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WBY Tourney in Plymouth: Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids use team play to win titles

08/17/2014, 2:00pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Marcus Ruch of Fond du Lac

Observations from the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Tournament held in Plymouth on July 18-19-20.

Pools A-B

Final Standings

Pool A -- Antigo 3-0, Fond du Lac 2-1, Ashwaubenon 1-2, West Bend East 0-3.

Pool B -- Marshfield 2-1, Kimberly 2-1, De Pere 2-1, Plymouth 0-3.

Pool A vs. Pool B title game -- Marshfield 40, Antigo 24.

Pool A vs. Pool B 2nd place -- Kimberly 40, Fond du Lac 34.

Pool A vs. Pool B 3rd place -- De Pere 59, Ashwaubenon 40.

Pool A vs. Pool B 4th place -- Plymouth 36, West Bend East 25.

Most Valuable Player

Will Spindler, 6-5, Sr., F, Marshfield
Spindler led a balanced scoring attack for the Tigers by averaging just over eight points per contest. He used his mobility, size and skill to work his way to the basket for coach Bill Zuiker. Spindler was active on the glass and played strong defense while also moving the ball and setting screens. Spindler averaged 2.0 ppg as a junior for a Marshfield team that finished 19-7 and is a key performer for a strong senior class for the Tigers.

All-Tournament Team (In alphabetical order)

Jordan Barthels, 6-2, Jr., G, De Pere

Barthels' ability to consistently make shots from beyond the three-point arc will be vital to the Redbirds' chances for success next season as teams attempt to take away senior wing guard and Wisconsin recruit Brevin Pritzl. Barthels did a stellar job of scoring for De Pere in Plymouth as he finished in double figures in three of four games for coach Brian Winchester. Barthels also made three-point shots at a high rate against some solid competition.

Tanner Boson, 6-1, Sr., PG, Marshfield
A physically strong lead guard, Boson did a solid job in running the offense for Marshfield while also scoring, both off the dribble and from long-range. He saw considerable action a year ago for Marshfield and figures to be a mainstay in the Tigers' lineup in 2014-15 due to his toughness, skill and experience.

Kegan Fassler, 6-3, Sr., G/F, Marshfield
Like Spindler, Fassler is extremely active and creates positive plays for the Tigers with his hustle and ability to get into passing lanes and come up with deflections. Fassler is a returning starter for Marshfield and a solid all-around player who can score off the dribble and from the foul line.

Jake Johnson, 6-3, Sr., F, Kimberly
Rugged, aggressive forward who can guard multiple positions and rebound, Johnson brings great intangibles to the Papermakers' lineup. He can guard post players or perimter players and does a good job of using his size, strength and athleticism to score in the lane.

Jack Lund, 6-5, Sr., F, Antigo
Lund was highly impressive for Antigo, which went 3-0 in pool play before falling to Marshfield in the Pool A vs. Pool B title game. Lund used his physical strength and size to overpower opponents in the lane while also stepping outside and making mid-range jump shots. Lund finished with 21 poinst in a 30-27 victory over Fond du Lac and hit three triples in the contest.

Brian Luteyn, 6-5, Sr., F, Fond du Lac
An athletic, active and skilled forward, Luteyn possesses outstanding moves to the basket. Though he doesn't always finish, he does draw fouls and is a fine shooter from the foul line. Luteyn can guard multiple positions and is very active on the glass on both ends of the court.

Gage Nischke, 6-2, Jr., G/F, Plymouth
The Panthers lost a great deal to graduation as Kollin Neils (football at Whitewater), Tom Jankowski (basketball at La Crosse) and Eric Nygaard (basketball at Lakeland) formed a solid nucleus for a team that went 21-4 under coach Jason Duff a year ago. Nischke was one of the top players on the JV club a year ago and broke out with three games in double figures over the weekend. He is one of the better long-distance shooters in the Plymouth program and figures to be a key player for Duff over the next two seasons. 

Braxton Resch, 6-1, Soph., G, Antigo
Resch saw some action for the varsity at Antigo a year ago and played very well for coach Jesse Shaw in Plymouth. He was hitting three-point shots for the Red Robins and also did a nice of job of moving the basketball and handling the ball against pressure defense.

Marcus Ruch, 6-5, Sr., F, Fond du Lac
Ruch is a talented inside-outside player who can make shots from three-point range or go inside and use his height and strength to score over smaller defenders. Ruch averaged 4.5 points per contest as a junior and figures to be one of the Cardinals' top offensive options in Year One of the Mark Ziebell Era at the school.

