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Boys basketball preview: Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks will be young, but talented

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DAWSON — The

Dawson-Boyd

boys basketball team was dominant in the 2022-23 season, reaching the Section 3A championship. And with some returning pieces, the Blackjacks will try to remain atop the Camden Conference.

Dawson-Boyd, which won the Camden with a 15-2 record and was 26-4 overall, lost three starters due to graduation, but return a pair of big ones as well.The three starters lost are Keegon Wicht, Levi Olson and Aiden Swenson. Wicht was an All-Area Second Team selection and served as the Blackjacks’ point guard. Olson was an All-Camden pick and Swenson was an All-Camden Honorable Mention.

Dawson-Boyd sophomore Drew Hjelmeland lines up a 3-pointer during the Section 3A-North championship game against CMCS on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the R/A Facility in Marshall.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“We lost a lot of experience but the good thing is we bring back our top two scorers — Brayson Boike and Drew Hjelmeland — from a year ago,” said Blackjacks head coach Cory Larson, who has a 313-153 overall record at Dawson-Boyd. “Those two will shoulder a lot of the workload along with one of our top reserves from a year ago, Gunner Liebl.”

Boike, who is a 6-foot-7-inch junior guard, averaged 20.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.6 steals per contest. He was an All-Area First Team pick and the Camden North Division’s Player of the Year.

Dawson-Boyd boys basketball coach Cory Larson yells out to his players during the Section 3A-North championship game against CMCS on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the R/A Facility in Marshall.

Dawson-Boyd boys basketball coach Cory Larson yells out to his players during the Section 3A-North championship game against CMCS on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the R/A Facility in Marshall.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Hjelmeland, a 6-6 junior forward, averaged 14.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He was an All-Camden Conference selection.

Juniors Kade Solem, Beau Johnson and Gunnar Olson and Liebl, a sophomore, all return as letterwinners for Dawson-Boyd.

Dawson-Byd freshman Gunner Liebl launches a 3-pointer during a Section 3A-North semifinal game against MACCRAY on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at Montevideo.

Dawson-Boyd freshman Gunner Liebl launches a 3-pointer during a Section 3A-North semifinal game against MACCRAY on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at Montevideo.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

The Blackjacks’ list of newcomers features juniors Tanner Johnson and Mitchell Myers, sophomores Nathan Hansen and Evan Mork and freshmen Carson Stratmoen and Jaxton Hastad.

“With no seniors on this year’s squad, we will look for underclassmen to fill support roles,” Larson said. “Overall, this group brings some excitement and a great work ethic with them heading into the season.”

Keifer Stratmoen and Dustin Hjelmeland will serve as Larson’s assistants.

(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Nov. 30 — at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton

Dec. 7 — vs. MACCRAY

Dec. 9 — vs. Cass Lake-Bena, 6:30 p.m. at Hopkins

Dec. 11 — vs. KMS, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 — at Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 19 — vs. LQPV, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22 — at Pipestone, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 27 — vs. Baldwin-Woodville, 4:30 p.m. at Rushford

Dec. 28 —vs. Hayfield, 3 p.m., at Rushford

Jan. 4 — vs. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6 — vs. Southwest Minnesota Christian

Jan. 9 — at Central Minnesota Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12 — at Lakeview, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 — at Montevideo, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 19 — at Renville County West, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 — vs. Minneota, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27 — vs. New Life Academy, 3 p.m. at the High School for Recording Arts, St. Paul

Jan. 29 — at Yellow Medicine East, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 1 — vs. Canby, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 6 — at MACCRAY, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 — at KMS, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 — vs. Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 — at LQPV, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 20 — vs, Central Minnesota Christian, 7:30 p.m.

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