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Boys Basketball: New coach, mostly new lineup in store for Benson

Mike Felt takes over as head coach with the Braves returning one starter from last season.

013021.S.WCT.Benson BBB Juan Espinoza (2).JPG
Benson's Juan Espinoza pressure Montevideo's Andrew VanBinsbergen at the top of the zone during a West Central Conference game on Jan. 29, 2021 at Benson High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune file photo

BENSON — New head boys basketball coach Mike Felt takes over a program with not much experience, but with hope that things will improve as the season goes on.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys with not very much experience, which is tough,” Felt said.

The experience comes primarily from Jalen Anderson, a 6-foot-3 senior forward who was a key component in last season’s 8-11 squad that went 3-9 in West Central Conference play.

“Juan Espinoza played a little bit, too,” Felt said. “But after that, it’s not much.”

Espinoza is a 6-4 junior guard who will have an expanded role. The Braves plan to play the entire court for the most part and continue to go up-tempo as they did under former head coach Adam Jensen, who is Felt’s brother-in-law and still on the staff as an assistant. Also on the staff is Brady Dokkebakken..

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Felt, who had a successful run as head coach at Parkers Prairie after playing at North Dakota State and a standout career at Redwood Falls, has a lineup that includes Isaac Minchow, Dylan Ascheman and Blake Brehmer.

Minchow and Ascheman are 5-8 seniors. Brehmer is a 5-9 sophomore.

Brandonn Traut and Chaden Carroll, both 5-11 seniors, also will be key contributors. A key loss is Ben Peterson. The 6-2 senior guard was on the West Central Tribune’s All-Area second team after averaging 19.6 points per game.

Benson opened with a 70-46 loss at Wheaton/Herman-Norcross.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Felt, noting that Wheaton/Herman-Norcross is an improved, experienced team. “We need to work on our decision-making. Our decision-making can get way, way better.

“We can’t take plays off. The stuff we’re going through is that there is a lot of difference between varsity and JV and we’re learning about that stuff right now.”

The Braves play Dec. 9 at Dawson-Boyd then play host to Ortonville on Dec. 14 in their home-opener. Felt is optimistic.

“We’re looking forward to the rest of the season,” he said.

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013021.S.WCT.Benson BBB Isaac Minchow.JPG
Benson guard Isaac Minchow picks up his dribble during a West Central Conference game against Montevideo on Jan. 29, 2021 at Benson High School. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune file photo

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