Veteran Nevis boys look to become contenders in conference, section

With a veteran lineup returning, Scott Kramer is counting on the Nevis boys basketball team to contend for the Northland Conference and Section 5A titles.

Gavin Becker
Gavin Becker returns to lead the Nevis boys basketball team after leading the Tigers in scoring at 23.1 points a game last season.

     With a veteran lineup returning, Scott Kramer is counting on the Nevis boys basketball team to contend for the Northland Conference and Section 5A titles.

     Last season, the Tigers finished fifth in the conference standings with a 6-8 record, earned the No. 3 seed in the north for the section tournament, defeated No. 6 Hill City 70-52 and No. 7 Bertha-Hewitt 65-55 in the section tournament before ending a 14-13 season with an 81-54 loss to No. 1 Browerville in the subsection title game.

     Returning to lead the Tigers this season are seniors Gavin Becker (6-1 guard), Courtland Chase (6-1 forward), Brett Byer (6-1 forward), Victor Mastley (5-10 guard) and Austin Becker (5-9 guard) and sophomore Griffin Chase (6-1 guard).

     Gavin Becker led the Tigers in scoring at 23.1 points a game, broke the school record by scoring 46 points in a game and earned all-conference honors. Becker hit 220 of 432 shots (50.9 percent), including 31 of 94 3-pointers and 130 of 185 free throws (70.3 percent) in scoring 601 points to surpass 1,000 career points. Becker also led the team with 86 assists while tallying 146 rebounds and 36 steals in 26 games.

     Griffin Chase also earned all-conference honors and was second in scoring at 12.8 points a game while leading the Tigers with 53 3-pointers. Chase made 97 of 200 shots (48.5 percent) and 47 of 60 free throws (78.3 percent) while scoring 294 points. Chase also had 71 assists, 61 rebounds and 33 steals in 23 games.


     Courtland Chase was an all-conference honorable mention player who was third on the team in scoring at 8.8 points a game while leading the team with 184 rebounds. Chase played in 27 games and made 53.4 percent of his shots (101 for 189) and 46.7 percent of his free throws (35 for 75). Chase also had 40 steals and 38 assists.

     Byer played in 19 games and made 24 of 62 shots (38.7 percent) and 15 of 25 free throws (60 percent) in scoring 67 points (3.5 per game). Byer also grabbed 57 rebounds.

     In 25 games, Austin Becker scored 73 points (2.9 per game) while shooting 24 percent from the field (23 for 96) and 47.7 percent at the line (21 for 44). Becker also had 69 rebounds, 40 assists and 17 steals.

     DeWulf played in seven games and Mastley played in three games last season.

     Looking to replace last year’s senior crew of Jordan Feder (7.3 points a game, 103 rebounds), Brandon Spain-Brist  (4.1 points a game) and Michael Babler (1.9 points a game) will be senior Kevin Hale (6-5 center), juniors Grant Pappas (5-8 guard) and Clayton DeWulf (6-2 forward), freshman Tom Wormley (6-3 forward) and eighth grader Michael Landquist (5-11 guard). Hale averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for Nashwauk-Keewatin last season.

     Kramer expects another competitive conference with Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, Red Lake and Cass Lake-Bena being the favorites after all three won at least 20 games last season. The Tigers are hoping to contend with those teams and make another strong run in the playoffs.

     “We have a number of returning players with experience. We return our top three scorers from last year and we will have more depth than in the past with a number of young guys competing for playing time,” said Kramer, who will be assisted by Bill Dent and Brian DeWulf. “Last year, we were 0-6 against the top three teams in the conference. Although we were competitive in those games, we were not able to get a win. We also advanced to the subsection finals. We think that we can improve our marks in the conference and section play this season.”

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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