08-09 MCAA Preview

This is the 5th installment in the 08-09 Season Preview series. If you missed the 1st 4 previews, you can use the Section and Conference Previews page to go back and read them. In this installment we go small school and look at the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association.

Maranatha Christian Mustangs (2007 Season 28-2, 10-0)
The Mustangs are to this league what Hopkins is to the Classic Lake. 60-2 vs league opponents over the last 4 seasons. Last regular season conference game they lost was February 3rd, 2005 at Bethany Academy. The only other loss was a loss last year in the conference tournament title game to SW Christian. The loss of all everything David Hanson will hurt as will the loss of junior Milos Ristanovic. But they are still loaded with talent. Freshman Darian Pittman starts again at the point. Another Hanson (Junior Josh Hanson) is in the pipeline ready to break out. Senior Matt Eickmann, sophomore Savaugn Jordan and junior Jay Higgins are returning players who saw varsity minutes last year. Tyler Campion's loss as a rebounder and hustle player will also be missed. While they lack experience and the big star they've had in the past, head coach Jeff Wall gives them a big advantage on the bench.

SW Christian Stars (2007 Season 17-11, 8-2)
For once the best player in the league doesn't reside at Maranatha. Caleb Palkert is a 6'7 player who can step out and shoot in addition to be a factor inside in league play. They also return guard Peter Sorensen. They do need to replace scoring with the losses of Brady Griffith, Austin Petersen and Garrett Nordling. Will they get Palkert shots in clutch situations?

New Life Academy Eagles (2007 Season 15-13, 8-2)
The loss of high scoring wing Max Banchy and Josh Lancette is going to be tough to replace. However, they return post Robbie Anderstrom as an effective inside player. Look for sophomore Joe Mann to pick up some of the scoring load.

West Lutheran Warriors (2007 Season 18-10, 7-3)
The Warriors return sharpshooting lefty point guard Michael Lindberg. However they lose much of the rest of the roster.

Heritage Christian Eagles (2007 Season 14-12, 6-4)
After a disappointing season, the Eagles lose one of the top scorers in the metro Stu Herman (25.6 PPG) and the 2nd option in their system John Hirte. They do return junior big man Sam Schwalbe. He'll be expected to pick up some of the lost scoring along with Nathan Johnson.

Meadow Creek Christian Saints (2007 Season 10-17, 5-5)
The Saints lose very little from last year's middle of the pack roster. Look for returnees Jason Budish, Matt Kuik and Elliot Baldwin to lead the way to an improved season.

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs (2007 Season 10-17, 5-5)
The Bulldogs return high scoring forward Chris Neumann who's a tough matchup at 6'3. He had a nice summer with the MN Select-DeKok club. Junior center Brandon Schaust also returns.

Bethany Eagles (2007 Season 10-16, 3-7)
A rough year for coach Jeff Ray's Eagles. He does a terrific job but he loses the 1 goto threat he had in David Glover and his next 2 best scorers. He'll look to rebuild with a young roster. The improvement of sophomore Tony Ervin will be part of that process.

Trinity Tri-Hawks (2007 Season 6-19, 1-9)
Trinity was another traditionally strong program that really struggled last year. They look to return to the days of old after a dismal season last season. Mark Olander returns but look for another long season.

Concordia Academy-Bloomington Lancers (2007 Season 5-21, 1-9)
The Lancers return 6'7 Senior center Andrew Erdman and junior Jacob Moe as they continue to build the program.

Providence Academy Lions (2007 Season 3-22, 1-9)
The Lions lose a large number of seniors. They'll try and improve with sophomore Joe Zangel and junior John Lundbeck.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Maranatha
  2. SW Christian
  3. New Life
  4. Meadow Creek
  5. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity
  6. West Lutheran
  7. Heritage
  8. Bethany
  9. Trinity
  10. Concordia-Bloomington
  11. Providence
Player of the Year: Caleb Palkert - SW Christian

Game that will determine the conference title
  • SW Christian at Maranatha - January 30th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Bethlehem Academy at SW Christian - December 5th
  • Minnesota Transitions at SW Christian - February 6th
  • Brooklyn Center at Maranatha - March 2nd

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