GRANTSBURG – Jared VanWatermeulen stands out from the first-team picks.
This year’s leading scorer for the Grantsburg boys basketball team may often stand out being 6-foot-6, but his grade level makes him unique in the Lakeland West all-conference picks for the 2019-2020 season. VanWatermeulen is the lone junior among first-team selections, joined by five seniors.
Jaxon Flaherty (Unity), Gage Johansen (Luck), Levi Jensen (Luck), Kullan Parks (St. Croix Falls) and Declan Greenquist (St. Croix Falls) all earned first-team status for their final year, leaving VanWatermeulen as the lone potential returner for 2020-2021. And by no coincidence, those five seniors are from the three teams that finished ahead of Grantsburg in the final standings.
The Pirates placed fourth in the Lakeland West with a 7-5 record and were 14-10 overall, so both the team and VanWatermeulen improved their final result from last season. Grantsburg was fifth in the conference at 5-7 while VanWatermeulen was a second-team selection for the 2018-19 season.
“I don’t think his game has changed much from last season, (VanWatermeulen) just does what he does,” Grantsburg coach Nick Hallberg said. “Being 6-6, he’s a force.”
VanWatermeulen led the Pirates with 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game; he had a season-high 29 points in a game against Amery.
The Pirates also had a standout among the second-team selections with Carson Knutson being its lone sophomore. He averaged 11.3 points per game with 3.8 assists and had a team-high 17 points in the third game of the season – a win over Webster.
The Tigers had two second-team selections with senior Coleton Peterson and junior Carsen Stenberg. Peterson was an honorable mention last season and averaged close to 20 points this season, including a 33-point game against Grantsburg in December. Stenberg had multiple double-digit scoring games with one being a 21-point performance in Webster’s second matchup with Grantsburg.
Siren senior Nathan Kosloski also was a second-team selection after averaging over 17 points per game for the Dragons.
Adam Dreier (Frederic) and Cullen Feist (Unity) were the other second-team selections.
The Pirates added two honorable mentions with senior Austin Wedin and junior Gus Bergman, who were joined by Siren senior Riley Churchill. Carsen Eley (Luck), Logan Lillehaug (Frederic) and Dan Sorensen (Unity) completed the honorable mentions.