Class-A Boys BB All-State

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JAMESTOWN (AP) -- It's not every season the North Dakota Mr. Basketball award winner isn't the verbally committed NCAA Division I athlete on his team. But that was the reality this winter for Jamestown High School boys basketball coach Jacoby Lloyd and the 27-0 Blue Jays.

Jamestown's Mason Walters -- Mr. Basketball 2019 -- and Boden Skunberg headline this season's crop of Class A boys basketball all-state recipients announced Wednesday, March 20. Both Walters and Skunberg, a junior who says he'll don the green and gold for North Dakota State in 2020-21, join Bismarck Century's Treyton Mattern, West Fargo's Luke Lennon and Fargo Davies' Braeton Motschenbacher on the all-state first team.

The second team consists of Bismarck's Joe Jahner, Mandan's Elijah Klein, Minot's Alex Schimke, West Fargo Sheyenne's Christian Kuntz and Devils Lake's Grant Nelson.

The teams were chosen by members of the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Jamestown rolled to a seventh state championship in boys basketball earlier this month behind the stellar combo of Walters and Skunberg. Both surpassed the school's previous single-season scoring record of 554 points, with Skunberg setting the new mark at 637 to Walters' 571.

Skunberg, a 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 23.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 steals per game, was asked to supply the Blue Jays with scoring. He flourished from all three levels, knocking down 54 3-pointers at a clip of 42 percent, while averaging 8.8 points in the paint.

Skunberg has tallied 1,277 career points -- 68 behind the JHS record -- with a season left to play. He also set the Blue Jays' single-game scoring record this season at 49 points.

"Boden let the game come to him a lot more this year, and he's still getting better," Lloyd said. "His basketball IQ is off the charts. He's a gym rat, and truly had that winner's mentality to do whatever the team needed him to do to make the season as successful as possible."

Walters, a 6-8 senior forward committed to his hometown University of Jamestown Jimmies in 2019-20, shot a blistering 71 percent from inside the 3-point arc. But Walters proved he could knock down the deep shot as well, burying three first-half triples in Jamestown's eight-point victory over Mandan in the West Region tournament championship game March 2.

An all-state second team selection as a junior, Walters produced per-game averages of 21.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 assists. Jamestown's second Mr. Basketball award winner ever wrapped up his prep career scoring 1,187 points, fourth in JHS history.

Jamestown defeated Fargo Davies 66-49 in the Class A state championship game March 9 in Bismarck, becoming just the fourth Class A boys basketball team to win an undefeated state title. Skunberg and Walters are the first Blue Jays to be named to the all-state first team since Mr. Basketball finalist John Ruff in 1991, and are also the 10th teammates since 1977 to receive the honor in the same season.

"We knew we were going to be focusing quite a bit of our offense around Mason," Lloyd said. "He worked really hard last summer, and we didn't get to show off his 3-point shot as much as we would've liked because he was so efficient around the basket. His game is just expanding more and more, and he should have a good career at UJ."

Mattern had quite the career at Bismarck Century. The 6-2 senior guard and Mr. Basketball finalist finished second in all-time scoring for the Patriots with 1,179 points, while also setting the school's single-game scoring record at 40 and overall single-season scoring mark at 642.

In three years on varsity, Mattern helped guide the Patriots to a record of 65-16 and a state tournament championship in 2018. Committed to continue his basketball career at the University of Mary, Mattern's scoring average of 23.78 points this season was tops in the state, and complemented his 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

"In all my years of coaching, I don't think I've had a player have to work as hard as he had to work just to get the ball," said Century coach Darin Mattern, Treyton's father. "He handled that very well, with all the different defenses and things teams tried throughout the season. I think first and foremost he'd credit his teammates with the way they helped him through the course of the season, which gave us an opportunity to have some success."

The Patriots finished the season third at the state tournament at 18-9. Mattern has also been a starter in both football and baseball at Century.

"I was proud of the fact he was a three-sport athlete, something we strongly encourage in our school," coach Mattern said. "Once he dedicates himself fully to basketball itself, I think he has some bright days ahead of him."

Lennon, a Mr. Basketball finalist and all-state second team selection as a junior, helped West Fargo to an overall record of 87-21 during four varsity seasons. A starter since his sophomore campaign, the 6-5 center ranks No. 1 in career rebounds (777) and No. 6 in career points (1,133) for the Packers.

"He's arguably one of the best players to come through here with all his stats," said West Fargo coach Adam Palczewski. "He always wanted to do the dirty work, before he was our main scorer."

Palczewski credits West Fargo assistant coaches Nate Knudsen and Nate Althoff with coaching up Lennon's post game. Lennon, who picked up East Region senior player of the year honors, produced per-game averages of 20.4 points and 9.8 rebounds, while helping the Packers to a 21-6 season and fifth-place finish at the state tournament. Lennon is committed to play football at North Dakota.

"We have some great coaches for our posts, and Luke took what they said to heart," Palczewski said.

Motschenbacher lit things up from the perimeter all season for state runner-up Fargo Davies. The Mr. Basketball finalist and all-state second team selection as a junior pushed 75 3-pointers through the hoop at a torrid pace for the 24-3 Eagles -- the only other team besides Jamestown to have been ranked No. 1 in this season's Class A media poll.

"If you can shoot it, you can shoot it," said Fargo Davies coach Bart Manson. "To make 75 3-pointers and shoot 47 percent on the year? That's just crazy."

The 6-2 senior guard put up 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game for the East Region tournament champion Eagles, to go along with a 51-percent average in total field goal makes. Motschenbacher has yet to announce a college commitment.
"He's got some decisions to make," Manson said. "He wanted to play out the year and see what happens."

All-state second team:
Joe Jahner, 6-1, Sr., G, Bismarck (20.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg; Elijah Klein, 6-7, Jr., F, Mandan (19.8 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg); Alex Schimke, 6-2, Sr., G, Minot (15 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 bpg); Christian Kuntz, 6-1, Sr., G, West Fargo Sheyenne (18.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4 apg, 1.9 spg); Grant Nelson, 6-8, Jr., F, Devils Lake (16.4 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 5 bpg).