Colin Tessner, 5-11, Sr., PG, Kimberly
With seniors Ben Boots and Austin Weyenberg expected to play on the wing in 2014-15, Tessner takes over the ball-handling duties for coach Lucky Wurtz. He showed in Plymouth he is more than capable of running an offense while also looking to score himself. He is quick with the ball in his hands and can handle pressure defense with his ball-handling skills and toughness.

Sam Wisneski, 6-1, Sr., G, Ashwaubenon
Wisneski has a year of experience under coach John Miron and competed with an egde and skill in Plymouth. He isn't a huge scorer, but Wisneski moves the ball, plays within the Ashwaubenon system and can guard and rebound. He figures to be a key player for the Jaguars this winter.   

Team Champion


Although Marshfield lost four starters to graduation, the Tigers figure to rank among the better teams in the Wisconsin Valley Conference thanks to a strong senior class and some talented newcomers from a 13-9 junior varsity squad. Fassler is a returning regular while Boson, Spindler and Jordan Schlinsog all saw considerable action off the bench. The Tigers have decent size, good athleticism and a solid skill level while sharing the ball and playing strong defense. Marshfield likely doesn't have the firepower to overcome Stevens Point in the WVC, but the Tigers certainly have the talent required to finish in the upper half of the competitive seven-team league.

Look for Antigo's Lund and Rhinelander's Kent Mathews (6-5) to go at each other when the two teams hook up in Great Northern Conference play next winter. Both players are potential all-league performers for their respective schools ... Fond du Lac junior Coy Paulson (5-10) did a solid job of running the offense for the Cardinals and could team with sophomore Caleb Goldstein (5-9) to give Fond du Lac a talented, young backcourt tandem ... Ashwaubenon junior Zak Imig (6-2) had a rough Saturday morning and he was on the receiving end of an elbow to the nose that resulted in plenty of blood and a quick trip to the hospital ... Ashwaubenon junior Max von Berlichingen (6-7) is definitely a player to keep an eye on over the next 12 months as he possesses outstanding length and a good touch around the basket. As he continues to develop skills and gain strength, von Berlichingen could become a dominant force for coach John Miron ... Senior point guard Dominic Bocchini (5-8) did not score a high rate for Plymouth, but he did compete on both ends of the court while also running the Panthers' offense ... Senior guard Seth Schrank (5-11) was extremely impressive in games on Friday for West Bend East. Schrank is the top returning scorer for coach Ryan Tomczyk and he showed off his scoring punch in losses to Fond du Lac and Ashwaubenon.

Riley Pressley of Wisconsin Rapids

Pools C-D

Final Standings

Pool C -- Wisconsin Rapids 2-1, Oshkosh West 2-1, Xavier 1-2, Milwaukee Bay View 1-2.

Pool D -- Sheboygan North 2-1, Two Rivers 2-1, Sheboygan Falls 2-1, Winnebago Lutheran 0-3.

Pool C vs. Pool D title game -- Wisconsin Rapids 51, Sheboygan North 38.

Pool C vs. Pool D 2nd place -- Oshkosh West 65, Sheboygan Falls 48.

Pool C vs. Pool D 3rd place -- Xavier 42, Two Rivers 33.

Pool C vs. Pool D 4th place -- Winnebago Lutheran 38, Bay View 16.

Most Valuable Player

Riley Pressley, 6-4, Sr., F, Wisconsin Rapids
An unassuming player who doesn't wow you with athleticism, Pressley is nonetheless highly effective for coach Dan Witter and the Raiders. He can score in a variety of ways, doesn't let emotions get the best of him and rebounds on both ends of the court. Pressley averaged 11.9 points per game as a junior for Wisconsin Rapids and is a difficult player to guard because of his ability to score away from the basket and in the lane.

All-Tournament Team (In alphabetical order)

Haris Avdic, 6-2, Jr., F, Sheboygan Falls

Sheboygan Falls played some outstanding basketball on Friday in turning back Sheboygan North and Winnebago Lutheran. Avdic had strong performances for the Falcons as he scored 35 points in four games and connected on six three-point baskets.

Alex Bassuener, 5-11, Sr., G, Wisconsin Rapids
Like Pressley, Bassuener scored at a high level for Wisconsin Rapids in Plymouth. He reached double figures in three of four games and showed the ability to make pull-up jump shots in addition to his long-range shooting skills.

Eli Belmore, 5-10, Sr., PG, Sheboygan North
A feisty point guard who can push the ball in transition and make the extra pass, Belmore does a solid job of communicating on the court while also getting his teammates involved. He is a capable long-distance shooter who can also use his speed and quickness to get into the heart of a defense and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Sam Burkart, 5-11, Jr., G, Xavier
Physically strong combination guard who can rebound, defend and score, Burkart was tough to stop in Xavier's 48-47 loss to Oshkosh West. He scored from the perimeter, but also used his strength and timing to outmuscle taller defenders to score in the lane. A solid player on both ends of the court, Burkart averaged 8.7 points per game as a sophomore for coach Matt Klarner.

