JAMESTOWN -- Mr. Basketball finalist Dakota Halvorson of Minot leads a group of five first-teamers and six second-teamers on the North Dakota Class A all-state basketball team, announced Wednesday night.
Halvorson joins Wahpeton's Blaze Irwin, Bismarck Century's Dalton Feeney, West Fargo's Melvin Collins and Williston's De'Sean Eikens on the first team. Irwin and Halvorson were unanimous selections for all-state, which is selected by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Halvorson, a 5-foot-8 senior point guard, led Minot to its first state championship since 1999. The Class A state tournament MVP averaged 17.1 points, 4.5 assists and 4 rebounds per game this season. He was the West Region senior athlete of the year and is headed to Minot State for basketball.
"He does a little bit of everything," Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. "He's a phenomenal kid. He comes in with the right attitude. He's a kid that people can look at and say, 'He did it the right way.'"
Irwin, a 6-5 senior forward, had per-game averages of 17.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The East Region senior athlete of the year and Minot State commit led the Huskies to the state tournament after they won the East Region during the regular season.
He is Wahpeton's all-time leading scorer.
"When Blaze doesn't have a good day, we probably don't have a good day," Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph said. "People look at Blaze and they think about his scoring, but I think it's the other things he does like rebounding. He's had a big year."
Feeney, a 6-4 junior guard, helped Century earn the No. 1 seed for the West Region tournament, averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. However, he suffered a broken foot right before the regional, but watched the Patriots make a run all the way to the state championship game.
"There were stretches when we would struggle offensively, and he carried us," Century coach Darin Mattern said. "Just his presence on the floor and the leadership and things he does as a player really carries over to the rest of the team. It was very difficult to replace him."
Collins, a 6-4 senior forward, led the Packers to a fifth-place finish at the state tournament. His 18.1 points per game tied for the best in the East Region. He added 8.9 rebounds.
"He (brought) great energy to our team," said West Fargo coach Greg Limke, who resigned after the season. "He really improved his game a lot this year, and he plays with a lot of versatility. He not only reached our expectations for him, he went beyond."
Eikens, a 6-6 forward, led Class A in scoring as a freshman, pouring in 23.1 points per game to go with 9 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He scored at least 20 points in 17 of 22 games, though the Coyotes lost a play-in game to the region tournament.
"It might be a shock to see a freshman get this award, but if you know what basketball means to him, how hard he trains and what he puts into the game, it's no shock at all," Williston coach Mark Slotsve said. "He's so good in transition, just being able to rip down a rebound and beat teams down the floor. He could be one of those special kids we don't see very often around here."
A look at the second team:
-- Kelvin Caga, Fargo Shanley: The 6-foot senior forward tied for third in the East Region in scoring at 17.7 points per game.
-- Riley Henderson, Bismarck Century: The 6-4 senior forward averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He led the West Region in blocks per game at 1.2.
-- Nathan Martin, Turtle Mountain: The 6-3 senior forward was second in the West Region in scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game. He averaged 5.7 rebounds per game.
-- Jacob Mertens, Devils Lake: The 6-2 sophomore guard averaged 14.6 points and was second in Class A in assists per game at 4.9.
-- Eric Ringdahl, West Fargo Sheyenne: The 6-4 junior forward averaged 18.1 points per game, which tied for the top spot in the East Region. He had 7.8 rebounds per game.
-- Noah Wanzek, Jamestown: The 6-4 junior forward averaged 16.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.