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Observations from the 8th annual WI vs. MN Border Battle

01/28/2014, 4:00pm CST
By Mark Miller

James Gollon of Pacelli

Some observations from the 8th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle, held Saturday at Kaukauna High School:

Ten Individual Standouts (From Wisconsin)

Sam Hauser, 6-5, WG, Soph., Stevens Point

Smooth as silk. That's about the best way to describe Hauser, the state's top-ranked class of 2016 prospect who pumped in 23 points to propel Stevens Point to an impressive 76-58 victory over a very good Lakeville North, Minn., squad. Hauser dropped five triples on Lakeville North and used his lateral quickness, length and athleticism while performing well on the defensive end of the court. Hauser's perimeter shooting skill was extremely impressive and he rarely touched iron from beyond the three-point arc. Green Bay, Northern Iowa and Toledo have already extended NCAA Division I scholarship offers to Hauser, but look for many more to come his way in the near future.  

Donovan Jackson, 6-2, G, Sr., Milwaukee Pius XI
Jackson had things going in a big-time way for the Popes, who handed Simley, Minn., a 65-48 setback to move to 11-4 on the season. Using his stellar quickenss and ball-handling skill, Jackson continually got seperation from his defenders on the way to scoring a game-high 30 points. Four of his first six field goals were triples and barely touched the iron as he helped Pius XI to a 38-30 halftime lead. Jackson has the ability to some day play at the NCAA Division I level, though he may opt to go the junior-college route next year in oder to potentially attact the attention of more DI schools in the future.

Levi Bradley, 6-7, F, Jr., Milwaukee Pius XI
With Green Bay coach Brian Wardle sitting courtside, Bradley turned in a strong showing for the Popes in their victory over Simley. He scored 21 points and had two crowd-pleasing dunks while also defending in the post and away from the basket. Bradley has excellent length, a good skill package and impressive athleticism. He owns a scholarship offer from Green Bay and figures to get plenty of additional looks from DI schools this spring and summer on the travel-team circuit.

Sandy Cohen, 6-5, G, Sr., Seymour
The Marquette University recruit got into a bit of foul trouble in Seymour's convincing 61-38 victory over Blake, Minn., but he still managed to score 14 points, deflect a number of passes and finish above the rim for some rim-rattling dunks. Cohen is one of the better all-around athletes in Wisconsin's senior class and his length will certainly be an asset at the next level. He needs to increase his strength, add some weight and improve his overall skill package, but the sky is the limit for his future based on his athleticism and built-for-basketball body.

Trevor Anderson, 6-2, PG, Soph., Stevens Point
Tough as a bulldog on both ends of the court, Anderson competes with an edge that almost always helps his team win. He had 23 points in a victory over Lakeville North and simply would not be denied on aggressive moves to the basket. Anderson finished exceptionally well and does an excellent job of looking for his teammates while also looking to score himself.

Dakota Oskey, 6-4, G/F, Sr., Seymour
Oskey is extremely difficult to contain off the dribble because of his quickness, strength and athleticism. He had 21 points for Seymour in its win over Blake, and he got to the basket almost at will with his quick first step to the hoop. Oskey is an improved long-distance shooter and a very good rebounder as well. He will play college basketball for coach Gary Grzesk at NCAA Division III power St. Norbert College. 

Kyle Schalow, 6-2, WG, Sr., Kaukauna
The son of Kaukauna coach Mike Schalow, Kyle Schalow played like a coach's son in the Ghosts 58-52 victory over Centennial, Minn. He made huge plays down the stretch for Kaukauna, finding a teammate for a layup with an excellent pass in transition and drilling all eight of his foul shots in the closing minutes of the contest. A good perimeter shooter with an excellent feel for the game, Schalow is also a solid rebounder from his two-guard position.    

Brett O'Sullivan, 6-4, F, Sr., Pacelli
A hard-working and effective player both in the post and facing the basket, O'Sullivan put forth tremendous effort and produced at a big-time level in Pacelli's hard-earned 53-50 victory over a solid Rockford, Minn., squad. O'Sullivan finished with a team-high 20 points, scoring around the hoop with his back to the basket, and from three-point range for Cardinals' coach Brad Rutta. O'Sullivan also ran the floor, defended and hit the glass at a high level as Pacelli improved to 12-2 on the campaign.

Mason Domask, 6-3, WG, Jr., Waupun
Despite taking a nasty fall in the Warriors' 47-42 victory over Byron, Minn., Domask was extremely effective while helping his team improve to 8-6. Domask had 10 points in the low-scoring, defensive struggle, but it was his ability to consistently find teammate Jack VandeZande (6-8) in the post with excellent feeds that may have been the difference in the game. VandeZande finished with 14 points with many of his baskets coming off beautiful assists from Domask. Domask is a more than capable scorer, but it was the other aspects of his game, including his defense and rebounding, that stood out Saturday.

