Mustangs ready for new crop to lead boys hoops team

The Mounds View High School boys basketball team enters the 2016-17 season having posted winning records the previous three seasons. Last year’s squad went 22-7 and advanced to the section final.

A year later, Mounds View has one starter and a couple of players who played important roles off the bench. Head coach Dave Leiser sees a number of positives on a team with plenty of players who will be seeing significant varsity minutes for the first time.

“We have quite a few players who will be earning their first extensive varsity minutes,” said Leiser. “In addition, our experienced players will be taking on expanded roles.”

Two of those experienced players are senior captains Nick McMillan and Nate Varberg. McMillan, the lone returning starter for the Mustangs, averaged 10 points per game last season and was named all-conference. 

“We have had great leadership from our captains,” Leiser said. “They have been instrumental in building our team chemistry.”

Varberg, along with senior Brian Stone, return after coming off the bench last year.

Some of the players who are stepping up to expanded varsity roles include seniors Oskar Peterson, Chris Kim, Charlie Etuko, Michael Conlin-Brandenburg, Luke Gravely and Jack McCoy. From the junior class are Colin Jones, Michael Fahim and Jason Andersen.

Shooting, defense and rebounding are pretty important aspects of basketball and Leiser, entering his fifth season as head coach, is confident in his team’s ability to do all three.

“We believe we have a good shooting team and one of the better rebounding teams we have had in recent memory,” said Leiser, who is in his 26th year with the program. “We expect to be a solid defensive team.”

Mounds View kicks off the season with a pair of games this week, starting with a trip to Benilde-St. Margaret’s on Dec. 6. The Mustangs’ home opener is Dec. 9 against Spring Lake Park.

Next week, Mounds View hosts Fridley on Dec. 13 and opens Suburban East Conference play on Dec. 16 at Park-Cottage Grove. The Mustangs close out their pre-Christmas schedule with a visit from Rogers on Dec 19 and play in the Bethel holiday tournament on Dec. 28-29.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016-17 Mounds View High School boys basketball schedule

Dec. 6 at Benilde-St. Magaret’s 7 p.m.

Dec. 9 vs. Spring Lake Park 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 13 vs. Fridley 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 16 at Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 19 vs. Rogers 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 28 at Bethel tournament TBA

Dec. 29 at Bethel tournament TBA

Jan. 3 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 6 at Woodbury 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 10 vs. Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 13 vs. Staples-Motley 8 p.m.

Jan. 17 vs. White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 20 vs. East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 24 at Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 27 at Roseville 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 31 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 3 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 4 at Duluth East 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 vs. Woodbury 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 11 vs. Baldwin-Woodville 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 14 at Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 17 vs. Edina 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 21 at White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 24 at East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 28 vs. Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Mar. 3 vs. Roseville 7:15 p.m.

 

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