skip navigation

Observations from the 16th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle

01/24/2023, 1:15pm CST
By Mark Miller

Wisconsin won the Border Battle with Minnesota for the second year in a row Saturday, notching four victories against three defeats with its counterparts from the Gopher state. 

Wisconsin still trails in the overall series of games, 57-41, but the Badger state did improve its season record to 7-9 at the 16th annual event, held at Prescott High School. 

Here are some observations from the Border Battle, which is annually sponsored by the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook and Breakdown Sports USA:

Game One
Lyle-Austin Pacelli 55, Regis 50

*** When Cooper Dykes tried to grab a defensive rebound off a missed foul shot and suddenly lost his footing while the ball went out of bounds, Regis was leading Lyle-Austin Pacelli 49-45 with just 1:44 left. Two seconds later, the Athletics' Jake Truckenmiller broke free and buried his sixth triple of the contest, setting in motion a 10-1 run in the final 100 seconds that lifted Lyle-Pacelli's to its 12th win in 14 games.
*** Regis has struggled most of the season, winning just two of 15 games. But give the Ramblers credit for a very strong showing at the Border Battle. Coach Connor Miller's squad was composed, played at a steady tempo and did an excellent job slowing down Buay Koak, a gifted 6-foot-4 wing who was held to just 13 points. 
*** Sophomore Owen Weisenberger (5-10) had a strong outing for Regis as he came off the bench to score 13 points. Weisenberger hit some clutch triples in the second half and is averaging 8.8 points for the Ramblers. 

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Jaren Payne, 5-10, Sr., G

Payne did an outstanding job of dictating tempo with his passing, ball handling and patience on offense. Regis wanted to slow the game down a bit, and Payne's strong floor game helped the Ramblers do just that. In addition to his duties as the Ramblers' floor general, Payne also scored a team-high 15 points and made all five of his foul shots. Payne leads the Ramblers in scoring at 13.8 ppg. 

Game Two
Lake City 90, Aquinas 52

*** Two things stand out about this game. No. 1, Lake City is an exceptional basketball team more than capable of winning the Class 2A title in Minnesota. Second, Aquinas missed the steady play of senior guard Andrew Sutton and junior wing Tanner Peterson. Both Sutton and Peterson are out with injuries for the Blugolds, but coach Brad Reinhart is hoping both can return before the season is over.
*** Lake City improved to 13-0 and Minnesota's top-ranked Class 2A school looked every bit as impressive as its record. Coach Greg Berge's squad was led by junior Jaden Shones, a 6-foot-3 wing who scored 29 points. Junior guard Hunter Lorenson (5-10) added 19. Lake City started three underclassmen. 
*** Aquinas freshman Logan Becker (6-2) got additional minutes and a start for the Blugolds and he responded well, scoring 13 points and making two three-point baskets. Becker is averaging 9.4 ppg for Aquinas, which slipped to 11-3.

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Walter Berns, 6-4, Jr., G/F

Berns has had a breakout season for the Blugolds after playing spot minutes as a sophomore. He finished the game against Lake City with 24 points, scoring off quick moves to the basket and from the perimeter. The bouncy and athletic wing has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and is averaging a team-high 22.6 ppg. 

Game Three
Prescott 81, Concordia Academy 72

*** Bouncing back from a three-game losing streak, Prescott notched its second win in as many days with the victory over Concordia Academy. After downing Somerset Friday, Prescott made enough plays over the final minutes of the game to hold off Concordia Academy, which fell to 7-6.
*** Losses to Osceola, Luther and Racine St. Catherine's after opening the campaign with 10 straight wins set Prescott back on its heels a bit. But the Cardinals played well against Concordia and moved to 12-3 behind double-figure scoring games from Jordan Malmlov (21), Dallas Wallin (20), Brandon Stuart (15) and Brady Block (14).
*** Malmlov may possess the deepest shooting range of any player in Wisconsin. He is as likely to launch from 25-to-28 feet as he is from just outside the three-point arc. Malmlov made two triples against Concordia and now has 56 in 148 tries (38 percent) on the season while averaging a team-high 25.0 ppg. 
*** Prescott made 11 three-point shots in the contest with Block leading the way with our triples.

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Dallas Wallin, 6-6, Jr., F

Wallin's ability to impact a game on multiple levels is an enormous asset for Prescott. His activity on defense and the glass, in addition to his scoring and passing, were on display in Prescott's win. Wallin finished the competitive game with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. His season highs in those categories are impressive -- 40 points in a win over St. Louis Park, 23 rebounds in a win over Somerset, and eight assists in wins over both Somerset and Concordia Academy. The floppy haired wing is very versatile, very productive and very important to Prescott's success.

Game 4
Mahtomedi 72, La Crosse Central 59

*** La Crosse Central turned a double-figure deficit at halftime (34-24) into a brief 54-52 lead before a very good and balanced Mahtomedi squad finished the game on a 20-5 run to improve to 11-2 under coach Keith Newman. La Crosse Central lost its third straight game and fell to 9-5, but the combined record of the five teams the Riverhawks lost to is 61-14 -- Mahtomedi (11-2), Onalaska (9-3), Joliet West (17-5), West Salem (12-1) and Eau Claire Memorial (12-3). 
*** Senior Bennett Fried (6-7) had a good showing for La Crosse Central, scoring 18 points and getting to the foul line seven times. Fried's length, skill and upside remain huge assets for the Riverhawks as they set out to catch Onalaska in the Mississippi Valley Conference standings. 
*** Coming off an emotional two-point overtime loss to arch-rival Onalaska the day before, La Crosse Central came out a bit flat against Mahtomedi before putting together its impressive run in the second half. However, over the final five minutes of the contest, the Riverhawks appeared to be out of gas and could not contain Owen Carlson, a bouncy 6-foot-4 senior guard from Mahtomedi who had eight points in 30-seconds down the stretch and finished with 29 points.

