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2009 Kaukauna Tourney recap

07/21/2009, 4:27pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Observations from the seventh annual Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Summer Tournament held July 17-19 in Kaukauna:

Observations from the seventh annual Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Summer Tournament held July 17-19 in Kaukauna:

Pools A-B

Most Valuable Player

Brandon Pritzl of De Pere was the leader for the most impressive team in the entire tournament as the Redbirds went 5-0 and edged Wauwatosa West in the Pools A-B title game. With several NCAA Division II coaches looking on, the 6-foot-2 Pritzl flashed textbook shooting form while pouring in 26 points in a 58-51 victory over Wisconsin Rapids. Pritzl also scored off the dribble and located open teammates while showing great leadership on both ends of the court.

* Though super sophomore Brett VandenBergh was sidelined with an injury, De Pere nonetheless looked mighty impressive throughout the weekend. In addition to Pritzl, the Redbirds received strong play from senior Scott Carney (6-6) and juniors Chris Kading (6-7), Reece Zoelle (6-1) and Matt Van Straten (6-0). Carney is a physical inside banger with can score around the hoop as well as defend in the post. Kading is a long, athletic and quickly emerging scholarship prospect who had several impressive dunks and also defended with a passion. Zoelle is an intelligent, quick and bouncy point guard who is also a very capable scorer. And Van Straten was especially effective on powerful drives to the basket. De Pere is favored to win the Fox River Valley Conference and the Redbirds definitely have the look of a preseason top five team in the state among Division 1 schools.

* Wauwatosa West was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the WBY Tournament. The Trojans finished 10-12 a year ago under coach Mike Landisch, but they appear to have a much improved squad heading into the 2009-10 campaign. Seniors Sam Krenzien (6-2) and Ray Sterling (6-2) were especially effective. The athletic and mobile Krenzien scored off the dribble and got to the foul line. He finished with a game-high 20 points in the one-point loss to De Pere in the Pools A-B title game. Sterling was able to score facing the basket and off of athletic moves to the hoop. Senior Barry Ballinger (6-1) and juniors Jarvis Ashley (6-0) and Kieviante Love (5-6) also played well for Wauwatosa West.

* Kimberly senior Matt Craggs (6-6) had Division II coaches from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin watching all weekend and the versatile wing forward did not disappoint as he went off for 26 points in a 51-37 victory over Madison East. Craggs knocked down three-point shots and drilled pull-up mid-range jump shots while also finishing around the basket for the Papermakers. Teammate Dylan Wurtz (6-4) also played well for Kimberly. The son of Kimberly coach Lucky Wurtz, Dylan was able to make perimeter jump shots as well as defend the opposition’s top scoring threat. Senior Logan Hietpas (6-3) provides Kimberly with some size and muscle along the baseline. The Papermakers figure to once again challenge for the top spot in the balanced and deep Fox Valley Association.

* Wausau West is considered one of the preseason picks to win the Wisconsin Valley Conference and coach Jeff Bruggink’s squad looked like a title contender at times while rattling off victories in three of four contests. The Warriors have a physical inside presence with the return of senior Nate Piel (6-4). Junior Travis Schertz (6-2) can score in a variety of ways while junior Jordan Penn (6-0) does a solid job at point guard.

* Madison East had a bit of an up-and-down weekend. The Purgolders looked mighty impressive in a 66-37 victory over Wisconsin Rapids, but had difficulty in double-digit losses to both Kimberly and De Pere. Senior Marquis Mason (6-5) used his strength and athleticism to score around the hoop while junior Nimrod Hilliard (5-11) utilized his quickness and skill to score from the perimeter and off of drives to the basket. Certainly, Mason and Hilliard are among the better players in the state, but the Purgolders’ success in 2009-10 might hinge on the development of other players in the East program.

