John Marshall vs Century Boys Basketball (copy)

Century’s Stephan Olander, right, tries to dribble past John Marshall’s Jacob Daing during a Section 1AAAA quarterfinal game last season. Both Olander and Daing return as starters for the 2019-20 season for their respective teams.

Andrew Link /


Head coach: Jacob Vetter (2nd season, 14-13 record).

Assistants: Joe Ohm, James Bolin, Rick Saar, Austin Greene.

Last season: The Panthers finished 14-13 overall, 12-10 in the Big Nine Conference and lost to John Marshall in the Section 1AAAA quarterfinals.

Top returners: Seniors Jack Fisher (G, 22.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.0 apg), Gabe Hanson (G, 9.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg), Stephen Olander (G, 10.5 ppg), Mark Leonard (F, 8.0 ppg, 5 rpg), Canon Tweed (4 ppg, 2 rpg), Carter Proud,  Daunte Grafe, Adam Deng.

Top newcomers: Juniors Peter Lynch, RJ Saar.

Season outlook: The Panther have a strong returning cast including four starters in All-Conference pick Jack Fisher, honorable mention All-Conference selections Gabe Hanson and Stephen Olander, and Mark Leonard. The four seniors off last year's wining team, led by the high-scoring and athletic Fisher, should put the Panthers in prime position to top the 15-win mark. Coach Jacob Vetter believes Century can finish in the top half of both the Big Nine and Section 1AAAA this season. The Panthers should be one of the contenders for the section title. "There are a lot of very good teams in our conference and section so it will come down to us playing to our strengths as a team and executing our game plan each night," Vetter said. The coach said Canon Tweed, Carter Proud, Peter Lynch, RJ Saar, Daunte Grafe and Adam Deng could all be contributors.

Coach's comments: "As a team we are looking to build off of the growth and success we saw as a team last season," Vetter said. "I am excited for the depth that we have on our team this year. The depth will allow us great flexibility within our rotations this season."


Seniors: Jack Fisher, Gabe Hanson, Stephen Olander, Mark Leonard, Canon Tweed, Carter Proud,  Daunte Grafe, Adam Deng. Juniors: Peter Lynch, RJ Saar, Cole Hein, Derek Shamblin, Noah Deedrick, Markus Melsness, Basil Emilek. Sophomores: Jaden Wysocki, Carter Poncelot.


Head coach: Jim Daly (16th season, 3rd at JM).

Assistants: Justin Rein, Richard Hurt, Emanuel Lewis, Chase Rahman, Luke Thornton.

Last season: The Rockets finished 22-7 overall, 18-4 in the Big Nine Conference and they lost in the Section 1AAAA finals to Lakeville North for the seventh straight season.

Top returners: Seniors Lincoln Meister (6-8, F, 11.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Jacob Daing, Braden Black, Kyle Ebert, Will Woodford.

Top newcomers: Seniors Bill Ndumbe, Steve Ndumbe, junior Ty Tuckner.

Season outlook: The Rockets have reached the Section 1AAAA title game each of the past seven seasons, only to fall short of a state berth each time. Now they embark on this season without Matthew Hurt, who spent six years on the varsity, was Mr. Basketball last season and is now playing at Duke.  JM has a pair of starters back in Lincoln Meister and Jacob Daing. Meister is a college-level player who gives JM size, but he is recovering from a knee injury. Coach Jim Daly said without Hurt the Rockets are going to need more "scoring by committee." The coach still believes the Rockets can be in a hunt for a conference and maybe even a section title.

Coach's comments: "The kids are competing hard and playing together," Daly said. "It's definitely different without Matthew, we rode him so much last year on both sides of the ball. We're just hoping we're ready at the end of the season to make a nice run at the playoffs." 


Seniors: Jacob Daing, Steve Ndumbe, Kyle Ebert, Will Woodford, Braden Black, Bill Ndumbe, Lincoln Meister. Juniors: Trevale Moe, Grant Klebig, Jacob Welp, Anthony Valez-Hames, Parker Navitsky, Ty Tuckner, Adrian Rios, Aballa Bugatt. Freshman: Logan Tuckner.


Head coach: Luke Madsen (21st season, 3rd at Mayo, 235-225 overall record).

Assistant coaches: Pat Franko, Tom Brown, Gunnar Olson, Homza Mohamud.

Last season: The Spartans finished 15-12 overall, 14-8 in the Big Nine Conference and lost to New Prague in the Section 1AAAA quarterfinals.

