Eye on Southwest N.D. Sports

I apologize for not having a column in last week’s paper as I got caught up in the Region 7 boys basketball tourney and totally spaced it out.

Sheldon Christenson
Sheldon Christenson


I apologize for not having a column in last week’s paper as I got caught up in the Region 7 boys basketball tourney and totally spaced it out. Speaking of the Region 7 tournament, it was quite a heart throbbing tourney.

Congrats to the New England Tigers and their five seniors as they advanced to the State tourney in Bismarck, March 19-21. They face LaMoure-LM (18-7) in the final game of the first night. The Tigers’ 6’8” transfer from Texas fit in nice with the five returning seniors. It was nice to have a team other than Trinity or Beulah represent Region 7.

Brandon Pierce put on quite a show for the Nighthawks in the 3rd/4th place game. With Hayden Sadowsky being constantly hounded and consistently being hand checked by Heart River de-fenders, Pierce took over and scored 31 points, snared nine rebounds and blocked two shots as they pulled out a 68-67 win. Sadowsky was held to eight points.

I’m in a conundrum on how the “Coach of the Year” is selected. Nothing against head coach Luke Powers of New England who was selected Region 7 coach of the year, but he had five re-turning seniors with extensive playing experience and three of them starters on a team with a 19-4 record last season. Plus he had two good players transfer in, one 6’8” and the other 6’6”. Coach Jeremy Dietchman of the Nighthawks inherited a young team with only two seniors, one who was out all last season with an injury and the other who was not a starter. Plus they lost a 6’6” starter who transferred out and Nevan Weaver, a sophomore, who was out this season due to a knee injury. He had earned a starting forward position late in the season last year. Last season’s team finished 11-12. This year they go 20-4, rated No. 8 in the last Class B poll and finished third in the Region 7 tourney.

Another good example is Julie Stewart of Minot Ryan who was named coach of the year in Class B girls basketball. They had won the last two Class B state titles and returned the three main players in the twin towers and an all state point guard. Was there anyone who did not think they would repeat as state champs? They had lost only one game in the last three seasons. And how is it that Brandon Pierce did not make the All-Region 7 team? For the Region 7 tour-ney he averaged 23.3 points per game (PPG) and 7.6 rebounds per game (RPG). For the season he averaged 14.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG. Sadowsky was the only Nighthawk who made the 15 play-er team.

Congratulations to former Hettinger-Scranton wrestler and two time ND state champ Sean Elkins as he placed third in the 2015 NAIA National Championship. He pinned his first two op-ponents and managed a 6-5 decision in his third match to get into the semi-finals. He was pinned in the semi’s but finished strong with two more pins for third place.

As a surprise to probably no one, Minot Ryan won their third consecutive Class B state champi-onship with a 68-52 victory over Kindred at the Minot State Dome. Ryan (26-1) joins Bottineau as the only programs to win three straight. The twin towers of Hannah Stewart, who was named Class B senior athlete of the year, and Gabbie Bohl were just too much for Class B teams. But I was really impressed with their point guard, Madison Wahl. She can definitely play college ball for someone. Stewart is headed for Iowa and Bohl to the Mary College in Bis-marck. But I don’t see them repeating as state champs next year as those three and Kelly Kasper are all seniors.

First high school baseball practice is scheduled for March 16. First scheduled game is set for Apr. 6, vs Hazen at Hettinger. Let’s hope the weather man cooperates and brings us some good weather. I was told that there are 19 players signed up. Blake Honeyman is the coach.

Hettinger-Scranton’s sports schedule for the coming week is as follows: March 23: 1st Golf Practice See you at the games.