Prep Athlete of the Week: Laker sophomore center standing out on stat sheet

Your average triple-double, as popularized by Magic Johnson and perfected by Rajon Rondo, consists of three components: at least 10 points, assists and rebounds. Lakeview sophomore Jonah Dovre, however, has added a degree of difficulty to his pair of triple-doubles this season.

Dovre, a 6-foot-8 center, swapped out assists, a statistic which favors guards, for blocked shots.

In Lakeview’s first game of the season, and coincidentally Dovre’s first as a starter, the Laker sophomore scored 12 points, pulled down 19 rebounds, and swatted away 11 shots to help the Lakers to a 73-50 win over Yellow Medicine East on Dec. 4.

So much for being nervous in his first start.

“It was my first time starting and after I got into it and got into the flow of the game, it kind of came to me,” Dovre said.

Having played in 10 games for the Lakers thus far in the 2012-13 season, Dovre has blocked 41 shots. His 4.1 blocks per game average is astounding at the high school level, but equally impressive when compared to NBA blocks leader Serge Ibaka’s 3.03 blocks per game.

According to Lakeview head coach Dan Hoffman, the secret behind Dovre’s blocking prowess starts with his size.

“His height, obviously, gives him a big advantage,” Hoffman said. “He’s 6-foot-8 and his wingspan is that and then some. So that obviously gives him the biggest advantage. His timing has been pretty good. When he’s been getting those blocks, the timing’s been pretty good where he’s been able to get up off the release without making any contact. In those games he’s got the height advantage over pretty much everybody, so that helps out, but I just think he has this knack of when to do it, when not to do it.”

That know-how of when to go up for a block has also proven to be a knack for knowing which games need his best Ibaka impressions the most.

Following a mid-season swoon which saw the Lakers drop six games in a row, Dovre put together his second triple-double of the season in an 81-74 win over Truman/Martin Luther to close out the Mountain Lake holiday tournament on Dec. 28.

Dovre’s 17-point, 16-rebound, 10-block performance was vital to the Lakeview cause, though he wasn’t aware of just how impressive his game had been.

“The last game I had no clue that I was even close to (the triple-double) because it was a really close game,” Dovre said. “But then, the first game against YME it was close to the end of the game and I didn’t have 10 points yet, so the whole crowd and all the coaches and everybody were kind of telling me.”

At a time in his life when he should be learning how to drive, Dovre has decided to throw up “road closed” signs in gymnasiums all over southwest Minnesota. And though he knows his height is a great advantage, Dovre dedicated himself in the offseason to growing into his shot-blocking body.

“It kind of comes naturally, but I worked in the offseason with weightlifting and the coaching, telling me to stay on my feet,” Dovre said. “Usually I try not to jump and usually they just come into me and I get my hands up on them.”

Hoffman also credits Dovre’s ability to shut down passing lanes as a source of his center’s success so far.

“I guess a lot of things you don’t see are deflections,” Hoffman said. “That’s something that is hard to track anyway, but he’s got such a wide wingspan that he can get a hand on passes pretty easily. It’s kind of tough to go around him in that aspect.”

In his last game out, Dovre went for 21-16-4 in a 56-53 non-conference win over Fulda on Thursday.

Averaging over 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, more consistency could turn Dovre from a double-double player and one of the Camden Conference’s more feared defenders into a key cog on a potentially nightmarish match-up towards the end of the season.

“There are games where he may not have the double-double, which he should be consistently having a double-double for us,” Hoffman said. “The triple-double is just bonus for him because of the blocks. Really just keeping him consistent and keeping him strong and healthy so that he can keep on contributing like that for us (will be key).

“A lot of that for him is his confidence. He’s only a sophomore and the more he plays at this level, the more confidence he’s going to get throughout the year and next couple of years. I guess that’s the biggest thing, just staying confident on his abilities and making it happen.”

Dovre’s consistency and confidence will be crucial to Lakeview’s (5-6 overall, 2-3 Camden) success over the rest of the season, especially with match-ups against state ranked teams lingering on the schedule.

The Lakers played No. 9 Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Friday, while games against No. 8 Dawson-Boyd (Feb. 15) and No. 10 MACCRAY (Feb. 18) await at season’s end.