Fargo, ND – This was Championship Saturday at the SHAC on NDSU’s campus, and what a great venue it is! The first two games of the day were State qualifying games. The winners punched their ticket to Bismarck and the losers…
Fargo, ND – This was Championship Saturday at the SHAC on NDSU’s campus, and what a great venue it is! The first two games of the day were State qualifying games. The winners punched their ticket to Bismarck and the losers are done for the year. The evening game was a heavyweight bout with the teams fighting for an EDC Tournament Championship and the #1 seed in the Big Dance. Davies and Sheyenne had already qualified for State on Thursday night. In this article, we are highlighting the best forwards from Saturday. Look below for the Fantastic Forwards.
Shanley 62 North 65
West Fargo 79 Grand Forks Central 54
Championship – Sheyenne 60 Davies 66
The Class A State Tournament will be next weekend, March 10-12 at the Bismarck Events Center
STATE TOURNAMENT MATCHUPS
(W1) Minot vs. (E4) North
(E2) Sheyenne vs. (W3) Mandan
(E1) Davies vs. (W4) Century
(W2) Bismarck vs. (E3) West Fargo
Saturday’s Fantastic Forwards
(2023) 6-7 F| Shanley
13 points, 3-3 FT’s, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block. Conner ended up with a Double-Double and he started the first possession of the game with an O-board. He had multiple other physical rebounds throughout the game. He has great handles for someone that is 6’7. Kraft showed a soft touch in the paint and when banking shots off the glass. Kraft showcased his athleticism with an impressive finish in transition when he had a defender in his face. Connor showed his vertical and long arms when he scored on a lob tip-in on a BLOB. He elevated above everyone on the court. I was impressed when Kraft realized he had a mismatch, he immediately went to the block. Conner was fouled and went to the charity stripe for two free baskets to extend the lead in the first half. In the second half, he showed an excellent turnaround spin move into the lane. Kraft finished with a push-shot, he once again elevated over everyone in the lane. There is no doubt that Connor is long, athletic, and skilled. He was also named to the ALL EDC Team tonight.
Jack Pollert (2022) |6-2 F| Shanley
14 points, 1-1 FT’s, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. Early on, he had an AND1 finish and Jack cashed in the FT. Pollert is a thick and strong player. In the first half, Pollert had a steal and passed the ball ahead to Hakim for a dunk. Jack also nailed a 3-ball in the first half. I liked his slash across the lane that he finished with a nifty scoop shot. On the next possession, Pollert scored with a transition bucket. He scored another basket with an aggressive cut through the paint, Hakim dished it, and Pollert scored an easy basket.
(2023) |6-4 SF| Shanley
5 points, 1-3 FT’s, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks. He was very impressive early in the game. He eventually cooled off and he had an injury that made him sit out for a while. Hakim had multiple steals early and shined in transition. He also passed the ball very well. I liked his active hands. Vuciri impressed me with his closeouts and help-side defense in the first half. Vuciri showcased his athleticism with a breakaway 1-handed SLAM.
(2024) |6-6 PF| Fargo North
20 points, 2-2 FT’s, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal. He was a beast today while putting up a Double-Double. Carter showed many physical baskets throughout the big win today. Zeller always seems to have a great position when posting up or when rebounding. This kid is a blue-collar workhorse! It is fun to watch the sophomore fight and battle for position. Zeller dominated on the glass and really stuck out with O-boards and putbacks. He showed great pivots, feet, hands, patience, and a baby hook. I loved it late in the game when Carter used a shot fake to make the defender fly by him. It resulted in a wide-open layup for the big soph. I was impressed with his composure in the post when he was being double-teamed or being guarded by a 6’7 athletic defender. On defense, I was impressed with the way he could get out on the perimeter and switch screens. Carter moved his feet well and kept the guards in front. It was one heck of a performance by the super sophomore. I am excited to see what Zeller can do next week against the WDA post players. He was also named to the All EDC Team tonight.
(2022) |6-4 F| West Fargo
23 points, 2-5 FT’s, one 3-pointer, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals. The recent VCSU commit put up an intriguing Double-Double. He did a bit of everything in this one. On defense, he forced TO’s, took a charge, and made hustle plays. I really liked when Carlson hustled after a loose ball and he saved it before it went out of bounds. On offense, Nick got the scoring going for the Packers with a 3-foot shot in front of the rim. Throughout the game, Carlson had tough and physical baskets around the rim. Many times Nick would cut into the lane, his teammates would find him and he would score with a hand in his face. He was excellent at sealing and getting a favorable position. This is the best and the most aggressive I have seen Nick cut. He also cashed in a 3-ball in a catch-n-shoot situation. Later, he showed his strength and determination with an AND1 finish. It was a very nice game today for Carlson in his last game on the east side of North Dakota.