* Other players from Pools A-B who performed well include Connor Cassidy, Jonathan Phillips and J.P. Tokoto of Menomonee Falls; Bobby Slovensky and Joe Ritchay of Wisconsin Rapids; Mike Patt of Oshkosh West; Tevin Taylor of Green Bay East; Derrick Cook and Donte Tidmore of Milwaukee South Division.

Pool A Standings
De Pere 4-0, Kimberly 3-1, Madison East 2-2, Wisconsin Rapids 1-3, Menomonee Falls 0-4.
Pool B Standings
Wauwatosa West 4-0, Wausau West 3-1, Milwaukee South Division 2-2, Oshkosh West 1-3, Green Bay East 0-4.
Pool A vs. Pool B Title Game
De Pere 46, Wauwatosa West 45

Pools C-D

Most Valuable Player

Like his older brother, Matt, before him, Appleton East’s Johnny Coenen does a great job of leading his team and being a coach on the floor as the Patriots’ indispensable point guard. The 5-8 junior can score, but he is even more effective running his team and defending perimeter players on the other end. Coenen used his superior quickenss and deft ball-handling skills to continually get past defenders and create for his teammates.

* Appleton East has a young, but extremely talented squad, one that is definitely capable of challenging Kaukauna, Kimberly and Oshkosh North for the Fox Valley Association championship. Coach John Mielke has an extremely strong junior class, led by Coenen, Caleb Zeegers (6-1), Trent Schmidt (6-1) and Eric Schultz (6-0). Senior Noah Mader (6-6) is an athletic player who can score around the basket, while younger brother, Sam, is a highly skilled 6-5 sophomore wing player with a very promising future.

* Much will be expected of the Maple Northwestern squad after the Tigers went 25-1 and advanced to the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament a year ago. After opening the tournament with a loss to Kaukauna, Northwestern rallied for three straight victories before falling to Appleton East in the Pools C-D title game. Returning starters Steve Tecker (6-5) and Donnie Hissa (6-8) were the leaders for Northwestern. Tecker once again showed the ability to make mid-range jump shots while also getting to the rim and finishing, while Hissa scored from downtown as well as around the basket. Hissa finished with a game-high 17 points in the 47-41 loss to Appleton East.

* Kaukauna got solid performances from seniors Jake Schalow, Ben Hennes and Marc VandeWettering in its 56-47 victory over Northwestern. Schalow once again showed the ability to make perimeter jump shots as he finished with 16 points. The 6-4 wing guard had plenty of Division II coaches watching and is a hot commodity among college coaches because of his ability to make shots from downtown. The 6-3 Hennes flashed tremendous athleticism and skill while being the No. 2 scorer for the Ghosts. VandeWettering (6-1) lived up to his reputation as one of the top defenders in the FVA.

* Manitowoc Roncalli does not have a player taller than 6-1 on its roster, yet the Jets won three of four games and appear primed to make a run at another Olympian Conference championship. Junior guard Ben Stelzer (6-1) continues to hit jump shots from all over the court. He had 32 points in a 56-50 victory over Oconto Falls, 25 in a 40-25 victory over West De Pere, 19 in a 46-28 loss to Appleton East, and 12 in a 55-29 triumph over Sheboygan South. Juniors Alex Kitzerow and Mike Gresl also played well for the Jets.

* Shawano notched victories over Kaukauna, Green Bay West and Milwaukee South Division (fill-in game) en route to a 3-1 record. Senior James Oshkeshequoam (6-1) played well for the Hawks, hitting a game-winning mid-range jump shot as the horn sounded against Kaukauna. Senior Andy Meisner (6-4) and junior Dan Lohff (6-3) also played well for Shawano.

* Other players from Pools C-D who performed well include Jake Reuter and Ethan Berlin of Sheboygan South; Joel Koppa and Alec Poppovich of Oconto Falls; Riki Kodanko and Mike Linssen of West De Pere; and Riley Bacon of Green Bay West.

