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North Star is big favorite heading into District 8 boys tournament

By Staff | Feb 19, 2010

There is no doubt North Star (Cando) is the overwhelming favorite to defend its District 8 boys basketball tournament this week in Langdon.

Consider this:

-The Bearcats have not lost a game this season and have rarely been challenged in any of them.

-They have never trailed heading into the fourth quarter.

-They have four players averaging double figures in points.

-They received a first round bye into the tournament’s semifinal round.

Indeed, it would take a monumental effort for a district foe to knock off the Bearcats this week.

The two teams with the best chance will be No. 2 Rolla-Rock Lake and No. 3 Munich-Starkweather.

The Bulldogs defeated M-S earlier this season and it’s possible those teams will meet in the semifinal round on Feb. 27.

The tournament begins on Friday, Feb. 26 with three first round games. No. 4 St. John faces No. 5 Rolette-Wolford; No. 2 Rolla-RL meets No. 7 Minnewaukan-Leeds; and then No. 3 Munich-Starkweather plays No. 6 and host Langdon. One loser-out and two semifinal games will be played on Feb. 27. Two region qualifying games and the championship will be on March 1.

Rolette-Wolford is seeded fifth

No. 5 seed Rolette-Wolford is an interesting position when it heads to the District 8 Tournament this week in Langdon.

The Comets face No. 4 St. John in an opening round game on Friday, Feb. 26. A win puts them into the semifinals on Feb. 27 against a rested and undefeated North Star (Cando) team, which received a first round bye.

A loss to St. John will place R-W automatically into a region-qualifying game on Monday, March 1 since there is no loser-out game to be played on that side of the bracket. That would provide an extra day of rest.

While the objective is always to win the game, a first round loss isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Win or lose, Comets coach Jesse Vote wants to see a more consistent offensive effort from his team.

R-W has struggled to score points throughout a game since the injury to senior standout Blake Nelson. “We’re getting shots, but they are just not falling,’ Vote said.

R-W and St. John split the two regular season meeting, both winning on their respective home floors.

Rolette-Wolford will need to get perimeter scoring to draw the defense out and give senior post player Nic Pfeifer more room to work inside.

Minnewaukan-Leeds is the No. 7 seed

If Minnewaukan-Leeds is going to advance to its sixth straight Region 4 Tournament, it will have to earn it.

The Lions are seeded seventh in this week’s District 8 Tournament and face No. 2 Rolla-Rock Lake in an opening round game at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

The Lions lost to R-RL in the regular season meeting. The Lions led by three points after one quarter, but then were outscored 54-28 in the final three quarters.

M-L must shoot better from the field and at the free throw line to have a shot at upsetting the Bulldogs and moving on to the semifinals. Junior Matt Swanson has been the Lions best all-around player this season, leading the team in scoring and rebounding, and averaging nearly a double-double in those two categories. However, secondary scoring will be vital for the Lions chances of winning two tournament games.

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