NDHSAA's Most Memorable Moments From 2016-17

June 14, 2017 10:00 am

By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The 2016-17 school year provided many memorable moments in North Dakota High School Activities Association sponsored sports and activities.

Below is a list of top moments that highlighted the year and a list of teams that celebrated NDHSAA state championships this year. Enjoy!

Hillsboro/Central Valley wins “The B” on a Buzzer Beater

In the 85-year history of the North Dakota High School Activities Association’s Class B boys basketball state tournament there may not have been a more thrilling finish than the 2017 title game played on March 18 at the Minot State Dome.

Hillsboro-Central Valley defeated defending state champion Four Winds Minnewaukan 63-60 courtesy of a buzzer-beater 3-pointer made by senior guard Kyle Henningsgard as time expired.

The game was tied 60-60 in the final minute and the Burros later held for a final shot.

Henningsgard made a pass at the top of the key and made a move along the perimeter to create enough space to get the ball back and get an attempt off before the buzzer sounded.

"It's something every basketball player dreams about," Henningsgard said of the game-winning shot. "It is a rare occasion to play in a state championship game. The ball was in my hands with 30 seconds left. I tried to make a play for the team. The coach trusted me the team trusted me. I was able to put it up and it went in."

Henningsgard scored 15 points to lead the Burros. Eleven of those 15 points came in the fourth quarter.

"We prepared for that situation," Hillsboro-Central Valley head coach Elliot Rotvold said. "With the game tied we figured let's get the last shot if it goes in we win and if it doesn't go in we go to overtime. We felt good about our chances in that respect. What a game ... What a game. Give Four Winds/Minnewaukan all the credit in the world. They are a great team and we feel privileged to win that game."

VIDEO: Kyle Henningsgard hits buzzer beater 3-pointer to win NDHSAA Class B boys basketball state championship

Ellendale Buzzer Beater in Class B BB Quarterfinals makes ESPN

Down by one with 4.4 seconds left to play in Ellendale’s NDHSAA Class B boys basketball state quarterfinal game against Dickinson Trinity, Cardinals senior guard Bennen Vance found himself with the ball in his hands just beyond the 3-point arc.

Opportunity was knocking, but time was running out. Just before the buzzer, Vance took a shot that found the bottom of the basket on March 16 at the Minot State Dome.

Celebration ensued. Ellendale won 41-39 against No. 2-ranked and No. 2-seeded Trinity.

“We’ve run that play everyday in practice this season for that occasion,” Vance said. “It worked out perfectly.”

Video of the shot quickly populated social media. The video was shared with ESPN and word from the national sports network based in Bristol, Conn., quickly came to North Dakota’s ABC affiliate in Fargo (WDAY-TV) requesting the video so it could be featured on ESPN’s nightly SportsCenter broadcast.

“Right when it left my hand I knew it was going in,” Vance said. “After it went in I was stunned. It was awesome.”

Vance’s shot gave Ellendale its first victory at state in 32 years. Ellendale last made it to state in 1985.

VIDEO: Ellendale’s Brennen Vance hits buzzer-beater shot to be highlighted on ESPN’s SportsCenter

Fargo Shanley’s state record girls basketball winning streak ends

Fargo Shanley’s historic state-record winning streak in girls basketball came to an end at 76 games.

Fargo Davies defeated Fargo Shanley 45-41 January 3, 2017 at McCormick Gymnasium.

Prior to that contest, Shanley’s previous loss came January 21, 2014 vs. West Fargo.

The 76 victories in between produced three consecutive North Dakota High School Activities Association Class A girls basketball state championships.

Davies head coach Tim Jacobson had previously coached Fargo Shanley girls basketball team guiding them to the three straight state titles before taking the Davies job in the offseason.

Kindred defeats North Star in battle of unbeaten team for Class B GBB state title

Kindred defeated North Star 49-42 to complete its perfect season in the 2017 North Dakota High School Activities Association Class B girls basketball state championship game at the Alerus Center. Kindred and North Star both entered the championship game undefeated.

“With both teams being undefeated we knew it was going to be a battle throughout and we just pushed through,” senior guard Mikayla Reinke said. “We play so well as a team. We trust each other and that’s what put us over the top.”

Kindred (26-0) led 22-16 at halftime. North Star (26-1) opened the second half on a 6-0 run to tie the game 22-22, but Kindred senior guard Brooke Hiatt connected for a 3-pointer putting the Vikings back in the lead.

The Vikings’ advantage was 32-26 heading into the fourth quarter. Kindred kept control maintaining its lead the final eight minutes.

“When we were up seven points in the fourth quarter they started to press us we were able to get a couple easy baskets,” Kindred head coach Perry Piatz said. “In a game like this one you have to finish and we were able to get some big baskets down the stretch."

Hiatt led the Vikings with 15 points and was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Kindred seventh grader Abby Duchscherer added 13 points for the Vikings. Reinke dished out seven assists in the game. North Star senior Macey Kvilvang finished with a game-high 22 points.

Dickinson’s Aanen Moody breaks ND Class A boys basketball scoring record

Dickinson High School senior guard Aanen Moody made North Dakota Class A boys basketball history during the school year.

Moody broke the state's unofficial Class A career points scoring record on Tuesday, February 21 in a Western Dakota Association road game against Williston.

Moody entered the game with 1,996 points needing seven points to eclipse former Fargo Shanley A.J. Jacobson's record of 2,002 points set in 2013. Jacobson now plays basketball at North Dakota State.

The 6-foot-2 University of North Dakota commit broke the record during the first half of Tuesday game in Williston.

The Class A boys basketball scoring list is maintained and published annually in the North Dakota Hoopster Magazine.

Bismarck Century repeat in Division AAA highlights Dakota Bowl

Bismarck Century defeated Bismarck High 27-12 during the 2016 North Dakota High School Activities Association’s Division AAA Football state championship game on November 11 at the Fargodome.

The Division AAA state title is the Patriots’ second straight after winning the 2015 AAA football championship. The Patriots’ repeat in AAA highlighted Dakota Bowl 24.

Bismarck St. Mary’s won the Division AA state title, Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm won the Division A title and Thompson won the 9-man state championship.

LaMoure and Bismarck Century repeat as volleyball state champions

Both defending volleyball state champions – Bismarck Century (Class A) and LaMoure (Class B) – earned repeats in the fall. Bismarck Century defeated Bismarck High (25-19, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15) in the Class A title match at the Fargodome. LaMoure edged Minot Our Redeemer’s 25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 17-25, 15-8 in the Class B state championship match.

Both teams will try for a three-peat next fall, which only one team, Fargo North in 1994-96, has been able to accomplish since the sport was sponsored by the NDHSAA starting in 1984. 

Grand Forks Central boys hockey completes undefeated season

Since 1967 when the NDHSAA began sponsoring boys hockey only three teams have ever skated to an undefeated season. Grand Forks Central joined that exclusive group in February defeating Bismarck High 7-2 in the state championship game.

The Knights’ final record was 27-0-0. The state title was Central’s 26th in program history and first since 2010.

Central was led by senior Grant Johnson, who finished the season with 85 points (29 goals and 56 assists).

The other teams to go undefeated in a season are: Grand Forks Red River (2016) and Grand Forks Central (1967).

Minot Earns Three-Peat in NDHSAA Class A Boys Basketball

The Magicians made it three in a row winning the 2017 NDHSAA Class A boys basketball state championship by defeating Bismarck Century 56-42 in the title game at the Bismarck Event Center.

Minot became the first team to three-peat in Class A boys basketball since Bismarck High won three straight from 1957-59.

The Magicians were led by KyJaun Johnson, who scored 21 points.

West Fargo wrestling trio each surpass 200 career wins during season

No team had more individuals win state championships at the 2017 NDHSAA state wrestling tournament than West Fargo. The Packers had five wrestlers – Justin Harms (113), Jared Franek (152), Cade Pederson (160), Jesse Shearer (182) and Brandon Metz (285) – take the top spot on the awards podium on Saturday.

Metz’s win in the 285-pound match marked his 200th win of his prep career.

Metz joins Franek and Shearer in reaching the 200-win milestone this season. No team in state history has ever had three wrestlers attain 200 wins in the same season.

Franek now has 212 wins and Shearer, also wrestling at NDSU next year, wrapped his prep career with 231 wins.

Shearer had a dominant showing in the 182-pound bracket scoring four pins to secure his championship.

New Town boys distance runners collect cross country and track and field state titles

It was another great year for New Town boys in cross country and on the track. The Eagles won its fifth straight NDHSAA Class B boys cross country state championship.

