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Mr. Basketball finalists tabbed

Five finalists have been selected for the annual Mr. Basketball award, presented to the state’s top senior by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Tanner Kretchman of Fargo Davies, Briton Bussman of Milnor, Tanner Holte of Des Lacs-Burlington, Tyler Rudolph of Bismarck Century and Ben Weisbeck of Bismarck St. Mary’s have been selected as this year’s finalists. The winner will be named at the conclusion of the Class A state tournament on Saturday night at the Minot State Dome.

Bussman, the Class B senior athlete of the year, averaged 28.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists while shooting 62 percent, also making 44 3-pointers. The 6-foot-3 guard was named second-team all-state as junior after leading the Bison to a state championship.

Kretchman, the East Region senior athlete of the year, led the conference in scoring (29.2) and 3-pointers (56), while tying for second in assists (5) and shooting 51.9 percent. The 5-9 point guard was a first-team all-state selection his junior season and recently helped the Eagles claim the East Region tournament championship and a No. 1 seed at state.

Holte, a 6-4 forward, was first-team all-state as a junior after earning second-team honors as a sophomore. This season, he was named Region 6 senior athlete of the year, averaging 21.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in leading the Lakers to the region championship game.

Rudolph, a 6-6 forward, led the one-loss Patriots to a West Region tournament championship, averaging 17.9 points and leading the conference in rebounding (9.3). He was second-team all-state as a junior.

Weisbeck, a 6-1 guard, was second in the conference in scoring at 21.4 points per game, as the Saints punched their ticket to the state tournament. As a junior, he was named to the all-state second team.

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