Dickinson State’s Klein, Farstveet earn honors
The women's basketball season officially ended for Dickinson State last week but received some exciting news Tuesday night. Though the Blue Hawks lost in the first round of the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament, some players t...
The women’s basketball season officially ended for Dickinson State last week but received some exciting news Tuesday night.
Though the Blue Hawks lost in the first round of the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament, some players turned heads from around the league.
DSU sophomore center Megan Klein was named conference defensive player of the year and freshman guard Hailee Farstveet picked up second team all-conference honors.
“It’s a really big honor, I wasn’t expecting it and glad Megan got defensive player too,” Farstveet said.
After practically not logging minutes for two years, Klein - who transferred from University of Mary and played five minutes last season - had a rough and rusty start.
But once conference play began, the Killdeer High School graduates’ season turned a corner and Klein started making a name for herself and an argument to become a starter.
In conference play, she finished ranked No. 2 in the NAIA in total rebounds per game with 13.2, just .17 behind nation leader Azia Gibson from Columbia (S.C.). Klein also averaged 11.4 points per game.
“That helped her confidence grow and she just came on like a house on fire,” DSU head coach Mark Graupe said. “To go from not starting and limited minutes to defensive player of the year, I was really hoping she’d get it.”
In DSU’s first conference game of the season against Mayville State, Klein scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Her season-high for rebounds in a game (19) came against Dakota State (S.D.) on Feb. 21.
“Our first game against Mayville I wanted to win that game so bad and I don’t know what sparked me but that got me going and I just tried to keep it rolling throughout the rest of conference play,” Klein said. “I was really focused on rebounding and scoring would come and go … but I really really tried to focus on the rebounding.”
Farstveet had an outstanding senior year at Beach before she came to DSU. She ended as the Region 7 and North Dakota Class B senior athlete of the year. Her transition from high school to college basketball was seamless and played a major role offensively and defensively for the Blue Hawks.
The freshman finished leading her team in scoring (11.6), assists (3.2) and steals (1.4). Twice in the season she scored a career-high 24 points against Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) and in the playoffs against Mayville State. Farstveet was No. 6 in the conference in free throw percentage (69 percent), No. 5 in assists and No. 9 in scoring and steals.
“Our team from the beginning of the year has made ginormous strides, like we got so much better and I wouldn’t be the player I am now if it wasn’t for my teammates,” Farstveet said. “I’m here because of them.”
Farstveet also led DSU in minutes played and averaged 32.9 per game. Graupe confidently said Farstveet was the team’s most important player and the game on the court was night and day with her in it.
“Hailee did all our ball handling,” Graupe said. “Going into the year I didn’t think it’d happen, but as the year progressed I saw Hailee had to have the basketball in her hands. Just the way she handled it, she was breaking presses singlehandedly and so she’s simply the one girl could not take off the floor.”
Though the season just ended for DSU, the team is already thinking about the future. Klein said she is excited for next year to begin and see where the team will be now that they have gained some much needed experience.
“I took two days off and I was back in the gym working out,” Klein said. “It’s up in the air what we’ll come up with next year, but with experience under our belts, and we were very young, I think it’s going to be a whole new thing. I’m totally jacked.”