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2009 Plymouth Tourney Recap

07/28/2009, 4:31pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Observations from the fifth annual Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Summer Tournament held July 24-26 in Plymouth:

Pools A-B

Most Valuable Player

Minneapolis DeLaSalle is a traditional power in Minnesota and the Islanders lived up to their lofty reputation in Plymouth. Behind the strong all-around play for senior Jalen Jaspers, DeLaSalle rattled off five straight victories, including a 51-32 triumph over Brown Deer in the Pool A-B title game. Jaspers is a physically strong 6-foot-4 wing guard who hit mid-range jump shots and got to the rim off of powerful drives to the basket. Jaspers scored 20 points against Brown Deer and knocked down three three-point shots in the game. Virtually very NCAA Division II school in Minnesota has offered Jaspers a scholarship and head coach Dave Thorson said several Division I schools are also showing interest.

* DeLaSalle, a Catholic school located in the heart of Minneapolis with an enrollment of just over 500 students, played without perhaps its best player in 6-6 junior Jonah Travis, an athletic forward who has scholarship offers from several Division I schools, including UW-Green Bay. Travis is out with a leg injury. However, a pair of juniors appear to have a promising future for the Islanders. Guards Bretson McNeal (6-0) and Melvin Collins (6-2) each played well with McNeal knocking down perimeter jump shots and Collins defending the opponent’s top perimeter scorer.

* Brown Deer tied Marshfield and Plymouth for the top spot in Pool B with a 3-1 record, but the Falcons advanced to the title game based on tie-breaking criteria. Junior Jaleel Queary (6-2) is a physically strong and athletic wing guard who led Brown Deer with 14 points in the loss to DeLaSalle. Juniors Kierre Ogbanna (6-2) and Joziah Mallett (5-10) also played well for Brown Deer.

* Marshfield may have the largest frontline in Wisconsin with the return of juniors John Bauer (6-11), Cale Zuiker (6-7) and Dustin Thumann (6-5). Bauer continues to make slow but steady progress. He is not much of a presence on offense (he scored five points in four games), but his size and aggressiveness on defense are definite assets for the Tigers. Zuiker is a long, rangy wing forward who loves to shoot the three. He made nine three-point baskets and scored 47 points in the tournament. Thumann is more advanced physically than either Bauer or Zuiker and he does a good job of using his physical strength and ball handling ability to get around defenders along the baseline and finish at the rim.

* How tough is the Fox Valley Association? While Appleton East and Neenah battled for the title in Hartland in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Tournament, Appleton North was making some noise in Plymouth. A team most project to finish near last in the FVA, North went out and beat a loaded Waupun squad before turning back both Oconto Falls and Stevens Point. The Lightning also played DeLaSalle very competitively before dropping a 39-32 decision. Junior guard Kyle Sperl played well all weekend for Eric Eastman, who used two contact days to coach his players. Sophomore Nate Otto (6-0) also performed well for North, which played without injured 6-7 junior Nate Van Handel. North is making progress in its quest to become an upper-division team in the deep and unbelievably competitive FVA. The Lightning play smart, play together and play hard. That combination will yield some victories in 2009-10.

* Waupun opened the tournament with a 54-50 loss to Appleton North despite 19 points from senior Austin Armga. The Warriors then dropped a 50-36 verdict to DeLaSalle despite 14 points from Armga. Waupun came back the next day and recorded convincing victories over Oconto Falls and Stevens Point. In addition to Armga, a competitive and skilled combination guard who can get to the rim and hit mid-range jump shots, Waupun got some solid play out of seniors Cory Nickel (6-1) and Derrick Winterhack (6-3).

* Other players from Pools A-B who performed well include Logan Kinyon of Laconia; Joel Koppa and Alex Popovich of Oconto Falls; Bennett Wenzel of Menasha; Jon Criter and Spencer Strong of Plymouth.

