will meet to figure out who's No. 1.
The No. 1 Bearcats and No. 2 Miners meet at 7:15 Friday night in Cando, the first matchup since Beulah won last year's Class B state championship. That game came a little more than two months after North Star won a 25-point laugher at Beulah.
Despite the past, both coaches view Friday as any other game against a quality opponent.
MDN File Photo
Beulah forward Trevor Zacher dribbles in front of North Star guard Jacob Hagler during the Class B state-title game in March. Now seniors, they’ll lead their teams against one another on Friday in Cando.
"Our thought process is going out and playing some good teams and getting some good nonconference teams on our schedule," Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said.
Said North Star coach Jeff Hagler: "It's just another one of the tough teams that we play on our schedule and hopefully it will get us ready for postseason."
Beulah enters the game 5-0 and has outscored its opponent by more than 42 points per contest. North Star (4-0) averages a 28-point victory but escaped with a one-point win against Four Winds-Minnewaukan earlier this season.
The Miners will be tasked, once again, with trying to stop two-time all-state guard Jacob Hagler and second-team all-state guard Daniel Grande.
"It's hard to defend them," Brandt said. "They're good high school players. Every time you play them they're going to make shots because they're going to take shots. You can't get discouraged when you're a good defender and they do score on you.
"I think the Hagler kid is just as dangerous when he doesn't score. He finds kids and sets them up for good opportunities."
The game will be the second at that location between top-10 teams. No. 3 Cavalier takes on No. 9 Rugby earlier in the afternoon.
Trenton wins Stanley tournament
The Trenton boys varsity basketball roster totals just seven players.
That lack of depth didn't prove to be a problem at last week's Stanley tournament. The Tigers swept Parshall, Berthold and Powers Lake to earn the championship.
What Trenton (4-0) lacks in overall depth, it makes up for in experience. The Tigers have six seniors, including all five starters.
"Our starting five has seen a lot of playing time since they've been sophomores," Trenton coach Bob Turcotte said. "We do have experience, we have some ability and we're a fine team to watch play."
Of course, with such a small bench, there aren't many fouls to go around. In the championship, those difficulties plagued the Tigers.
The Ranchers battled back from a 40-23 halftime deficit to send it to overtime. But Trenton hung on in yet another classic matchup between two of Region 8's better teams.
"There's a history between our schools," Turcotte said. "Ever since I can remember, it's always been our team and their team as two of the best teams around."
Four Tigers (seniors Michael Rademacher, Trenten Hove, Lane Huck, Jade Bentz) are averaging double-figures in the early season. But with Trenton's lack of a bench, any nicks to the top playmakers could spell trouble.
"What we're worried about is an injury here or there," Turcotte said. "That's a concern, but you know, when you're a small school like we are, you play what you have and that's what we have. We kinda look at it as a pride thing, too. There's not too many schools out there fielding seven kids that can compete with some of the better teams in the state."
In addition to his titles of boys basketball coach and athletic director, Turcotte is the man in charge of the girls basketball team for the second straight season.
This means 6 a.m. practices for whichever team isn't playing and back-to-back workouts after school when there isn't anything going on. Fortunately for Turcotte, his highest position enabled him to avoid any schedule conflicts.
"I'm the athletic director so I was able to set the schedule so it'll work out," he said.
ORCS off to best start in school history
The Our Redeemer's Christian School boys basketball accomplished a pair of firsts in its game against Glenburn on Saturday.
The 62-60 victory didn't just give the Knights their first-ever Velva Invite championship, it also established a new standard for the program.
According to ORCS coach Jeremy Feller, it's the first time the team has ever started 6-0. With the wins come a certain amount of expectation.
Feller has been critical of his team after a couple of the victories. Following the win against Glenburn, his players followed suit.
"We came out with the win but we felt there was a lot of room to improve," Feller said. "After the game, instead of focusing on the championship the team focused on the 10-point lead we almost blew."
Sawyer takes down Velva
According to Sawyer boys basketball coach Roger Coleman, the Flashes hadn't beaten Velva in 19 years. That changed Saturday.
Sawyer got a combined 30 points from Colton Lund and Kutter Varty and hung on for a 48-45 win in the seventh-place game of the Velva Invite.
Games to watch for this week:
- No. 3 Cavalier vs. No. 9 Rugby, Friday in Cando
-No. 2 Beulah at No. 1 North Star, Friday
- Bishop Ryan at Hazen, Friday
-No. 2 Beulah vs. No. 6 Four Winds-Minnewaukan, Saturday in Rugby
-No. 1 North Star at No. 9 Rugby, Saturday