The West Central Area boys basketball team is coming off a winning season that the Knights will try to build on this winter.
West Central Area went 15-10 last year and returns four starters. Gage Staples, Jack Van Kempen, Jacob Bright and Grant Beuckens bring back a bunch of experience to help lead the Knights, while Blake Koloski, Tate Christenson, Brady Reeve and Ryder Staples are also returning letter winners. Xander Bontjes and Braedon Blondeau are a couple newcomers who longtime head coach Kraig Hunter feels could add depth.
“This team plans to compete with the top teams in both the Pheasant Conference and Section 6A," Hunter said. "Keys to a successful season will be to stay healthy throughout the season.”
Hunter sees depth and having versatile athletes as being this team’s strengths. He expects his guys to compete hard and play unselfishly in order to accomplish the goals they have.
Section 6A looks to be an open race again after 11 teams finished with winning records between the North and South subsections a year ago. Henning came out of the section with a championship on their way to winning the Class A state title last winter.
“Brandon-Evansville returns (a lot of experience) and Parkers Prairie and Hancock will also be very strong with several returners,” Hunter said. “Wheaton, Ortonville and Ashby will be led by three of the top players in Matt Thielen (Wheaton), Peter Treinen (Ortonville), and Jaden Norby (Ashby). Battle Lake will also be very good and balanced. Henning, Norman County East, Mahnomen-Waubun and Park Christian should be the favorites in the North half.”
2019-20 WCA BOYS BASKETBALL
SENIORS - Jacob Bright, Gage Staples, Jack Van Kempen, Blake Koloski
JUNIORS - Grant Beuckens, Tate Christenson, Braedon Blondeau, Xander Bontjes, Brady Reeve
SOPHOMORE - Ryder Staples
COACHES - Head coach - Kraig Hunter - 24th season, 321-253; Assistant coaches - Brian Kjesbo, Jon Nelson, Brad Westrom, Devin Nelson
WCA BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 30\u0009vs. LQPV, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 3\u0009\u0009at Ashby, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5\u0009\u0009vs. Battle Lake, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12\u0009vs. Hancock, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13\u0009at Hillcrest Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20\u0009at Osakis, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 27\u0009Pelican Rapids Tournament, TBD
Dec. 28\u0009Pelican Rapids Tournament, TBD
Jan. 2\u0009\u0009vs. Lake Park-Audubon, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 4\u0009\u0009vs. LPGE, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7\u0009\u0009at Hancock, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10\u0009at WHN, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14\u0009vs. Henning, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16\u0009at Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20\u0009vs. Hillcrest Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24\u0009vs. CGB, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28\u0009at Upsala, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1\u0009\u0009vs. Morris Area, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 4\u0009\u0009vs. Parkers Prairie, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7\u0009\u0009vs. WHN, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11\u0009at Norman County East, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13\u0009vs. Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 18\u0009at CGB, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22\u0009at Park Christian at Concordia College, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 27\u0009at Brandon-Evansville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28\u0009vs. Underwood, 7:30 p.m.
March 2\u0009Section playoffs, TBD