New Town nearly recorded a perfect score at the state cross country meet in Jamestown as its top five runners all finished sixth or better. Junior Jalen Chase won the individual state championship in a time of 15 minutes, 49.53 seconds. Seven New Town runners – Chase, Chace Hale (2nd), Jaiven Hale (4th), Ryan Wheeling (5th), Robert White (6th), Mike Baker (10th), Colby Antell (11th) – all finished in the top 20.

In track, New Town’ distance running dominance led to the team’s third straight NDHSAA Class B track and field state championship.

New Town scored 85 points to secure the top spot. The Eagles were led by senior Ryan Wheeling, who posted wins in the 1,600 and 800 meter races during the meet. Junior Jalen Chase added a win in the 3,200 meters highlighting a dominant showing in that event by his team. Six total New Town runners placed and scored points in the 3,200 meters. New Town also won the 3,200 meter relay state championship.


South Border eighth grader Emily St. Aubin repeats a Class B girls golf state medalist: South Border eighth grader Emily St. Aubin repeated as medalist of the North Dakota High School Activities Association Class B girls golf state tournament.

St. Aubin, who won the 2016 title as a seventh grader finished with a two-day total of 155 for the individual state championship at Tom O’Leary Golf Course.

West Fargo, Kindred-Richland each repeat as softball state champions: Familiar programs won NDHSAA softball state championships this spring. West Fargo won its ninth NDHSAA-sponsored softball state championship and 20th straight dating back to when softball was a club sport in the state.

Kindred-Richland won its second straight NDHSAA Class B softball state title and third in the program history.

Several other programs repeat as NDHSAA State Champions: Complete list of repeat champions not previously mentioned in 2016-17 NDHSAA Season Recap

Hillsboro/Central Valley (Class B girls cross country)

Bismarck Blizzard (Girls Hockey)

Bismarck Century (Girls Swimming and Diving)

Bismarck Century (Boys Swimming and Diving)

Fargo Davies (Class A Girls Track and Field)

Hazen (Class B Girls Track and Field)

Bismarck (Class A Team Dual Wrestling)

Dickinson (Gymnastics)

Larimore (Class B Plays)

West Fargo Sheyenne (Class A Plays)


Class B Baseball: Park River/Fordville-Lankin

Class A Baseball: West Fargo

Class B Softball: Kindred-Richland

Class A Softball: West Fargo

Class B Boys Basketball: Hillsboro/Central Valley

Class A Boys Basketball: Minot

Class B Girls Basketball: Kindred

Class A Girls Basketball: Bismarck Legacy

Class A Boys Cross Country: Bismarck Century

Class B Boys Cross Country: New Town

Class A Girls Cross Country: Fargo Davies

Class B Girls Cross Country: Hillsboro-Central Valley

Class 3A Football: Bismarck Century

Class 2A Football: Bismarck St. Mary’s

Class 1A Football: Ellendale/Edgeley/Kulm

9-man Football: Thompson

Class B Boys Golf: Tioga

Class A Boys Golf: Grand Forks Red River

Class B Girls Golf: Fargo Oak Grove

Class A Girls Golf: Bismarck St. Mary’s

Boys Hockey: Grand Forks Central

Girls Hockey: Bismarck Blizzard

Boys Soccer: West Fargo

Girls Soccer: Fargo Davies

Boys Swimming and Diving: Bismarck Century

Girls Swimming and Diving: Bismarck Century

Boys Tennis: Grand Forks Red River

Girls Tennis: Grand Forks Red River

Class A Boys Track and Field: Bismarck Legacy

Class B Boys Track and Field: New Town

Class A Girls Track and Field: Fargo Davies

Class B Girls Track and Field: Hazen

Class A Wrestling (Team Dual): Bismarck

Class B Wrestling (Team Dual): Hettinger

Class A Wrestling (Team Individual): Minot

Class B Wrestling (Team Individual): Lisbon

Gymnastics: Dickinson

Class A Volleyball: Bismarck Century

Class B Volleyball: LaMoure

Debate: Fargo North

Class B Play: Larimore

Class A Play: West Fargo Sheyenne

Class B Speech: Enderlin/Maple Valley

Class A Speech: Valley City

Student Congress: Richardton-Taylor