Warwick's Melvin Langstaff named ND's Mr. BasketballBISMARCK — Winning a Mr. Basketball award wasn’t on Melvin Langstaff’s radar when he took the floor for Warwick’s season-opening basketball game.
By: Scooter Pursley, The Associated Press
BISMARCK — Winning a Mr. Basketball award wasn’t on Melvin Langstaff’s radar when he took the floor for Warwick’s season-opening basketball game.
“I just wanted to win the region and go to state,” the 5-foot-10 guard said. “I didn’t expect to lose in the (region) semis.”
As it had done a couple of times before, North Star snatched away the high-scoring senior’s last chance to play at the state tournament, leaving Langstaff to settle for a great consolation prize: Mr. Basketball.
Langstaff received eight first-place votes and 57 points to win the award given annually to the state’s top senior, as determined by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
“It’s a great individual award,” Langstaff said. “I never thought I’d get to be a candidate.”
Bismarck post Dexter Werner had seven first-place votes and 53 points to finish second in the voting. Eight players were selected as finalists.
Langstaff certainly had the numbers to back his selection. He averaged 38.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals.
But he had more than that, Warwick coach Kevin Bennefeld said.
“We went into the year knowing we were going to have to find scoring from somewhere,” Bennefeld said. “It became obvious the first game that we were going to let Melvin take charge of the game.”
Langstaff surpassed 50 points several times with a high of 59 points against Solen.
“I had to score because one of our main scorers was out all year,” Langstaff said.
Werner, a 6-5 post crucial to Bismarck’s run to the state Class A tournament, averaged 20.7 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Grand Forks Red River’s Mack Arvidson and Mandan’s Devin Coyle were the other Class A finalists. Arvidson, a 6-2 guard, averaged 19.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and two steals and assists. Coyle, a 5-11 guard, averaged 19.7 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Two of the five Class B finalists played in the state tournament: Tanner Purintun, a 6-2 guard from Linton-HMB, averaged 21.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 4.3 steals; and Daniel Yale, a 6-3 guard-forward from Berthold, averaged 21.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and two blocks.
Other finalists were Justin McCloud, a 6-2 guard from Bottineau, and Mike Paulson, a 6-5 guard from Hatton-Northwood. McCloud averaged 24.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.8 steals and Paulson averaged 23.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals.
Six different players received first-place votes.
Yale earned two first-place votes and 21 points. Paulson had a first-place vote and 18 points, followed by Coyle with a first-place vote and 11 points, Arvidson with 11 points, McCloud with a first-place vote and seven points and Purintun with two points.