Observations from the 11th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle, held Saturday at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota:
10 Individual Standouts (Wisconsin)
Kobe King, 6-4, WG, Sr., La Crosse Central
King has emerged as one of the top high school basketball players not only in Wisconsin, but the entire country thanks to his hard work, versatility and ability to dominate a game in so many different ways. Though his La Crosse Central Red Raiders dropped a 98-83 decision to Lakeville North, King was absolutely sensational. The 6-foot-4 University of Wisconsin wing prospect scored a career-high 49 points, making 17 of 28 shots from the field, all 10 of his foul shots and 5 of 7 from three-point range. He also grabbed 14 rebounds for coach Todd Fergot and the Red Raiders, who fell to 12-2 but remain one of the elite teams in the state and one of the favorites to win the WIAA Division 2 state championship. King's stellar showing against a very good Lakeville North squad cemented his standing as the leading candidate to win the Mr. Basketball award.
Hunter Schultz, 6-0, PG, Sr., Columbus Catholic
A three-year starter for the Dons, Schultz sets the pace for his athletic, quick teammates by pushing the ball in transition, attacking the rim and making perimeter shots. He is relentless in his pursuit of getting baskets and in setting up his teammates for good looks at the hoop. A Loras College recruit, Schultz scored 30 points, handed out four assists and grabbed four rebounds to help the Dons improve to 15-0 on the season with a 96-83 victory over a Springfield squad that entered the contest with just one loss in 16 games. Schultz made 12 of 23 shots from the field, including 4 of 12 from three-point range. He is averaging 25.7 points per game for one of the state's premier WIAA Division 5 programs and has scored more than 1,000 points in his career while playing for coach Joe Konieczny.
Tyler Fuerlinger, 6-2, WG, Sr., Columbus Catholic
Fuerlinger has developed into a very solid overall player over the past three seasons, making impressive progress in his game each season under the guidance of coach Joe Konieczny. An aggressive, physically strong wing player, Fuerlinger has a quick first step to the basket and uses his strength and speed to beat defenders off the dribble for mid-range jump shots and layups. He has also improved his three-point shooting skill and made a couple of deep shots in the Dons' victory over Springfield. Fuerlinger scored 27 points in the game and in the process went over 1,000 points for his career. He made 9 of 20 shots from the field, all seven of his four shots and 2 of 5 from three-point range. In addition, Fuerlinger grabbed grabbed six rebounds, came up with four steals and had three assists. He is averaging 22.8 ppg for the high-octane Dons, who take a 15-0 record into a game tonight against Granton.
Owen Hamilton, 7-1, C, Sr., Prescott
The Northern Illinois recruit squared off against an athletic Minnehaha Academy team that included several players with size, including a NCAA Division I prospect in junior forward JaVonni Bickham (6-6). While he had trouble finishing at times, Hamilton's effort was outstanding. He finished with 27 points, making 11 of 21 shots, 4 of 5 foul shots and his lone three-point attempt. He also had nine rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out late in the game. The Cardinals fell behind by 22 at intermission and trailed by as many as 26, but they mounted a strong second-half rally, pulling within five points late, thanks in large part of the play of Hamilton. Prescott fell to 14-3 under coach Nick Johnson following the 81-73 loss to Minnehaha Academy, but the Cardinals figure to be one of the teams to beat in the WIAA Division 3 playoffs behind the play of Hamilton, who is averaging 26.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game.
Joey Hauser, 6-8, F, Jr., Stevens Point
Still overcoming a high ankle sprain that kept him sidelined for the first 11 games of the season, Hauser competed at less than 100 percent for the Panthers, who suffered their second loss to Cretin-Derham Hall in the past three seasons, falling 71-68. Hauser, who also battled the flu earlier in the week, had 22 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. He also had seven assists, four steals and a blocked shot while playing against a pair of twin towers -- University of Minnesota recruit Daniel Oturu, an athletic 6-foot-10 post player, and emerging junior Sy Chatman, a 6-foot-7 forward with mobility. Hauser made 8 of 23 shots from the field and 4 of 8 from deep as he continues to round into shape for the Panthers' stretch run. The state's top-rated class of 2018 prospect and the younger brother of former SPASH standout, Sam Hauser, Joey Hauser is hoping to help the Panthers to another Wisconsin Valley Conference title and perhaps a third straight WIAA Division 1 state championship.
