Boys basketball: St. Bede moves to Tri-County with overhauled roster

Bruins lose top 6 scorers from last season

St. Bede's Logan Potthoff shoots a jump shot over Marquette's Taylor Waldron in the Class 1A Regional semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 at Midland High School.

Last season, the St. Bede boys basketball team got hot in the postseason and made a run to a regional final as a No. 10 seed.

The Bruins upset No. 1 Marquette in the regional semifinals before losing to No. 4 Midland in the championship.

This winter, St. Bede’s roster looks very different.

The Bruins lost their top six scorers from last year’s team, including BCR All-Area first-team and NewsTribune All-Area second-team pick Isaiah Hart, who did not return to St. Bede for his senior year.

Hart averaged 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. The Bruins also lost Callan Hueneburg (12.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg) to graduation.

While the Bruins lost plenty of experience, Logan Potthoff, Alex Ankiewicz and Nathan Husser return after seeing some time on the court last winter.

“Everything is up for grabs this year. We feel we could see points come from many different players this year.”

—  Brian Hanson, St. Bede coach

St. Bede adds eight juniors, including Mason Ross, Halden Hueneburg, Kaden Nauman, Kaden Newman and Phil Gray, who started the bulk of the games on the sophomore team last season.

“A friend of mine (Sundance Wicks) has just started his first season as a [NCAA Division I] coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay,” St. Bede coach Brian Hanson said. “He always talks about the three C’s: caring, connecting and competing. In our first week of practice, we are seeing a camaraderie develop and a sense of competition. We love the fire they have shown.”

With their top six scorers gone from last season, the Bruins will look for scoring from a variety of players.

“Everything is up for grabs this year,” Hanson said. “We feel we could see points come from many different players this year.”

Hanson said the Bruins will rely on defense to control the tempo.

“We will really be leaning on our defense to turn into offense,” Hanson said. “We want to be as bothersome as possible. Our pace and competitiveness needs to stem from that end of the floor.”

The Bruins, who went 11-22 last year, will look to develop throughout the winter in hopes of another successful postseason.

“We want the boys to have the best experience possible,” Hanson said. “That being said, our main goal is to always grow as young men, but they are also competitive young men. We would love to stack some wins and put ourselves in the best position possible to be successful late in the year.”

The Bruins’ schedule will look different this season as they move back to the Tri-County Conference after leaving the Three Rivers Conference after last school year.

“I think the move to the Tri-County will bring back some local rivalries,” Hanson said. “At the end of the day, we will try to be as prepared as possible to compete with each and every opponent on our schedule. The Tri-County has one of the oldest running conference tournaments in the state, which we are really excited about. It’s so easy to find something wrong with every action or decision these days, but we are embracing the change and looking forward to our new digs.”