Dillon Starzl, a 6-foot-8 forward at Northwest Missouri State, had a field day in a 69-65 victory over Northeastern State in the quarterfinals of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament. Starzl torched the RiverHawks for 25 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the field.
Luckily for NSU, that was a wake-up call for what the RiverHawks have next. The new task is finding a way to shut down Winona State's Clayton Vette, a 6-foot-9 senior forward who was the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference's Player of the Year.
"He's the Player of the Year, so he's not a secret," said NSU coach Larry Gipson, whose team will take on Vette and the Warriors in the first round of the Central Regional on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Mankato, Minn.
"Vette is a very good player, and he's a transfer from Iowa State. I think we're going to have our hands full."
Vetter's numbers certainly are impressive. In 30 games, Vetter has posted 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.
"This is a challenge for us because Northwest Missouri State's Dillon Starzl destroyed us in our last game," Gipson said. "So we're going to have to come as a team, and I don't think we can count on any one player to guard this kid. We'll have to come as a team and do a good job defensively on Vette."
Hobbs named 2nd Team All-Region
Bryton Hobbs was named to the 2012-13 Daktronics Central Region Men’s Basketball Second Team, the organization announced on Thursday.
In his first year as a member of the RiverHawks, Hobbs, a junior guard, has averaged 18.3 points per game and was also named to the All-MIAA First Team.
He is third in the league in scoring and fifth in assists (5.0 apg), while leading the conference in minutes played (34.6 mpg).
He has scored in double figures in all but two games this season and recently had arguably his best game as a RiverHawk. He recorded 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in NSU’s 83-71 overtime victory over Central Oklahoma. He outscored the Bronchos 8-3 in the extra session and played all 45 minutes.
Hobbs has led Northeastern State back to the national tournament for the first time since the team won the championship in 2003.
The RiverHawks (19-8, 12-6 MIAA) have earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Central Regional, while the Warriors (24-7, 17-5 NSIC) are the second seed in the regional.
Vette of Winona State was named the Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year.