Waseca captains

Waseca captains Ryan Dufault, Kyreese Willingham and Andrew Morgan hold up the 2AA south subsection championship trophy last season. That ended up being the last game the Bluejays were able to play last season, but they return 12 seniors this season. (File Photo/southernminn.com)

VARSITY ROSTER

Tave Ball, senior

Ty Below, senior

Elijah Breck, senior

Collin Dufault, senior

Ryan Dufault, senior

Zach Hoehn, senior

Preston Mansfield, senior

Andrew Morgan, senior

Ian Pomeroy, senior

Matt Seberson, senior

Dravyn Spies, senior

Kyreese Willingham, senior

Shaun Hulscher, junior

Parker Link, junior

2021 SCHEDULE

Jan. 14 — at St. James Area, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 19 — at NRHEG, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 22 — vs. St. Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 — vs. Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 — vs. New Ulm, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 — vs. Kenyon-Wanamingo, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 5 — at Blue Earth Area, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 12 — vs. Fairmont, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 — at New Ulm, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 — vs. St. James Area, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26 — at St. Peter, 7:30 p.m.

March 2 — at Minnehaha Academy, 7 p.m.

March 4 — at Waconia, 7 p.m.

March 5 — vs. Worthington, 7:30 p.m.

March 12 — Big South Championship, 7:30 p.m., TBD

KEY MATCHUPS

Jan. 22 vs. St. Peter — In the Big South East, St. Peter was the biggest challenger to Waseca’s dominance. The Bluejays were still able to cruise to a 15-point and 16-point victory in last season’s two matchups, and without Wyatt Olson, who’s now at Bemidji State, and Josh Johnson, the Saints enter this season without as much firepower at first glance. St. Peter does still return senior Ethan Grant, who will need to evolve into a consistent primary scoring option. While there doesn’t appear to be a challenger to Waseca and its 12 seniors in the East Division, this early-season matchup will display how close the rest of the field is. These two teams will also play Feb. 26 in St. Peter.

Jan. 26 vs. Marshall — The very next game on the schedule is a visit from one of five teams to beat the Bluejays last season. In 2019-20 regular season, Marshall pulled away for a 70-59 home victory. When the two sides reconvened three weeks later for the Big South Championship game, however, it was Waseca that managed a 57-55 victory with a pair of late free throws from Andrew Morgan. Noah Puetz has graduated, but Marshall is projected to be led by seniors Bryce Lance and Josh Baker. Baker scored 17 points and Lance added 13 in the regular-season win against Waseca, while Lance piled up a team-high 18 points in the conference championship. This is the only regular-season matchup between the two teams.

March 2 at Minnehaha Academy — Without an ability to play most of the challenging non-conference and non-section games that typically dot Waseca’s schedule, it was still able to continue this matchup against the high-profile Redhawks. The two teams played last year in Waseca, and Minnehaha Academy cruised to an 81-46 victory. This season, the Redhawks will be without Jalen Suggs, who’s now starring at Gonzaga, plus four other seniors from last season. They still feature the versatile and dynamic big man Chet Holmgren, who’s now a senior and is being courted by a handful of high-level Division I programs. A win might still be out of reach, but with 12 seniors, three of which will play Division I or Division II basketball, Waseca may be able to provide a stiffer test this season.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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