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Hettinger-Scranton boys basketball looks to rebuild quickly, contend for top of region

HETTINGER -- The Hettinger-Scranton boys basketball team lost two All-Region 7 performers (Hayden Sadowsky and Brandon Pierce), and four other seniors, from last season's team that went 15-7, so entering the new season, junior point guard Isaiah ...

Hettinger-Scranton junior point guard Isaiah Kludt dribbles the basketball against New England in the Region 7 quarterfinals last season on March 7 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Hettinger-Scranton junior point guard Isaiah Kludt dribbles the basketball against New England in the Region 7 quarterfinals last season on March 7 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

HETTINGER - The Hettinger-Scranton boys basketball team lost two All-Region 7 performers (Hayden Sadowsky and Brandon Pierce), and four other seniors, from last season's team that went 15-7, so entering the new season, junior point guard Isaiah Kludt will become more of the team's focal point.

Other Region 7 teams had better keep up.

Kludt, at 5-foot-6, averaged 12 points and four rebounds per game last season while handing out 59 assists on his way to being named to the All-Region 7 team. He may be the fastest guard in the state, and he will dictate much of what the Night Hawks must do to reach the top of the league.

"Anytime you have a kid that can handle the ball like Isaiah, you're in a good spot," head coach Jeremy Dietchman said.

Dietchman will pair Kludt on the floor with a handful of other guards in the hopes of playing quickly and finding some open shots.

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"(Junior) Jarad Mattis will play a huge role for us. He's very good offensively, and he's probably an underrated defensive player. He's really good at getting into the lane," Dietchman said. "Jaxon Mellmer is a sophomore, and he really made some big strides last year, and we'll look of him to score for us this year, and he'll probably be our best defender. Tate Resner is another junior who can stretch the floor. He's really athletic and will get a lot of buckets in transition."

The team's only senior figures to be Jordan Dilse, who at 6-foot-2 becomes the team's main option in the post.

"He's going to have to play big minutes for us and rebound and defend the basketball," Dietchman said.

Dietchman also spoke highly of junior Carson Schalesky.

"He's very offensively skilled, and defensively, he can change a lot of shots," Dietchman said. "He's very athletic and will play a vital role for us this year."

The Night Hawks were picked by the region's coaches to finish fourth, according to the North Dakota Boys Hoopster preview magazine, and Dietchman figured that was a fair assessment, though he also believes the top of the region should be up for grabs.

"There's a bunch of teams that can compete. Some of the bottom-end teams are going to make a step forward. They didn't lose a whole lot, which is going to bring more parity," Dietchman said. "Like anything in this region, you have to show up every night. There's probably half a dozen teams that can compete for the region title this year."

As long as the Night Hawks are able to rebound the ball, and Kludt helps control the tempo of the game, Hettinger-Scranton should very much be in that conversation.

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Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks

Head coach: Jeremy Dietchman (third season)

2015-16 result: 15-7 overall, lost in Region 7 quarterfinals

Returners: Jordan Dilse, Sr., Isaiah Kludt, Jr., Jarad Mattis, Jr., Tate Resner, Jr., Ethan Dupper, Jr., Jaxon Mellmer, Soph.

Newcomers: Carson Schalesky, Jr., Jacob Dix, Soph., Seth Olson, Sr.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
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