Posted On: 03/13/18 11:59 AM
***Dunk photo submitted by Baden
Six-foot-6 skilled junior Baden Noennig of Mayer Lutheran is in the middle of a title run and this Friday he’s a part of a #1 vs #2 in state section final matching the state’s best. Make no mistake about it, Noennig is one of the state’s best juniors.
“Our season has gone really well for both our team and for me as well,” Baden said. “We just finished our regular season with a record of 23-3, and we have won 19 games in a row (the Crusaders are now 26-3). We finished 11-1 in the Minnesota River Conference and shared the conference championship with Jordan.
Noennig has scored 17.6 points per game for Mayer Lutheran this year leading a balanced team. Baden’s individual success has come from his team’s success.
“Personally, and thanks to the support of my teammates, I was able to score 1,000 points and contribute to our teams success,” Noennig said. “Our team is playing with a high level of intensity right now, and I’m excited for playoffs to get started.
“Some of the things that I feel that I have improved on this year are my court awareness, and my ability to finish through contact. I feel that my defense has also improved. I have become more physical and active on defense which allows for more steals and rebounds going the other way. The game itself has slowed down for me and I feel my scoring and shooting have become more consistent each game”
The Crusaders have went through an extreme schedule to prepare themselves for their run to the state tournament. In the playoffs alone they defeated Cleveland and BOLD for the second time this year. Wins over Cass Lake-Bena, Jordan, and others plus great experience in losses to Minnehaha Academy, Jordan, and Johnson, has the Crusaders ready for the number one in state (Springfield) against number two in state (Mayer Lutheran) battle, to get to state.
“Our coach has our entire team locked in and ready to play,” Baden said. “Cole Hagen is back in our lineup, and Kobey Woolhouse, Garret Tjernagel, Matt Menth, and Branden Carlson have all notched up their game.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season was to win our conference, our section, and to make it to state. I hope we can achieve the rest of our goals and get a chance to play at Target Center. It’s gonna be a battle, but we’re only going to get better as the playoffs go on.”
Several college programs have already started calling the agile, skilled, and long Baden Noennig who can play a few different positions. And this list is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.
“I have had a number of colleges contact me, and I have visited a couple of schools to learn more about their programs,’ Baden explained. “My parents and I will hopefully get to visit many more colleges this spring and summer as well.
“Some of the schools that have been in contact with me include the University of Sioux Falls, Jamestown, St. Cloud State, University of Minnesota Duluth, and St. John’s. My dream is to play college basketball and I will continue to improve my game so that I can play at that level.”
Baden is excited for the 17u season to prove what he can do. But that’s a long ways a way when you consider that the Mayer Lutheran versus Springfield game is this Friday.