Third-year head coach Corey Christopherson is excited for another season in the Chanhassen High School gymnasium.
The Storm ended the 2021-22 season third in the Metro West Conference, the program’s highest finish since the 2018-19 season. Christopherson hopes to build off of last season and could not be happier to do it with this group of people.
“We have fantastic kids and families in our program, so [I’m] looking forward to just being in the gym with these guys,” Christopherson said. “And I think that we’re going to have a fun brand of basketball to play.”
Christopherson said that style involves playing man-to-man and applying more pressure defensively than they have in previous seasons. The Storm do not have dominant post play, so they also want to get their wings and guards into space, open up driving lanes and kick the basketball out to shooters on the perimeter.
“We always talked about just trying to play to our strengths each year,” Christopherson said. “So we try to focus on developing our kids to get better as basketball players and that whatever we get in the gym, then we try to manipulate that into how we can be successful in terms of where to put them and how to play.”
The Storm lost six seniors from a year ago but have key players back on the court. Senior Braden Barger and junior Maxwell Woods received all-conference honors for Chanhassen last season. Christopherson expects both to positively influence the team based on their ability and leadership on and off the floor. Barger, at 6-foot-3, has been the tallest starter early in the season.
Woods returns as the leading scorer from last year’s squad, averaging 14.6 points per game. In the Storm’s 88-63 loss to Holy Family to begin the season, the junior guard scored a game-high 40 points. With two varsity seasons under Woods’ belt, Christopherson said he thinks Woods has grown in his physical and mental maturity.
Other contributing players include seniors Keaton Boll, Leo Klehr and Grant Muffenbier. Muffenbier has been with the varsity team since his sophomore season, and Christopherson has been impressed with how much Boll and Klehr have worked on their game in the offseason. The Storm also have a talented junior class coming in to help the roster, as the group won 21 junior varsity games last season.
One of the first goals for the Storm is to be competitive again in conference play. Despite finishing 15-12 overall last year, Chanhassen had a 12-6 Metro West Conference record—two games behind conference champion Bloomington Jefferson. Other conference competition throughout the season includes Orono, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Waconia and the two rivalry games against Chaska, which will also be a challenge.
After Chanhassen finishes conference play, the Storm hope to be a competitive team against a loaded field in section 2AAAA. Along with the Hawks as a top rival team, the Storm will also be tasked with battling Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Shakopee and defending section champion Eden Prairie. Christopherson hopes Chanhassen can win its first section playoff game since the 2014-15 season.
“That’s a goal of ours: to start putting ourselves in a spot where we can start competing with teams in our section and start trying to advance in that section tournament,” Christopherson said.
Chanhassen will end the season from the comfort of its home court, as the Storm will host five of their last six games of the season, including the regular season finale against Bloomington Jefferson Mar. 3
Chanhassen began the week with a 61-50 road loss to Prior Lake Dec. 6. Woods had a game-high in points, with 15, after scoring 40 against Holy Family.
The Storm bounced back Dec. 8, however, beating Edina 65-61 in their home opener. Chanhassen had a double-digit lead early in the second half, but the Hornets played their way back to make it a one-possession game down the stretch. Woods, who finished with 22 points, connected on two three-pointers late in the game to lift the Storm in the final minutes. Barger added 16 points, and sophomore Riley Johnson had 15.
Chanhassen continues its stretch at home, playing Shakopee Dec. 13 before hosting Mound Westonka on Dec. 15.