Pushing New Limits

Pushing New Limits

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The 2018-19 Sabercats Men's Basketball Team took the program into territory that had been uncharted for over a decade. Earning a fourth-place finish at NCCAA Nationals (the best team finish since 2003), the team finished the season with a 16-11 record - a winning percentage that has been equaled just once since the 1996 season. 

All told, it was quite the season for Maranatha Basketball.


The team set the tone early on, as they defeated Dominican University (NACC) for the first time in program history on opening night.

A win over Wisconsin Lutheran (NACC) on the road a week later was the first time Maranatha had beaten WLC since 2011, and early on, the Sabercats had proven themselves against some rigid DIII regional competition.

The Sabercats picked up big away wins at Moody, Northland, and Martin Luther, and would go on to record a 6-2 home record on the season, as their only home losses came to Crown (NCAA DIII) and Silver Lake (NAIA DII). 

One such home win seemed to be turning into a loss, as the Sabercats trailed Martin Luther by 11 points with 5:30 on the clock. Then the Sabercats did the unthinkable, knocking down eight points in 11 seconds en route to a 50-point second half (VIEW ON TWITTER). That second-half comeback was one to remember, and the Sabercats locked up an 82-76 win to show for it. 

Riding a three-game winning streak, the team went into the NCCAA North Region Tournament with confidence, and they quickly earned the regional title after defeating Emmaus Bible College and Moody Bible Institute. The regional title had eluded them from 2003-2018, and reclaiming the crown two years in a row was a testament to the team's tenacity and experience.

At the NCCAA National Tournament, the Sabercats achieved a feat that hadn't been done in four years at the national level: as the #8 seed, they knocked off the #1 seed in the quarterfinal round. After leading 36-8 at halftime, the Sabercats wrapped up a resounding 73-62 win over the Randall University Saints, who were vying for their fourth consecutive national title.

From there, the Sabercats would go on to finish in fourth place, and it was their best finish at the national level since 2003.



The Sabercats broke into the program record books in the following categories*^:

Team/Individual             Mark    Program Records   
Team: season   2003 pts   10th (season)
Team: season 1151 reb 2nd (season)
Team: season   42.6 reb/game   2nd (season)
Team: season 385 ast 7th (season)
Team defense: season .393 FG % 2nd (season)
Jonathan Book: career 929 pts 24th (career)
Jonathan Book: career 344 ast 2nd (career)


* only documented information was recorded when compiling the all-time records. If you find errors or omissions, contact taylor.pill@mbu.edu.

^ ball-control records (rebounds, assists, etc.) were tracked beginning in 2000.



NCCAA All-Region selections: Jonathan Book (1st Team), Matt Gill (Honorable Mention), David Lerma (2nd Team), Stephen Wilkerson (3rd Team)

NCCAA North Region Coach of the Year: Keith Salscheider

NCCAA All-American selections: Jonathan Book (2nd Team)

NCCAA Scholar-Athletes: Matt Gill, CJ Jones, Rob Sonnenberg

AD3I All-Independent selections: Jonathan Book, David Lerma, Stephen Wilkerson (1st Team), Aaron Sanders, Rob Sonnenberg (2nd Team)

AD3I Coach of the Year: Keith Salscheider



Jonathan Book, Matt Gill, CJ Jones, David Lerma, and Rob Sonnenberg all conclude their four-year careers this season.

Home Stretch
December 10, 2019 Home Stretch
Johnson Shines On
November 11, 2019 Johnson Shines On
Regional Hosts Announced
June 13, 2019 Regional Hosts Announced
Groundwork: Laid
May 17, 2019 Groundwork: Laid
One for Good Measure
May 16, 2019 One for Good Measure
Causin' More Trouble
May 14, 2019 Causin' More Trouble
Forward Steps
May 10, 2019 Forward Steps
Two Down
May 6, 2019 Two Down
Causin' Trouble
April 23, 2019 Causin' Trouble
Time of Transition
April 8, 2019 Time of Transition
Go Time
March 28, 2019 Go Time
One Mo Time
March 18, 2019 One Mo Time
Pushing New Limits
March 15, 2019 Pushing New Limits
Recapping Records
March 13, 2019 Recapping Records
Mo Again
February 26, 2019 Mo Again
Hello Again
February 23, 2019 Hello Again
One Against Two
February 23, 2019 One Against Two
Softball Season: Cancelled
February 21, 2019 Softball Season: Cancelled
Double Double-Double Double
February 19, 2019 Double Double-Double Double
Top Spot for Regionals
February 19, 2019 Top Spot for Regionals
Another Top Spot for Regionals
February 19, 2019 Another Top Spot for Regionals
Tricks in the Book
February 19, 2019 Tricks in the Book
Mo' for Mo
February 12, 2019 Mo' for Mo
Double-Double Double
February 5, 2019 Double-Double Double
Wilkerson Weekly
February 5, 2019 Wilkerson Weekly
Breaking Down Barriers
January 30, 2019 Breaking Down Barriers
Callie Mo Steals the Show
January 29, 2019 Callie Mo Steals the Show
Caribbean Connections
January 24, 2019 Caribbean Connections
Year 2
January 17, 2019 Year 2
The Main Event
December 21, 2018 The Main Event
Carrying the Mantle
December 15, 2018 Carrying the Mantle
Peaks and Valleys
December 11, 2018 Peaks and Valleys
Another Accolade
December 7, 2018 Another Accolade
Brick and Mortar
December 7, 2018 Brick and Mortar
Book Grabs Weekly Award
December 4, 2018 Book Grabs Weekly Award
They'll be Back
December 4, 2018 They'll be Back
NCCAA All-Americans Announced
November 28, 2018 NCCAA All-Americans Announced
Record-Setting Fall
November 26, 2018 Record-Setting Fall
Only the Best
November 26, 2018 Only the Best
Setting things Straight
November 26, 2018 Setting things Straight
Chasing Four
November 14, 2018 Chasing Four
Hansel Hoards Awards
November 12, 2018 Hansel Hoards Awards
On the Rise
November 9, 2018 On the Rise
Monthly Honors for Hansel
November 8, 2018 Monthly Honors for Hansel
Eyeing the Finish Line
November 8, 2018 Eyeing the Finish Line
Hands down Hansel
October 30, 2018 Hands down Hansel
Sponable Strikes Again
October 30, 2018 Sponable Strikes Again
Hats Off for Hansel
October 23, 2018 Hats Off for Hansel
A Nod for Nelson
October 23, 2018 A Nod for Nelson
New News, Old News
October 16, 2018 New News, Old News
Add it to the Collection
October 10, 2018 Add it to the Collection
Honors for Hernandez
October 9, 2018 Honors for Hernandez
Johnson, Sponable Shine On
October 9, 2018 Johnson, Sponable Shine On
Rankin Secures Weekly Award
October 2, 2018 Rankin Secures Weekly Award
Johnson Doubles Up
September 18, 2018 Johnson Doubles Up
Alumni Day 2018 Review
August 25, 2018 Alumni Day 2018 Review