Seth Nelson’s 1,275 career points scored for Carrington boys basketball is 67 more than produced by Devin Barton and 167 more than put up by the legendary Jim Kleinsasser.
Pretty incredible company to surpass, considering Barton (2010) and Kleinsasser (1995) led Carrington High School to its pair of Class B boys basketball state championships. The latter played 13 seasons in the National Football League.
“To even be compared to somebody as good as he was is pretty crazy,” Nelson said. “Even to get to 1,000 points in Carrington High School is pretty rare as well, so it’s pretty cool to be recognized in some of those ways.”
Nelson became just the second Carrington Cardinal to be named to the all-state first team in boys basketball Thursday, joining former teammate and Carrington career-scoring leader Garrett Bickett (1,475 points). The 6-foot-4 senior forward joins Hillsboro-Central Valley’s Carson Henningsgard, Shiloh Christian’s Jaden Mitzel, Richland’s Cole Myers and Rugby’s Jaden Hamilton on the first team.
Henningsgard, who averaged 22.2 points, 6.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 3 steals per game for the Burros, was unanimously selected by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He and Myers were named to the first team for a second consecutive season.
Nelson erupted onto the scene as a sophomore, dunking his way with senior Bickett and the Cardinals to 23 victories and a Region 3 tournament title in 2017-18. He’s the seventh Carrington Cardinal to have topped 1,000 career points -- Josh Albrecht (1,303) is the other to have more -- and also hauled in 667 career rebounds.
An all-state athlete in both football and basketball, as well as a formidable power hitter in the Cardinals’ baseball batting order, Nelson took to sports like a duck to water. Carrington’s former football starting quarterback and defense back was named to the 2020 11-man East Shrine Bowl Roster on Wednesday.
“From the minute I could walk, I always had a ball in my hand of some sort,” said Nelson. “Growing up in my family sports was just a major thing. I’ve always enjoyed baseball and football, but basketball has always been my favorite.”
Nelson put up impressive numbers on the court as a senior, with per-game averages of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. A young, rebuilding Carrington team finished 3-19 overall, but Nelson’s ability was on full display at the District 5 tournament with a career-high 37-point effort in a 68-55 victory over Midkota.
“He’s getting the rebound, he’s single-handedly breaking the press and getting a layup either for himself or a teammate,” said Carrington boys basketball coach Tim Ranum. “That one game was kind of a microcosm of all the things he could do. Despite having teams design their entire game plan around stopping him, he managed to put up staggering numbers.”
Ranum said it was obvious early on that Nelson was a special player. He made others better, maybe even to a fault.
“You almost get mad at him not shooting shots, he’s always looking for his teammates,” Ranum said. “We didn’t have a great team this year -- a lot of young kids -- but I think he’s only going to get better as he keeps playing.”
Nelson said he verbally committed to continue his basketball career next season at Bismarck State College. The honor student (3.2 GPA) currently has designs on a major in agronomy.
“My process this year was just try to be a leader for all those younger guys and keep their heads up,” Nelson said. “Young guys when they make mistakes they think it’s the end of the world and they gotta be so rigid with everything. Just make sure they were loose and make sure they didn’t hold those little mistakes against them for the rest of the game.”
Nelson, like most American kids these days, is still acclimating himself to online schooling due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He said his senior baseball season -- a seemingly unlikely event at this juncture of the pandemic -- isn’t the only thing on his mind.
"It's weird not going to baseball practices, that's for sure,” Nelson said. "Just everything about school, like the awards nights ... prom. Just getting to be with your friends for the last couple months of school before they all leave.
“A lot of it hasn't really hit me that much yet, but to know that it's coming is kinda sad."
Schumacher, Wagner, Belquist voted all-state
Linton/HMB 6-2 junior guard Lucas Schumacher, Ellendale 6-7 sophomore center Scott Wagner and New Rockford-Sheyenne 6-foot senior point guard Bo Belquist were three of 11 athletes voted to the Class B boys all-state second team.
Schumacher is the 10th Linton/HMB athlete to receive all-state honors in boys hoops and first since University of Jamestown All-American guard Jon Purintun garnered second-team honors in 2014-15. Schumacher led the Lions to a 13-10 overall record averaging 22.4 points, 7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
“Lucas is a complete player who can do it at both ends of the court,” said Linton/HMB coach Dan Carr. “He can score inside or outside in a variety of ways. He always draws a tough defensive assignment because he is also an excellent defensive player.”
