Observations from the 10th annual Wisconsin versus Minnesota Border Battle, held Saturday at Onalaska High School:
Ten Individual Standouts (Wisconsin)
Kobe King, 6-4, WG, Jr., La Crosse Central
King lived up to his status as the state's No. 1-ranked junior in the WisSports.net Player Rankings as he finished with 32 points for the Red Raiders in a 56-51 loss to DeLaSalle. King had 19 points in the first half as Central took a 29-26 lead into intermission. DeLaSalle defenders were able to slow King during the first 15 minutes of the second half, but King scored on four straight possessions late to keep Central within striking distance until the final seconds. King finished with 32 points and scored at ease at times thanks to his quickness, hustle, jumping ability, ball-handling skill and sweet shooting touch. The University of Wisconsin recruit looked very much like a high-major player before a packed crowd at Onalaska.
Trev Anderson, 6-2, PG, Sr., Stevens Point
Like he has virtually all season, Anderson played his "A" game in leading the Panthers to their 17th victory without a loss, this time an 88-65 triumph over Minnetonka. Anderson finished with 31 points and 10 assists, making three triples while also playing strong off of post-up moves and hitting mid-range jump shots. Anderson does an excellent job of cutting without the basketball and sees the court as well as any guard in the state. The UW-Green Bay recruit remains the odds-on favorite to win the Mr. Basketball award.
Sam Hauser, 6-6, F, Sr., Stevens Point
Hauser hit a couple of three-point shots and scored around the basket with his length and quick jumping ability en route to 20 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots. The Marquette University recruit did an excellent job of passing the ball and keeping defenders off balance with his ability to pass, shooting and dribble.
Joey Hauser, 6-7, F, Soph., Stevens Point
Sam's younger brother is coming off a hamstring injury, but you wouldn't have known it by his strong showing against Minnetonka. Joey finished with 22 points and nine rebounds in the victory and once again showed the ability to score in the post or away from the basket with his accurate shooting stroke. Hauser is the state's top-ranked sophomore with offers from both Marquette and Wisconsin. He figures to garner many more scholarship offers in the future thanks to his versatility, size and athletic ability.
Isaac Appleby, 6-2, G, Sr., Eau Claire Memorial
Appleby was stellar, particularly in the second half, in helping Memorial push Tartan to overtime before sustaining a 64-61 loss. The athletic senior combination guard finished with 20 points and each and every one of them came off of aggressive one-on-one moves to the basket that resulted in either layups, dunks or impressive mid-range jump shots. Appleby has outstanding elevation on his jump shot and is a player scholarship schools need to take a strong look at during the rest of the 2015-16 season.
Jesse Solberg, 6-3, G/F, Jr., Westby
Solberg was simply outstanding in helping Westby battle Lake City down to the final minute before sustaining a 63-57 loss. Solberg scored a career-high 31 points as he nailed three shots from beyond the three-point arc and also used his size, strength and skill to get to spots on the court where he could go to his major strength, the mid-range jump shot.
Tyler Fuerlinger, 6-1, WG, Jr., Columbus Catholic
Fuerlinger was exceptionally effective taking the ball to the basket as he either finished through contact due to his physical strength or earned trips to the foul line. Fuerlinger made all 12 of his free-throw attempts and also nailed a couple of three-point baskets on the way to equaling his career-high of 32 points in an 83-69 loss to Spring Grove.
Tyler Hughes, 6-2, G, Jr., Onalaska
In just his second game back from a serious knee injury, Hughes turned in a very strong performance for the Hilltoppers in their 84-62 loss to Minneapolis North. In a game much closer than the final score indicates, Hughes kept Onalaska close until the final few minutes by knocking down perimeter shots and getting to the foul line. Hughes is a three-year varsity player and his return to the lineup gives coach Craig Kowal another strong scoring option.
Darian Dieckman, 6-2, G, Eau Claire Memorial
Dieckman had his shooting stroke in top form during the Old Abes' highly competitive contest against Tartan. Dieckman buried five three-point shots and went 3-of-4 from the free throw line on the way to scoring 18 points for coach Greg Van Grunsven and the Old Abes.
Hunter Schultz, 5-11, G, Jr., Columbus Catholic
Schultz scored in a variety of ways, using his quickness and strong ball-handling ability to keep defenders off balance. He made two triples, went 7-of-7 from the line and also buried some impressive pull-up jump shots en route to scoring 21 points.