Pool C Standings
Northwestern 3-1, Shawano 3-1, Kaukauna 3-1, Green Bay West 1-3, Marshfield 0-4.
Pool D Standings
Appleton East 4-0, Manitowoc Roncalli 3-1, Sheboygan South 2-2, West De Pere 1-3, Oconto Falls 0-4.
Pool C vs. Pool D Title Game
Appleton East 47, Northwestern 41

Pools E-F

Most Valuable Player

With the game on the line, Taylor Cameron of Oshkosh North stepped up and made the big play, getting to the hoop, scoring and drawing a foul as the Spartans nipped River Valley 35-32 in the title game for Pools E-F. A versatile 6-4 guard, Cameron can get to the rim on just about any defender. He continues to improve his perimeter jump shot as well as he connected on six long-range shots during the WBY Tournament. Cameron has scholarship offers from a number of NCAA Division II schools and is emerging as a true leader for the Spartans, who lost four starters from last year’s club that advanced to the semifinal round of the WIAA State Tournament.

* Oshkosh North won the Fox Valley Association title a year ago and appear to have a another promising squad in the making for 2009-10. Coach Frank Schade returns one of the FVA’s top players in Cameron, but the Spartans are far from a one-man show. Promising sophomore Izaiah Anderson (6-4) had 10 points in a hard-fought 42-37 victory over Seymour and figures to help offset the loss of the graduated Tank Johnson in the post. Sharpshooting senior Brandon Heun (5-11) can score from the perimeter as well as take it to the hoop. North got a significant boost over the summer with the addition of Joac Majok, a transfer from Texas via the Sudan. Majok is a raw, but athletic 6-3 sophomore guard-forward with unlimited potential. He is related to former North forward Gau Deng.

* River Valley played without the injured Alex Richard, a 6-4 junior who earned first-team all-league honors in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference last season. Nonetheless, the Blackhawks boast a very talented lineup, one certainly capable of repeating as league champions. Junior point guard Noah Bayrenbruch makes great decisions with the ball and continually beats defenders off the dribble to find open teammates. Senior Nyada Baldeh (6-4) averaged just a couple of points a game a year ago, but he is vastly improved and finished exceptionally well around the basket all weekend. Junior Nick Radlinger (6-0) also played well for River Valley.

* Sheboygan North may have a tough time replacing the scoring and intangibles of graduated guard Nolan Free, but the Golden Raiders were still impressive at times during the weekend. North made a whopping 13 three-point baskets against River Valley with senior Charlie Belanger leading the way with eight. North, though, couldn’t hold off the Blackhawks and dropped a 53-52 heart-breaker. Look for sophomore Devin Yurk (5-11) to have a big season for the Golden Raiders.

* Fox Valley Lutheran senior Micah Parlow led the Foxes to a stirring come-from-behind victory over Appleton West. The Foxes fell behind by nearly 20 points in the first half against the Terrors before riding the considerable talents of the 6-6 Parlow to a 45-40 victory. Parlow scored off of quick moves to the basket and from the foul line. He was a difficult matchup for West because of his combination of strength, size and skill.

* Seymour junior Phil Romback sat out the tournament with a nicked up knee and the Thunder went 2-2 in his absence. Juniors Cal Skogman (6-4) and Troy Rottier (6-1) knocked down perimeter jump shots for Seymour while senior Dylan Van Boxtel (6-1) scored from the line and off of drives to the basket.

* Other players from Pools E-F who performed well include Rick Hammen, Connor DeBruin and J.J. Martin of Little Chute; Kevin Hurd and Trevor Neale of Portage; Kevin Levandoski, Lucas Schultz and Ben Reker of Appleton West; Bennett Wenzel, Sam VandenWyngaard and Luke Smith of Menasha; and Kirk Jahnke and Travis Treml of Denmark.