Pool A Standings
Minneapolis DeLaSalle 4-0, Appleton North 3-1, Waupun 2-2, Oconto Falls 1-3, Stevens Point 0-4.
Pool B Standings
Brown Deer 3-1, Marshfield 3-1, Plymouth 3-1, Menasha 1-3, Laconia 0-4.
Pool A vs. Pool B Title Game
Minneapolis DeLaSalle 51, Brown Deer 32

Pools C-D

Most Valuable Player

Sheboygan Christian won the Central Lakeshore Conference by three games and upset Randolph in a WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal before falling to eventual state champion Benton in the sectional final a year ago. Coach Brett Flipse has several key players back from that squad, including three all-league performers in seniors Lee Veldkamp, Joe Meerdink and Andrew Stecker. Veldkamp was perhaps the Eagles best player in the tournament as the physically strong and intelligent guard/forward found open teammates while also scoring from the perimeter and off the dribble.

* Sheboygan Christian will get pushed in the Central Lakeshore by Oostburg and Howards Grove, but the Eagles enter the season as the clear-cut favorite to win the league title. In fact, Sheboygan Christian might just have the best Division 4 team in Wisconsin. Veldkamp provides steady leadership and does a bit of everything, while the 6-4 Meerdink gives the Eagles an active player in the paint and on the glass. Stecker and junior Zack Flipse can both push the ball, defend and make shots. And senior Jeremy Jensema (6-5) provides length and size on the defensive end of the court.

* While Sheboygan Christian is favored to repeat as champions of the Central Lakeshore, look for Winnebago Lutheran to emerge as the team to beat in the Wisconsin Flyway Conference. The veteran Vikings lost to Sheboygan Christian, 39-30, in the Pool C-D title game, but WLA won all four of its pool games against some stiff competition. Seniors Cody Jackson, Mike Schraufnagel and Ryan Stollfus each earned all-league recognition a year ago and form a solid nucleus. In addition, senior forward Sean Augustyn (6-4) is a tough matchup because of his length around the basket and his ability to knock down mid-range jump shots.

* Traditionally tough Oostburg has some nice young players, including twin juniors Mike and Mark Keller. Coach Kevin Bruggink will also rely heavily on contributions from seniors Luke Menzel, Marcus Buehler and Phil Harder. The Flying Dutchmen compete at a high level and defend very well. Whether there will be enough offensive firepower to overtake Sheboygan Christian in the Central Lakeshore is probably the biggest question mark heading into next season.

* Green Bay NEW Lutheran has a pair of potential all-Packerland Conference performers in senior Ethan Derricks and junior Kaylor Zimmerman. Derricks and Zimmerman have played varsity basketball for coach Mark Meerstein the past two seasons and form a solid one-two scoring duo for the Blazers. Junior Aaron Gosse (6-3) also played well for NEW Lutheran over the weekend.

* Other players from Pools C-D who performed well Garrett Nikolay, Casey O’Reilly and C.J. Castellano of Auburndale; Vince Denor and Adam Gilson of Reedsville; Justin Shervey and Jordan Backes of Milwaukee St. Thomas More; Sam Koslowski of St. Mary Central; Frank Marzano of Kohler; and Jared Wartinbee of Lake Country Lutheran.

Pool C Standings
Winnebago Lutheran 4-0, Oostburg 3-1, Auburndale 2-2, Reedsville 1-3, Milwaukee St. Thomas More 0-4.
Pool D Standings
Sheboygan Christian 4-0, Green Bay NEW Lutheran 3-1, St. Mary Central 2-2, Lake Country Lutheran 1-3, Kohler 0-4.
Pool C vs. Pool D Title Game
Sheboygan Christian 39, Winnebago Lutheran 30

Pools E-F-G

Most Valuable Player

North Fond du Lac is definitely a program on the rise as the Orioles competed well throughout the tournament with a deep roster led by promising junior point guard Dylan Wodsadalek. A 6-2 point guard who has excellent size, length and skill, Wodsadalek got to the basket and finished while scoring a game-high 21 points in a 45-39 victory over Platteville in the Pool E-F title game. An honorable mention all-Flyway Conference pick a year ago, Wodsadalek is the top player for a North Fond du Lac program that appears to have the firepower and depth needed to contend for an upper-division finish in the competitive Flyway Conference.

