ANKENY, Iowa -- Four players from both Sabercats basketball teams have earned NCCAA All-Region honors, and Micah Shepard earned the title of North Region MVP, as was announced this morning at the North Regional Awards Banquet.
Below is the breakdown of each team's selections:
|Alexis Bueltel*||Women's Basketball||North Region 1st Team|
|Kelsey Johnson*||Women's Basketball||North Region 2nd Team|
|Karley Johnson||Women's Basketball||North Region 3rd Team|
|Katie Bender||Women's Basketball||North Region Honorable Mention|
|Micah Shepard*||Men's Basketball||North Region 1st Team (MVP)|
|Jonathan Book||Men's Basketball||North Region 2nd Team|
|David Lerma||Men's Basketball||North Region 3rd Team|
|Bryce Cashner||Men's Basketball||North Region Honorable Mention|
|*Selected in 2016-17|
Notes - Women
Alexis Bueltel has been an essential leader on and off the court this year for MBU. Bueltel has averaged 15.3 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor. Bueltel ranks second on the team (behind Kelsey Johnson) in those categories. Last year, Bueltel earned 2nd Team honors in the all-region selections. Bueltel also recently passed the 1,000-career-points mark and currently stands at 1,037.
Kelsey Johnson's season has been nothing short of spectacular. The sophomore has recorded double-digit points in every game except one, and even then, Johnson notched 9 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson leads the team in points per game (16), rebounds per game (8.7), double-doubles (9), and assists per game (4.3). Last year, Johnson earned 2nd Team honors in the North Region.
Karley Johnson and Katie Bender haven't grabbed the headlines as much as Kelsey Johnson and Bueltel, but their work on the floor has been no less important. Karley Johnson recorded a career-high 25 points in a narrow 64-58 win over North Central in January, and the sophomore has logged double digits in 9 games this season. Bender has shown a steady work ethic at the point this season, and is on track for her own season-best marks in assists, rebounds, and points this season.
Notes - Men
Micah Shepard returns to the 1st Team after being selected to the same team last year, but this time, he puts the exclamation point on his season with a Regional MVP title. Shepard passed 1,000 career points this season as well, and he leads the team in points per game with 14.2. Shepard notched a career-high 38 points in MBU's 105-97 overtime defeat of North Central back in November, and he has recorded double-digits in 15 games this year.
Jonathan Book has been at the hub of everything for the Sabercats this season. The quick junior leads the Sabercats in assists (3.8/game) and ranks third on the team in points per game (12.2). Book has set the tempo for the Sabercats' offense all season, and will look to continue his form deep into this postseason.
Transfer David Lerma and 4-year mainstay Bryce Cashner have also been instrumental in the Sabercats' success this season. Lerma ranks second on the team in points (12.4/game) and assists (3.1/game). Lerma has truly been a go-to option for the Sabercats throughout the season. Cashner's presence down low has been a crucial part of the Sabercats' game plan for the season. The big man has averaged 6.4 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field.