Pool E Standings
Oshkosh North 4-0, Little Chute 2-2, Seymour 2-2, Menasha 1-3, Portage 1-3.
Pool F Standings
River Valley 4-0, Sheboygan North 3-1, Fox Valley Lutheran 2-2, Appleton West 1-3, Denmark 0-4.
Pool E vs. Pool F Title Game
Oshkosh North 35, River Valley 32

Pools G-H

Most Valuable Player

Though his squad did not advance to the title game in Pools G-H, Oconto’s Logan Ellman was consistently solid while helping the Blue Devils to a 3-1 record. A physical 6-4 guard, Ellman creates well for himself and his teammates off the dribble. He has excellent size, strength and court vision. Ellman scored 25 points in a 58-52 victory over Marathon and drilled three three-point baskets in that contest.

* Brillion won the Olympian Conference title last season thanks in large part to the stellar play of Andy Popp and Zach Meulemans. With both Popp and Meulemans headed to Ripon College to play for longtime coach Bob Gillespie, coach Peter Kittle is looking for players to step forward and keep the Lions among the elite in the Olympian. Senior Kyle Kittle and juniors Kyle Rieder, Brian Krueger and Will Jensen all played well for the Lions in their 45-37 victory over Winnebago Lutheran in the Pool G-H title game. The 6-8 Rieder used his size and strength to score in the lane, while Jensen and Krueger scored from downtown and on mid-range jump shots. Kittel does all of the little things necessary for a team to have success. Look for Brillion to again battle the likes of Roncalli and Valders for the top spot in the Olympian.

* Winnebago Lutheran went 4-0 in its pool before dropping the decision to Brillion in the Pool G-H title game. The Vikings have a veteran squad led by seniors Cody Jackson (6-0), Mike Schraufnagel (5-11) and Ryan Stollfus (6-4). Though not flashy, the Vikings win with defense, intelligence and physical play. They also have plenty of skill. Jackson drilled five three-pointers in one game and Stollfus connected from downtown as the final horn sounded in a 46-43 victory over Wrightstown.

* Marathon lost plenty of talent off last year’s club that went 21-4, but the cupboard isn’t bare for coach Jeff Reiche. Junior Cody Hanke (6-4) was especially effective for the Red Raiders, scoring 18 points and making all six of his foul shots in a 54-53 victory over Wrightstown.

* Kewaunee annually fields one of the more competitive squads in the Packerland Conference and that trend figures to continue in 2009-10. The Indians went 3-1 and got strong play from Tyler Wotachek and Mike Lux in a loss to Brillion.

* Other players from Pools G-H who performed well include Andy Thusius and Ben Edmundson of Shoreland Lutheran; Cole Krueger and Chris Van Dyke of Freedom; Connor Olejniczak and Drew Ginter of Thorp; Christian Fay and Jeremy Likwarz of Marshall; and Ta Woods and Nick Whalen of Wrightstown.

Pool G Standings
Winnebago Lutheran 4-0, Oconto 3-1, Marathon 2-2, Wrightstown 1-3, Marshall 0-4.
Pool H Standings
Brillion 3-1, Kewaunee 3-1, Shoreland Lutheran 2-2, Thorp 2-2, Freedom 0-4.
Pool G vs. Pool H Title Game
Brillion 45, Winnebago Lutheran 37

Pools I-J

Most Valuable Player

A difficult call between Fall Creek’s Jordan Reetz and Luke Tweed, but the nod goes to the 6-foot-6 Reetz, who scored 20 points in the Crickets’ 50-32 victory over Appleton Xavier in the Pool I-J title game. Reetz, who recently earned a scholarship offer from NCAA Division I Northeastern University, scored 26 points in a 57-47 victory over Winneconne and added 25 in a 47-36 triumph over Kaukauna II. Reetz is an unselfish, skilled wing who can knock down three-point shots or put the ball on the floor and either connect on pull-up jump shots or get all the way to the rim. NCAA Division II coaches from across the midwest were paying close attention to Reetz all weekend.

