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Photo credit: Bridger Buchi
Photo credit: Bridger Buchi

NCCAA Nationals Preview: Sabercats Seeded Fifth

WATERTOWN, Wis. --- After a convincing win of the 2017 NCCAA North Regional Tournament, the Sabercats are seeded as the #5 seed going into the 2017 NCCAA DII National Tournament hosted by Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. The tournament will be held March 9-11.

The Sabercats hold a 15-11 record on the year, which includes an 8-1 record against NCCAA DII competition. When the Sabercats lost to Grace Bible in the regional championship last season, it marked the first time in 10 seasons that the Sabercats were denied the chance to compete for the national title.

Now that they are back at Nationals, MBU will be eyeing the banner once again.

This will be head coach Clayton Morrison's 18th visit to the national stage, as Morrison has coached three teams that have brought the title back to Maranatha. Most recently, the team won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014.

"Each time we gain the right to represent our Region at the National Tournament it is a special time," said Morrison. "It is always a blessing to see a team improve throughout the year and then put it all together at regionals. This season we were able to win at home that was special...being able to send Hannah [Glaze], Julie [Roer], and Emilee [Hansel] out with a Regional championship was extra special."

Hanna Glaze and Alexis Jonson have brought effectiveness and experience to the starting five, as the tandem has combined for 26.9 points per game. The two players were bestowed all-region honors, as Glaze earned first team accolades while Johnson was named to the all-region second team. When it mattered most at the regional tournament, Glaze and Johnson delivered to help the Sabercats knock off the top-seeded Trinity Bible College Lions en route to a 58-53 win in the regional championship.

"Having been seeded as the fifth seed I felt was appropriate, with how our over season went," continued Morrison. "There are some very good teams that we will have to face, starting right off with BJU will be a true test. Alexis Johnson and Hannah Glaze will be important in leading Our team at the National Tournament, both defensively and in scoring. Both are very capable of big things - let's hope this is their time!" 

The Sabercats will open play at the national tournament with a clash against the Bruins of Bob Jones University. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 9. The winner of that game will advance to play the #1 seed, Arlington Baptist, at 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 10.

For a complete bracket of the tournament, click here

For more information on the tournament, click here