CLASS A NOTEBOOK: Gerding does it all for Magi

With the hands of a guard, bulk of a forward and feet of a budding post, Minot High’s Kyle Gerding has been used in a variety of capacities.

When the 6-foot-2 senior isn’t doling out a West Region-best 5.5 assists a night or ripping down a team-high 6.4 rebounds, he’s scoring in the flow of the Magicians’ offense be it from the perimeter or the block.

Three years into his program, Minot coach Dean Winczewski still can’t pigeonhole Gerding’s role.

“He’s more of a Swiss Army knife,” Winczewski said. “He’s just one of those guys who can do a lot of things well; a glue guy with great vision. He doesn’t get all the media attention but does a lot of the little things.”

In a different system Gerding would find himself a glory-bathed commodity, exceeding his single-digit scoring average to match his lofty assist and rebounding numbers.

Considering the fourth-ranked Magicians’ balance, depth and experience, he’s embraced the do-it-all-but-not-everything approach.

“Whatever I got to do to win, I’ll do it,” Gerding said. “Whatever I do I’ll adapt. If any of the guys are hot, I’ll get them the ball. If I have the open shot I’ll take it.”

While Gerding’s versatility and measurables have never really conveyed his true position, he’s fancied himself a guard most of his career. Last season he found himself playing forward while also bringing the ball up the floor.

And, this season, he’s put his strength and feet – footwork boosted by his time as a varsity tennis player in the fall – to use inside.

“He’s developed a nice little post game,” Winczewski said. “He’s also improved defensively and is always battling.”

Coming from a hoops-centric family, Gerding’s basketball IQ stemmed from watching his father, Patrick Gerding, coach. The elder Gerding formerly ran the Bishop Ryan boys basketball team and is the current Jim Hill eighth-grade boys coach.

When he wasn’t under his father’s tutelage, Gerding would be hanging out around his aunt – Minot State women’s coach Sheila Green Gerding – at her practices.

“Every single (MSU) camp I could get to, I would go,” Gerding said. “I even shot around during (my aunt’s) practices.”

Winczewski believes Gerding’s passion, coupled with his approachable demeanor, have been the biggest boons in his development.

“He’s just a sponge for basketball,” Winczewski said. “He’s very coachable, is a good person and the kids love him. He’s the kind of kid you want in your program.”

Gerding plans to pursue a basketball career beyond high school and will be visiting nearby junior-college programs Williston State and Bismarck State.

But the goal of carving out a spot on a college roster is currently taking a backseat to helping get Minot atop the region in position for a state-title run.

“If we’re clicking on all cylinders, we’re going to be pretty tough to beat,” he said.

Minot travels to fifth-ranked Bismarck Century on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Minot swimming ready for West Region meet, Century

Minot and Century’s impressive boys swimming programs have been far and away the best in the West Region.

So when the two clubs lock up at the West Region meet on Saturday at Magic City Campus, Minot coach Jake Solper is expecting another tough bout with the Patriots.

Both teams have defeated one another throughout regular-season meets, but Minot hopes to down the Class A defending state champion when it counts.

“We’re definitely happy to have (West Region) at home,” Solper said. “(Century) is the team to beat, so it will be nice to have that crowd and noise.”

Minot, which finished third at state a year ago, downed Century in the Minot Invitational in January.

“On paper, Minot and Century will be battling for No. 1,” Solper said. “The rest would be fighting for third, not to say another team couldn’t have a good meet and finish in the top two.”

West Region girls hoops shakes up

Since Jamestown – ranked fourth in the state at the time – fell to Minot back in January, the Blue Jays have had the most successful run in the West Region.

Jamestown (11-4, 9-3) has won its last six games, with wins over top-ranked Bismarck Century on Tuesday night and then-fourth ranked Bismarck High on Feb. 2.

The Blue Jays downed the Patriots 47-46, the same night Mandan upset Bismarck 66-58.

The Majettes (8-8, 8-6), who travel to Century on Friday night, are in fourth place.