Class B boys basketball: District 5 tournament tips off todayIt was predicted that Valley City held the tools to shake up District 5 boys’ basketball right out of the gate in its first year competing in Class B, and those predictions rang true. The Hi-Liner’s rolled up a successful 14-5 record over the course of the regular season and enter today’s District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament as the No. 1 seed with a district mark of 6-1.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
It was predicted that Valley City held the tools to shake up District 5 boys’ basketball right out of the gate in its first year competing in Class B, and those predictions rang true.
The Hi-Liner’s rolled up a successful 14-5 record over the course of the regular season and enter today’s District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament as the No. 1 seed with a district mark of 6-1.
The tournament kicks off today at 3 p.m. inside the Jamestown Civic Center.
“This was our goal at the start of the year. We wanted to win the regular season and come in as the No. 1 seed,” Valley City coach Scott Hurlimann said. “This is the first time our guys have ever played in the district tournament and we’re excited to get going.”
The Hi-Liner’s will face Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal in the first quarterfinal game of the afternoon. The Rebels come into the tournament seeded eighth, but they will have one advantage over the Hi-Liner’s heading into the contest.
“None of my kids have ever played in the Civic Center, which could put as at a bit of a disadvantage to teams who’ve played there for the Stutsman County Tournament,” Hurlimann said. “We’ll need to get used to the floor and the whole atmosphere. Hopefully we’ll be able to play a lot of games there in the next two weeks.”
The coach said size and speed could help Valley City compensate for the lack of court time in Jamestown.
“We want to push the tempo a little bit and take advantage of our size,” Hurlimann said. “We’ve got some depth and should be able to wear them down a little.”
Weapons the Hi-Liner’s possess are 6-foot-4 senior Derek Burchill and 6-4 junior Matt Jorissen. Burchill is a former all-EDC selection, after averaging 14.9 points and 9.3 rebounds at the Class A level last season.
“They’re both solid post players for us. Jorissen is averaging a double-double and has been playing well for us with his rebounding and scoring,” Hurlimann said. “We’ve also got a lot of good shooters that have split time throughout the season that can step up and fill spots if some guys aren’t hitting.”
The only District 5 team Valley City lost to during the regular season was Central Prairie. The Firebirds took down the Hi-Liner’s 62-45 in Valley City back on Jan. 18.
Central Prairie enters the postseason with a 15-4 overall record, but district losses to Litchville-Marion-Montpelier, Edgeley-Kulm and LaMoure have the Firebirds seeded fifth.
“They were aggressive and took it to us,” Hurlimann said, of the Firebirds’ win over Valley City. “They had just beat Carrington to win the Stutsman County (Tournament) and were playing good basketball.”
Valley City could meet up with Central Prairie again in Saturday’s semifinals, if the Hi-Liners and the Firebirds both notch wins today. Central Prairie faces LaMoure at 4:45 p.m. and will try to avenge a 44-41 loss to the Loboes that occurred back on Jan. 7 in LaMoure.
“LaMoure and Central Prairie will be a heck of a battle,” Hurlimann said. “To play either one of those two teams in the second round is a tough draw for being the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.”
The rest of the afternoon pits Ellendale against Edgeley-Kulm and L-M-M against Barnes County North.
“We want to get off to a good start on opening night and hopefully that momentum will carry over into Saturday,” Hurlimann said.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com