When: March 4-7
Where: Bismarck Event Center
(D9) No. 1 Shiloh Christian
(D10) No. 1 Underwood
(D9) No. 2 New Salem-Almont
(D10) No. 2 Wilton-Wing
(D10) No. 3 Max
(D9) No. 3 Flasher
(D9) No. 4 Grant County
(D10) No. 4 Washburn
Who is the favorite?
Playing a tough early-season schedule is going to pay off for Shiloh Christian as I think the Region 5 tournament crown is there if they want it. After starting the 2018-19 season 1-2, the Skyhawks rattled off 17 wins in their next 18 contests. Shiloh Christian had five players that earned District 9 all-tournament team honors and Jaden Mitzel is what makes this team fly. The junior guard is an offensive threat and will usually defend other teams' best player. Mitzel dropped 37 total points in the District 9 tournament. Earlier this season he finished a game with 37 points including 23 points in the third quarter. But what makes this Skyhawks team so strong is anyone can step up on any given night. Senior Canaan Fagerland scored a team-high 21 points in the District 5 championship game and 6-foot-9 senior Macauley Young has been an offensive and defensive threat all season. Young went down with a sprained ankle against New Salem-Almont on Feb. 25 but even when he was sidelined, junior Josh Lardy stepped up and finished with nine points. Young should be good to go for the Region 5 tournament. The Skyhawks, in my opinion, are just too strong. They’ll hit you any way they can. I think this tournament is a one or two team race.
New Salem-Almont: I think the two teams battling it out for a Region 5 title will be Shiloh Christian and NS-A. If that’s the case it’ll be the fourth time the two have played this season. In the first three contests, the Holsteins fell short and lost all three by a combined 56 points. Senior Evan Henke is the top player for Ben Kringstad’s squad and finished with 15 points in the District title game. Junior Tayden Soupir and sophomore Logan Becker can also make plays for the Holsteins. It’s hard to beat a team three times let alone a fourth throughout the course of a season but NS-A is going to have to play lights out for three straight games if they want to punch its ticket to state.
Flasher: Flasher got off to a lightning fast start to the season with five straight wins. The Bulldogs won 10 of their first 11 games but have dropped three contests since Jan. 19 including a 44-33 loss to NS-A in the District 9 opening round. Junior guard Jaron Reis is a solid player for Flasher and he finished with 10 points in the Bulldogs last loss. Brian Nieuwsma gets quality minutes out of seniors Hunter Frederick and Garrett Hatzenbuhler.
Dark Horse Team
Underwood: It’s been an interesting season for the Underwood Comets. Alex Jangula’s crew lost nine of their first 11 games but have turned it around as of late. The Comets have won seven straight and earned the No. 1-seed out of District 10 by taking down Garrison, Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky and Wilton-Wing. Underwood has 10 underclassmen on its roster with Travis Reinbold and Bo Weisenberger as the only seniors.
(D10) No. 1 Underwood over (D9) No. 4 Grant County
(D9) No. 2 New Salem-Almont over (D10) No. 3 Max
(D9) No. 1 Shiloh Christian over (D10) No. 4 Washburn
(D9) No. 3 Flasher over (D10) No. 2 Wilton-Wing
(D9) No. 2 New Salem-Almont over (D10) No. 1 Underwood
(D9) No. 1 Shiloh Christian over (D9) No. 3 Flasher
(D9) No. 1 Shiloh Christian over (D9) No. 2 New Salem-Almont