2017-18 NDHSAA Class A Girls Basketball Preview
December 5, 2017 4:15 pm
By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The 2017-18 North Dakota High School Activities Association Class A girls basketball season kicks into full gear the first week in December.
A year ago upstart Bismarck Legacy defeated Fargo Shanley in the state championship game blocking the Deacons' quest for a fourth straight NDHSAA Class A title. Legacy was playing just its second year of varsity basketball a year ago.
This winter should be just as thrilling as traditional powers look to establish themselves.
The North Dakota Hoopster Magazine’s preseason power poll has Fargo Davies listed as favorites in Class A. Davies is picked to win the East while Bismarck Century is the ND Hoopster preseason favorite to win the West Region.
Davies returns a solid group of players looking to build off a runner up finish in the East Region a year ago. Seniors Grace Geffree (15 points per game), Carly Kottsick (12 ppg) and Raegan Linster (18.0 ppg, 6.5 rebounds per game) headline the Eagles’ strong cast of returners.
Out in the West Region, Bismarck Century will be a force led by 6-3 sophomore Lauren Ware, who averaged a double-double a year ago as a freshman (12.4 ppg, 12.2 rpg). Joining Ware is 5-11 senior Katelyn Selensky (4.0 ppg) and 5-7 junior Lilly Keplin (11.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Put it all together and the Patriots will be a tough squad to beat this winter.
Mandan will also be tough. The Braves won the West Region Tournament a year ago and return first-team all-state 6-0 junior forward Megan Zander (16.2 ppg, 12.7 rpg) and 5-6 junior guard Kennedy Harris (14.6 ppg, 125 assists).
Bismarck St. Mary’s returns 5-6 junior Taylor Gerving (13.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg), 5-8 senior Tonya Dvorak (11.5 ppg, 6 rpg) and 6-0 senior Kaitlyn Wanner (12.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg).
Davies should see plenty of competition in the East this winter. Shanley and Devils Lake will be poised to return to to the state tournament.
Shanley returns a trio of double digit scoring average players in senior Caira Berg (13 ppg, 9 rpg), sophomore Reile Payne (15 ppg, 9 rpg, 4 steals per game), and sophomore Hadley Huber (10 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 spg).
Devils Lake only lost two seniors from last year’s squad that made it to state. This winter, sophomore Jessica Mertens (12.4 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.5 spg) and junior Mattea Vetsch (12.7 ppg, 5 rpg) return to help lead the Firebirds.
The Top 10 returning scorers in Class A are:
Raegan Linster, Fargo Davies (18.0)
Megan Zander, Mandan (16.2)
Reile Payne, Fargo Shanley (15.0)
Grace Geffree, Fargo Davies (15.0)
Kennedy Harris, Mandan (14.6)
Maggie Manson, West Fargo Sheyenne (14.5)
Jaelyn Helstad, Williston (14.0)
Taylor Gerving, Bismarck St. Mary’s (13.5)
Kierra Freih, West Fargo Sheyenne (13.2)
Caira Berg, Fargo Shanley (13.0)
2017-18 NDHSAA Class A Girls Basketball Important Dates:
East Region Tournament: Feb. 27, March 1-3 at Sanford Health Athletic Complex in Fargo
West Region Tournament: March 1-3 at Bismarck Event Center
State Tournament: March 8-10 at Sanford Health Athletic Complex in Fargo