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Tim Chapman / Minot Daily News, Published March 28 2013

Ryan’s Stewart, Central Cass’ Breske highlights Class B first team picks

MINOT, N.D. – It is fitting that undefeated state champion Minot Ryan has the most players on this year’s Class B girls all-state teams as voted by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

It is also fitting that the state tournament’s most valuable player, Ryan sophomore Hannah Stewart, leads three Lions selections with her spot on the first team. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 21.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.7 steals and 3.2 blocks for the 27-0 Lions.

Stewart is joined on the first team by Central Cass senior Hannah Breske, Hillsboro-Central Valley senior Taylor Henningsgard, Lakota-Adams-Edmore sophomore Fallyn Freije and Grant County senior Ashley Bentz.

“I think she’s just gotten mentally tougher,” said Julie Stewart, Ryan’s coach and Hannah’s mother. “She’s played with a lot of confidence this year, and she played with a lot of consistency.”

Stewart recorded game highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds in the 54-50 championship win over Central Cass. She played alongside second-team all-state selections Anika Rovig and Gabbie Bohl.

Breske, the District 2, Region 1 and co-Class B senior athlete of the year, helped the Squirrels to the state championship game for the third time in four years. She was a second-team selection in 2012 and finished her career with 1,546 points, 470 rebounds, 199 assists and 124 blocks. Breske will play for North Dakota State.

“She’s just a phenomenal basketball player and a team leader,” Central Cass coach Ryan Mears said. “Just her love of the game and time she puts in you can really see. She never got rattled, never got too excited, never got too down. She was just always focused.”

Henningsgard, a 5-7 guard, shared the Class B senior athlete of the year honor with Breske and is a first-team pick for the second time. Henningsgard averaged 14.2 points, 6.7 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.7 steals on her way to being named the Region 2 player of the year. She finished with 1,651 career points.

“The strength she has is in her ball handling and her vision and her ability to keep everyone involved,” H-CV coach Rick Sondrol said. “She shoots a high percentage but she doesn’t take a lot of shots. Her passing is phenomenal.”

Freije, who joins Stewart as the only underclassmen voted first team, was also a first-team selection as a freshman. The Raiders’ top threat averaged 16.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks.

“This year, playing with her older sister, they had such a connection those two playing together,” L-A-E coach Jon Berg said. “It’s like they knew what they were going to do. Still having Fallyn coming back and everything she brings to the table is a huge building block there. Everything we do is going to be focusing on her one way or another.”

Senior sister Ashtin Freije was named to the second team.

Bentz rounds out the first team after averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals for the Coyotes, who won Region 5 and took eighth at state. She was a first-team selection in 2012 and second team in 2011.

“Being at the state tournament for the first time this year was really amazing, and to make first team again this year is just kind of icing on the cake,” Bentz said.

Second-team selections:

E Rylee Nudell, Maple Valley: The 5-10 freshman averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists for the Region 1 runner-up. Nudell has already scored more than 1,300 career points.

E Cassie Thompson, Grafton: The 5-10 senior averaged 24.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.8 steals and 3.4 assists. She finished with 1,414 career points and 1,042 rebounds. Thompson will play for Northern State.

E Karleigh Weber, Thompson: The 5-4 junior averaged 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.1 assists and surpassed the 1,000-career points mark.

E Sheridon Dewald, Napoleon: The 5-7 senior averaged 19.5 points and 5.9 rebounds and finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,079 points. The five-year starter is a second-team selection for the third time.

E Kendra Weigel, Napoleon: The 5-6 senior averaged 15.6 points, 4 steals and 3.9 assists for the fourth-place finishers at state. The versatile guard had 1,512 career points.

E Ashtin Freije, Lakota-Adams-Edmore: The 5-8 senior averaged 12.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3.7 steals.

E Hailee Farstveet, Beach: The 5-9 junior averaged 15.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. She is a two-time all-state selection.

E Gabbie Bohl, Minot Ryan: The 6-2 sophomore averaged 14.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 64 percent from the field.

E Anika Rovig, Minot Ryan: The 5-10 junior averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 assists.

E McKayla Haugeberg, Watford City: The 5-7 senior averaged 15.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 5.8 steals. She finished her career with more than 1,000 points.

E Sara Schwanke, Benson County: The 5-6 senior averaged 15.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.7 blocks.