Hettinger-Scranton look to climb the standings with a new head coach
Last year’s 10th place team in Region 7 provided the only upset in the regional tournament.
The lone upset in the 2021 Region 7 tournament came in the Hettinger-Scranton vs Mott-Regent matchup in the first round of the tournament.
No. 10 seeded Hettinger-Scranton defeated the No. 7 seed Wildfire in the play-in game 72-71 victory to advance to the tournament held at Trinity High School. That’s as far as they would go as they fell to the No. 2 team in the region 63-34, unable to complete one more comeback.
Fast forward to this season, the Night Hawks will have a new coach on the sidelines in Jeremy Fordahl. His job will be to get Hettinger-Scranton into that next tier of the standings - full of teams looking to host a play-in game for the region tournament - going to teams 5-8.
The biggest loss they’ll have to deal with is graduating senior Jeran Anderson, who shouldered the load offensively most nights. Of the 34 points in their final game last year, the former All-Region guard had 25.
The Night Hawks are hoping their five returning seniors will provide depth, experience and production to a lineup in need of some, but they may look further down the class list to find their best player.
Sophomore guard Maddox Pierce could be the x-factor for this team, having varsity experience with Hettinger-Scranton since his eighth grade season. Now as a sophomore and with an All-Region guard out of the mix, it could be his time to shine.
Among the seniors are Bradee Clapper, Ryder Sanford, Brian Bartholmy, Hayden Erickson and Kyler Curtis. Four juniors are also back, providing a solid foundation for Fordahl to build on as he begins to implement his style of play.
In total, eight varsity players from a year ago return, looking to make some noise in a tight region.
Region 7, like most years, projects to be a deep and competitive region throughout the season. The Night Hawks will be no exception, presenting a tough challenge, either vying for a 5-8 seed or as a spoiler to one of the contenders as the season progresses.
Like many other teams in the region, they’ll get a good look at their conference foes in the annual Roughrider tournament, held at Trinity high school. Their first game won’t be easy - taking on Bowman County in the opening round on Dec. 14 - but the tournament will provide an early barometer to see how they stack up in the region.