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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Nibbelink, Sampson, Knutson earn all-tournament honors

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three of Southwest Christians players were honored with all-tournament recognition Saturday after the Eagles had claimed the Class A state championship at Target Center.

Senior guard Dominic Nibbelink, 6-1, who scored 29 points and dished off seven assists in the championship game was honored, as were 6-5 junior center Leighton Sampson and 5-9 senior sparkplug Klint Knutson, who was a repeat selection from last year when the Eagles brought home the second-place trophy.

Both Knutson and Nibbelink were starters for Southwest last season, while Sampson played briefly in the 2012 tournament as a backup behind the strong front line of Zach Huisken, Andrew Top and older brother Keeran Sampson, who each graduated last May.

Huisken and Top joined Knutson as all-tournament selections last March.

This year, Leighton Sampson scored a team-leading 72 points (17, 33, 22) for the Eagles in their three state-tournament wins, while blocking seven shots and pulling down a team-high 22 rebounds (12 in the semifinals win over undefeated Upsala).

Nibbelink scored 55 points (16, 10, 29) in the three games and passed for 12 assists.

Knutson, the Eagles' point guard, scored 29 points (10, 12, 7), passed for nine assists and came up with five steals, while hounding opponent's ball primary ball-handler.

"All three guys are very deserving," praised Eagles' head coach Jamie Pap. "They each had great all-around seasons for us and certainly played their roles well in each of our three state tournament wins."