Week 1 of the MBA Fall League

Fall leagues opened today with a full day of action at Minnehaha Academy as part of the Minnesota Basketball Assocation fall league. I attended the 1st half of the day (4 boys sessions) and here's what I saw.

Session 1: Coon Rapids vs TNL Express (Champlin Park based)
A battle of NW Suburban foes in the opening session. 28-24 TNL at the half and then a couple of Jay Sewer 3s in the 2nd half breaks the game open. TNL goes on to a 62-48 win. Sewer with 5 triples and a total of 22 pts in the win. Jasper Duberry with 20 points for TNL. Ben Baker with 10 pts and 7 rebs for Coon Rapids in the loss.

Session 2: Maple Grove vs Redhawks (Minnehaha Academy)
We continue the NW Suburban theme here as Maple Grove takes on the home team. No Taylor Sparkman for the Redhawks. I believe it was David Burnham on the bench watching and Greg Meyer playing but I may have them reversed. I'm going with Meyer and an apology if I mixed them up. 23-22 Maple Grove at halftime. Nothing for Meyer in the 1st half. MG comes out in a 2-3 zone in the 2nd half after playing man in the 1st half. This gets them out to a 41-33 lead with 9:10 to play. Them Meyer hits a 3 and gets a 3 pt play and Parker Hines knocks down a 3 to complete a 14-0 Redhawks run. 47-41 Minnehaha with 3:20 left. MG only gets 1 FG and 3-6 FTs in the last 9:10. Minnehaha goes on to win 56-47. Meyer with 9 pts, all in the 2nd half. Hines with 7 late points to put the game away.

In other session 2 action, Maple Grove JV def Blake 65-62.

Session 3: TNL Express vs Park Center
Tied at 26 at the break. Devon Knopke comes out and has a great 2nd half and we're tied at 46 with 5:20 to play. A 4 point play and a TNL technical foul give PC a 54-49 lead with 2 minutes left. But TNL gets the next 6 as Knopke gets the assist on a 3 by Josh Pratt (St. Anthony) with 45.2 seconds to play to give TNL a 55-54 lead. PC gets a layup with 28 seconds left to regain the lead. TNL then gives Knopke the ball again on a clear out and he delivers with a nice floater in the lane with 3 seconds left to give TNL the 57-56 win. Jasper Duberry made a living at the FT line in this game (7-9 FTs) and finished with 11 points. Jay Sewer quiet with 10 points.

In other session 3 action, Edison defeats Coon Rapids 58-46 after the scoreboard operator flipped the teams on the scoreboard. A shame to see situations like that. Armstrong blew out Maple Grove 86-67.

Session 4: Armstrong vs St. Paul Central
No Ted Vogt for Armstrong but their guards were out in force in this game. Armstrong out to a quick 11-4 lead after 2 and a half minutes. 42-28 Armstrong at halftime. Central gets as close as 51-45 with 12 minutes to play, but a 17-4 Armstrong run puts the game away. Falcons win 77-57.

A typical Armstrong game with at least 9 triples. That includes a very cold shooting game for Damarius Cruz who started 2-12 before making a couple in the 2nd half. 4-15 shooting overall with 9 points. Andy Seidlitz with 3 triples and 15 points. David Weber with a real nice game of 4 triples and 16 points. Seidlitz had 9 triples in a JV game vs Hopkins last season. A real sniper and you know coach Miller will get him good looks over the next 2 seasons.

In other session 4 action, Dunwoody Academy blew out Blake 50-27. Minnehaha held off the Mpls Demons 72-65 after leading by 13 at halftime. The Demons squad has Jalen Jaspers and Jonah Travis of De La Salle as players of note.

Random thoughts from the day's action:
  • TNL's running game is fun to watch in addition to their trapping style defense. The long outlet pass off of a score or rebound is what makes it go and it appears they really work on that.
  • Along similar lines, Champlin Park had better be a running and trapping team this year as Josh Pella and Kyle Zimmerman will be their biggest players. The loss of Calvin Nolte and Emeka Okafor is definitely something big for the Rebels.
  • Dunwoody Academy has some athletes, but they too are a small team.
  • Sloppy play all day and a surprising amount of playground antics like behind the back passes.
  • Henry Sibley joins the party next week. Should be real interesting to see how they look.


  1. Can the performances of these teams be a predictor for how the varsity will turn out?

  2. It can work both ways. If a team has all their guys (a very difficult task especially early with football still ongoing) and plays good competition it can definitely be a springboard to a good varsity season.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.