High interest, high hopes

Posted: December 13, 2023

Boys basketball preview

When you think of the name Minnehaha Academy, what do you think about? Oftentimes, MA is associated very closely with basketball.

With superstar graduates such as Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren, both of whom went on
to play in the NBA, our institution has garnered a lot of attention over the last few years. But what is happening with MA basketball now?

Even though the Varsity team isn’t stacked with the same talent, they continue to find success, beating the number one seed last year in the state semi-final. Part of the reason that Minnehaha continues to achieve at such a high level is due to the continually high interest in the middle school program. The middle school has enough players to field four teams from sixth through eighth grade.

Although MA has lost 3 of their top 5 scorers from last year due to graduation or transfers, the team has a couple of returning players. This includes seniors Mateo Cortes Weiss and Lorenzo Levy who were the #4 and #2 scorers per game last season. This calls for some younger players to step up. MA has many juniors and sophomores ready to play an important role on the team this year.

“Every year I hope that we can be the best team we can try to reach our full potential,” said Head Coach Lance Johnson.

“And then everything else like, you know, go into the state or go into a conference or whatever falls into place cap.”

With the season starting up, players are eager to get back on the court. Coming off of a great year with a final loss in the State Finals to Albany.

“I’m excited to see how we carry our success from last year over to this season. I feel that we have enough talent to fill the roles of those we lost from last year’s team,” said senior Cortes Weiss.

Weiss continued with his ambitions,

“If we stick to the plan and follow the lead of our coaches, we should be able to contend for another state championship.”

“Last year was a great season, and I hope to repeat it this year,”

Another returning varsity player, Junior George Norseman explains.

“I’m excited for new players on Varsity and to see how the year pans out.”

The MA basketball program has been exceptionally led by longtime head Varsity coach, Lance Johnson.

The program will take on new players this year and some of the new additions are just grateful to play for a team at their school.

For years, MA’s players and coaches have contributed to and fostered a talented and healthy basketball community.
Sophomore Malachi Snell says

“I’m really happy to be in this program with some great guys.”

With high hopes for the season, the Minnehaha Redhawks took on the Blake Bears in their first home game of the season, winning in overtime. They then played in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic against St. Thomas Academy, finishing with a 74-66 win. the boy’s team as of now have started the season with a steady 2-1 record.

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