* The previously mentioned Tweed is a versatile player for coach Rick Storlie. At 6-5, Tweed has the size to battle inside as well as the skill to feel comfortable facing the basket and making perimeter jump shots. The one-two punch of Reetz-Tweed helped Fall Creek earn a trip to the WIAA Division 3 State Tournament a year ago and the Crickets will be favored to get back to Madison again in 2010 as all five starters from a club that went 21-5 return. In addition to Reetz and Tweed, coach Rick Storlie returns a pair of proven backcourt performers in seniors Cullen Haldeman and Matt Dickinsen, along with an experienced forward in senior Andy Kragness.

* Unlike Fall Creek, Appleton Xavier coach Tom Neises has a major rebuilding job on his hands as all five regulars from last year’s club that went 22-4 and beat Seymour in a WIAA Division 2 sectional final have graduated. Nonetheless, the Hawks went 4-0 in pool play before bowing to Fall Creek. Seniors Sam Schmidt (6-1) and Zac Zeegers (6-1) came off the bench a year ago, but figure to be key players for the Hawks in 2009-10. Promising junior guard Nick Pflaum (5-10) and junior forward Nathan Reynebeau (6-2) also played well for the Hawks.

* Valders dropped a 50-49 decision to Fall Creek in pool play when Haldeman buried a three-point shot at the final buzzer. The Vikings then won three games in a row to finish 3-1 in the tournament. A perennial contender in the always-competitive Olympian Conference, Valders got strong play from junior forward Andrew Schwoerer and versatile senior forward Derek Madson (6-4) throughout the weekend.

* Howards Grove appears to have a squad capable of challenging Sheboygan Christian and Oostburg in the Central Lakeshore Conference. The Tigers went 3-1 in the tournament behind some solid play from junior Josh Horness (6-5) and senior Eric Dickmeyer (6-0).

* Three Lakes senior Garrett Thorn (6-6) played well and used his impressive size and physical strength to score around the basket. Thorn had 22 points in a 38-33 loss to Winneconne and 13 in a 49-39 loss to Fall Creek.

* Other players from Pools I-J who performed well include Kailan Boston and Sam Verhulst of Heritage Christian; Austin Ryf and Blair Necas of Winneconne; Jason Miller and Dylan Rollo of Kaukauna; Bo Manor and Trevor Wittwer of Altoona; and Alex Wolf and Brett Lamb of Mondovi.

Pool I Standings
Fall Creek 4-0, Valders 3-1, Kaukauna II 1-3, Three Lakes 1-3, Winneconne 1-3.
Pool J Standings
Appleton Xavier 4-0, Howards Grove 3-1, Milwaukee Heritage Christian 2-2, Mondovi 1-3, Altoona 0-4.
Pool I vs. Pool J Title Game
Fall Creek 50, Appleton Xavier 32

Pools K-L

Most Valuable Player

Again a tough call as both Connor Miller and Adam Ganske of Eau Claire Regis made big plays all weekend for the Ramblers. I’ll go with Miller because of his ability to run a team and make great decisions with the ball in his hands. With Regis trailing Pewaukee late in a pool play contest, Miller stepped up and knocked down a huge three-pointer. On the Ramblers’ next possession, Miller found Ganske open at the top of the key, and Ganske quickly deposited another three-pointer to all but seal the victory for Regis. Miller is an ever improving 6-2 point guard with a silky smooth shooting touch and outstanding ball-handling skills.

* Once again the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference figures to be one of the strongest Division 3 leagues in the state in 2009-10. In addition to Fall Creek, Regis has the look of a state-title contender as coach Bill Uelmen returns a veteran crew led by the previously mentioned Ganske and Miller. A competitor on both ends of the court, the 6-3 Ganske is a tough matchup for opponents because of his size, skill, strength and quickness. He can hit jump shots from downtown and put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. Junior center Steve Hofacker (6-7) has made excellent strides in his game and figures to give Uelmen a solid post presence. The Ramblers played without sharpshooting senior guard Jack Eaton, who stayed home with an injury.

