KRAFT: State champion Bishop Ryan leads all-area honors
The Bishop Ryan girls basketball team achieved its ultimate goal of capturing the program’s first state title since 1993, capping off a perfect 27-0 season.
Sophomore forward Hannah Stewart led the Lions in points (21.9), rebounds (10.5), steals (4.7) and blocks (3.2) per game and was named first-team all-state along with the state tournament’s most valuable player.
As the most dominant player on the state’s most dominant team, Stewart was named The Minot Daily News’ all-area player of the year.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore wasn’t the only member of the Stewart family to earn a spot on the all-area team. Ryan coach, and Hannah’s mother, Julie Stewart was named The Minot Daily News’ all-area coach of the year for winning the second state championship in program history.
In two years as head coach, Stewart is 53-2 with two District 12 and Region 6 titles and two state tournament appearances. The Lions finished fifth at state in her first season.
Also representing the Lions on the all-area team are junior guard Anika Rovig and sophomore forward Gabbie Bohl, who were both named second-team all-state. Rovig was the primary ballhandler, leading Ryan with 7.1 assists per game while contributing 11.1 points per contest. One of Rovig’s targets was Bohl, who averaged 14.9 points per game.
Rounding out the all-area first team are Benson County senior forward Sara Schwanke and Turtle Mountain senior forward Whitney Wallette. Schwanke helped lead the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish at state and was named second-team all-state.
Wallette is the only Class A player to make the all-area team, but was a standout athlete in the West Region. The 6-2 senior forward averaged a double-double (19.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg) and was named Class A second-team all-state and was an All-West Region team selection.
Watford City senior guard McKayla Haugeberg highlights the all-area second-team. Haugeberg was a second-team all-state selection and was named Region 8 senior athlete of the year.
In her final season with Velva, senior forward Jaylen Newman led the Aggies in scoring with 15.6 points per game. Velva won the District 11 title and fell one game short of reaching the state tournament. Newman, along with teammate Emma Keller – a third-team all-area selecton – will play for Williston State College in the fall.
TGU junior forward Mattie Schmitt was the third memeber from District 11 to be selected to the all-area team. Schmitt nearly averaged a double-double with 16.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. The 5-11 junior was named to the All-Region 6 and All-District 11 teams.
Des Lacs-Burlington’s Courtney Vogel, Parshall’s Cheyenne Packineau and New Town’s Jaye Two Bears were honorable mentions.
Mike Kraft is a sports reporter for The Minot Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.