It's back to the drawing board for the Watford City boys basketball program.

Watford City graduated four starters from a solid 2010-11 team that advanced to the District 15 and Region 8 championship games.

The Wolves will rebuild around 6-foot-5 senior post player Shawn Fulwider and

6-3 Tyler Bates. Fulwider, the lone returning starter, averaged

12 points and

8 rebounds per game last season. Bates tossed in 4 points and collected 2 rebounds a contest off the bench.

Despite the heavy graduation losses, Watford City coach Randy Cranston believes the Wolves will be a contender by tournament time.

"We have good size and strength," he said. "We should be able to compete with teams in our region."

Defending District 15 and Region 8 champion New Town is considered the favorite despite graduating a pair of 1,000-point career scorers - Mike Young Bird and Alex Baker. Preston Smith, who averaged

13.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.9 blocks per game last season, is the top returner.

In District 7, Harvey-Wells County has a new coach in Jon Bertsch, but he isn't new to the profession. Bertsch has 274 victories, with most of them coming while he was coaching Wells County.

Bertsch has two returning starters from last season's 18-5 team - 6-5 Tucker Nordby and 5-11 Riley Hovland. Koby Houchin and Randy Marchus were among the top reserves.

Carrington said goodbye to the last remaining pieces of its 2010 Class B state title team - Chase Monson and Easton Page, who graduated, and veteran head coach Nate Monson, who retired at the end of last season.

The Cardinals return four players who were full-time or part-time starters in 2010-11. They include seniors Levi Hagen and Scott Engelhorn.

Mason Haley

(17.2 ppg, 3 rpg,

41 steals, 53 assists) is the top returning player for New Rockford-Sheyenne. Jacob Lommen (5.3 ppg) and Cobey Allmaras

(4.2 ppg) also started for the Rockets, who were 16-6 last season.

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