MFL MarMac will rely on athleticism, good attitude to offset inexperience

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Members of the MFL MarMac boys basketball team include (front, left to right) Carver Blietz-Bentien, Chauncy Drahn, Wyatt Powell, Kaden Stocker, Cullen McShane, assistant coach Mychal Moon; (back) head coach Eric Dettbarn, assistant coach Cory Donlon, Gavin Meana, Kale Miene, Colin Moses, Ben Miene, Braden Landt, Cayden Ball, Max Havlicek and assistant coaches Mark Kautman and Brandon Burke. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

This year’s MFL MarMac boys basketball team is admittedly inexperienced, but head coach Eric Dettbarn hopes the Bulldogs can make up for that with athleticism and good attitude.

Although the team is senior-heavy again, with seven, due to a strong 12th-grade class last season that helped propelled the Bulldogs to the top spot in the conference, only Cayden Ball has seen considerable varsity playing time. The guard was honorable mention all-conference a year ago, and will be relied upon to do much of the scoring with junior Cullen McShane, who also brings valuable experience to the group.

“They’re probably going to have to score more this year than they have in the past,” Dettbarn stated. “I’m also going to need solid leadership out of them, maybe not vocally, but through their actions and the way they play.”

Filling in around Ball and McShane will be seniors Gavin Meana, Colin Moses, Kale Miene, Ben Miene, Braden Landt and Max Havlicek, as well as juniors Chauncy Drahn and Kaden Stocker. Freshmen Wyatt Powell and Carver Blietz-Bentien will also see some minutes.

“They’ve shown in practice they bring some athletic ability and can handle the ball pretty well,” Dettbarn said. “But they are going to have to figure their roles out, where they fit in with the team and whether they’re going to be able to score at the varsity level or not.”

It’s a work in progress, he noted—work he would have preferred to do in the summer. But COVID-19 put a stop to that, eliminating team camps and basketball leagues. That time typically prepares Dettbarn for what to expect from the upcoming team.

“Really, coming into this year, I don’t have much of an idea what to expect,” he acknowledged. “We’re kind of starting from scratch with this group of kids. This is the first time they’ve played together and we’re kind of seeing where we’re at.”

MFL MarMac has a shorter team this season, with no players over 6’1”, which Dettbarn said will change the playing style.

“Now, we want to get up and down the floor and we want to run,” he explained. “We’re going to have to beat bigger teams down the floor and get early buckets in transition. We’re going to have to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim a lot more than we have in the past, and we’re going to have to shoot it well.”

“I’ve got a group of guys who can get out and go, and I think we can use that to our advantage,” he added. “We’ll see how that plays out.”

Dettbarn expects South Winn to be one of the better, if not the best, teams in the Upper Iowa Conference, along with North Fayette Valley. Both squads return a lot of starters and have some size.

“Those are two teams who could give us difficulty because we’re not as big as we have been in the past. We’re going to have to find ways to counter that size,” he said. “Everyone else in the conference is kind of like us: not very big.”

Dettbarn hopes the basketball players will feed off the football team’s success this year, which included a district title and deep playoff run.

“A lot of these guys did play football,” he quipped. “Right now, in practice, their attitudes are good.”

Having success early on will also help.

“That’s the biggest thing,” shared Dettbarn. “If they can start believing, ‘Oh, OK, we can do this,’ that’s going to be a big key for us. Have a few shots fall, win a few ball games early and get a little confidence.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet