Basketball players

Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota Area Top 10 Basketball Players To Watch

The Herald has selected 10 players from our coverage area to watch in North Dakota high school basketball this season.

Hatton-Northwood’s Kelby Azure throws a shot as Cavalier’s Colby Thorlakson defends in the Region 2 Boys Class B semi-final match on Tuesday at the Betty Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

Kelby Azure, Hatton-Northwood: The North Dakota state football engagement does so on hardwood as well. The 6-foot-4 post was picked as a pick for all of Region 2 last year after averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

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Dane Hagler, North Star.

Dane Hagler, North Star: As a 6-foot-4 sophomore last year, Hagler averaged 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. He added 78 assists and 72 steals while making 33 long-range shots.

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Second-year Roughriders goaltender Zachary Kraft fell three points late in the second half of Thursday’s home basketball game against the Wahpeton Huskies. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Zach Kraft, GF Rivière Rouge: The 6-footer point guard scored more than 3 points than anyone else in the East Dakota Conference with 3.62 marks per game. He averaged 15.1 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

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Rolla’s Mitchell Leas goes to the basket against Rolette.

Mitchell Leas, Rolla: The 5-foot-11 goaltender has already surpassed 1,000 career points at the start of his junior season. A year ago, he was averaging 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.2 steals per game.

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Gannon Limke, Hillsboro-Central Valley.

Gannon Limke, Hillsboro-Central Valley: The 6-foot-6 forward was a Region 2 selection last season after averaging 15.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He shot 49.7 percent from the field.

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Grand Forks Central’s Mason Gravseth shoots the ball off a rebound past Thompson forward Kyle Odenbach (24) in the first half of Saturday’s basketball game at Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Kyle Odenbach, Thompson: The 6-foot-3 senior was a Region 2 choice last year after averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds. Odenbach, who played in a 31-point game against Grand Forks Central Class A last year, shot 44 percent from the field.

Paine Parks, GF Rivière Rouge: The statewide soccer player and UND’s involvement in soccer is also one of the state’s top basketball players. A year ago, the 6-foot-2 goaltender was an East Dakota Conference pick after averaging 17.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

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North Border’s Ayden Stainbrook blocks a shot from Drayton-Valley-Edinburg’s Caleb Kartes in the first round of the Region 2 Class B boys tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Monday. Photo by Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

Ayden Stainbrook, northern border: The short, 6-foot-3 forward led North Border to 18-3 last year. The overall pick of Region 2 averaged 15.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

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Cade Stein, Dakota Prairie.

Cade Stein, Dakota Prairie: The entire Region 4 pick last season averaged 21.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game. He made 65 3 points and scored at least 34 points in three games, including two games with 8 threes.

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Jayden Yankton, Four Winds-Minnewaukan.

Jayden Yankton, Four Winds-Minnewaukan: The overall pick of Region 4 averaged 15.7 points per game while shooting 50% from the field. He had 54 3-pointers with 36% shooting while adding 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals.