North Star standout Jake Hagler and Devils Lake star Nathan Mertens almost garnered major awards last weekend.
Hagler was second overall for the 2013 Mr. Basketball honors, finishing one spot ahead of Nertens for the state’s top award. The award is presented each year to the top senior athlete in North Dakota by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Hagler and Mertens were among seven players selected as finalists for the award.
A.J. Jacobson was selected the winner of the 2013 honors. The 6-foot-6 standout at Fargo Shanley led the Deacons to the Class A state title by scoring 27 points and nabbing 12 rebounds in a 73-54 win over Bismarck.
En route to guiding Shanley to the state crown, Jacobson also shattered the state Class A career scoring record, finishing with 2,002 points.
For the year, Jacobson averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and three steals.
Jacobson is the second member of his family to have woin the postseason honor. His mother, Pat (Smykowski) won the state’s first-ever Miss Basketball honors 29 years ago after her senior season at Lidgerwood.
Hagler, one of the more successful players in the state’s history, was second with three first-place votes and 33 points. Nate Mertens of Devils Lake was third with one first-place vote and 25 points.
As a senior, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 23 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals
Mertens finished his career as Devils Lake’s all-time leading scorer.
This past season, the 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The other finalists included Dickinson Trinity’s Jacob Volk, Mandan’s Erron Collins, Grand Forks Red River’s Mac Kroeplin and Beulah’s Trevor Zacher.