10-11 Missota Preview

This is the fifth in my 2010-2011 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Missota Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Its a year of new faces in the Missota.  Still 8 teams but Hutchinson and Prior Lake are gone for Chaska and Chanhassen.  Interesting to see Chaska back in the league after they had a ton of success here before moving to the Lake Conference and now they're back in a big way. 

Academy of Holy Angels Stars (2009-10 season 17-12, 11-3 Conference, tied 2nd)
A typical year for coach Larry McKenzie's crew.  They started 3-8 against a tough schedule and then ran off 14 of 18 to end the year.  But they did come up 1 game short of McKenzie's conference title prediction.  This year is a rebuilding year with the top 6 scorers including center Andy Jirik and shooter Sam Gullickson all gone.  Guards Parker Bredow and Damon Woods return.  Watch frosh Jordan Dembley and soph Danny Sullivan.

Chaska Hawks (2009-10 season 17-12, 12-10 Lake Conference, tied 6th)
The Hawks move into the league with visions of winning the league.  Wichita State commit Jake White leads the front line at 21.2 a night dominating inside.  Penn State commit Ross Travis is a super athletic wing who does a bit of everything for them.  Add in guard Max Watts and you have a returning group of top 3 scorers that can match anybody in the league.

Chanhassen Storm (2009-10 season 4-23, 2-20 Lake Conference, 12th)
Year 2 at Chanhassen should look better than year 1 with everyone back and a much softer bottom of the league than the Lake.  Shooter Chance Panning averaged 11.9 PPG last year to lead the team.  Talented junior Kevin Jensen was the other double figure scorer at 10.8 a night and is the goto player.  After that, the talent drops off quickly.

Farmington Tigers (2009-10 season 7-20, 5-9 Conference, 5th)
The Tigers were the best of the have nots in the league last year.  Now 4 of the top 5 players are gone.  Senior Alex Michels averaged 11 points a game last year and returns.  Sophomore Darren Beenken averaged almost 5 points a night in 15 games.

New Prague Trojans (2009-10 season 19-10, 9-5 Conference, 4th)
All everything Danny Geiger and his 20.6 PPG are gone but most of the rest of the roster is back.  Forward Cale Girten figures to be a matchup problem in the dribble drive system for most teams.  Senior shooters Alex Dittberner and Jed Kreuser return.  Junior Jake Meyer returns to man the post.

Northfield Raiders (2009-10 season 5-21, 3-11 Conference, tied 6th)
Tons of losses here as well from a team that had a rough year.  But they have one of the best names around, Otto Pfefferle, to man the front line.  He tall and lean but can step out and shoot it. He'll be their top player this season.

Red Wing Wingers (2009-10 season 6-20, 3-11 Conference, tied 6th)
The Wingers return 3 of their top 4 players including guard Pat Kelly who lit up Prior Lake for 32 points at the end of last season.  They have some size back as well.  Expect them to be improved this season, but the top of the league is still too strong for them.

Shakopee Sabers (2009-10 season 21-7, 12-2 Conference, 1st)
I learned a long time ago not to go against the Sabers so I won't this season.  Versatile Jason Perkins returns up front.  Ethan Petrill returns to hold down either guard position.  Dylan Ulferts is an athletic wing who can go off at any time.  They're well coached and they defend.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Chaska
  2. Shakopee
  3. New Prague
  4. Holy Angels
  5. Chanhassen
  6. Red Wing
  7. Northfield
  8. Farmington
Conference MVP: Jake White - Chaska

Underclassmen to watch:  
Jordan Dembley, Anthony Baysah, Danny Sullivan - Holy Angels
Darren Beenken - Farmington
Eric Shepley - Northfield

Games that will determine the conference title
  • Chaska at New Prague - Jan 14th
  • Shakopee at Chaska - Feb 1st
  • Shakopee at New Prague - Feb 15th
  • Chaska at Shakopee - Mar 1st
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Holy Angels at Minneapolis Henry - Dec 7th
  • Minneapolis Washburn vs Shakopee - Dec 11 (Breakdown Tipoff Classic)
  • DeLaSalle vs Chaska - Dec 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic)
  • Apple Valley at Chaska - Dec 14th
  • Shakopee at Waconia - Dec 17th
  • Shakopee vs Lakeville South - Dec 29th (projected championship Lakeville Rotary Tourney)
  • Shakopee at Eden Prairie - Jan 4th
  • Chaska vs Cedar Rapids Washington - Jan 8th (Timberwolves Shootout)
  • Chaska vs St. John's Military Academy - Jan 22nd (East Metro Showcase)
  • Eden Prairie at Chaska - Feb 8th

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