Both the men’s and women’s Minot State basketball teams ended their conference regular season with a 4-18 record. The men’s team ranked 16th in the NSIC Conference while the women placed 15th. Both teams were the number eight seed in their conference tournament and both lost to Sioux Falls on Feb. 26.
“Obviously our season didn’t go the way we wanted, but we were nearly competitive in all our conference games. We have many players that will be able to contribute for us next year, so hopefully we can achieve more of our team goals in the next season,” said Kody Dwyer, a redshirt junior on the men’s team.
Although the season didn’t end as planned, both teams had players that achieved all-conference accolades. Mariah Payne, a senior on the women's team, received NSIC All-Conference First-Team and men’s players Kyle Beisch, a senior, and Max Cody, a redshirt-junior, received All-NSIC Honorable Mention honors.
“It’s a big honor to earn all-conference awards, especially in our conference, which is one of the highest Division II conferences in the nation. It was really exciting to earn that award after all my years here at Minot; it was a nice way to finish my last season,” Payne said.
Along with earning all-conference honors, Payne also scored her 1,000th point this season. She became the fifth all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball at Minot State. Other women’s seniors who finished their career with the season include Danielle Rizzari and Reina Strand.
“I think the thing I’m going to miss the most is my teammates. I’ve made a lot of friendships throughout my five years here,” Payne explained. “It will be difficult not being able to see them every day, but I’m so grateful to have been able to meet so many people that I consider lifelong friends.”
On the men’s side, Beisch and Trevor Rothstein were the seniors on the team. Beisch ended his career averaging 19.5 points a game, ranked sixth in the conference, and was also fifth in the conference for free throw percentage, 3-point percentage, and 3-pointers per game. Rothstein averaged 8 points and 5.6 rebounds a game; he ranked 19th in rebounds in the conference.
“Our two seniors are two of the most dedicated basketball players I ever played with,” Dwyer said, “Whether it was on the court, in the training room, or watching film, they were 100% bought into winning.”
Both teams will be returning the majority of their players for the 2020-2021 season, including some of their main players. For the men, Max Cody, Kody Dwyer, and Kobe Jackson are returning in the starting lineup. For the women, Bethany Theodore, Mollie Wilson, and Haley Hildenbrand return along with others from both teams that come off the bench.