2012-13 MCAA Preview

This is the fourth preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association (MCAA).  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Bethany Academy Eagles (2011-12 season 11-15, 3-10 Conference, 4th South)
The Eagles will have to replace their only player in double figures Max Mattila.  The lefty was a difficult front court matchup.  Junior Sam Hagen just missed out on double figures last season, I could see him averaging at least 15 a night this season.  RT Mould and Luke Mikhail also return.  A question mark will be size.

Heritage Christian Academy Eagles (2011-12 season 21-8, 8-5 Conference, 3rd North)
Heritage made a big leap last season by knocking off league powerhouse Maranatha at home in the section semis.  Expect another 20+ win season as 5 of the top 6 scorers are back.  Brad Basco leads the way inside at almost 16 a night.  Zach Weld, Evan Parkhurst and Christian Pieper all return and averaged double figures.  

Legacy Christian Academy (2011-12 season 12-16, 3-10 Conference, 4th North)
Center Ben Freeby averaged over 19 a night and will need to be replaced.  He could also alter shots so he'll be missed on the defensive end too.  Ryan Kopca's double figure scoring is also lost.  Connor Peterson is the top returnee at almost 7 points a game.

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs (2011-12 season 17-11, 8-5 Conference, 2nd South)
Guard Jared Kadrie and 17 points a game depart.  Fellow guard Nick Machemehl averaged over 15 a night last season and will pick up some of that slack.  Fellow juniors Alex Heigl and post Spencer Radtke also return to form a nice 2 year nucleus for the Bulldogs.

Maranatha Christian Academy Mustangs (2011-12 season 21-8, 12-1 Conference, 1st North)
In a major shocker to absolutely no one, the Mustangs will once again be very good.   They lose shooter Jamey Hammond and 16 points a night.  6 members of last year's rotation will soften the blow of that loss.  The Hanson name remains entrenched as senior Isaiah had a big summer and will lead the way this season.  Soph Jeremiah was the 4th scorer last year but still averaged over 12 a night.  Senior Garrison Gillard also averaged over 12 points a night and was a major ballhandler for them.  Soph Grantham Gillard saw varsity time all last season and will see major minutes this year.

New Life Academy Eagles (2011-12 season 16-12, 7-6 Conference, 3rd South)
New Life will have to replace their top 3 scorers.  Post Dan Otto and perimeter players Alex Heiser and Cody Linton combined for 36 points a game.  Senior Cam Duffy returns along with juniors John Horner and Kyle Linton.  Soph Conrad Engstrom gives the Eagles a versatile option as well.

PACT Charter Panthers (2011-12 season 7-19, 2-11 Conference, 5th North)
The Panthers feature the top returning scorer in the league.  Lefty Drew Zieroth averaged 20.6 points per game last year.  2 other starters return, junior guard Danny Mooers and center Austin Stone.  Junior Daniel Nelson was the 4th leading scorer as a 6th man last year.  Guard Austin Coons is the only notable loss.

Southwest Christian Stars (2011-12 season 8-18, 3-10 Conference, 5th South)
Brian Horner averaged almost 18 points a game but graduated.  Junior Kevin Horner averaged over 13 a night in limited action.  He's a prime candidate to up his average this season.  Junior Luke Johanson and senior Mitchell Petersen are other options for former Stars standout Kit Avery. 

Trinity Tri-Hawks (2011-12 season 17-11, 10-3 Conference, 1st South)
One of the metro's top scorers Tony Kuplic departs after averaging 27.2 PPG.  2nd leading scorer Josh Koletar also graduated.  Mike and Caleb Dahl are 2 of the top returners.  Soph Jon Lotti will also see major minutes.

West Lutheran Warriors (2011-12 season 20-8, 9-4 Conference, 2nd North)
The guard duo of Dustin and Martin Barth combined for 26 points per game last year.  They will be the offense this season.  16.7 points from Justin Anderson will be missed.  Anderson and center Martin Bilitz were the 2 tallest players on the roster so the Warriors will need to find size.

Predicted Order of Finish

North Division
  1. Maranatha
  2. Heritage
  3. West Lutheran  
  4. PACT
  5. Legacy
South Division
  1. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 
  2. New Life
  3. Trinity
  4. SW Christian
  5. Bethany
Conference Overview
The north is the stronger division of the 2 with 3 of best 4 teams in the league.  Maranatha is the clear favorite but the gap has narrowed between them and everybody else.  Heritage and West Lutheran will battle for 2nd and 3rd.  Drew Zieroth leads PACT out of the division cellar.  In the South, LP/HT has too much coming back to not pick them.  New Life has enough back to be an easy pick for 2nd but not enough to overcome the Bulldogs.  The bottom 3 could toss up in any order.

Conference MVP: Isaiah Hanson - Maranatha

Underclassmen to watch:  
Grantham Gillard, Jeremiah Hanson- Maranatha
Conrad Engstrom - New Life
Jon Lotti - Trinity

Conference Games to Watch
  • West Lutheran at Heritage - Dec 11th
  • LP/HT at New Life - Jan 4th
  • Maranatha at West Lutheran - Jan 8th
  • Heritage at Maranatha - Jan 15th
  • Maranatha at LP/HT - Jan 22nd
  • New Life at LP/HT - Feb 1st
  • Heritage at West Lutheran - Feb 5th
  • West Lutheran at Maranatha - Feb 7th
  • Maranatha at Heritage - Feb 15th
  • Conference Tournament - Feb 23rd at Maranatha
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Robbinsdale Cooper at Maranatha - Dec 18th
  • Lakeview Christian at West Lutheran - Jan 4th (possible Anders Broman sets state scoring record)
  • Lakeview Christian at New Life - Jan 12th
  • Heritage vs Minneapolis Henry - Jan 26th (Super 60 Showcase at Washburn)
  • Maranatha at Minneapolis Washburn - Feb 9th

No comments:

Post a Comment

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