Terrence Lewis, 6-6, WG, Sr., Milwaukee Riverside
It was a frustrating night for Lewis and the Tigers, who were outscored 41-18 in the second half during a 66-44 loss to Apple Valley. Lewis scored 16 points in the first half, but was limited to just seven in the second half. Part of Lewis' reduced production was due to the strong defense employed by a very good Apple Valley team. The other part was due to the lack of ball movement in the Riverside offense. Lewis, who signed with Iowa State last November, made 9 of 19 shots from the field and 2 of 4 attempts from three-point range. He also made all three of his foul shots while grabbing eight rebounds and coming up with three steals. Riverside fell to 10-6 with the setback.
Eric Carl, 6-4, WG, Jr., Kaukauna
The former Shawano wing prospect is beginning to find his niche with the Ghosts as he finished with 23 point and drilled 5 of 10 shots from beyond the three-point arc. All but two of Carl's field-goal attempts came from three-point range, but he did make both of his shots inside the arc and also connected on all four of his foul shots while grabbing three rebounds. With Minnesota-Duluth recruit Adam Smith (6-2) sidelined for the rest of the season due to a foot injury, Carl's emergence is huge for Kaukauna, which fell to 8-6 with the 97-65 loss to DeLaSalle. The Ghosts fell behind 60-33 by intermission against the five-time defending Class 3A state champions, but coach Mike Schalow's group still ranks among the better WIAA Division 2 teams in the Menasha Sectional. If Carl can continue to provide offensive firepower to go along with West Virginia recruit Jordan McCabe and 6-foot-7 junior Dylan Kurey, Kaukauna still could make a run at successfully defending its WIAA Division 2 state title.
Drew Blair, 6-3, WG, Jr., Stevens Point
One of the more improved players in the state in the class of 2018, the left-handed Blair turned in a solid outing for Stevens Point in its loss to Cretin-Derham Hall. The top scorer on the season for Stevens Point at 21.2 ppg, Blair finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists against the Raiders. He made 7 of 16 shots from the field and 2 of 6 from deep while also splitting a pair of foul shots. Blair, who did a nice job of moving without the basketball, gets good lift on his jump shot and has a quick release, traits that will help Stevens Point as it moves forward the rest of the season.
Nick Malovrh, 5-11, WG, Jr., Columbus Catholic
Opponents who concentrate solely on slowing down the Dons' two standout seniors -- Hunter Schultz and Tyler Fuerlinger -- almost always pay the price with Malovrh, a sharp-shooting junior wing guard with a very good skill set and feel for the game. Malovrh turned in an outstanding all-around outing against Springfield, scoring 19 points, grabbing seven rebounds, handing out five assists and coming up with four steals. He made 5 of 9 shots from three-point range and each time he buried a triple, it seemed to stem a potential comeback by Springfield. The ability for Malovrh to affect the game in so many areas is huge for the Dons as the head into the stretch run in the Cloverbelt East Conference.
Peter Brookshaw, 6-0, G, Jr., Prescott
Like Hauser, Brookshaw missed some time earlier in the season while recovering from an injured. He appeared to be at 100 percent in the Cardinals' loss to Minnehaha Academy, though, as he finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals while playing almost the entire game. A hard-working, physical and athletic backcourt performer, Brookshaw can score from the perimeter and off the dribble. He ability to feed the ball to Owen Hamilton is also a big part of the offense for coach Nick Johnson and the Cardinals.
10 Individual Standouts (Minnesota)
Daniel Oturu, 6-10, F, Jr., Cretin-Derham Hall
The University of Minnesota recruit has made very good strides in his game the past two seasons and could emerge as one of the better frontline prospects in the country in the class of 2018 on the spring/summer club circuit. Oturu had 30 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots for Cretin-Derham Hall in its win over Stevens Point.
