Kaczynski helps Mustangs start season on high note

Ryan Kaczynski
Ryan Kaczynski

A season-opening game is usually a big enough deal to draw a good crowd, but there was an extra reason to turn out for the Mounds View High School boys basketball team's first game of the season last Friday. One member of the team was on the verge of a milestone from the opening tap.

Mounds View senior Ryan Kaczynski finished the 2013-14 season with 998 career points, so he entered the game against Bloomington Kennedy in need of two points to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Kaczynski wasted little time reaching the milestone as he scored the first the two points of the contest. He led all scorers with 28 points as Mounds View cruised to an 89-68 win over the Eagles.

Kaczynski was one of four Mustangs in double figures. Max Van de Werken also topped the 20-point mark with a 23-point effort while Nate Elbers added 15 and Jared Everson scored 11.

Not a bad start to the season as Mounds View tries to build on its 22-win season from a year ago. Kaczynski averaged 22.6 points per game last year, and appears capable of bettering that mark this season.

Kaczynski is the lone returning starter from last year's team that went 22-6 and lost to Tartan in the section semifinals. Head coach Dave Leiser, in his third season as head coach of the Mustangs, has 10 other returning players who will help fill out the starting lineup and remaining roster. They include seniors Everson, Hunter Sorensen, Van de Werken, Tommy Sletten, Gerritt Deiters, Matt Laden, Luke Schooley, Alex McCoy and Michael Ban and Albers, who is a junior. Newcomers who could see time are Tyler Fairchild, Zeke Thompson and Luke Swenson.

Mounds View plays one more non-conference game (Tuesday at home against Spring Lake Park) before jumping headlong into Suburban East Conference play next week. The Mustangs' conference opener is Dec. 5 at Roseville.

A year ago, Mounds View finished fourth in the Suburban East standings, one game out of third and three out of first. East Ridge won the conference by a game over runner-up Cretin-Derham Hall.

Leiser expects his team to again contend for the SEC crown.

"We expect to be competitive in a very difficult Suburban East Conference," Leiser said. "Our conference is stacked from top to bottom."

Other games of note on the schedule this season include a return to the Bethel University holiday tournament after a one-year absence (Mounds View played in a tournament in Windom last year). The Mustangs also return to Target Center for a game against Baldwin-Woodville (Wisc.) on Jan. 3 and trek north for a non-conference game at Duluth East on Feb. 20.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

2014-15 Mounds View High School boys basketball schedule

  • Nov. 21 vs. Bloomington Kennedy 7:15 p.m.
  • Nov. 25 vs. Spring Lake Park 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 5 at Roseville 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 vs. East Ridge 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 12 at Woodbury 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 16 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 19 vs. White Bear Lake 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 22 at St. Francis 7:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 29 vs. Eagan at Bethel Holiday tournament 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 30 vs. TBA at Bethel holiday tournament Time TBA
  • Jan. 3 vs. Baldwin-Woodville at Target Center 12:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 6 at Stillwater 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 9 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 13 at Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 16 at Minneapolis Southwest 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 20 at East Ridge 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 23 vs. Woodbury 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 vs. Thief River Falls 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 6 at White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 vs. Irondale 7:15 p.m.
  • Feb. 10 vs. Stillwater 7:15 p.m.
  • Feb. 13 at Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.
  • Feb. 17 vs. Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.
  • Feb. 20 at Duluth East 7 p.m.


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