When: March 4-7
Where: Devils Lake High School
(D7) No. 1 Four Winds-Minnewaukan
(D8) No. 1 Dunseith
(D7) No. 2 New Rockford-Sheyenne
(D8) No. 2 St. John
(D8) No. 3 Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich
(D7) No. 3 Dakota Prairie
(D7) No. 4 Benson County
(D8) No. 4 Rolla
Who is the favorite?
All three of Four Winds-Minnewaukan’s losses this season have been non-Region 4 defeats. The Indians lost to Hillsboro-Central Valley by one on a last-second 3-pointer by Landen Reed and a 62-61 overtime loss to Shiloh Christian to end the regular season. FW-M has some height on its team with 6-foot-9 sophomore Bronson Walter standing tall in the middle. The Indians also have some of the best guard play in freshman Jayden Yankton and junior Douglas Yankton. The combination of fast play and in your face defense is what gives the Indians the advantage in this region tournament. FW-M will be tested, however, I think they are the favorite to get back to the state with a more experienced crew compared to last year.
Dunseith: There are a number of players that can score for Dunseith. Seniors Michael Two Hearts and Hunter Gladue lead the way as they combined for 45 of the Dragon’s 66 points against Rugby to finish off the regular season. On the flip side, if a team tries to take those two players away junior Treagan Azure will make you pay. Along with Two Hearts, sophomore Julius Grant has the nose for pulling down rebounds. The Dragons suffered losing streaks of three and two games during the year, however, they’ve won eight of their last 10 contests. If this team can stay focused, they’ll have any chance to win a game or more this week.
New Rockford-Sheyenne: The Rockets had a shot at taking down FW-M in the District 7 championship game but came up short, 54-49. Two of New Rockford-Sheyenne’s losses have come to the Indians by a combined 16 points. Seniors Tucker Longnecker and Teddy Allmaras will need to hit some 3-pointers in this tournament for NR-S to advance. The Rockets are undersized but 6-foot-1 junior Hunter Thompson can break anyone down in the post. After finishing 13-10 last season, NR-S is feeling confident heading into this week and definitely can make some noise.
Dark Horse Team
Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich: With the heartbreak of last year’s Region 4 championship loss on their mind, a team I wouldn’t want to face in the first round is Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich. Yes, this team lost some pieces from their 20-win season last year but at certain points of the year, the Cardinals have looked solid. L-E-M had chances to beat FW-M and St. John but couldn’t finish the job. I know the Cardinals were blown out by Thompson (71-43), Dakota Prairie (72-45) and NR-S (68-51) but don’t sleep on this team with a loaded upperclassmen roster.
(D8) No. 1 Dunseith over (D7) No. 4 Benson County
(D7) No. 2 New Rockford-Sheyenne over (D8) No. 3 Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich
(D7) No. 1 Four Winds-Minnewaukan over (D8) No. 4 Rolla
(D7) No. 3 Dakota Prairie over (D8) No. 2 St. John
(D7) No. 2 New Rockford-Sheyenne over (D8) No. 1 Dunseith
(D7) No. 1 Four Winds-Minnewaukan over (D7) No. 3 Dakota Prairie
(D7) No. 2 New Rockford-Sheyenne over (D7) No. 1 Four Winds-Minnewaukan