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Prep Boys Basketball Preview | McDonell Macks

Prep Boys Basketball Preview: Senior-led McDonell puts in offseason work to improve

From the Collection: Get ready for the winter sports season with team previews series
2022-23 McDonell Boys Basketball Team

Members of the 2022-23 McDonell boys basketball team are (front row, from left): Joe Leibrandt and Cael Holm. Second row: Carter Grill, Jordan Sikora, Karson Galvez, Miles Flanagan, Grant Smiskey, Ben Siegenthaler, Cooper Mittermeyer and Mitchell Buescher. Third row: coach Alex Baierl, coach Adam Schilling, Asher Rozowski, Keagan Galvez, Canan Huss, Aidan Misfeldt, Carter Stelter, Eddie Mittermeyer, coach Brandon Mittermeyer and coach Morgan King.

This year’s McDonell boys basketball team will be led a strong senior class that has already put in plenty of work.

The Macks bring back 12 letterwinners from last year when the team finished 13-14 and advanced to the Division 5 regional finals.

With just one senior on last year’s team, McDonell was able to play many younger players, and fifth-year coach Adam Schilling is hopeful the Macks can see the benefits this winter.

Adam Schilling

Schilling

“Last year we kind of took our lumps a little bit, but we were able to get some guys experience in varsity action and really hoping that will pay off,” Schilling said. “We have a lot of seniors that especially really worked hard in the offseason. Since I’ve been here it’s probably the most I’ve had anybody put in in the offseason.”

Four of the team’s five starters return, including a pair of All-Western Cloverbelt Conference honorees with guards Canan Huss and Eddie Mittermeyer. The 6-foot-3 Huss averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3.4 assists a season ago as an All-Western Cloverbelt Conference first team honoree. Fellow senior Mittermeyer scored 15 points per game and had close to three assists per contest in earning second team all-conference honors.

Senior guard Aidan Misfeldt (5.6 ppg) and 6-foot-5 forward Keagan Galvez (4 ppg, 2.3 rpg) are also back as starters from a team that knocked off top-seeded Clear Lake in the regional semifinals before falling at Athens.

Seniors Brady Rubenzer, Carter Stelter and Asher Rozowski along with juniors Joe Liebrandt and Miles Flanagan, sophomores Cooper Mittermeyer, Grant Smiskey and Jordan Sikora and freshmen Karson Galvez and Cael Holm will also have the chance to see floor time for a roster that put in the work in the offseason.

“Last year we had two guys scoring the majority of the time, and this year I think we can be more balanced and hopefully be harder to guard since we hopefully have more guys that can put the ball in the basket,” Schilling said.

Last year marked the first time since 2014 the McDonell program failed to advance to at least the sectional finals. The Macks were an eight seed after an up-and-down regular season before knocking off the top-seeded Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. McDonell had a 15-11 lead over Athens in the regional finals before the Bluejays sprung to life in a 45-34 win, and Schilling said last year’s postseason showed the importance of playing well in the regular season to secure a strong seed for the playoffs.

“They understand that it’s an opportunity and hard work usually pays off, so I think after how last year ended they were really committed to get further this year and see where that could take us,” Schilling said.

“I think we played three really good halves out of those two games and kind of ran out of gas the second half of the last game,” Schilling said.

The Macks are like many teams in the Western Cloverbelt in that they return many experienced players. Defending league champion Fall Creek brings back four of its top six scorers, led by reigning Western Cloverbelt Player of the Year Bo Vollrath. Eau Claire Regis brings back a pair of all-conference players in Kendon Krogman and Zander Rockow, and Cadott has many of its top scorers back this season.

Overall, that should make for a challenging landscape in the battle for the Western Cloverbelt title — a fight the Macks want to play a part in.

“It’s good to have a good conference to play in, and that does help us in the playoffs,” Schilling said. “Every night’s going to be a tough battle, but a lot of kids are returning on a lot of these teams so hopefully everybody gets off to a good start and we’re able to compete with the top teams this year.”

McDonell opens the season later this week with two games at the Wausau East Classic. The Macks face the host Lumberjacks on Friday before playing Wabeno/Laona on Saturday. Overall, the Macks play their first eight games of the season away from home before a nonconference game against Flambeau on Dec. 19. The schedule flips late in the year when McDonell plays a stretch of eight of nine games at home near the end of the regular season.

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