End of the Road

Photo credit: Ben Yenger
Photo credit: Ben Yenger


ANKENY, Iowa -- The first round of regionals heralded the end of the season for Maranatha, who fell 90-94 to #5 Central Christian College of the Bible.

Stephen Wilkerson led Maranatha with 22 points and Taylor Ball concluded his career with a double-double. On the day, Maranatha shot just 7-36 from downtown in the four-point loss.


  • Result: #4 Maranatha 90-94 #5 Central Christian 
  • Venue: Nettleton Center, Faith Baptist Bible College
  • Location: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Event: NCCAA North Region Tournament
  • Attendance: 67
  • Records: MBU (7-8), CCCB (9-15)


Maranatha shot 47 percent in the first half, but the pace of play was frantic. Maranatha forced the three (they went 2-14 from downtown) and committed 10 turnovers, and Central wrapped it up when they hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 43-38 halftime lead. Savion Thorpe led the Saints with 18 points while Ball led Maranatha with 13.

The lead changed hands 12 times in the game with seven ties, but the second half yielded a similar frustrating story - the Blue and Gold couldn't find their range from beyond the arc, going 5-22 from distance. Despite the long-distance difficulties, Maranatha stayed within striking distance. Central maintained a slight lead and edged out to an 11-point advantage with 2:49 on the clock, but Maranatha began to press and build another memorable comeback. With 1:42 on the clock, Maranatha had come back to within four points and showed all the resolve of the last couple of weeks.

But just when they needed it most, the shots didn't connect. As their rim rejected effort after effort, the Saints hit the free throws they needed at the other end of the floor to seal the win, the ticket to the semifinals, and the end of the Sabercats' 20-21 season.


Seniors Taylor Ball, Brenden Caldwell, Zeke Steuerwald, and Stephen Wilkerson all played the final game of their fourth season in Maranatha colors.


Maranatha Starters: 2- T. Ball, 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald, 5- Sanders, 23- Wilkerson // Central Christian Starters: 2- Williams, 5- Thorpe, 12- Black, 23- Johnson, 24- Koester



  • Wilkerson: 22 PTS, 7 REB
  • Aaron Sanders: 14 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST
  • Ball: 13 PTS, 13 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL
  • Zeke Steuerwald: 11 PTS, 7 AST
  • Rebounds: MBU 46-38 CCCB
  • MBU: Shot 7-36 from downtown
  • Last time: Maranatha won during the 1990-91 season
  • Series: The series is now tied 1-1


  • Central competes in the NCCAA DII North Region and the Midwest College Collegiate Conference
  • Central holds an 8-13 NCCAA record and a 6-3 record against North Region opponents this season
  • Central lost in the first round of last year's North Region Tournament


The Sabercats conclude their season with a 7-8 record. A full recap of the season will be coming at mbusabercats.com.

End of the Road
February 25, 2021 End of the Road
NCCAA Regionals Insider
February 24, 2021 NCCAA Regionals Insider
Hot Shot Havoc
February 19, 2021 Hot Shot Havoc
Four-Seed Framework
February 17, 2021 Four-Seed Framework
What Might Have Been
February 13, 2021 What Might Have Been
Comeback City
February 9, 2021 Comeback City
Twice Over
February 8, 2021 Twice Over
Ballin' in January
February 4, 2021 Ballin' in January
Just Short
January 30, 2021 Just Short
North Region Runaway
January 29, 2021 North Region Runaway
Basketball Games Postponed
January 26, 2021 Basketball Games Postponed
On the Back Foot
January 19, 2021 On the Back Foot
Put to the Sword
January 18, 2021 Put to the Sword
Evening the Odds
January 16, 2021 Evening the Odds
No Way Back
January 14, 2021 No Way Back
Weekly for Wilkerson
December 14, 2020 Weekly for Wilkerson
Setting it Straight
December 12, 2020 Setting it Straight
Fighting Through
December 11, 2020 Fighting Through
Revenge on Hold
December 4, 2020 Revenge on Hold
Basketball Games Cancelled
December 1, 2020 Basketball Games Cancelled
Thursday Game Postponed
November 18, 2020 Thursday Game Postponed
Weekend Games Postponed
November 11, 2020 Weekend Games Postponed
Back in Business
November 10, 2020 Back in Business
Back Together
November 9, 2020 Back Together
Season-Opener Cancelled
November 5, 2020 Season-Opener Cancelled
Eligibility Extended
October 29, 2020 Eligibility Extended