BISMARCK, North Dakota — It takes a lot for a high school kid to impress a former Mr. Basketball — who happens to be his head coach.
Consider Fargo Davies coach and 1991 Mr. Basketball Bart Manson thoroughly impressed by senior guard Tanner Kretchman, whose record-setting 45 points earned his team a berth in the state Class A semifinals. Kretchman had 32 points Saturday top lead Davies to the state title.
Kretchman came within two votes of being unanimously selected as this year's North Dakota Mr. Basketball by the state's media members.
The 5-foot-11 Kretchman received 11 first-place votes and 61 points.
"I'm always wowed by him," Manson said. "He's just an amazing player. I've watched him play three years and the things he could do and things he's still doing, to me that's what's been amazing about his career."
Kretchman, who moved to Fargo from Kindred three years ago, went over 700 points for the season during the state tournament.
Kretchman brushes off all talk of his individual accomplishments.
"Most of our goals are team and doing whatever it takes to win games."
Winning the Mr. Basketball award was just one of the meaningful things that happened to Kretchman. Last weekend, his younger brother, Carter, won a state Class B title with Fargo Oak Grove.
"That's been another really special thing about this year," Kretchman said. "They won state and that's just awesome. It's been a great year for our family."
Other finalists for the award were 6-foot-6 guard Tyler Rudolph of Bismarck Century, Ben Weisbeck of Bismarck St. Mary's, Tanner Holte of Des Lacs-Burlington and Briton Bussman of Milnor.
For the season, Kretchman averaged 29.2 points, five assists and 2.3 steals. He shot 52 percent and had 56 3-pointers.
"He has put so much time and effort into the game, he is truly one of the purest shooters I've seen play in this state in a long time," Manson said.
Bussman averaged 28.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 62 percent. He was selected Class B senior player of the year by coaches. Bussman received 21 points.
Rudolph averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds. He received one first-place vote and 17 points. Weisbeck averaged 21.4 points and 2.4 assists. He also received a first-place vote and 16 points. Holte averaged 21.7 points and 9.8 rebounds and two points.
The award is presented annually by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association to the top senior basketball player in the state.