Wagner is the sixth Ellendale athlete to be voted all-state in boys basketball. He averaged a double-double last season as a freshman and improved as a sophomore, producing per-game averages of 20.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1 assist.
Ellendale finished the season at 16-9 overall and fourth at the Region 3 tournament held earlier this month at the Jamestown Civic Center.
“Scotty is like a sponge, soaking up all the drills and skills to improve his game," said Ellendale coach Brian Vance. "He is constantly asking questions on how he can get better or things that he can do to help the team. He is usually double-teamed and still averaged a double-double for us.”
Belquist averaged 15.5 points, 8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 steals per night for the Rockets. New Rockford-Sheyenne ended the year at 15-8 overall, falling to Dunseith by five points in the opening round of the Region 4 tournament in Devils Lake.
Class B Boys Basketball
*Carson Henningsgard, 6-2 senior point guard, Hillsboro-Central Valley: 22.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3 spg, 6.5 apg.
Jaden Mitzel, 6-2 senior forward, Shiloh Christian: 25 ppg, 11 rpg, 4 apg.
Cole Myers, 6-3 senior guard/forward, Richland: 22.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 spg.
Seth Nelson, 6-4 senior forward, Carrington: 23.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 3.1 bpg.
Jaden Hamilton, 6-7 senior forward, Rugby: 20.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3 apg, 2.3 spg.
*Denote unanimous selection
Bo Belquist, 6-0 senior point guard, New Rockford-Sheyenne: 15.5 ppg, 8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 2 spg.
Lucas Schumacher, 6-2 junior forward, Linton-HMB: 22.4 ppg, 7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.3 spg.
Joe Hurlburt, 6-10 sophomore forward/center, Enderlin: 21.2 ppg, 15 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 bpg, 1.4 spg.
Gage Swanson, 6-2 senior guard/forward, Beach: 27.9 ppg, 11 rpg, 3 apg, 2.6 bpg.
Jesse White, 5-11 junior guard/forward, White Shield: 24 ppg, 8 rpg, 8 apg, 4 spg, 2 bpg.
Doug Yankton, 6-4 senior guard/forward, Four Winds-Minnewaukan: 15.9 ppg, 4.1 apg, 8.2 rpg, 3.2 spg, 1.2 bpg.
Trey Brandt, 6-0 sophomore guard, Beulah: 20.7 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2 spg.
Avery Thorsgard, 6-2 senior guard, Hatton-Northwood: 14.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.6 apg, 2 spg.
Scott Wagner, 6-7 sophomore center, Ellendale: 20.3 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 1 apg, 2.2 bpg.
Andy Freier, 6-3 senior guard, Kindred: 16.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 apg.
Rhett Hanson, 6-6 senior forward/center, Stanley: 19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 4 bpg.
Carrington All-State Players
Garrett Bickett, 2017-18.
Seth Nelson, 2019-20.
Greg Brickner, 1986-87.
Jim Kleinsasser, 1994-95.
Randy Habeck, 1994-95.
Devin Barton, 2009-10.
Easton Page, 2010-11.
Seth Nelson, 2018-19.
Linton/HMB All-State Players
Tanner Purintun, 2011-12.
Jon Purintun, 2014-15.
Lucas Schumacher, 2019-20.
Linton All-State Players
John Richter, 1984-85.
Kyle Carr, 2003-04 & '04-05.
Lenny Ohlhauser, 1979-80.
Dennis Beck, 1983-84.
Bob Petrick, 1986-87.
Steve Schumacher, 1993-94.
Kyle Carr, 2002-03.
Justin Purintun, 2008-09.
Ellendale All-State Players
Charlie Sizer, 1968-69.
Tanner White, 2010-11.
Adam White, 2014-15.
Brennen Vance, 2016-17.
Austin Molan, 2018-19.
Scott Wagner, 2019-20.
New Rockford-Sheyenne All-State Players
Bo Belquist, 2019-20.
Alex Belquist, 2003-04 & '02-03.
Tyler Cook, 2004-05 & '03-04.
Evan Bennefeld, 2004-05.
New Rockford All-State Players
Bob Belquist, 1970-71.
Don Taylor, 1985-86.
Sheyenne-Minnewaukan All-State Players
Jeremy Longie, 1997-98.
Ryan Hoffner, 1999-00.
Colin Birkeland, 2001-02.