Ten Individual Standouts (Minnesota)
Tyler Johnson, 6-2, G, Sr., Minneapolis North
Crazy, out-of-this-world jumping ability helped Johnson to several highlight-reel dunks that had the crowd at Onalaska buzzing throughout the Polars' 84-62 victory. The University of Minnesota football recruit finished with 17 points and his incredible dunks were definitely a thing of beauty.
Jordan Horn, 6-2, G, Jr., Tartan
A strong player with good instincts, Horn battled foul trouble in the first half but still managed to finished with a team-high 17 points as Tartan won its 16th game against four setbacks in the overtime triumph over Eau Claire Memorial. One of the better class of 2017 prospects in Minnesota, Horn can make perimeter shots, but he can also get to the basket with his strength and quickness.
Patrick Dembley, 6-3, PG, Sr., Minneapolis North
Dembley sets the tone of the Polars, the state's top-ranked Class 1A team thanks to a roster loaded with athleticism, length and size. Dembley finished with 15 points and scored when he had to as Onalaska kept the game close until the final minutes. Dembley, though, was even better at setting up his teammates with exceptional passes off of his drives to the basket.
Amar Miller, 5-8, PG, Sr., Minnetonka
Miller may be small in stature, but it didn't matter against unbeaten and top-ranked Stevens Point as the ultra-quick lead guard created separation from his defenders en route to scoring 23 points. Miller hit four three-point shots to help the Skippers remain relatively close to SPASH for much of the contest.
Chase Grinde, 6-3, G, Jr., Spring Grove
The son of coach Wade Grinde and already a 1,000-point scorer, Grinde was a handful for the Columbus Catholic defense as he finished with 25 points. Grinde plays bigger than his height thanks to his strength, jumping ability and aggressiveness. Grinde is ranked as one of Minnesota's Top 75 juniors by The Breakdown.
Samm Jones, 6-0, G, Sr., DeLaSalle
A physical, hard-working winner, Jones has been a part of three Class 3A state titles at DeLaSalle and his court presence and overall strong play on both ends helped the Islanders rally for a win over La Crosse Central. A strong student who is being recruited by a number of high-end NCAA Division III academic schools, Jones finished with 14 points for coach Dave Thorson.
Gabe Kalscheur, 6-3, WG, Soph., DeLaSalle
Kalscheur and junior Goanar Mar faced a triangle-in-two defense throughout much of their contest against La Crosse Central. While Mar made some plays in the second half, he had to sit much of the first half due to foul trouble. Kalscheur, on the other hand, played the majority of game and though he finished with just eight points, his ability to find open teammates with his passing skill was a key to the Islanders' victory.
Brady Schuttemier, 6-3, F, Sr., Spring Grove
Schuttemier helped Spring Grove, now 19-1 and ranked No. 2 among Class 1A schools, get off to a quick start by raining threes on Columbus Catholic defenders. He nailed five triples in the first half as the Lions took a 41-25 halftime lead. Schuttemeier, also a 1,000-point scorer, finished with 24 points.
Jordan Thompson, 6-1, G, Jr., Tartan
Thompson made some huge baskets for Tartan as the reserve backcourt performer connected on five three-point baskets en route to 15 points in the overtime victory over Eau Claire Memorial.
Marc Kjos, 5-9, G, Soph., Lake City
Coming off the bench, Kjos was a thorn in the side of Westby all afternoon. He hit six three-point shots and each one either kept Lake City close or gave the Tigers a lead. He finished with 18 points as Lake City improved to 17-3 with its come-from-behind victory over Westby.
Final Scores of Border Battle
Spring Grove (MN) 83, Columbus Catholic (WI) 69
Lake City (MN) 63, Westby (WI) 57
Tartan (MN) 64, Eau Claire Memorial (WI) 61, OT
DeLaSalle (MN) 56, La Crosse Central (WI) 51
Minneapolis North (MN) 84, Onalaska (WI) 62
Stevens Point (WI) 88, Minnetonka (MN) 65
Minnesota leads all-time series 34-23.
Looking ahead ...
The 2017 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle is set for January 28th at Apple Valley High School. Participating teams include Stevens Point, Kaukauna, La Crosse Central, Prescott, Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee Riverside and Columbus Catholic from Wisconsin along with Lakeville North, Apple Valley, Tartan, Minnehaha Academy, DeLaSalle and Springfield from Minnesota.
To Onalaska High School and its staff for hosting the 10th 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 a big thanks to all the fans who attended the games. See you next year in Apple Valley.
Tag(s): Border Battle