Who Will Dethrone the Rebels this Season?



By Ken Farmer | Bloomington South League Coordinator

The Winter 2019 season of Ultimate Hoops kicks off tonight in Bloomington South and it’s shaping up to be a fiercely competitive league. The playoffs of Fall 2018 ended up being fairly chalk, but the regular season saw a number of upsets, especially towards the end of the season. This has the potential to be an exciting season with rollercoaster-like twists and turns.

The Rebels will be returning to defend their crown after a 10-1 record a season ago. They say defense wins championships and that was the case as the Rebels were the top defensive team in the league. They’ll be returning their core players from that team which will include top scorers Cody Heinz and Ryan McGuire. Long-time Rebels Dustin Dupont and Ryan Jansen were vital contributors to the championship run and this team is poised to be in the championship discussion again this season.

THEM, runners-up last season, will also be making a return and will be looking to complete some unfinished business. They’re playoff run was impressive and came up just short in the championship game. They were spearheaded offensively by Devin Stensrude and he’ll be a force to be reckoned with once again. Sam Hanson was a beast on the boards and was a main contributor to the defensive success this team achieved.

While the Rebels and THEM will be eager to get back to the championship game, it won’t be an easy feat considering the competition in this league. The Muskies were bounced in their first playoff game and left with a bad taste in their mouths. They’ll be motivated for a better finish after rounding out the season losers of their last three. They are dangerous on the offensive end with a number of 3-point shooters, such as Sonny Young-Graves and Jon Christenson. When they have their mojo offensively, they’re nearly impossible to stop.

The Guerrillas are equally, if not more, dangerous offensively and are routinely at the top of the league in scoring and assists. Their ball movement is second to none and can be lethal from beyond the arc. Chris Maher and Bryant Marmol are two of the best scorers in the league and impose their will on the offensive end.

The Loons don’t have the scoring output of the Muskies or Guerrillas, but they’ve been one of the more impressive defensive teams in the league for many seasons. You can usually find them at the top of the league in points allowed and can make life difficult for any opponent. Mike Ratelle is one of the best all-around point guards in the league and his impact is felt on both ends of the court. Tom Anderson is a force on the inside, but can also knock down jumpers from beyond the arc.

The Player’s Club will be returning most of their core players and will be looking to improve upon their mark from last season. They’re capable of beating any team in the league, but will need to play with more consistency. Tony DeBoer and Steven Kelsey are a dynamic one-two punch on the offensive end and rack up points in an instant.

The Red Devils will be looking to improve upon a disappointing season, but their record was marred by a number of close losses. A few bounces the other way and their season could have looked completely different. With their ability to knock down 3-pointers, they are not to be overlooked. Ben Davis has one of the quickest releases around and will knock them down when you least expect it. Luke Bruun is often their best player on the boards and will get buckets when the team needs it.

A new squad will be joining the league this season, but will have some familiar faces from a season ago. The Woj Bombs will consist of some members of the Lightning team from a season ago with some key additions as well. Jake Gave headlines this group that welcomes the addition of Kyle Meade and Steve Springer. This team is certainly capable of making some noise this season, but we’ll see how quickly they can gel as a unit.

From top to bottom, this appears to be a very strong field and any team is capable of defeating the other. The Rebels were finally able to reach the mountaintop after a few seasons of coming up just short in the championship game. Now the challenge will be to defend the title, but that won’t be a picnic with the competition in this league. We should be in for quite a ride this season that is sure to feature a few surprises.