Nathan Reuvers, 6-10, F, Sr., Lakeville North
A Jon Leuer lookalike, Reuvers possesses an impressive skill set for a player of his size. He can handle the ball, pass it and shoot if from distance while also performing well in the post. He finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots while competing against his future teammate at Wisconsin, Kobe King.
Gabe Kalscheur, 6-4, WG, Jr., DeLaSalle
One of the top juniors in Minnesota, Kalscheur lit up Kaukauna's defense to the tone of 25 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. Kalscheur, who owns a scholarship offer from Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, also snared six rebounds for coach Dave Thorson and the Islanders.
JaVonni Bickham, 6-6, F, Jr., Minnehaha Academy
Bickham is rounding into basketball shape after missing several games with an injury. He was outstanding against Prescott, battling 7-foot-1 Owen Hamilton in the paint on defense while also stepping out and making four three-point baskets on offense. A three-year varsity starter, Bickham finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds in the Red Hawks' win over Prescott.
Tre Jones, 6-2, Jr., PG, Apple Valley
One of the top class of 2018 prospects in the country, Jones was a defensive demon for Apple Valley. He finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the win over Milwaukee Riverside, but it was his tenacious defense that helped Apple Valley rally from a 28-25 halftime deficit to a 66-46 victory.
Goanar Mar, 6-7, F, Sr., DeLaSalle
The George Mason recruit contributed in just about every way for the Islanders. He had 21 points and nine rebounds while also providing stellar defense, both on the perimeter and in the post.
Ryan Larson, 6-0, PG, Jr., Cretin-Derham Hall
A steady, competitive lead guard who sets the table for Oturu and the Raiders, Larson had 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals against Stevens Point. His strong play was every bit as impressive as his statistics suggest.
Jalen Suggs, 6-3, PG, Frosh., Minnehaha Academy
Already one of the top class of 2020 prospects in the midwest, Suggs has played the past two seasons on the varsity team at Minnehaha Academy as Minnesota allows 7th and 8th graders to compete on varsity teams. Suggs had 14 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists for the Red Hawks and figures to be one of the most heavily recruited backcourt players in the nation over the next several years.
Jordan Horn, 6-2, G, Sr., Tartan
The Siena College recruit proved to be too much for Whitefish Bay to handle as he finished with 25 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists in the Titans' 80-53 victory. Horn has good size and physical strength to go along with his ball handling and shooting ability.
Isaac Fink, 6-3, G, Soph., Springfield
Impressive young player with a very good skill set, size and length. He scored 30 points and made four three-point baskets in the Tigers' loss to Columbus Catholic.
Final Scores of Border Battle
Game 1: Columbus Catholic (WI) 96, Springfield (MN) 83
Game 2: Minnehaha Academy (MN) 81, Prescott (WI) 73
Game 3: Tartan (MN) 80, Whitefish Bay (WI) 53
Game 4: Cretin-Derham Hall (MN) 71, Stevens Point (WI) 68
Game 5: DeLaSalle (MN) 97, Kaukauna (WI) 65
Game 6: Lakeville North (MN) 98, La Crosse Central (WI) 83
Game 7: Apple Valley (MN) 66, Milwaukee Riverside (WI) 46
Looking Ahead ...
The 2018 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle is set for January 27, 2018 at Stevens Point High School. Participating teams from Wisconsin include Stevens Point, Stevens Point Pacelli, De Soto, Bloomer, Appleton Xavier, Kaukauna and La Crosse Central. Teams from Minnesota scheduled to participate include Heritage Christian, Spring Grove, Lake City, Minnetonka, Minneapolis North, North St. Paul and Minnehaha Academy.
To Apple Valley High School and its staff for hosting the 11th annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle. Thanks also to the staff of The Breakdown for once again working with the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook to put on this event. See you next January in Stevens Point.
Tag(s): Border Battle