Local programs well represented in All-LEC honors

Ashby boys put four on All-LEC teams, while head coach John Holsten is named coach of the year. Faith Alberts takes home MVP honors on the girls' side, and John Noga named coach of the year.

John Holsten talks with his Ashby boys basketball team during a timeout in Parkers Prairie on March 11, 2021. Holsten, who has 513 career wins now, was named the Little Eight Conference's coach of the year after guiding the Arrows to a 19-1 record overall and 12-0 mark in conference play. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

State tournaments are entering their final stages for boys and girls basketball, but postseason honors are starting to trickle in as well.

Area Class A programs were all over the Little Eight Conference teams this season on both the boys and girls side.

It comes as no surprise that members of the Ashby (19-1) boys team were the catalyst on those postseason honors after an undefeated conference season. The Arrows tied Parkers Prairie for the LEC championship a year ago and then won it outright this winter with a 12-0 record.

Ashby head coach John Holsten, who finished the season with 513 career wins, earned the LEC Coach of the Year Award. The Arrows also had the conference MVP in senior forward Jaden Norby after he averaged 12.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in conference games.


Jaden Norby

Norby was one of four Ashby players who earned a place on All-LEC teams. Junior big man Jacob Cook (16.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.25 steals-per game in LEC play) joined him on the first team, while junior guards Hunter Norby (12.6 PPG) and Torin Olson (13.6 PPG) were selected as second-team members. Others on the first team are Colby Larson of Rothsay, Micah Foss of Hillcrest Lutheran and Krosby Aasness of Underwood.

Parkers Prairie senior Micah Arens and Brandon-Evansville junior Titus Fuller joined Hunter Norby and Olson on the second team. Battle Lake senior Brady Van Erp rounded out that list. Third-team All-LEC players are: Sam Brumfield (Hillcrest), Tyler Bitzan (Brandon-Evansville), Florian Koep (Parkers Prairie), Riley Thoennes (Parkers Prairie) and Tanner Heier (Rothsay).

Alberts named girls’ MVP

Parkers Prairie senior Faith Alberts became the fourth girls player for the Panthers to pass 2,000 career points this season, and she was named the LEC MVP.

Faith Alberts

Her head coach, John Noga, also joined an elite group by winning his 600th career game this season on his way to being named the coach of the year in the conference.

Parkers Prairie and Underwood shared the LEC title with 11-1 records.


The girls’ side of the all-conference team is not broken up into first, second and third-team members. Seniors Megan Blake and Anna Marquart joined Alberts with All-LEC honors, while Brandon-Evansville’s Bailey Schaefer and Mikenna Pattrin earned that honor.

Ashby junior Celi Nelson was also an All-LEC player. Remaining players named all-conference are: Underwood -- Liz Lukken, Moraes Bugbee, Josey Bugbee, Brooke Hovland; Battle Lake -- Grace VanErp, Adysen Tysdal; Hillcrest Lutheran -- Mackenzie Foss, Madison Foss; Rothsay -- Kanadi Carlsrud.

Brandon-Evansville’s Olivia Otto and Ashby’s Cathrine Koefod were local players who were honorable-mention selections. Battle Lake’s Morgan Malone and Hillcrest’s Madison Ballweg rounded out that list.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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