« Pinto's Points

What Is Better

by Dan Gunderson

On Tuesday night, I called a North Dakota high school Class A boys basketball game between West Fargo and Wahpeton. It was good game, going to overtime, with the Packers beating the Huskies 59-57.

After the game, as I was putting away my radio equipment, one guy started a conversation with me. Said he had been to enough Class B games in North Dakota to see that Class B basketball is garbage. Talent wise, it just doesn’t compare to Class A.

Okay, granted, the talent at Class A is better and has been for years. It is tough to argue with that point, but to call Class B basketball in the state of North Dakota garbage? I’m sorry but that man is dead wrong. Class B is far more entertaining and I will explain why.

In Class A, making the state tournament is so easy that it is hard for me to see it as a big accomplishment. They have 10 teams in the east and 9 teams in the west in Class A. All you have to do to make it to state in Class A is win two conference tournament games. That is it!

In Class B, you have to finish in the top four in your District tournament and follow that up with winning three straight in your Region tournament. You are looking at having to win six games, just to make it to state!

The other part about Class B that is far more entertaining is the potential for a Cinderella is greater. Last year, the top four teams from the EDC and three of the top four teams from the WDC made the state tournament.

In Class B, the state winning team, Milnor High School, wasn’t even in the state polls when they entered the tournament. How can you tell me that something like that is not entertaining?

I will admit that I am partial to Class B since I grew up watching and playing Class B in high school. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the talent that is displayed at the Class A level. It was obvious last night that the talent on the court would beat a middle of the road Class B school by 20 or 30 points.

Don’t come at me with the “Class B is garbage” talk because that just doesn’t fly. It annoys me when some people can be so blind as to just toss aside small town teams because they don’t have the “talent” that a Shanley or Fargo Davies does. So what?

I’m writing this to stand up for the hundreds of Class B schools out there that have to deal with people’s mindset on how their games just are not that entertaining. Don’t worry about the minority. There are more people in my corner that would say, Class B is the brand of basketball to watch in the state of North Dakota.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.