Reeve, Beuckens share MVP honor as West Central Area hands out team awards

West Central Area boys basketball sets multiple school records during the course of a 15-5 season.

WCA BBall Award Winners.jpg
West Central Area boys basketball award winners are (left to right) Grant Beuckens, co-MVP; Tate Christenson, co-Mr. Hustle; Brady Reeve, co-MVP; Nathaniel Junker, Best Teammate; Ryder Staples, Most Improved; Jacob Strunk, co-Mr. Hustle; and Xander Bontjes, Senior Coaches’ Award. Not pictured is Cole Anderson, Hardest Worker. (Contributed photo)

The West Central Area boys basketball team celebrated a 15-5 season that included a run to the Section 6A-South championship game by handing out its season awards recently.

Point guard Grant Beuckens (14 points-per game, 4 rebounds per game, 3 assists per game, 2 steals per game) and center/forward Brady Reeve (12 PPG) were two of the senior leaders for this group, and they shared co-MVP honors.

Both team captains were all-conference players in the Pheasant Conference. Reeve also earned the team’s Chairman of the Boards (7 rebounds per game) and Free Throw Awards (76%) as the leader in both categories for the Knights.

Fellow senior captain Tate Christenson (8 PPG, 5 RPG, 4 APG, 3 SPG) shared the Mr. Hustle Award with Jacob Strunk. Christenson was also an all-conference player, along with leading the team in assists.

Guard Cole Anderson earned the Hardest Worker Award for the Knights. Ryder Staples (11 PPG, 5 RPG, 3 APG) was named the most-improved player, along with being All-Pheasant Conference, while Xander Bontjes earned the Senior Coaches’ Award.


Senior Nathaniel Junker, who was in many ways the heart of this team in recent years, earned the Best Teammate Award for WCA.

Other letter winners for the Knights were Tyler Biss, Peyton Hanson, Isaac Kreft, Roman Mihailovschi, Damon Sanstead, Cam Anderson, and Nasir Dotts.

The Knights won their second straight Pheasant Conference championship this season by sharing the league title with Hancock. The Owls finished as the Class A state runner-up.

The Knights averaged 61 points per game and held opponents to just 43.5. That opponents-points-per-game number is a school record and was the third fewest points allowed by any team in Class A this winter.

West Central Area allowed teams to shoot just 35.3% from the field, and the Knights also turned the ball over just 9.5 times per game. Both of those are also school records.

“Our outstanding class of seniors in Grant Beuckens, Xander Bontjes, Tate Christenson, Nathaniel Junker and Brady Reeve were great players and great leaders,” head coach Kraig Hunter said. “They’ve had a few pretty successful seasons the past few years. Four winning seasons, a couple of conference titles, and a subsection title.

“They peaked down the stretch of the year and were playing some quality basketball on both ends. Some of the wins were over some high-ranked opponents. They were also a big part of the close team bond this team had. We will miss them dearly as they are such quality people and were so valuable to our program.”


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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