The Minnewaska Area boys basketball team held its season-ending banquet recently where it announced the postseason awards and honors.

The Lakers went 1-25 this season, ending its season with a loss to Morris Area-CA in the Section 3AA opener.

Coaching the Lakers this season were Hunter Salathe with assistance from Dan Dahl, Nick Danielson and Brian Walker.  Salathe resigned from his head coaching position at the end of this season and Zach Traphagen has been hired as the new head coach of the Lakers.

•  Senior Hunter Kloos, who led the Lakers in scoring this season, was selected as the Most Valuable Player of this year’s team.

He scored 339 points, averaging 14.1 points per game and also had team-highs of 14 blocks and 37 steals, while pulling down 95 rebounds and handing out 30 assists.

Earning the Best Defender Award was junior Dylan Alexander, while senior PJ Johnson was named the winner of the Laker Award.

Alexander led the Lakers with 87 assists and was second with 121 rebounds while also recording 28 steals and scoring 104 points.

Johnson scored 169 points, averaging 6.5 points per game.  He also had a second-best 83 assists, 90 rebounds and 28 steals this season.

In addition, senior James Ward earned the Practice MVP Award this winter.

•  For the JV team, Marc Gruber was named the MVP, while Zach Palmer earned the Best Defender honor, Levi Johnson won the Laker Award and Ian Mills was selected for the Practice MVP Award.

And, for the C-squad team, Tristan O’Neil was named the Offensive MVP and Connor Erickson earned the Defensive MVP Award.

•  Earning All-Conference for the team this year was senior Hunter Kloos, while senior Paul Johnson, Jr., earned placement on the WCC honorable mention team for 2022-23.

•  Sauk Centre won this year’s WCC title with an 12-2 league mark, followed by West Central Area (10-4), Morris Area (9-4), Melrose Area (9-5), BOLD (7-6), Montevideo (6-8), Benson (2-12) and Minnewaska Area (0-14).

The only victory for the Lakers this year was a 67-45 victory against Hope Academy during the Howard Lake-WW Holiday Tourney, Dec. 28.

•  The Lakers will lose four seniors to graduation from this year’s team; Paul Johnson, Jr., James Ward, Noah Palmer and Hunter Kloos.  However, the team could return as many as 10 other players that hit the scoring column this season.

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