This is our 4th and final installment of Role Player articles…We are looking at 10 Nodak kids from Class A & B. These guys need your attention! Role Players are vital to every successful team in basketball. An important role…
This is our 4th and final installment of Role Player articles…We are looking at 10 Nodak kids from Class A & B.
These guys need your attention! Role Players are vital to every successful team in basketball. An important role player might be the hardest worker, a great defensive player, a 3-point shooter, a hard-nosed rebounder, a sure-handed PG, a precision passer, a guy that does the little things, a selfless teammate, a top-notch practice player, and many other things depending on the team. Role Players might not get a ton of playing time, but when they are in the game, they make the most of it! With that said, let’s check out the ballers….
ND Rockstar Role Players
Braxton Iglehart Braxton Iglehart 6'1" | PG Garrison | 2024 State ND (2023) |6’1 G| Garrison
11-3 record. Averaging 14.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.7 assists, 40 steals on the year, shooting 53% from 3. Braxton quietly goes about his business but makes a loud impact. The Troopers do not call any sets for him because he has a knack for getting himself open. Iglehart has great handles and is explosive with a great runner. Braxton is the Troopers most improved player from last year and it is not even close. The Troopers #1 scoring option is Connor Kerzmann Connor Kerzmann 6'1" | SG Garrison | 2023 State ND but team’s have been giving Braxton a ton of attention as well. Garrison has a huge Region 5 matchup this evening with Standing Rock. If things go well for the Troopers, it will largely be because of Braxton.
David Shilling David Shilling 6'3" | SF Fargo North | 2024 State ND (2024) |6’3 G| Fargo North
10-5, ranked #5. He is one of the most athletic guys on the North squad. He has played more and more this season as his confidence is growing. Shilling is explosive getting to the rim and if guys want to lay off he can stroke the 3-ball. David is a very hard guard for most teams to defend. Shilling also excels at rebounding for the Spartans with his quick twitch jumping mechanics.
Jackson Ross (2023) |6’3 G/F| St. Mary’s
He leads the team in minutes played and yet has attempted the least amount of shots! Ross is the ultimate, selfless teammate who can guard the other team’s best perimeter player on any given night. He is extremely coachable, does everything on both ends of the floor exactly the way you teach it, and leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio. In fact, he has the most assists on the team and the least amount of turnovers, which is a very impressive feat for playing that many minutes and not being one of the Saints primary ball handlers. Jackson is always in perfect position defensively, rotates with a sense of urgency, and finishes defensive possessions with physicality on his box outs, and attacks the ball to secure the rebound.
Jon Asche (2023) |6’1 G| Oak Grove
8-6 record and is a key member of the scary OG squad. Asche has been tasked with guarding the opponent’s best player and has done an outstanding job. He loves the challenge!! Jon is starting to become a serious offensive threat. He is a senior captain and a great leader both on and off the court. Jon works extremely hard and is a great kid to coach. He definitely understands his role and knows that Rylee Bakkegard Rylee Bakkegard 5'11" | CG Oak Grove | 2023 State ND and Treyton Hatfield are our go-to guys, but without him, the Grovers do not win multiple games.
Kendall Kjonaas Kendall Kjonaas 5'11" Grand Forks Central | 2024 ND (2024) |5’11 G| Grand Forks Central
He comes off the bench and is capable of playing multiple positions even though he is a natural guard. When needed he can get physical and compete with bigger players. Kjonaas is fundamentally sound and he seamlessly works his way into the Knight lineup. Kendall is capable of hitting open shots and he has excellent court vision. He fills the spot of a role player flawlessly.
Luke Johnson Luke Johnson 6'5" | PF Oak Grove | 2024 ND (2024) |6’5 PF| Oak Grove
8-6 record and a dark horse to look out for in Region 1. Johnson is lanky, strong, and tough. He is starting to gain more confidence every day. He is the Grovers 3rd leading scorer at 8.3 ppg and their leading rebounder at 8.3 as well. Luke can knock down the open jumper which has started to open some things up for other Grovers. Coach Card is doubtful that he has ever seen a kid improve so much since his freshman season! Johnson has put the time in during the off-season and it is definitely paying off this year. Look for Mr. Johnson to be an X-factor once we get into post-season play. When looking into the future, Luke will the leader of the Grovers next season.
Ted Monari Ted Monari 6'4" | PF Wahpeton | 2024 State ND (2023) |6’4 F| Wahpeton
He has been a key role player for the Huskies this season. Ted has started, come off the bench, and has a couple of games that he has not played but he keeps bringing great effort to practice daily. He is also a spark off the bench for the Huskies on the offensive glass. In almost every game Ted has come in and grabbed an offensive board and scored. It is a tough role for a senior, but he’s giving WHS a great effort each day and has made an impact in the limited minutes of game time that he has played.
TJ Syvertson TJ Syvertson 6'1" | SG Garrison | 2023 State ND (2023) |6’1 F| Garrison
11-3 record. 9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3 apg, 25 steals. There is no harder worker on any list than TJ. He always guards the other team’s best players, whether they are guards or forwards. Syvertson talks on the court like every coach dreams. He plays hard the entire game and averages 29 minutes. Many coaches and refs have commented how much they enjoy watching him play because of how hard he plays and how positive he is. TJ works hard on improving his game and he puts in the extra time.
Will Eggert (2023) |6’3 G| Valley City
He has the toughest assignment night in and night out guarding the other team’s best player. Will has the ability to sit in a stance for an entire 36 minutes and make whomever he’s guarding that night uncomfortable. Eggert is a great teammate that is willing to sacrifice scoring by putting all his energy into defense to help the team have success. Players like Will are pieces of the puzzle that all championship teams need to succeed.
Zach Oehlke Zach Oehlke 6'3" | SG Grand Forks Red River | 2024 State ND (2024) |6’3 SF| Grand Forks Red River
9-6 record. He is the 6th man for the Roughriders. Oehlke really does it all and is consistent at doing so. Zach is a 6’3 forward that plays bigger than he is on the court. He slashes well offensively, he bangs with the bigs on the boards, and moves well enough to guard a perimeter player. Zach recently stepped into starting role because RR’s center was injured. He put up 11 points and 10 boards in his last start. Oehlke is a coachable kid, asks questions and responds well on the court. He is the perfect role player for the Roughriders.