Carter Belling, 6-1, PG, Jr., Kaukauna
Belling ran the Ghosts offense and continually got by defenders to get into the lane and create scoring chances for his teammates. Belling teams with junior Derek Hansen and senior Kyle Schalow to give Kaukauna a very talented and versatile backcourt combination. All three are capable three-point shooters who can also get into gaps and find teammates. Belling's quickness and point-guard mentality were huge in the Ghosts' narrow win over Centennial.

Five Individual Standouts (From Minnesota)

J.P. Macura, 6-5, WG, Sr., Lakeville North

Macura set a good-sized crowd abuzz with his stellar first-period performance in a loss to Stevens Point. He drained four three-point baskets and scored three times off the dribble en route to scoring all 18 of his team's points in the opening period. He then scored Lakeville North's first hoop of the second period before his teammates got involved. The Xavier University recruit has a picture-perfect jump shot, but he can also score going to the basket. He finished with 36 points, but his effort to start the game was definitely the highlight of the entire day.

Kevin Grow, 6-9, C, Sr., Centennial
Though Grow sat with foul difficulty throughout Centennial's game with Kaukauna, he showed flashes of becoming an excellent player. He has big hands, good feet and a long frame and used all of those attributes to score 11 points for the Cougars. As he continues to add weight and strength to his frame, Grow figures to blossom into a very good all-around player at the next level.

John Veil, 6-0, WG, Sr., Blake
Veil was one of just four players who scored for Blake in its loss to Seymour. But his long-range shooting was impressive and he connected on four three-point shots and scored a team-high 16 points for the Bears. A University of St. Thomas recruit, Veil's shooting prowess figures to be an asset for the Tommies in the future. 

Sam Stensgard, 6-3, WG, Jr., Simley
Outside of Macura and Hauser, Stensgard may have been the most impressive shooter of the day. He connected on six triples in the Spartans loss to Pius XI and finished with 22 points for coach Ben Bushaw.

Tyler Peterson, 6-3, PG, Soph., Centennial
Peterson handled the ball and shot the ball well for the Cougars in their loss to Kaukauna. He competed with composure and a high basketball IQ en route to scoring 20 points for coach Brandon Mortenson.

Others Who Played Well (From Wisconsin)

Derek Hansen, 5-11, WG, Jr., Kaukauna

A good athlete with strong basketball skills, Hansen drained three triples early in the game against Centennial and then used his strength and lateral quickness to defend and compete on the other end of the court. He possesses good intensity and is a solid contributor on a consistent basis for the Ghosts. 

Isaac Elliott, 6-0, WG, Sr., Pacelli
Elliott has a smooth jump shot and played with high intensity for Pacelli. He finished with 17 points and made some huge free throws in the closing minutes of a narrow victory over Rockford.

George Diekelman, 6-2, WG, Sr., Stevens Point
Diekelman is a smart, skilled and strong basketball player who does a bit of everything for the Panthers. He scored 12 points and made two triples, but he also got on the ground for loose balls, rebounded and defended for coach Scott Anderson and the Panthers. 

Alex Buchholtz, 6-6, PF, Jr., Seymour
Buchholtz finished very well near the basket, scoring 10 points on short bank shots for the Thunder. He gives coach Jon Murphy excellent size and strength in the post, and can defend opponent's frontline players in the lane. 

James Gollon, 6-5, G, Jr., Pacelli
In his second game of the season after sitting out following hip surgery, Gollon came off the bench to score seven points for the Cardinals. His feel for the game, size and skill are going to be definite assets for Pacelli the rest of the way.

Jack VandeZande, 6-8, F., Jr., Waupun
VandeZande continues to take strides as a player as he finished with 14 points and several blocked shots in the Warriors win over Byron. He did an excellent job of keeping the ball high and finishing near the basket.

Dominic Kenyon, 6-4, F, Jr., Pius XI
With teams concentrating on Jackson and Bradley, others from Pius XI need to step up in order for the Popes to make a post-season splash in Division 2. Kenyon did just that for coach Joel Claassen on Saturday, scoring eight points, rebounding well and competing with intensity on defense.

Final Scores of Border Battle
Pacelli (WI) 53, Rockford (MN) 50
Waupun (WI) 47, Byron (MN) 42
Pius XI (WI) 65, Simley (MN) 48
Stevens Point (WI) 76, Lakeville North (MN) 58
Seymour (WI) 61, Blake (MN) 38
Kaukauna (WI) 58, Centennial (MN) 52

Minnesota leads all-time series, 23-22

Looking Ahead ...
The 2015 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle is scheduled for February 7, 2015 at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Participating teams include Stevens Point, Kimberly, Milwaukee Vincent, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, West Salem and Columbus Catholic from Wisconsin along with Cretin-Derham Hall, DeLaSalle, Hopkins, Minnehaha Academy, Waseca and Heritage Christian from Minnesota.

Thanks ...
To the entire Kaukauna Basketball Booster Club for hosting the 8th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle. On a frigid Saturday in January, things ran very smoothly thanks to athletic director Jim McClowry, the great officials who worked the games and the numerous workers from the Kaukauna Booster Club. Thanks so much for your efforts to make the event a memorable occasion for the kids involved. 



Tag(s): Border Battle