WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Maranatha Men's Basketball team is back together, and with last year's loss at regionals still fresh in their minds, the team is all business as they prepare for the 2020-21 season.
Last season really was "the one that got away". After two consecutive trips to the NCCAA DII National Tournament in 2018 and 2019, the Sabercats were on their way to winning the NCCAA North Region Semifinal, but they lost their lead to Faith Baptist and eventually fell by 10 points in overtime.
As you may know, the National Tournament was cancelled just a few weeks later, but the loss still stings - it was like they had one hand on the trophy and then it was snatched away. This year, they'll look to set the record straight and be a competitor in each of the last three NCCAA DII National Tournaments.
"I am just really excited about the season and having almost everybody back," said Head Coach Joel Borchardt. "I'm excited to see where we're gonna go becuase we're already miles ahead of where we were at the beginning of last season. I'm excited to see the work ethic and IQ that the guys have already shown this season. We're looking for Stephen [Wilkerson], Taylor [Ball], Aaron [Sanders], and Zeke [Steuerwald] to keep stepping up like they did last season. We're really exicted to have Tyree [Bruno] back, and he's already making an impact and making us even deeper.
"I think we can not only go to nationals, but make it down there and make some noise and win a couple games. I'm really excited to see our potential and by the end of the season we're playing our best basketball and putting out our best effort for God's glory."
AT A GLANCE
- 11 student-athletes return to the roster
- Only four student-athletes on the roster are college rookies
- The team opens play next Saturday (November 7) at Northwestern
- NCCAA Regionals will be held at Faith Baptist Bible College on the weekend of February 25-27
- NCCAA DII Nationals will return to Joplin, Missouri, March 11-13
HOW TO FOLLOW
- mbusabercats.com/schedule - visit for gameday information including directions, live statistics, and live video.
- Twitter (@MBUSabercats) - visit to join gameday and season-long conversation about Maranatha Athletics.
- Facebook (/MBUSabercats) - visit for photo galleries, live video, and regular updates.
- Instagram (@mbusabercats)
KEY HOME GAMES
- 12/4 vs Faith
- 12/5 vs North Central (Minn.)
- 1/26 vs Emmaus
- 2/9 vs Lincoln Christian
- 2/16 vs Luther
FACES IN THE CROWD
All five starters from last year's NCCAA Regionals return to the floor (Taylor Ball, Jed Mayhak, Aaron Sanders, Zeke Steuerwald, and Stephen Wilkerson), and the team welcomes Tyree Bruno back to the squad - Bruno played 24 games in the 2018-19 campaign and will look to return with impact when he is able.
Brenden Caldwell, Josh Davis, and Caleb Moultrie all contributed meaningful minutes during the 2019-20 campaign, and they will look to continue the trend on the 2020-21 squad, which will prove to be as competitive as you could ask for.
The Sabercats begin their season tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. with a visit to Emmaus Bible College. Visit mbusabercats.com/schedule for gameday information.