* Platteville got solid performances throughout the weekend from a pair of frontline players in senior Bobby Steinhoff (6-4) and junior Travis Ware (6-5). Steinhoff showed off his ability to catch the ball at the foul line and make a quick, powerful move to the basket while Ware used his strength and length to score along the baseline.

* Credit Howards Grove junior Josh Horness for displaying tremendous dedication to his team as he took a red-eye flight out of Las Vegas Saturday evening in order to compete for the Tigers on Sunday. The 6-5 Horness played well, too, as he knocked down some three-point shots while also posting up with success in the lane. Senior Eric Dickmeyer (5-10) also played well for Howards Grove.

* Cedar Grove went 3-1 in pool play with victories over Saint Francis, Royall and Sheboygan Lutheran. The Rockets got some solid play from rugged senior forward Jesse Anderson (6-8) along with some good perimeter play from senior Nick Vrubley and junior Weston Meinen. Anderson is a physically strong baseline player who can alter some shots and grab rebounds, traits that figure to help Cedar Grove remain among the elite teams in the Central Lakeshore.

* Ozaukee probably doesn’t have the experience or overall talent to finish among the top two or three teams in the Central Lakeshore, but the Warriors do have a young and promising squad, led by junior Alex Janke and senior Brandon Turenne. Look for sophomore Eric Hartnett (6-5) to also play a big role for the Warriors in 2009-10.

* Sheboygan Lutheran went winless in the tournament, but the Crusaders got some solid play from promising 6-5 sophomore Sam Dekker. Playing on the perimeter while also posting up in the lane, Dekker showed he can score in a variety of ways. He got to the rim and finished, made foul shots and knocked down three-point shots. With continued strength and toughness, look for Dekker to emerge as a very good collegiate prospect over the next couple of years.

* Montello went 3-1 after dropping its first game of the event to Random Lake. The Hilltoppers got some solid play from seniors Jake Polk and Ken Kendall. The 6-5 Polk has the skill set of a guard and the length and shot-blocking ability of a baseline player. Polk can put the ball on the floor, make jump shots and find his teammates. He also has a nice jump hook in the lane. Once the lanky Polk adds some weight and strength, he projects as a solid collegiate prospect and several college coaches stopped by to watch Polk over the weekend. Kendall used his size and strength to score around the hoop all weekend.

* Other players from Pools E-G who performed well include Ryan Reseburg and D.J. Driscoll of Kiel; Craig Thomas and Andrew Meinerz of Arcadia; Ryan McSweeney and Geuremo DeDiego of Saint Francis; Riley Brown and Jacob Murphy of Royall; Charles Ruffing of Chilton; Andy Pohl, Jake Navarro and Brett Weiand of Random Lake; Josh Slaney and Brad Zander of Barneveld; Shawn Matuszewski of Laona; and Zach Blindauer of Sheboygan Lutheran.

Pool E Standings
Howards Grove 3-1, Platteville 3-1, Kiel 2-2, Arcadia 1-3, Barneveld 1-3.
Pool F Standings
North Fond du Lac 3-1, Cedar Grove 3-1, Saint Francis 2-2, Royall 2-2, Sheboygan Lutheran 0-4.
Pool G Standings
Montello 3-1, Ozaukee 3-1, Random Lake 3-1, Chilton 1-3, Laona 0-4.
Pool E vs. Pool F Title Game
North Fond du Lac 45, Platteville 39
Pool E Runner-up vs. Pool G Title Game
Howards Grove 46, Ozaukee 36

Tag(s): Summer Tournaments