Some observations from the 9th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle, held Saturday at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul:
Individual Standouts (From Wisconsin)
Baily Williams, 6-2, G, Sr., West Salem
Williams was efficient with his shot selection and made of the most of his opportunities to keep West Salem close to Waseca. He finished with a career-high 39 points as the Panthers lost 77-76 in overtime. He made three shots from beyond the three-point arc and had two free throws. The rest of his scoring came off aggressive drives to the basket and mid-range jump shots. Williams has improved his strength and his shot-making ability and is a very good pickup for NCAA Division II Minneosta State (Mankato).
Sam Hauser, 6-6, Jr., F, Stevens Point
The state's top-ranked junior helped Stevens Point stay within striking distance of host school Cretin-Derham Hall, but his 26 points weren't enough as the No. 1-ranked Panthers dropped their first game of the season. Hauser made 10 of 18 shots from the floor and 4 of 10 from three-point range. Equally important, he defended well, using his position defense, intelligence and quick hands to deflect passes and knock the ball loose from his opponent. He finished with four steals and nine rebounds. Hauser isn't super flashy or overly athletic, but his basketball IQ and skill level are both highly impressive and among the reasons Creighton, Marquette and Northern Iowa, among others, have extended scholarship offers.
Austin Weyenberg, 6-4, G, Sr., Kimberly
A three-year varsity performer for coach Lucky Wurtz at Kimberly, Weyenberg turned in a stellar performance for the Papermakers against three-time defending 3A state champion DeLaSalle. Though Kimberly dropped a hard-fought 73-61 decision, Weyenberg was one of the top performers in the entire Border Battle as he scored 22 points and hit three shots from beyond the arc. His point total is a season high and a good sign for Kimberly as it moves forward with its 15-2 record.
Trev Anderson, 6-2, G, Jr., Stevens Point
Few players in Wisconsin compete with as much toughness and determination as Anderson, who did all he could to help the Panthers stick close to a very talented and well-coached team from Cretin-Derham Hall. As usual, Anderson got into the lane off the dribble and either finished or earned trips to the foul line. He made all six of his free-throw attempts and finished with 18 points. Anderson went 5 of 18 from the field and 2 of 6 from three-point range. Developing a more consistent shot from deep certainly will benefit Anderson, who currently holds scholarship offers from Drake, Lehigh and South Dakota State.
Andrew Lewis, 6-2, G, Soph., Milwaukee Vincent
Playing against one of Minnesota's elite programs in Hopkins, Lewis may have been the surprise of the entire day as he finished with 25 points in an 108-81 loss. A skilled left hander with a quick first step to the basket, Lewis dropped three triples against Hopkins and also scored in transition. His ability to get into the lane and create for himself and his teammates was also highly impressive.
Nick Wagner, 6-3, Jr., G, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau
Wagner was a bit streaky from the perimeter in the Red Hawks' 72-65 loss to Minnehaha Academy, but he did finished with a team-high 21 points and did an outstanding job of drawing fouls and earning trips to the free-throw line. Wagner went 8 of 9 from the charity stripe and did a nice job of feeding junior Lucas Scherr (13 points) and freshman Chris Thompson (11 points) in the lane.
Hunter Schultz, 6-0, Soph., G, Columbus Catholic
Schultz transferred to Columbus Catholic from Marshfield High School over the summer and has made a big difference in the Dons' fortunes this season. He has a quick release from the perimeter and gets separation from his defenders with his quickness. He had 18 points in the Dons' 68-55 loss to Heritage Christian and made four three-point baskets for coach Joe Konieczny. Schultz, sophomore Tyler Fuerlinger and juniors Evan Nikolai, Billy Young and Brett Loveland give the Dons a solid base to build around for the future.
Individual Standouts (From Minnesota)
Sacar Anim, 6-4, WG, Sr., DeLaSalle
After Kimberly took a brief one-point lead with about eight minutes to go in its game against DeLaSalle, Anim decided to take over the contest. He scored on a traditional three-point play off a drive to the basket, buried two three-point shots and made a reverse layup off a nice feed from Minnesota recruit Jarvis Johnson. Anim is averaging close to 25 points per game and is a leading candidate for the Mr. Basketball award in Minnesota. In addition to finishing with a game-high 24 points, Anim also did a stellar job slowing Kimberly senior Ben Boots, who finished with just six points after coming into the game averaging a team-high 16.6 ppg. Anim has become a high recruiting priority for new Marquette coach Steve Wojociechowski, who extended a scholarship offer last week.
