A Look Back at Basketball
WATERTOWN, Wis. -- At last week's post-season Athletic Awards Assembly, head coach Joel Borchardt named the final awards and reflected on the 2021-22 season - a season that was unusual, to say the least.
The 2020-21 Sabercats Men's Basketball season ended with another heartbreaking loss at NCCAA regionals, and for a program that has set the standard high in recent seasons, the result was below expectations. The team entered the North Region Tournament as the #4 seed after holding a regular-season record of 5-1 against NCCAA North Region opponents. In the opening round, they took a 90-94 loss to Central Christian College of the Bible.
That loss came after a regular season that consisted of just 14 games - about 10 fewer than normal.
"It was a very strange season for us," said Coach Joel Borchardt. "Throughout the season, we had 15 games cancelled due to COVID and weather. We're not going to appear in the record books because we only played 15 games this season, but the guys continued to work hard and pursue excellence on the court. I'm proud of the dedication and hard work that these men put into the season."
Despite the disappointing ending to the season, the Sabercats did appear in the top-25 program record books a total of 51 times (includes 25 career-record entries for Stephen Wilkerson). Just the highlights are listed below:
|Team: Season||17.5 AST/G*||1st: Season|
|Team: Season||6.7 STL/G*||9th: Season|
|Team: Season||77.1 PTS/G||7th: Season|
|Team: Season||38.9 REB/G*||5th: Season|
|Team: Season||954 REB*||10th: Season|
|Stephen Wilkerson||972 PTS||21st All-Time|
|Stephen Wilkerson||438 REB*||7th All-Time|
|Stephen Wilkerson||48.9 FG%||8th All-Time|
|Stephen Wilkerson||5.2 REB/G*||7th All-Time|
|Taylor Ball||5.7 REB/G*||4th All-Time|
*Ball control totals (rebounds, assists, etc.) were tracked beginning in 2000.
(Updated season records will be available at mbusabercats.com/records - if you have a question, please contact Taylor Pill: email@example.com)
The team awards from Coach Borchardt were as follows:
Most Improved - Ethan Cooper
Coach's Award - Caleb Moultrie
Most Valuable - Stephen Wilkerson
The National Christian College Athletic Association released the NCCAA North Region selections during the weekend of the regional tournaments, and every one of the Sabercats' starting five earned North Region recognition.
Stephen Wilkerson earned NCCAA North Region 1st-Team honors for the second year in a row despite missing a chunk of games due to injury. Wilkerson finished just shy of 1,000 career points (972) and led Maranatha with a career-best 18.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season. Wilkerson went on to earn NCCAA All-American 3rd-Team honors.
Taylor Ball earned a 2nd-Team selection, which was his first all-region honor. Ball compiled 18.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season, and both of those marks were the second-highest of anyone on the team.
Sanders earned NCCAA North Region 3rd-Team honors for the second straight year after he registered 5.7 assists and 10.8 points per game. Sanders ran the show from the point guard position and set the tempo for the Sabercats' offense all season long.
Jed Mayhak and Zeke Steuerwald earned honorable mention status in the North Region. Mayhak and Steuerwald had a dynamic defensive presence but were crucial to the scoring performance on the season. Mayhak averaged 10.1 points per game while Steuerwald contributed 5.8.
The Sabercats had four seniors on the roster: Taylor Ball, Brenden Caldwell, Zeke Steuerwald, and Stephen Wilkerson. Starters Aaron Sanders and Jed Mayhak and key team members Ethan Cooper and Josh Davis are expected to be the key returners next season.