Class B Basketball is officially up and running for the 2013-14 season, and that was on display Thursday night at the Devils Lake Sports Center.
Eight teams competed in the annual Ramsey County Tournament, and after yesterday’s games, four are moving on to the semifinal round: Four Winds-Minnewaukan, Benson County, North Star and Rolette-Wolford, all four of which will compete this evening for a place in Saturday night’s championship game.
The losing teams -- Devils Lake JV, Munich-Starkweather, Dakota Prairie and Lakota-Edmore, will also compete today in the other side of the bracket for a chance to claim third place on Saturday.
Four Winds-Minnewaukan vs. Devils Lake JV
When playing against the No. 2 Class B team in the state, it’s safe to say that all Devils Lake players and coaches came into the game knowing that a win would be quite the accomplishment.
As it turned out, a win was far too daunting a task for the youthful Firebirds to achieve as they fell victim to the second-ranked Indians, 62-35.
Four Winds-Minnewaukan scored more than 17 points in each of the first three quarters before taking their foot off the pedal in the fourth. At that point in the game, the Indians already led by more than 30 points.
Trayvon McKay led the way for the Indians once again, just as he did in the Grafton game, finishing with 22 points, which accounted for over a third of the team’s total offensive output.
The only other scorer to finish in double figures was Jason LaRock, who finished with 10 points of his own.
Freshman Jacob Mertens led the Firebirds with seven points.
Benson County vs. Munich-Starkweather
Following what was a lopsided opwning game, the Benson County Wildcats submitted an equally dominant display in their first round game, defeating Munich Starkweather with relative ease, 60-34.
The Magic Storm struggled offensively all night, failing to score double digit points in all quarters except for the fourth, where they scored 11.
Benson County had no trouble scoring for the most part, the only exception being in the third quarter, where it took the team nearly five minutes to record their first points of the half. They went on to score 13 that quarter, most of which came with less than three minutes on the clock.
Patrick Frise led all scorers for the Wildcats as he recorded 15 points. Kaleb Westad and Dagan Arendt also had productive nights from the field, finishing with 14 and 10 points, respectively, for Benson County.
Lucas Dick led Munich-Starkweather with 11 points.
North Star vs. Dakota Prairie
Page 2 of 2 - The third game of the day saw North Star matched up against Dakota Prairie, and the Bearcats were the team to come out on top.
Led by a 23-point effort from freshman Johnny Heisler, North Star defeated the Knights by 16 despite holding just a five-point advantage at the half. Heisler’s 23 points, punctuated by five three-point buckets, was the best individual scoring output by any player in the tournament so far.
Alex Weston and Christian Kvilvang also chipped for the Bearcats, scoring 13 and 19 points respectively.
Jon Lund scored 16 points to lead Dakota Prairie.
Lakota-E vs. Rolette-W
The final first-round game between Lakota-Edmore and Rolette-Wolford was perhaps the most entertaining to watch. It certainly finished with the most combined points.
In the end, the Comets came out the victors, winning by 10, 68-58, to advance to the semifinal round.
It wasn’t easy for them, though, particularly in the second half as the Raiders shrunk the 20-point Rolette-Wolford halftime to lead to as little as seven points in the second half. But in the end, the Comet offensive proved too much for Lakota-Edmore to handle.
Casey Julson led the Comets with 20 points. Lakota-Edmore’s Robb Kuchar led all scorers in the game with 22.
Devils Lake JV vs. Munich-Starkweather -- 3 p.m.
Dakota Prairie vs. Lakota-Edmore -- 4:30 p.m.
Four Winds-Minnewaukan vs. Benson County -- 6 p.m.
North Star vs. Rolette-Eolford -- 7:30 p.m.