2016 All Area Boys Basketball Team

This year's first team contains some familiar faces. Central Minnesota Christian School's Taylor Slagter and Morris/Chokio-Alberta's Eric Staebler have earned a spot on the team for the second year in a row, Slagter by sparking a back-to-back sta...

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This year’s first team contains some familiar faces. Central Minnesota Christian School’s Taylor Slagter and Morris/Chokio-Alberta’s Eric Staebler have earned a spot on the team for the second year in a row, Slagter by sparking a back-to-back state tournament qualifier, Staebler by wrapping up a record-setting career. 

The other three members of the team were honorable mentions last year. Montevideo’s Troy Diggins played a starring role on a state tournament-caliber team. Two high-scoring guards, Tanner Heinsius of BBE and Hancock’s Noah Kannegiesser, put up such gaudy stats that they couldn’t be denied a first-team spot.

Players gaining honorable mention status for a second-consecutive year are Jackson Grussing of MACCRAY, Jess Hansen of Dawson-Boyd, Noah Slagter from Willmar, Lucas Strand of LQPV, and Austin Trustheim from BBE. There are 18 players earning an All-Area honorable mention for the first time.

Troy Diggins
Senior forward

The senior leader on a Montevideo team that finished the year 21-8 and made it to the Section 3AA finals, Diggins led the Thunder Hawks in points, rebounds and assists. 


He finishes his Montevideo career with impressive totals of 1,370 points, 520 rebounds and 166 assists. This was his best year yet, as he averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game.

“Troy has had a great career. He’s a tough matchup because he can hit the 3 and get to the basket” said Montevideo head coach Dan Douglas. “The opposing team game plans to stop him, so he also does a great job of getting others involved.”

Senior guard

Heinsius’ average of 22.9 points per game was the highest in the area, but he wasn’t just an offensive threat. He also led the area in steals with 2.6 per game. 

A starter on BBE’s 2014 state championship team, Heinsius finishes his career with over 1,400 points. Five times this season he scored over 30 points in a game.

“Tanner is a true competitor and you can see this in the way he plays the game” said BBE head coach Chris Anderson. “He’s an excellent ball handler with a great court sense, and he rebounds well and has a strong inside game for a guard his size.”

Sophomore guard

Already an advanced, polished basketball player at a young age, Kannegiesser passed the 1000 career point mark in his sophomore season with the Owls, averaging 21.8 points per game. He set a school record with 113 made free throws, and his 87 percent clip from the line tied a school record as well.


Kannegiesser was also far from just a scorer, leading the area in assists with his mark of 6.2 per game. His passion for basketball inspired his team and impressed his coach.

“Noah’s work ethic is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He lives in the gym and works on gettting better every single day” said Hancock head coach Cory Bedel. “He’s a very unselfish player who will put the team’s best opportunity first.”

Central Minnesota Christian School
Senior forward

Slagter earns his second consecutive All-Area first team selection after leading the Bluejays to the Class A state tournament for the second year in a row. They have a record of 26-3 and play Mountain Iron-Buhl in the first round today.

The senior averaged 17 points per game for the Bluejays, including a recent 23-point outing in the Section 3A final against Jackson County Central.

Despite playing heavy minutes at the big-man positions, Slagter is a threat from everywhere on the court, shooting 35 percent from three-point range on the year despite leading CMCS in rebounding with his average of 6.2 per game.

Senior center

Staebler had another awesome year to gain All-Area first-team status again. He was the only player in the area to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, reaching figures of 21 and 12. This is nothing new for Staebler, whose career averages eclipse that 20/10 plateau.


He finishes his illustrious career at Morris with over 1700 points and nearly 1000 rebounds, a school record. He also shot 40 percent from 3-point range and set a new career high in assists with 2.5 per game.

Staebler has a 3.9 GPA and has accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Mayville State University this fall.

“Eric is a tremendous player, and just as imporant, a tremendous teammate and individual” said Morris head coach Mark Torgerson. “His stats speak for themselves, and officials have always gone out of their way to complement his attitude on the court.”

Honorable Mentions

Ethan Brouwer, CMCS, 6-1 junior forward: 12.4 ppg; 6.2 rpg; 1.7 apg; 60 percent overall shooter

Collin Brown, Hancock, 6-4 senior forward: 12 ppg; 7.8 rpg; 1.7 apg; 66 percent overall shooter

Layton Connelly, Benson, 5-10 senior guard: 14.3 ppg; 3.9 apg

Isaac Douglas, Montevideo, 6-0 junior guard: 11.7 ppg; 6.1 rpg; 37 percent 3-point shooter

Travis Dreyer, Montevideo, 6-4 junior center: 10.7 ppg; 2.2 rpg; 1.8 apg; 1.4 spg; 61 percent overall shooter

Riley Emery, Montevideo, 6-1 junior guard: 9.5 ppg; 3.2 rpg; 2.1 apg

Toby Flannigan, Paynesville, 6-4 senior forward: 14 ppg; 6 rpg; 2 apg

Jackson Grussing, MACCRAY, 6-3 junior guard: 14 ppg; 4 rpg; 3 apg

Jess Hansen, Dawson-Boyd, 6-2 senior guard: 19.2 ppg; 4.9 rpg; 1.3 apg; 1 spg

Brady Holwerda, Renville County West, 6-4 senior forward: 11.8 ppg; 7.2 rpg; 2.1 apg; 1.3 spg

Noah Jensen, LQPV, 6-4 senior center: 12.3 ppg; 10.4 rpg

Jacob Klavetter, New London-Spicer, 6-2 senior forward: 9.4 ppg; 7.9 rpg; 2.3 apg; 55 percent overall shooter

Derrick Laudenbach, New London-Spicer, 6-5 senior center: 11 ppg; 10.9 rpg; 1.6 apg

Adam Lindahl, Benson, 5-10 senior guard: 19 ppg; 2.5 rpg; 1.5 apg

Brady Madsen, MACCRAY, 5-8 junior guard: 8 ppg; 3 rpg; 4 apg

Matt McIver, Minnewaska, 5-10 senior guard: 42 percent 3-point shooter; 2.7 rpg; 4.1 apg

Colton Minnick, ACGC, 6-3 senior forward: 20.4 ppg; 4.1 rpg; 2.6 apg; 1.6 spg

Tyler Reese, Hancock, 6-1 junior forward: 14.3 ppg; 6.4 rpg; 3 apg

Noah Slagter, Willmar, 6-0 sophomore guard: 15.7 ppg; 4.3 rpg; 2.7 apg; 1.1 apg; 38 percent 3-point shooter

Lucas Strand, LQPV, 6-2 senior guard: 18.6 ppg; 7.4 ppg; 4.4 apg

Austin Trustheim, BBE, 6-4 senior forward: 14.8 ppg; 6.6 rpg; 1.9 apg; 1.4 spg

Matthew Van Eps, CMCS, 5-9 junior guard: 12.8 ppg; 45 percent 3-point shooter; 2.5 rpg; 2.4 apg

Austin VerSteeg, Minnewaska, 6-2 senior forward: 17.1 ppg; 7.5 rpg; 2.8 apg; 2.5 spg

Ethan Weis, BOLD, 6-0 junior guard: 11.2 ppg; 5.1 rpg; 5.4 apg; 2.3 spg

Jacob Zosel, Morris/CA, 5-10 junior guard: 11.7 ppg; 1.9 rpg; 4.7 apg

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