2012-13 Missota Preview

This is the sixth preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Missota Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Academy of Holy Angels Stars (2011-12 season 15-12, 8-6 Conference, Tied 3rd)
The Stars look to bounce back from a disappointing end to last season.  They were looking at a 2 seed and then lost their last 3 regular season games.  That forced a road game at Blake which was their 4th straight loss to end the year.  A surprising finish since coach Larry McKenzie's teams usually finish strong.  The roster is loaded with juniors Jordan Dembley and Delshon Strickland returning outside.  Senior Sam Keis also returns at a guard spot.  Firepower is back inside too with junior center Charlie Koontz and Danny Sullivan.  Those are the top 5 scorers.

Chaska Hawks (2011-12 season 14-13, 8-6 Conference, Tied 3rd)
The Hawks were a pleasant surprise last season still making .500 despite losing 2 star players.  They return 7 pieces returning from last year.   Post Eric West leads with 13.5 PPG.  The starting backcourt of soph Justin Arnold (PG) and junior Kolby Seiffert (SG) also returns.  Seiffert was the other double figure scorer at 11.5 PPG.  Junior forward Isaac Tewes and defending guard Chris Auer are experienced pieces.  Junior Matthew Witthus and soph Jacob Hansen will also contribute.

Chanhassen Storm (2011-12 season 23-6, 13-1 Conference, 1st)
The Storm suffer the heavy losses in the league.  Wing Kevin Jensen's 18 PPG are off to U of Mary.  Forwards Cole Otto and Steven Gitzen are gone along with shooter Joey Stark.  Slick passing point guard Brandon Arnold will be sorely missed.  The cupboard isn't completely bare though.  Jared Lea returns as a defender.   Jack Kozlowski is a front court workhorse.  Soph Joey Witthus is primed for a breakout season after an outstanding summer.

Farmington Tigers (2011-12 season 10-17, 6-8 Conference, Tied 5th)
Injuries had a major impact on this squad last year.  Lost 7 of 11 to end the season with one of those wins being a 2 OT win over lowly Northfield and a loss at home to Red Wing.  But the Tigers won at Chaska and beat Holy Angels, Shakopee and New Prague at home.  The top 4 scorers return.  The top 3 are juniors Darren Beenken, center Nick Varner and wing McKinley Bassett who all averaged double figures.  Soph Zach Speikers also returns as the 4th scorer.

New Prague Trojans (2011-12 season 19-10, 9-5 Conference, 2nd)
The front court duo of Sergio Najera and Trevor O'Brien combined for almost 24 a night and needs to be replaced.  Forward Jake Meyer also departs as an inside banger.  Junior Paul Friendshuh was in that rotation last year too and should step right in and fill that gap.   Junior post Michael Soderlund will likely step into the front line as well.  The backcourt is solid with everybody back.  Joe Kneip, Nick Johnson and Luke Rynda make up a solid group that moves the ball well and can knock down shots.

Northfield Raiders (2011-12 season 5-21, 0-14 Conference, 8th)
Center and leading scorer Leif Olson needs to be replaced.  Guard Eric Shepley is the top returning scorer at 10.6 PPG.  Nothing significant in the pipeline that could improve the outlook.  Expect another long season.

Red Wing Wingers (2011-12 season 11-16, 6-8 Conference, Tied 5th)
The Wingers lose their top scorer Joel Newman who put up almost 18 points a night.  Ryan Parr needs to be replaced up front.  The 2nd through 5th scorers return and are young.  Junior Isaac Toivonen reached double figures at 10.7 a night.  Ty Buck averaged over 9 a game as a freshman.  Captain Ryan Boldt returns for leadership along with junior forward Jon Sevlie.

Shakopee Sabers (2011-12 season 10-17, 6-8 Conference, Tied 5th)
The Sabers went young last year as there were no seniors on the roster.  The line up is huge with 4 of the top 5 scorers from last year being 6'4 or taller.  That includes double figures scorers John Burlager and junior Tyler Weiss.  He'll play lots outside with his ability to handle and shoot it.  Jake Maiers is a strong inside body.  Soph Evan Hagen returns after running the point last year.  Look for outside shooting to be a key for this squad.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Holy Angels
  2. Chaska 
  3. Shakopee
  4. Farmington 
  5. New Prague 
  6. Chanhassen 
  7. Red Wing
  8. Northfield
Conference Overview:
The Missota bounces back very strong this season.  Holy Angels, Chaska, Shakopee and Farmington all return most of their rotations.  Chanhassen's returnees will keep them solid but with all the losses they have to move down.  Red Wing returns 4 members of their rotation.  New Prague's guards are solid and if Paul Friendshuh breaks out they can be very dangerous.  I can see 6 teams all good enough to win at least 7 conference games.  That doesn't count Red Wing who normally would look to move up with 4 pieces coming back but there's too much in front of them.  The top 3 are pretty clear but can be in any order.  Ditto that for the next 3 teams who are all talented enough to make a dent in the conference race.  Particularly Farmington when teams come to their place.

Conference MVP: Jordan Dembley - Holy Angels

Underclassmen to watch:  
  • Trenton McCarthy- Holy Angels
  • Ty Buck - Red Wing
  • Steffon Mitchell, Evan Hagen - Shakopee
  • Joey Witthus - Chanhassen 
  • Zach Speikers - Farmington
Conference Games to Watch
  • Holy Angels at Chaska- Jan 11th 
  • Chaska at Shakopee - Jan 22nd
  • Holy Angels at Shakopee - Jan 29th
  • Chaska at Holy Angels - Feb 8th
  • Shakopee at Chaska - Feb 19th
  • Shakopee at Holy Angels - Feb 26th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Blake at Chaska - Dec 4th
  • Holy Angels vs Roseville - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Woodbury at Shakopee - Dec 11th
  • Owatonna at Shakopee - Dec 13th
  • Chaska at Waconia - Dec 21st
  • Chaska at Eden Prairie tournament - Dec 27 and 29th
  • Edina at Shakopee - Jan 4th
  • Shakopee at Eden Prairie - Jan 8th
  • Holy Angels at Blake - Jan 8th
  • Shakopee at Waconia - Jan 26th
  • Richfield at Holy Angels - Feb 2nd

No comments:

Post a Comment

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