Although expectations fell short in the postseason last year, the Helias Crusaders had quality wins against the likes of Class 1 State Champion South Iron, Class 4 Final Four Blair Oaks, Tolton, Republic, and Class 5 Runner Up Bolivar and finished the season 19-7.

Helias also earned a 2nd place tie breaker finish in the Machens Great 8 Classic and Tournament Championships at the Houlihan's Classic at Springfield Catholic and the Bolivar Tournament. Helias was bumped up into Class 6 with the implementation of the Championship Factor.

After beating cross town rival Jefferson City twice in the regular season, the Crusaders missed a game winning shot off of the front of the rim to lose the District championship game by 2 points. Ugh!

The good news for Head Coach Joe Rothweiler heading into 2021-22 is that two of the top players on that team are back, led by CMAC Conference MVP and All-District MVP junior guard Desmond White (6'2", 165). He averaged 20.2 ppg / 3.5 apg / 5.3 rpg / 52% fg / 43% 3fg / last season.

Senior guard Malcolm Davis (6'1", 185) had an outstanding junior campaign, averaging 16.6 ppg / 3.8 apg / 3.1 rpg / and being named CMAC All-Conference and All-District.

Junior forward Trey Bexten (6'3, 195) earned a couple starts last season in addition to coming off the bench to provide a spark. Most of that spark was drawing charges, 19 in all and he averaged 2 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

Junior newcomers guard Jacob Rembecki (6'2", 175) and guard Henry Neuenswander (6'1, 175) will round out the initial starting five. Contributors and potential starters include Scott Haslag (G, 6'0", 165, Sr.), Nicholas Heislen (F, 6'4", 210, Sr.), Joe Madrigal (G, 5'9" 155, Jr.) and Cristian Prasad (F, 6'2", 195, Sr.)

On offense, Helias looks to get up and down the floor at a high pace playing a majority of guards. The Crusaders look to space the floor and use a drive and kick game which includes a high rate of 3 point attempts.

Last season, they averaged an impressive 65.4 points per game last year. Helias returns two of the top guards in the area who have the ability to do many things on the court.  Desmond White and Malcolm Davis both have the ability to take over games in a variety of ways.

Both can score at a high rate, but also get their teammates involved. Helias will look to spread the floor to provide space for their guards to attack the paint and keep shooters spaced on the perimeter.  The Crusaders strengths will be in their perimeter game, especially the ability to shoot the 3 at a high rate. On the defensive end, this year's team most likely will lean on a half court man defense that looks to keep teams out of the paint.

Improvement in this area will be key as the Crusaders allowed teams an average of 55.9 points per game last year. Helias, while undersized, expects to have a group of guards very capable of being great perimeter defenders. They will mix in some zone defense to help with lack of size. Speed and depth will also allow the Crusaders to mix in some full court pressure defense.

“With two of the top guards in the area, we should have a decent chance most nights. Malcolm Davis and Desmond White will be joined by several players with little to no varsity experience but the potential to be good varsity basketball players,” Coach Joe Rothweiler commented on this season. “Malcolm and Desmond's leadership will key in how we develop as a team."

That development will be tested in a tough CMA Conference. January matchups against rivalsJefferson City-Home, Capital City-Away and Tolton-Home will get this team battle tested for another shot at the District Championship.

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