The Class B Boys basketball state tournament is the crown jewel of North Dakota and let’s hope it returns this March after the pandemic sidelined it in 2019-20. ‘Unfinished business’ will naturally be the mantra for the reigning region champs who try to make it back to The B. A lot of eyes this year will be on Enderlin’s Joe Hurlburt who’s quickly becoming the highest recruited basketball player in state history. But, the depth of the division this year will make for some exciting hoops this winter.
The only North Dakota high school state champion crowned in basketball last year came in Class B girls hoops with Langdon-Edmore-Munich winning it all. I think the Cardinals will still be a contender this year, but I feel like last year’s runner-up might be the favorite. I also think the sting of missing out on last year’s state tournament has a loaded Kindred squad champing at the bit to hit the floor. There’s some outstanding individual talent in Class B girls hoops this year and I had a hard time narrowing down my list of ten for players to watch.
There’s probably still an unsettling feeling for Jamestown, Sheyenne, Bismarck and Davies after they reached the final four last year only to have the tournament get called off the day of the semifinal round due to COVID-19. The good news is that those four teams should all be right in the mix again this winter. Find out how I ranked the teams and check out my players to watch for the 2020-21 season.
This year’s race for the North Dakota Class A girls basketball title includes a long list of contenders and some outstanding players. Century has the most talent returning, but Davies and Legacy have a couple of great 1-2 punches. Check out my preseason rankings and the top ten players to watch!
You could say Bismarck Century led the Class AAA race from wire-to-wire last season. The Patriots finished their first perfect season in program history by taking down Sheyenne 10-0 in the Dakota Bowl. Despite losing a strong class of seniors, I think Century still has the inside track on winning the title. The talent level in Class AAA should be high again with several players already committed to play division one football. Read about the players and find out how I ranked the teams in the state’s highest division.
New faces at the top. Last year ended a 10-year run of either Shanley or St. Mary’s playing in the Class AA state championship game with Hillsboro-Central Valley topping Beulah 35-12 for the hardware. Now, the question is if we’ll see another fresh face breakthrough and make the Class AA championship game for the first time in a while. As you’ll see in my rankings, I’m predicting a Dakota Bowl mainstay to return to form in 2020.