Joe Rosga, 6-3, WG, Sr., Cretin-Derham Hall
Though teammates Donnell Gresham (Northeastern) and Sam Neumann (Montana State) have already signed with NCAA Division I schools, its was Rosga who was the biggest different in Cretin-Derham Hall's victory over previously unbeaten Stevens Point. The skilled wing guard, the son of former NFL defensive back Jeff Rosga, made three shots from three-point range and 7 of 9 foul shots en route to scoring 24 points. It seemed every time Stevens Point would make a strong run and threaten to take the lead, Rosga would step up and make a big shot. His collegiate options remain open, though DI Bryant is showing strong interest.
Nick Dufault, 6-0, G, Jr., Waseca
The son of Waseca coach Todd Dufault, Nick Dufault is a small, but quick left-handed guard who made shots in a variety of ways to help his team to an overtime victory. Dufault had four three-point baskets, several difficult floaters in the lane and connected on 7 of 8 foul shots on the way to scoring 35 points.
Donnell Gresham, 6-3, PG, Sr., Cretin-Derham Hall
Gresham scored 16 points against Stevens Point, but his biggest contribution by far was his superb defense on Trev Anderson. Gresham has good size and physical strength along with lateral quickness and those three traits forced Anderson into a difficult 5 of 18 shooting performance. Gresham also did a solid job of running the Raiders' offense and appears to be a solid pickup for DI Northeastern.
Jarvis Johnson, 6-1, PG, Sr., DeLaSalle
The Minnesota recruit was a bit off in his shooting, but he still managed to score 13 points as he continues to recover from an injury. His quickness and ability to push the ball in transition were impressive as was his ability to elevate. Johnson is a very good athlete and a player capable of defending well on the perimeter. He appears to have a bright future for coach Rick Pitino.
JaVonni Bickham, 6-6, F, Frosh., Minnehaha Academy
There is virtually nothing about Bickham that remotely resembles a typical high school ninth grader. His physical presence appears much more like a senior as he packs a good 215 pounds or so on his athletic 6-foot-6 frame. Skill wise, Bickham showed the ability to score in the post and step outside and make three-point shots. He finished with 19 points for Minnehaha Academy in its victory over Gale-Ettrick-Tremplealeau and appears to have a very bright future.
Gabe Kalscheur, 6-3, WG, Frosh, DeLaSalle
The Kimberly coaching staff knew all about Anim and Johnson heading into its game against DeLaSalle. Lucky Wurtz and staff also knew much about promising sophomore Goanar Mar. But it was freshman Gabe Kalscheur who came off the bench to score 11 huge points, all in the second half. Kalscheur drilled three triples and also made a layup to thwart Kimberly's spirited comeback bid.
Final Scores of Border Battle
Heritage Christian (MN) 68, Columbus Catholic (WI) 55
Waseca 77 (MN), West Salem 76 (WI), OT
Minnehaha Academy (MN) 72, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (WI) 65
Hopkins (MN) 108, Milwaukee Vincent (WI) 81
DeLaSalle (MN) 73, Kimberly (WI) 61
Cretin-Derham Hall (MN) 69, Stevens Point (WI) 60
Minnesota leads all-time series, 29-22. Teams from the host state have won the last 21 games and 27 of the last 28 of the Border Battle.
Looking Ahead ...
The 2016 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle is scheduled for January 30 at Onalaska High School.
Participating teams include Stevens Point, Onalaska, La Crosse Central, Eau Claire Memorial, Westby and Columbus Catholic from Wisconsin along with Minnetonka, Tartan, DeLaSalle, Minneapolis North, Spring Grove and Lake City from Minnesota.
To the Cretin-Derhall Hall High School and its staff for hosting the 9th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle. Thanks also to the staff of The Breakdown for working once again with the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook to put on this annual event. And thanks to all the fans who attended the games. See you next year in Onalaska.
Tag(s): Border Battle