Top returners: Gabe Madsen (23.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 5.0 apg), Mason Madsen (22.3 ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.9 apg), Mo Hammadelniel, Andre Crockett, Michael Sharp.

Top newcomers: Riek Riek, Daniel Young, Asa Cummings, Brandon Koga, Michael Wiltgen, Zach Andreen, Mustafa Aweys.

Season outlook: With five strong returning players, the Spartans should be a force in both the Big Nine Conference and Section 1AAAA. With the departure of state power Lakeville North to Section 3AAAA, Section 1AAAA figures to be wide open this season. Twins Gabe and Mason Madsen, the sons of coach Luke Madsen, are both high-scoring guards who have already signed with Division I Cincinnati to play college ball. Riek Riek will give the Spartans some size on the inside while Gabe Madsen is 6-5 and Mason is 6-3. The Spartans figure to be a strong scoring team, but will need to improve on defense from a year ago if they are going to be a section power. Mo Hammadelniel, Andre Crockett and Michael Sharp are all capable scorers.

Coach’s comments: "This is a group that has put a lot into preparing for this season," Luke Madsen said. "They have had a very committed and focused offseason. We look forward to what is ahead."


Seniors: Zach Andreen, Mustafa Aweys, Asa Cummings, Brandon Koga, Gabe Madsen, Mason Madsen, Riek Riek, Daniel Young, Michael Wiltgen. Juniors: Andre Crockett, Mo Hammadelniel, Michael Sharp. Sophomores: Makuei Riek.


Head coach: Eric Larson (4th season, 1st at Lourdes. 37-43 career record).

Assistant coaches: Todd Greguson, Kevin Hafner.

Last season: The Eagles finished 17-9 overall, 12-3 in the HVL and lost in the Section 1AA quarterfinals to La Crescent.

Top returners: Colin Meade, a 6-6 senior forward, was All-Conference last year when he averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds a game.

Top newcomers: Peyton Dunham, Ethan Sailer, Austin Loeslie, Trevor Greguson.

Season outlook: Lourdes has a new coach this season in Eric Larson, who stepped in after David Norris II resigned following the 2018-19 season. The Eagles will have to rely on a young crew. Meade is the only player back, but he is a big piece after averaging nearly 20 points and more than 8 rebounds a game last season. He will play college ball at St. John's. The Eagles have an athletic squad and if they jell, they could be a contender in the HVL Gold Division race.

Coach’s comments: "We have a nice mix of size and skill on roster," Larson said. "There is a significant amount of new pieces to the team and players in a position to receive their first varsity basketball experience. It will be interesting to see how everyone fits together and adjusts to a different style of play but the potential of what this team is capable of is very exciting."


Seniors: Austin Loeslie, JT Cafarella, Max Colby, Ethan Sailer, Colin Meade, Trevor Greguson, Zach Nickels. Juniors: Payton Dunham, Robbie Haedt, Devin Cruz, Julio Roman, Kyle Weinschenk, Oliver Adamson, Laddo Lowala, Faskuala Adeng-Cruz, Zion Jones.


Head coach: Tom Bance (19th season, 2nd at Schaeffer, 219-247 career record).

Assistant coach: Chad VanSchepen.

Last season: The Lions finished 13-14 overall, 7-8 in the Southeast Conference and lost to Kingland in the first round of Section 1A play.

Top returners: Isaiah Lahr, Nic Sanger, Luke Bothun, Ben Merry, Luke Kottum.

Season outlook: The Lions have good experience back as three starters return in Lahr, Sanger and Bothun. Lahr (13.9 points a game) and Sanger (12.1 ppg) both averaged in double figures last year while Bothun scored 7.3 ppg and Kottum added 5.9 ppg. With a strong core of players back, the Lions figure to contend for a division title in the SEC East.

Coach's comments: "I expect us to compete in every game this year," Bance said. "We bring back our top five scorers from last year and seven guys who played varsity minutes. I think we will at least contend to win the SEC East title and are looking to secure a home playoff game in the first round of the section tournament. We play in a tough conference and section, so every game will be a challenge for us, but I think we are up to the task."


Seniors: Isaiah Lahr, Nic Sanger, Ben Merry, Ebube Mordi, David Chuong. Juniors: Luke Bothun, Adam Rector. Sophomores: Luke Kottum, Aiden Kluth, Bryce VanSchepen.

-- Guy N. Limbeck

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