Central Cass earns No. 1 seed for North Dakota Class B boys state basketball tournament
The Squirrels enter the state tournament with an undefeated record.
FARGO — Central Cass has earned the top seed for the North Dakota Class B boys state basketball tournament, which starts Thursday, March 16, at the Bismarck Event Center.
The Squirrels (23-0) are undefeated entering the state tournament and face unseeded Warwick at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the state quarterfinals.
“It helps us celebrate our achievement we had during the season, but it doesn’t necessarily get you to where you want to go because you’re going to have to go through quality teams," Central Cass head coach Matt Norman said of the top seed. "Warwick is going to give us a challenge right from the start.”
Bismarck Shiloh Christian (20-4) is the second seed, Beulah (20-4) is the No. 3 seed, Thompson (16-7) is the No. 4 seed and Des Lacs-Burlington (19-6) in the No. 5 seed.
Coaches from the eight state-tournament teams voted online to determine the top five seeds with the final three teams being randomly drawn to set the final bracket.
Central Cass scored a 44-40 victory against Kindred in the Region 1 championship game to advance to the state tournament. Cole Holzer had 11 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Squirrels. Kindred had won the previous two Region 1 titles.
The Squirrels are set to make their Class B boys state tournament appearance since 2012. This will be Central Cass' final season in Class B with the state moving to three classes for basketball next winter. The Squirrels will be in the Class A (middle division) under the new system.
“Our kids are always going to be excited to make it to a state tournament, but this one has a different feel because it’s the last traditional ‘B’ tournament," Norman said. "It makes the experience just a little bit more surreal.”
The Central Cass girls basketball team — which was seeded No. 2 — recently won the Class B girls state championship. Norman said that success has helped fuel the boys team.
“It creates a special kind of energy in the hallways of the school," Norman said. "It’s fun to watch the girls succeed because it creates that energy. It keeps the kids hungry for sure.”
Class B boys state quarterfinals
Thursday, March 16, at Bismarck Event Center
1 p.m. — No. 2 Bismarck Shiloh Christian (20-4) vs. Powers Lake (20-4)
2:45 p.m. — No. 3 Beulah (20-4) vs. Medina-Pingree-Buchanan (21-4)
6:30 p.m. — No. 1 Central Cass (23-0) vs. Warwick (19-6)
8:15 p.m. — No. 4 Thompson (16-7) vs. No. 5 Des Lacs-Burlington (19-6)