The 2019-20 WCA Knights boys’ basketball team celebrated their record-breaking with a virtual awards ceremony on Monday, June 1st. The Knights finished the season with a 27-3 overall record. They won several championships including the Pelican Rapids Holiday Tournament, the Pheasant Conference Championship, and the Section 6A South Sub-Section Championship. They went on to finish as the Section 6 runner-up to the defending state champion Henning Hornets. They broke numerous team school records.
The Knights were very dominant averaging 71 points per game while only giving up 47. Some of the traits that described this team were that they were very versatile as all the players were interchangeable. They were basically position-less as every player could play point guard and every player could play in the post. Secondly, they were an outstanding shooting team. They shot a remarkable 41% from 3-point range as a team with three players shooting close to 50% for the year and five others around or close to 40%. They were also very good defensively holding their opponents to only 37% from the field and only 29% from 3-point range.
Coach Kraig Hunter said, “It was an extremely fun season. They were a dedicated bunch of guys since way back in elementary school. They worked to develop talent but many times talented teams do not win. They won because they took that talent and combined it with a work ethic and an unselfish attitude. They all made sacrifices individually to collectively be very dominant. Our coaching staff was really pleased that no matter how much we kept winning, they did not become complacent and were willing to let the coaches keep pushing them to be better in the minor details of the game.”
Coach Hunter concluded saying, “Our three senior captains, Jacob Bright, Gage Staples and Jack Van Kempen were just outstanding in their character, leadership and work ethic. There is no doubt they will be successful people in life. They have given a lot of themselves to our basketball program and will always be a part of the WCA Basketball family.
Award Winners were as follows:
Jack VanKempen – Co-MVP, Chairman of the Boards, All-Conference (Conference MVP), and Academic All-State
Gage Staples – Co-MVP, Best Defensive Player, All-Conference
Jacob Bright- Most Dedicated Player Award and All-Conference.
Grant Beuckens – Mr Clutch Award and All-Conference
Tate Christenson – Assist Award, Best FT % Award and Honorable Mention All-Conference
Brady Reeve – Most Improved Player
Other Letterwinners were Xander Bontjes, Nathaniel Junker, Ryder Staples, Cole Anderson, Isaac Kreft and Jacob Strunk.