Brandon Eckford, 6-4, Sr., F, Milwaukee Bay View
Eckford is a physical forward who can score in the lane with his strength or step outside and hurt opponents with his skill. A three-year varsity performer for coach Tyler Podoll at Bay View, Eckford is also a solid rebounder who netted 15.1 points per contest as a junior for the Redcats.

Matt Gerber, 6-1, Sr., WG, Sheboygan North
Though a bit streaky from the perimeter, Gerber's ability to make shots from beyond the three-point arc will be vital to the Golden Raiders' success in 2014-15. He can certainly get on a roll from deep, though his release point is a bit low which tends to lead to some blocked shots from closing defenders.

Jake Guenther, 6-4, Sr., G/F, Oshkosh West
It's no secret Guenther has become one of the top recruiting priorities for UW-Oshklosh coach Pat Juckem, who has tracked Guenther all summer. Guenther's game translates well into the best NCAA Division III conference in America as he is athletic and quick, and figures to get better and better in the future with additional weight and strength. Guenther is tough to contain off the dribble because of a very quick first step, and he does an outstanding job of drawing fouls from opposing defenses trying to keep him out of the lane.

Blake Johnson, 5-11, Jr., G, Oshkosh West
Johnson turned in one strong performance after another in Plymouth, showing the ability to handle the ball against pressure, deliver some excellent passes and consistently make shots from deep. Johnson finished the tournament with eight three-pointers in four games for coach Jason Fahrney.

Kyle Van Hammond, 5-11, Sr., G, Xavier
Van Hammond does a bit of everything for the Hawks. He can score, defend and rebound. But his biggest attribute might be his willingness to pass to an open teammate. He is also a solid ball handler who can bring up the ball against pressure.

Ethan Willman, 6-2, Sr., WG, Two Rivers
With the WIAA opting to add a three-point shooting contest to the WIAA State Tournament next March, Willman and Sheboygan Lutheran's Jake Jurss might be two worthy candidates from northeastern Wisconsin. Like Jurss, Willman has virtually unlimited shooting range and he isn't afraid to pull the trigger from 25- to 30-feet. He is a bit streaky from the perimeter, but his ability to use his size and strength to beat defenders off the dribble and finish through contact sets up his openings from long range.  

Team Champion

Wisconsin Rapids

Losing sophomore guard and second-team all-Wisconsin Valley Conference performer Philip Flory (6-3) to transfer certainly puts a damper on the Raiders' hopes of challenging Stevens Point for the title in the seven-team league next season. However, don't feel too sorry for the Raiders as Pressley and Bassuener headline a very talented senior class. Physical senior forward Jayson Wiernik (6-3) joins Pressley and Bassuener as two-year starters heading into their final year of prep basketball. Wiernik provides strength in the post and is a solid defender. Pressley, Bassuener and Wiernik are the leaders for a program that includes several talented young players as the Raiders figure to field yet another highly competitive squad coming off a 15-8 season. 

Sheboygan North junior Sam Kaminski (6-8) is a bit of a work in progress, but there is no denying his length and ability to run the court. Look for Kaminski to continue to take strides in his game over the next year under veteran coach Tom Desotell ... Senior guard Billy Courchense (5-11) and senior forward Trevor Kroll (6-3) figure to play prominent roles for Oshkosh West this winter and both played well for the Wildcats in Plymouth ... Junior guard AJ Madden (5-9) and wing Juwaun Jackson showed well for Sheboygan Falls and figure to be key performers for coach Erik Frohling ... Xavier freshman Hunter Plamann (5-10) competed with skill, poise and intelligence while also scoring from three-point range and off the dribble ... Junior guard Trevor Smith (6-0) was hitting shots from deep and off the dribble for Two Rivers and figures to be a contender for a starting berth for the Purple Raiders after coming off the bench for coach Randy Fredrikson a year ago ... There aren't many quicker guards in the state than Bay View senior Keyshawn Thomas (5-10), who is a blur with the basketball in his hands ... Winnebago Lutheran went 1-3 in Plymouth, but the Vikings competed well in all four games and figure to be a tough out in the very competitive Wisconsin Flyway Conference. Junior guard Mitch McFarlane (6-2) is a threat to score each time he touches the ball while seniors Ryan Boelk (6-6) and Will Aird (6-6) give coach Jeremiah Hoffmann excellent size and versatility in the post.

Tag(s): Summer Tournaments