* Random Lake went 4-0 in pool play before sustaining a 78-41 loss to Regis in the Pool K-L title game. Coach Steve Murphy has a scrappy bunch of players led by seniors J.T. Navarro, Andy Pohl and Brett Weiand. Navarro hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to send the Rams to a 34-31 victory over Almond-Bancroft in pool play. Random Lake also registered victories over Pittsville (42-23), Hilbert (34-26) and Marion (49-25).

* Pewaukee and Regis hooked up in a highly entertaining game Sunday afternoon. Pewaukee trailed by double digits for much of the contest before rallying late behind stellar three-point shooting from Michael Olewinski and Pat Bacon. Olewinski hit two triples and Bacon added three in the second half to trigger the comeback. Nice to see senior guard Tyler Hanson back on the floor for the Pirates as well after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

* Other players from Pools K-L who performed well include Matt Mielke and Venn Keranen of Marion; Vince Denor, Adam Gilson and Adam Denor of Reedsville; Colin Terry and Tyler Marquardt of Peshtigo; T.J. Hemauer of Hilbert; Gavin Hautala and Jordan Rayburn of Pittsville; Ethan Elliott and Jozef Wojciehoski of Stevens Point Pacelli; and Kenneth Smith and Luke Zelinski of Almond-Bancroft.

Pool K Standings
Eau Claire Regis 4-0, Pewaukee 3-1, Reedsville 2-2, Peshtigo 1-3, Stevens Point Pacelli 0-4.
Pool L Standings
Random Lake 4-0, Almond-Bancroft 2-2, Pittsville 2-2, Hilbert 1-3, Marion 1-3.
Pool K vs. Pool L Title Game
Brillion 45, Winnebago Lutheran 37

Pool M

Most Valuable Player

Sophomore Kyle Schuh of Kaukauna used his size and strength to continually grab rebounds and score around the basket. The 6-4 Schuh had 16 points in victories over Fall River and St. Mary Central. In the title game against Columbus Catholic, Schuh used his size to deter the Dons’ from penetrating all the way to the basket.

* Columbus Catholic lacks size, but the Dons play unselfish team basketball, traits that figure to help them once again finish among the top teams in the Eastern Division of the Cloverbelt Conference. Junior point guard Jared Boyle and sophomore forward Mike Iwanski are the most promising players for coach Joe Konieczny.

* St. Thomas Aquinas went 8-8 in the Marinette & Oconto Conference and 12-10 overall under coach Ric Powers a year ago, and the Cavaliers return one of the top players in the league in 6-3 senior point guard Tyler Price. Price opened the tournament with a whopping 38-point performance in a narrow victory over St. Mary Central. He scored from beyond the arc, on drives to the hoop and from the foul line. He cooled off the rest of the way, but with added strength, toughness and experience, Price could blossom into a solid collegiate prospect.

* St. Mary Central lost four starters from the club that advanced to the WIAA Division 4 State Tournament a year ago, but the lone returning regular is a good one. Senior Sam Koslowski (6-3) led the Zephyrs in scoring in all four of their contest and surpassed 20-points in three of those outings. Koslowski can score facing the basket while also having the ability to post-up smaller defenders.

* Other players from Pool M who performed well include Eric Schuh of Kaukauna; Joey Brostowitz of St. Thomas Aquinas; Dexter Oelke and Dylan Rabl of Fall River; and Brandon Nelson and Robbie Harrison of Abundant Life Christian.

Pool M Standings
Marshfield Columbus Catholic 4-0, Kaukauna III 4-0, Marinette St. Thomas Aquinas 1-3, St. Mary Central 1-3, Fall River 1-3, Abundant Life Christian 1-3.
Pool M Title Game
Kaukauna III 37, Columbus Catholic 30

Tag(s): Summer Tournaments