Area standouts prepare for Lions All-Star series

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Former area high school basketball standouts McKenzie Johnson, left, and Amanda Allen, right, compete during the Stutsman County girls basketball tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Dec. 8, 2018. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Former Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball standout Amanda Allen has a pretty good understanding of what awaits Class B next week during the annual Lions All-Star basketball series.

Allen was Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teammates with Class A stars Lilly Keplin of Bismarck Century and Gabby Jung of Dickinson last summer in Bismarck. Both Keplin and Jung are committed to NCAA Division I programs and both will be suiting up to face Class B starting next Monday, July 15, at Bismarck Legacy High School.

Keplin is heading to the University of North Dakota next winter, where she'll join West Fargo Sheyenne's Maggie Manson who's also on the Class A roster, while Jung will be making her way to Eastern Washington University.

"I hope I don't have to guard either of them," laughed Allen, who is currently in the thick of summer workouts with her new team: University of Jamestown women's basketball. "They're some awesome players, so they're going to definitely do well. But it should be really fun however it turns out."

The 2019 Lions All-Star basketball series, which will bring together the state's best graduated high school seniors, moves to West Fargo High School on Tuesday, July 16. The girls play at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow at 8 p.m. both nights.


The Class B girls owned the games last summer. The small-town girls swept the big-city gals 72-70 and 78-73, narrowing Class A's all-time advantage in the series to 44-32.

Allen is one of three Region 3 girls to have made the 12-player roster along with Carrington's McKenzie Johnson and Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier's Katie Entzi, who won't be playing due to injury. Kidder County's Jaslyn Magstadt is listed as one of four alternates.

Allen was selected Region 3 senior athlete of the year after posting per-game averages of 15 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals for the Thunder, and also surpassed 1,000 career points in her final two games. She helped M-B-P win 37 contests over her final two seasons, which included a region tournament championship and a third-place state tournament finish in 2018.

Allen is planning to major in biology at UJ. Along with Keplin, Jung and Manson, Allen will also be going up against future Jimmie teammate Jayln Helstad of Williston.

The Lions All-Star teams begin practice Friday in Bismarck.

"I think that it's going to be really awesome," Allen said of the all-star series. "Playing with new girls, and girls who have the same passion as you do that have worked hard to get to the same all-star game, that's always so much fun because you know they're going to put their whole heart out there."

Johnson is also looking forward to getting back out on the court with some familiar faces. The Carrington sharpshooter buried 66 3-pointers in 161 attempts (40%) last winter, helping the Cards place third in the region tourney at 19-4 overall.

Johnson averaged 14.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 1.5 assists per contest during her senior campaign.


"Try to do our best and we'll see how it goes," Johnson said. "I'm just thinking of having a good experience with new people and seeing the best (players) from all over the state -- and having some fun playing basketball."

Johnson will be continuing her basketball career this winter at Bismarck State College, where she'll be majoring in elementary education.

"My grandma's a teacher and I just like kids," Johnson explained. "So I thought that'd be a good job."

Entzi, a former all-state honoree, is roughly a month away from being given the green light to resume full basketball activities. Edgeley's career leader in scoring (1,590) and rebounding (885) missed all of 2018-19 after tearing her left ACL during the high school volleyball season last fall.

Entzi said physicians monitoring her rehabilitation and return to performance have instructed her to continue to go slow until at least August. Entzi's injury occurred Sept. 29, 2018, and her surgery was performed Nov. 2.

"They are pushing for the nine months (of rehab) because then your chance of re-tearing (the ligament) or anything like that decreases a lot more," Entzi explained. "The rehabilitation has been going pretty good. They're really impressed with how I've been doing.

"I'm able to shoot around," she added. "It's just the pivoting and starting, stopping. Lateral movements like that."

Entzi will be playing women's basketball at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., beginning this winter. The Edgeley standout, who plans on majoring in either biology or exercise science, attended an NSU team camp last month.


"I got to meet everyone and talk to the coaches," Entzi said. "It was a good time."



Maggie Manson, West Fargo Sheyenne; Yasmina Dokara, West Fargo Sheyenne; Mattea Vetsch, Devils Lake; Taylor Windjue, Devils Lake; Lindsey Peterson, Watford City; Taryn Dieterle, Valley City; Kennedy Harris, Mandan; Jayln Helstad, Williston; Alyssa Paper, Fargo Davies; Megan Zander, Mandan; Gabby Jung, Dickinson; Lilly Keplin, Bismarck Century.

(Alternate: Jadyn Sondrol, Grand Forks Red River).

Head coach: Ron Metz, Bismarck Century. Assistant coach: Jim Petrick, Bismarck Legacy.


Amanda Allen, Medina-Pingree-Buchanan; Erin Walcker, Beulah; Madison Leaf, Warwick; Lauryn Heide, Divide County; McKenzie Johnson, Carrington; Amanda Roller, Fargo Oak Grove; Karsyn Hager, Rugby; LaTosha Thunderhawk, Solen; Jasmine Lohnes, Four Winds-Minnewaukan; Anni Sier, Rugby; Katie Entzi, Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier; Meredith Dumas, Grafton.


(Alternates: Jaslyn Magstadt, Kidder County; Caitlyn Davie, Dunseith; Maria Blessum, Rugby; Ellie Stafford, Bowman County).

Head coach: Jen Brossart, Rugby. Assistant coach: Jason Brend, Thompson.


Christian Kuntz, West Fargo Sheyenne; Kiir Mabor, Fargo South; Braeton Motschenbacher, Fargo Davies; Jared Kallenbach, Jamestown; Treyton Mattern, Bismarck Century; Chris Demuth, Grand Forks Central; Leif Nelson, Devils Lake; Joe Jahner, Bismarck; Julien Parisien, Turtle Mountain; Mason Walters, Jamestown; Ben Schmidt, Bismarck St. Mary’s; Luke Lennon, West Fargo.

(Alternates: Trey Wiest, Mandan; Brock Haugeberg, Watford City; Josh Darwin, Wahpeton; Braxton Bruer, West Fargo; Mitch Larson, Fargo Davies.)"I got to meet everyone and talk to the coaches," Entzi said. "It was a good time."Head coach: Jacoby Lloyd, Jamestown. Assistant coach: Darin Mattern, Bismarck Century.


Cadyn Schwabe, Thompson; Luke Tupa, Larimore; Mason Hedberg, Minot Ryan; Ben Bohl, Minot Ryan; Seth Hetzel, Stanley; Isaac Undlin, MLS-Mohall; Austin Molan, Ellendale; Michael Two Hearts, Dunsetih; Cody Perkins, Mott-Regent; Dalton Albrecht, Grafton; Hayden Overby, Thompson; Macauley Young, Shiloh Christian.

(Alternates: Beau Feltman, Grafton; Jamison Kramer, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion; Trapper Jacobs, Turtle Lake-Mercer; Chad Morsette, Beulah; Jesse Chase, Mandaree).


Head coach: Brandy George, Thompson. Assistant coach: Brad Miller, Shiloh Christian.

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Former Medina-Pingree-Buchanan standout Amanda Allen (2) goes to the basket against a trio of Carrington players during the Region 3 girls basketball tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Feb. 18, 2019. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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