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Preview capsules for BBB Region 6 Tourney

The final three days of high school basketball in Minot has arrived for this season. With no state tournaments in town this year (double the fun next year with both the boys and girls Class B state tournaments), the boys basketball Region 6 Tournament at the Minot State Dome will wrap up the local action.

Four teams apiece from District 11 and District 12 will square off for a regional title and a spot at the state tournament.

Here is a rundown of the four quarterfinal games on deck for today.

D11-1 Rugby (19-2) vs. D12-4 L&C-Berthold (13-9), 3 p.m.

Past meetings this season: None.

Rugby, the No. 3-ranked team in the state, bolsters the highest-scoring offense in Class B with 78 points per game. The next closest is No. 1-ranked Four Winds/Minnewaukan at 73.9 PPG.

The Panthers’ average margin of victory of 30.6 points is also by far the best in the state.

Out of region Four Winds and Shiloh Christian are the only two teams to knock off Rugby this season.

Versatile forward Jaden Hamilton won District 11 Senior Athlete of the Year honors and was one of six Panthers named to All-Tournament team. Alongside Hamilton were Devan Michels, Trace Goven, Isaiah Bundy-Smith, Warren Walker and Cole Slaubaugh.

Rugby’s Mike Santjer was named District 11 Coach of the Year.

Berthold counters Rugby’s high-powered offense with its own go-to scorer in Walker Wold.

The junior forward made a clutch 3-pointer to force overtime in a district loser-out contest against Surrey. Then, Wold guided the No. 7-seeded Bombers past No. 4 Glenburn, 62-58, in a regional qualifier.

Wold was the only Berthold player named to the District 12 All-Tournament team. The Bombers typically get secondary scoring help from Patrick Simons, Seth Fjeldahl and Huntyrr Anderson.

Last state tournament appearance: Rugby, 2015; L&C-Berthold, 2012.

D12-2 MLS (10-11) vs. D11-3 Nedrose (12-10), 4:30 p.m.

Past meetings this season: Nedrose won 54-49 in Mohall on Feb. 20.

Rocky regular seasons plagued both these teams this season.

MLS hasn’t been able to string together more than two wins in a row, while Nedrose was sitting at 5-9 overall before winning seven out of its last eight games.

The Mavericks beat Surrey (53-47) and Bishop Ryan (49-45) to reach the District 12 Tournament title game, where they fell to Our Redeemer’s (48-37).

The 37 points scored in the title game was a season-low. MLS averages 58.2 points per game.

JayDen Hanson was the lone MLS selection on the District 12 All-Tournament team. But the Mavericks have a deep bench and are experienced with five seniors: Hanson, Adam Southam, Henry Savelkoul, Riley Vendsel and Braeden Volk.

Nedrose returns to the regional tournament for a second straight season. The Cardinals’ first-ever appearance last year ended with a 60-45 first-round loss to MLS.

Earning the program’s first regional win is in the hands of District 11 All-Tournament selection Jethro Lauron and six fellow Nedrose seniors.

The Cardinals can match up with anybody with a handful of quick guards and a sizeable frontcourt featuring the likes of 6-foot-4 Trevor Cannon, 6-foot-4 Mitch Heinert and 6-foot-3 Benson Huber.

Last state tournament appearance: MLS, 1975; Nedrose, never.

D12-1 Our Redeemer’s (17-5) vs. D11-4 TGU (9-12), 6 p.m.

Past meetings this season: ORCS won 66-40 at home on Feb. 11.

This affair is also another rematch from the first round of last year’s Region 6 Tournament. The Knights narrowly won that contest 59-56 before losing to Bishop Ryan in the regional semifinals.

The only loss ORCS has suffered this season to a Region 6 opponent was against Velva, 62-60, on Feb. 20. The Aggies lost to TGU, 46-40, in a regional qualifier game.

All-Tournament selections Zachary Hendrickson and Landon Lang lead the Knights offensively. Hendrickson is lethal behind the arc, and Lang is most dangerous when he is driving to basket.

ORCS, however, only scores 57.1 points per game and relies heavily on its half-court defense to carry the load. The Knights allow the fifth-fewest points per game (45.8) in the state.

TGU had lost five straight games before beating Velva last week in a regional qualifier. The Titans lost to the Aggies 61-39 in the regular season but won when it mattered the most.

Sophomore forward Bryce Latendresse scored a game-high 15 points in the must-win showing. Junior guard Cy Luna added 12 points, and was named to the All-Tournament team.

The Titans have only played in three games all season that were decided by five points or less.

Last state tournament appearance: Our Redeemer’s, 2016; TGU, 1984.

D11-2 Drake-Anamoose (16-6) vs. D12-3 Bishop Ryan (12-10), 7:30 p.m.

Past meetings this season: None.

After losing its first two games of the season to Benson County and Dunseith, Drake-Anamoose settled in and won 11 out of its next 12 games.

The only District 11 team to beat the Raiders this year has been Rugby — 92-44 in the regular season and 66-34 in the district championship game.

Drake-Anamoose District 11 All-Tournament honors went to junior guard Payton Martin and junior forward Hunter Fletschock.

The Raiders usually find themselves in high-scoring games. They average 63.4 PPG while allowing 57.2 PPG, and have scored 70-plus points in nine games.

The three-time reigning regional champion Lions have a vastly different DNA to the Ryan teams from the recent past. Finding a new identity after the graduation of standouts Ben Bohl and Mason Hedberg has been a focal point.

The senior-less Lions have seen different players step up throughout the season. Freshmen Conner Thompson and Brady Feller have provided an instant offensive spark. At the same time, leadership and composure can be found in a four-strong junior class with Logan Merck, Nicholas Sanders, Jaxon Feller and Bryson Elm.

Ryan is no strange to close games. The Lions have played in seven games decided by three points or less, with three of those games going to overtime.

Last state tournament appearance: Drake-Anamoose, 1982; Bishop Ryan, 2019.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.

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