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Henry Meyer, 6-3, Jr., G

Meyer has played well all season for La Crosse Central and was a huge part of the Riverhawks' comeback against Mahtomedi. The physically and mentally strong wing had a team-best 21 points and was able to score from downtown, off the dribble and from the foul line. He made all eight of his free-throw attempts and played with tenacity and toughness throughout the contest. 

Game 5
Onalaska 94, Minneapolis North 64

*** Onalaska is playing some impressive basketball of late, winning successive games over Aquinas, Waunakee, Wauwatosa West, La Crosse Central and Minneapolis North. The Hilltoppers raced to a 49-31 lead at halftime against North and were never threatened in the second half while improving to 10-3 under coach Craig Kowal.  
*** Junior Evan Anderson (6-4) has made a smooth transition to Onalaska after playing as a freshman and sophomore at Black River Falls. He is averaging 20.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for Onalaska and had his best scoring game of the season against North, netting 31 points. Anderson finished with several dunks and his quick jumping ability on drives to the basket often leads to two-handed flushes. Anderson owns a sweet jumper from the perimeter and is money from the foul line. He made 13-of-14 foul shots against North on Saturday.
*** Junior Isaac Skemp (6-5) had struggled a bit with his jumper this winter, but he had it going against North, drilling five triples and scoring 15 points. Senior Desmond Desmond (6-4) also turned in a strong showing for Onalaska with 13 points in a reserve role. 

Wisconsin Player of the Game
T.J. Stuttley, 6-5, Soph., G

For what Kowal believes is the first time in his coaching career, he had a player finish with a triple double as Stuttley had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The physically strong guard gets where he wants on the court, which is usually all the way to the basket. He can then either finish, draw a foul or kick out to an open teammate. Against North, Stuttley went to the foul line 18 times, making 10. He finished the contest drawing a remarkable 10 fouls on North defenders. 

Game 6
Pewaukee 93, Totino-Grace 63

*** Pewaukee was easily the most impressive team among the 14 that competed in the Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle. When you make 66 percent of your shots and sink 14-of-26 (54 percent) from three-point range, it tends to be somewhat imposing. Add in the fact this stellar showing was turned in against a Totino-Grace team ranked No. 1 among Class 3A schools in Minnesota and features a pair of NCAA Division I recruits in Taison Chatman (Ohio State) and Tommy Humphries (Furman), and the showing is even more remarkable.
*** Pewaukee led 46-34 at intermission and then played even better (is that even possible) during the second 18 minutes to running away to its ninth win against two setbacks. Finally healthy and playing on all cylinders, the two-time defending Division 2 state champions have emerged once again as the team to beat at the D2 level in Wisconsin.
*** Senior Milan Momcilovic (6-8) and junior Nick Janowski (6-3) each played fantastic games for coach David Burkemper, but a tip of the hat also to sophomore Karson Osterman. The 5-foot-8 backcourt standout came off the bench to drill three triples and score 13 points while also wowing the crowd with his fearlessness.
*** Momcilovic scored 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He scored in a lot of different ways, proving he is more than just a perimeter shooter. Momcilovic posted up around the basket, put in some rebound baskets and flashed his sweet perimeter jumper. The Iowa State recruit is averaging 26.1 point and 7.1 rebounds for the Pirates. 

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Nick Janowski, 6-3, Jr., G

Janowski has rarely, if ever, played any better. He was simply outstanding for the Pirates, matching a career-high with 34 points while making 13-of-18 shots, including five-of-10 from three-point range. The smooth lefty was able to breakdown defenders with his ball handling skills, his impressive moves and his consistent aggressiveness while hitting perimeter shots and getting to the basket. In addition to his scoring, Janowski had nine rebounds and five assists in just his fifth game of the season after sitting out several contests with an injury. 

Game 7
Middleton 51, Benilde-St. Margaret's 47

*** Middleton led by just one at intermission and the game remained close throughout, although the Cardinals did get a double-digit lead late in the second half before Benilde-St. Margaret's hit some threes in the closing minute to narrow the margin. Middleton, ranked second in the WSN Coaches Poll among WIAA Division 1 schools, improved to 14-0 for the first time since 2015-16. Benilde-St. Margaret's, which has just one senior on its roster, slipped to 10-2.
*** Senior Gavyn Hurley (6-6) had a strong game for Middleton. The returning Player of the Year in the Big Eight Conference and NCAA Division II recruit for Winona State finished with 17 points on six-of-11 shooting from the field and five-of-seven from the line. But the versatile backcourt performer also hauled down 11 rebounds and had four steals. His ability to push the ball in transition and play strong defense in the Middleton zone are big reasons the Cardinals are unbeaten. 
*** Benilde-St. Margaret's sophomore Jalen Wilson was impressive for the Red Knights. The 6-foot-7 forward is ranked No. 1 in Minnesota in the 2025 class and he showed why, scoring 18 points to lead his team. Wilson was able to score off the bounce and around the basket, but he also knocked down a three-point shot for coach Damian Johnson. 

Wisconsin Player of the Game
Will Garlock, 6-10, Soph., F/C

Garlock continues to make strides in his game as he gains valuable varsity experience for one of the state's elite teams. Coach Kevin Bavery's standout frontcourt prospect had a team-best 21 points, making 10 of his 13 shots from the field. He also snared eight rebounds and challenged shots in the lane by the Benilde-St. Margaret's frontcourt players. Garlock runs the floor well, has a strong skill set and figures to be a player NCAA Division I coaches will follow very closely in the coming months. He is averaging 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Tag(s): WBY Shootout  Border Battle  Wisconsin vs Minnesota