It's been a good winter for Jordan basketball, as the boys' and girls teams are poised for off-season success.
The Jordan boys’ and girls’ basketball teams try to be different. They even go as far as separate nicknames. The boys are the Hubmen and the girls are the Jaguars.
The disparities between the two programs stop there. They both won the Minnesota River Conference title and are ranked in the top 20 in Class 2A by Minnesota Basketball News. The boys are No. 16 and the girls are No. 17.
“A lot of credit has to go to the two coaching staffs,” Hubmen senior Nate Beckman said. “They prepare us better than any other team. A lot of it falls on their shoulders.”
Girls’ coach Greg Dietel, who has led the team for the past two seasons, even guided the boys’ program at one time. Dietel was the mentor for the Hubmen from 2001 to ’09. He was replaced as the boys’ coach by Matt Urbanek for the 2009-10 season as he took time off to watch his oldest daughter, Leah, play college basketball.
“Our two coaching staffs talk a lot,” Dietel said. “Both teams have the same core beliefs.”
Urbanek inherited a boys’ program that went 21-8 in Dietel’s final season. The Hubmen made their only state tournament appearance in Urbanek’s initial season as coach.
“The program was in very good shape when I got here,” Urbanek said. “Greg and his assistant coach [Wade Olsen] had it in tremendous shape. I just wanted to keep it going.” Olsen has remained as an assistant coach in the boys’ program.
Both teams also have near-identical records. The Hubmen are 19-4 with two games remaining while the Jaguars finished the regular season at 20-4. They also each have a player averaging about 20 points per game. The Hubmen are paced by senior Jake Andersen (20 points per game). The Jaguars are led by junior Madison Dean (19.8 points per game).
“Both teams have a lot of hard-working players, and hard work pays off,” Jaguars senior Hallie Anderson said. “I think it’s kind of cool the way both teams learn from each other.”
Success for both teams starts on the defensive end of the court. The boys’ team is only giving up 54.8 points per game while the girls’ are yielding 48.1 points a night.
“We try to focus on defense,” Urbanek said. “It puts opponents on their heels if done successfully. That’s the cornerstone of this team.”
With that comes a certain amount of toughness.
“Both last year and this year, we have tried to instill that toughness in our girls’ basketball program,” Dietel said. “We are seeing that toughness in our team right now.”
Both teams will need to be both mentally and physically tough if they want to advance to the state tournament. Eight teams in Section 5 for both the boys’ and girls’ are ranked in the top 40, according to the QRF (Quality Results Formula) used by MinnesotaSportsOnline.
“I would put our section against anybody,” Dietel said. “Our section is so difficult. There are some very good teams that aren’t going to get out of the section.”
If Jordan happens to be one of those, it won’t deter from the success both programs have enjoyed in 2012-13.
“I think we have maximized our ability,” Urbanek said. “The kids have played to their potential.”