(2022) |6-4 F| West Fargo
14 points, 4-4 FT’s, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals. He was a stat stuffer today. Sherriff did a nice job of finding his fellow forward Carlson for good looks. Foday had an impressive spin-move finish. He showed off the spin-move later in the game as well. Much like Carlson, Sheriff got in on the cutting for good looks. He caught on the block and rose above the D for a kiss off the glass. I really like the way Sheriff can finish with both hands around the hoop. Late in the game, Foday picked off a pass in the fullcourt press and stuck in the easy basket to help seal up the victory. He was also named to the All EDC Team tonight.
(2024) |6-3 PF| Grand Forks Central
14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks. He is a monster and a ripped athlete. Early in the game, Paye showed a soft touch with an O-board putback. He had another offensive rebound score later in the game. Erick showed his speed in the first half with a run-out athletic finish in a one-on-one situation. I was impressed with his hang time when blocking and contesting shots. Paye showed off his power when posting up and moving people on the block. I was impressed with Erick’s physicality when blocking out. On one possession, Paye looked like a bully when backing down his defender to the block. It led to an easy two points for the big man. He also showed that he can slash to the rim and score off the bounce. He was also named to the All EDC Team tonight.
(2022) |6-3 SF| Grand Forks Central
8 points, 6 rebounds. He is a strong athlete and a UND football commit. For the Knights first basket of the game, Sam had a baseline drive and he finished it with a contested right-handed layup. Much like Paye, Strandell is a physical player that works hard on the boards. Sam looked very good in the first half when pushing the tempo in transition. He handled the ball quite a bit and Strandell did a nice job with the rock in his hands. He had another baseline drive that he finished with a righty underhand pass to a 3-point shooter. Is this kid ambidextrous? He shot at the rim with his right hand as often as he did with his left. Sam had another sweet baseline drive that he finished with a twisting, tough, reverse layup. I was intrigued by how Strandell absorbed the contact and protected the ball with his body. Good luck at UND with football Mr. Strandell!
(2022) |6-7 F| West Fargo Sheyenne
19 points, 7-8 FT’s, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. He had an off-night shooting but he still ended up with a Double-Double. As always, Mike was stellar on the boards with 5 of them coming on the offensive end. In the first half, Mike made a jab-step move that almost made the defender fall over. He also had a powerful 2-handed SLAM in the first half. I like that when he misses a shot he follows it and grabs the ball for a putback bucket. In the second half, Mike had a super-physical finish for an AND1, after he cashed in the FT. He is stronger than he looks! On defense, he showed quick hands when he reached in and ripped the ball away from an Eagle. Late in the game with less than 20 seconds, he drove into the lane and pulled up from 10 feet, and nailed it, he cut the score down to two points. However, it was not enough for the Mustangs. After the game, Nhial was awarded the EDC Player of the Year!
(2022) |6-8 PF| West Fargo Sheyenne
8 points, 3-4 FT’s, one 3-point, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks. He got off to a quick start on the boards with an offensive rebound on an early possession. I liked his effort on the glass even though Dom didn’t get many. He had a nice tip on a rebound that went right into Nhial’s hands which end in a nice WHAM. Nhial got the stats but it happened because of Dosmann’s effort. I was impressed with Dom’s contesting, altering, and blocking shots. The big-block came in transition when Dosmann hustled back and swatted the shot attempt off the glass. Dom had another nice hustle play where saved the ball from going out of bounds and it resulted in a3-pointer. I like the way he grabs a D-rebound and outlets it very quickly. He is also very good at post entries for a 6’8 player. Dossman had a great lefty finish when he attacked from the wing and kissed the ball off the glass from about 8 feet. It was a tough shot to block with his height and long arms. Dom’s stats were not eye-popping but he still had a solid game.
(2022) |6-5 F| West Fargo Sheyenne
11 points, 2-5 FT’s, one 3-pointer, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals. Early in the game, I was impressed with his feet when hedging on ball screens. Throughout the game, Newton had multiple AND1 finishes because of his length and mobility. Newton had a very nice 1-dribble soft-floater in the middle of the lane. In the second half, Zander zipped a pass from the top of the key to a cutting Nhial in the lane for 2-points. Newton does a fine job of high-pointing rebounds. With under a minute left in the game, Zander made a jab step and cashed in a 3-ball. I was impressed with his aggressiveness tonight.
(2022) |6-6 F| Fargo Davies
4 points, 1 rebound, 1 block. He did not play a ton of minutes tonight and I saw him with the trainer a few times, so I am thinking Van Dam was banged up. He did have a nice score when Evan caught on the baseline, attacked with 1-dribble, and finished with a contested layup. When Van Dam was in, he played hard all the way. He also took a charge on defense. The Eagles will need Van Dam at State when they are defending the Patriots.