Four Mr. Basketball finalists lead the way for the North Dakota Class A all-state boys basketball team.
The 2019-20 all-state team, selected by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, boasts an explosive lineup. Three players on the first team averaged more than 20 points per game, four averaged at least 19, and three averaged a double double.
Boden Skunberg of Jamestown, Grant Nelson of Devils Lake, Elijah Klein of Mandan and Jaxon Gunville of Minot -- all first-team selections -- are among the seven finalists for the Mr. Basketball award, which is given each year to the top senior player in the state. That quartet, along with Jaden Mitzel of Shiloh Christian, Carson Henningsgard of Hillsboro-Central Valley and Cole Myers of Richland, are candidates for the Mr. Basketball award, which will be announced on Friday night.
Both Nelson and Skunberg will play basketball at North Dakota State while Klein is a North Dakota football recruit.
Nelson and Skunberg were unanimous first-team selections. Klein, Gunville and Cameron Van Dam of Fargo Davies make up the first team. All five first-team selections were seniors.
It’s the second consecutive first-team all-state designation for Skunberg -- a 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 28.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 assist and 1.6 steals per game in leading the Blue Jays to a West Region regular season title, a 21-4 record, a second-place finish in the West Region tournament. Jamestown advanced to the semifinals of the state Class A tournament with Skunberg sidelined due to a late-season injury.
Nelson, a 6-9 forward, was named to the second-team all-state team as a junior. This year, he averaged 24.6 points, 18.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 5.7 blocks in leading Devils Lake to a berth in the state tournament. The Firebirds (14-12) lost to Devils Lake in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
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Klein is the third repeat all-state selection. The 6-8 forward was named to the second team as a junior. He averaged 19.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game in helping the Braves to a 16-10 mark and a berth in the state tournament, where they fell to Fargo Davies in the quarterfinals.
Gunville, a 6-1 guard, averaged 25.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game for Minot (16-7).
Van Dam, a 6-7 forward, averaged 14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.7 blocks per game for the Eagles (23-2), who won the East Region regular season title, finished second in the East Region tournament and advanced to the semifinals of the state Class A tournament.
Named to the all-state second team were: Cade Feeney of Century, Kobe Krenz and Jaiden Wright of Dickinson, Cayden Rickard of Fargo North and Blake Berg of West Fargo Sheyenne.
Feeney, a 6-0 senior guard, contributed 21.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game for the Patriots.
Krenz, a 5-11 senior guard, averaged 23.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game while Wright, a 6-3 senior guard, contributed 18.8 points, 6.4 rebound, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game for the Midgets (15-11) who earned a trip to the state Class A tournament.
Rickard, a 6-1 senior guard, averaged 21.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals for the Spartans.
Berg, a 6-4 senior guard, averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.3 steals for the Mustangs.
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