When: March 4-7
Where: New Town Event Center
(D16) No. 1 Powers Lake (17-5)
(D15) No. 1 Mandaree (16-6)
(D16) No. 2 Ray (18-3)
(D15) No. 2 Parshall (9-12)
(D15) No. 3 White Shield (16-5)
(D16) No. 3 Stanley (15-7)
(D15) No. 4 New Town (12-9)
(D16) No. 4 Kenmare (7-15)
Who is the favorite?
I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how Mandaree is the team to beat in Region 8, however, I disagree. The favorite in this tournament is Powers Lake. What makes the Ranchers so tough is there inside and outside game. Senior Kyle VanBerkom is one of the more talented players in Class B and gets his teammates involved on offense. The Ranchers are also one of the more physical teams in Region 8 and I think they’ll be able to bully some of their opponents around. Many people had Powers Lake crossed out through the first part of the season after they sat at 4-5 a week into January. But now Jordan Carlson’s squad has won 13 straight and should be heading to the state tournament for the first time since 1939.
Mandaree: Another team that started hot and finished the year even stronger is Mandaree. The Warriors won six of their first seven games and ended the regular season with three straight wins. Paced by seniors Ashton Grady and Jesse Chase, Mandaree has a solid chance at getting to the Region 8 championship game. Other than those two players, the Warriors don’t get a ton of offensive production out of anyone else, however, when Grady and Chase play off each other, the Warriors are tough to beat.
Ray: Take out the loss to a Montana team and Ray’s other two losses came after failing to Powers Lake. The Jays ended the regular season winning 11 consecutive games where they outscored their opponents by 24.5 points. Interesting enough Ray is undefeated on the road so playing away from home could benefit this team the most. But will a weak schedule halt them from making a deep tournament run?
Dark Horse Team
White Shield: White Shield has one of the toughest quarterfinal matchups out of any team in the eight region tournaments. The Warriors have an athletic starting lineup, however, there are only eight players on the roster. At the end of the day, depth hasn’t bothered them a ton as they finished the regular season 14-4 with two losses over Montana teams. Staying out of foul trouble will be huge if the Warriors want a chance to play for a spot in the state tournament.
(D16) No. 1 Powers Lake over (D15) No. 4 New Town
(D16) No. 3 Stanley over (D15) No. 2 Parshall
(D15) No. 1 Mandaree over (D16) No. 4 Kenmare
(D16) No. 2 Ray over (D15) No. 3 White Shield
(D16) No. 1 Powers Lake over (D16) No. 3 Stanley
(D15) No. 1 Mandaree over (D16) No. 2 Ray
(D16) No. 1 Powers Lake over (D15) No. 1 Mandaree