Class A North Dakota Week One Games to Watch
Just like that, the basketball season is upon us. The season at the Class A level starts with a bang as the conferences are cross-matching in the early stage of the season. The slate Saturday looks particularly compelling as a…
Just like that, the basketball season is upon us. The season at the Class A level starts with a bang as the conferences are cross-matching in the early stage of the season. The slate Saturday looks particularly compelling as a number of state tournament teams from a year ago will face off to kick off 2018-19.
Here are the games to watch in the first week of the season:
Fargo Davies vs. Bismarck Century – Saturday, Dec. 1
Davies went 23-4 last season en route to a state tournament berth. The Eagles won two games there. Bismarck Century went 26-1 and steamrolled practically every team in its path on the way to another state title.
Junior forward Lauren Ware (17 points and 11.5 rebounds as a sophomore) and senior guard Lily Keplin (a UND recruit) form the best duo in the state as the two are arguably the best players in their respective classes. Alyssa Paper (13 points per game) and Lauren Fyhrie are solid returning seniors and the Eagles have a terrific junior class with Lexi Simle-Askew.
Bismarck St. Mary’s vs. Fargo Shanley – Saturday, Dec. 1
The Deacons looked like a team capable of doing damage in a state tournament setting last year, going 16-5 in the regular season but lost twice in the EDC tournament to miss out on the field entirely. Reile Payne is one of the top juniors in the state after averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals per game as a sophomore.
Bismarck St. Mary’s went 21-6 last year, winning two games at state to finish third. The Saints may face a bit of a retooling campaign as several key starters are gone to graduation. But they do bring back what figures to be a very good duo in senior guard Taylor Gerving (12.1 points per game) and senior Marianne Senftner (8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds).
Mandan at West Fargo Sheyenne – Saturday, Dec. 1
West Fargo Sheyenne kicks off its season with Mandan, one of the top teams in Class A over the last handful of seasons. The Mustangs won 17 games last year including a game in the state tournament and return starting guard Maggie Manson who averaged 15 points and better than four assists per game as a junior. Manson is a UND recruit. Junior forward Ashley Chase is a player to watch this year as well.
On the other side, Mandan may have the best collection of talent in the state. It starts with senior forward Megan Zander who averaged 20.3 points and better than 12 rebounds per game last season. She’s joined by senior guard Kennedy Harris (13.5 ppg) and junior guard Lakyn Darras (12.1 ppg).