Some observations from the 13th annual Rick Majerus Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout, held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Buuck Fieldhouse on the campus of Concordia University in Mequon:
Five Individual Standouts
Jordan McCabe, 6-0, Sr., PG, Kaukauna
McCabe scored just nine points in the Ghosts' impressive victory over Waunakee, yet the West Virginia recruit absolutely dominated the game in the second half when Kaukauna turned a 41-38 halftime lead into a 101-66 runaway over the previously un defeated Warriors. The ball-handling and passing whiz finished with a WBY Shootout record 16 assists and helped his team score more points than any team in the 13-year, 295-game history of the event. McCabe's ability to locate teammates, both in the open court and via the Ghosts' half-court offense, helped Kaukauna finish with 15 made three-point field goals, including seven from Michigan Tech recruit Eric Carl. McCabe draws huge crowds just about every time he steps onto the court because of his ability to handle the ball and make crowd-pleasing passes. The huge throng at the game against Waunakee did not go away disappointed.
Tyrese Haliburton, 6-6, PG, Sr., Oshkosh North
In a game many considered the best of the 2017 WBY Shootout, Haliburton played at his best with the game on the line in the Spartans' 59-55 triumph over Brookfield Central. After scoring just two points in the first half, the Iowa State recruit netted 16 in the second half, including two deep three-point shots. He made eight foul shots over the final minutes of the game to help top-ranked Oshkosh North remain unbeaten. Haliburton's ability to impact the game with his passing, defense, rebounding, shot blocking and scoring are all impressive and a major reason why many consider Oshkosh North the team to beat for the WIAA Division 1 state championship come March.
Nick Otto, 6-4, WF, Jr., Xavier
Otto had the Buuck Fieldhouse buzzing with his incredible long-distance shooting in the Hawks' 94-69 victory over Catholic Memorial. Otto finished the game with nine three-point baskets in 14 attempts en route to scoring a career-high 33 points. He also had three triples and 13 points in Xavier's win over The Prairie School. Otto is one of five players coach Matt Klarner starts who can make shots from beyond the arc. He is also versatile enough to score in the post and from mid range. Otto's nine made three-point shots tied a WBY Shootout record held by former Cuba City great Evan Richard, and his strong showing at Concordia helped Xavier improve to 9-0 and increased its winning streak to 37 games dating back to the first game of last season.
Marcus Domask, 6-6, WG, Jr., Waupun
One of the top class of 2019 collegiate prospects in Wisconsin was rock solid for the unbeaten Warriors, who defeated Pius XI Catholic and Homestead at the WBY Shootout. Domask had 16 points and an impressive one-handed dunk in Waupun's 66-45 triumph over Homestead. Even more impressive was Domask's showing against Pius XI. In a more competitive game, Domask finished with 27 points, including 23 in the second half as Waupun notched a 61-54 triumph. Domask's ability to shoot from deep, score in the post, make foul shots and take defenders off the dribble -- all as a 6-foot-6 wing player -- earned the son of Waupun coach Dan Domask NCAA Division I scholarship offers from both Green Bay and Milwaukee. Those traits have also helped a very good Waupun squad rattle off nine straight wins to open the 2017-18 campaign.
Jacob Bolwerk, 6-2, G, Sr., Living Word Lutheran
The four-year starter at Living Word Lutheran and several of his senior classmates lost four games in a row over the past two seasons at the WBY Shootout, but Bolwerk and Co. went out with a bang. After handing Manitowoc Lutheran its first loss of the season on Thursday, Living Word Lutheran completed an impressive late-game rally to edge St. Thomas More 56-53 on Friday. Bolwerk's 24-foot three-point shot in the closing seconds was the different in the win over St. Thomas More. He finished with 22 points and made six of seven foul shots down the stretch in the win over Manitowoc Lutheran before scoring 23 in the triumph over St. Thomas More. Bolwerk, who recently committed to NCAA Division III power St. Norbert College, has scored 1,188 points during his stellar prep career.
Five Emerging Prospects
Ace Evans, 6-1, G, Jr., Martin Luther
Evans is what college coaches like to refer to as a "dawg." He gets after it on both ends of the court and makes plays, whether it's a deflection, a big defensive rebound, a basket in transition or a nice pass to an open teammate. His relentless nature in attacking defenses was impressive at Concordia as he helped a very good Martin Luther squad defeat Mineral Point and Kettle Moraine Lutheran. Evans had 13 points in the Spartans' 73-68 triumph over Mineral Point and then poured in a career-best 29 points in a 70-50 win over KML. While Martin Luther juniors Xzavier Jones, Trequan Carrington and Jeramie King often get more recruiting attention, Evans certainly opened some eyes with his strong showings at the WBY Shootout.
Jake Schroeckenthaler, 6-7, PF, Sr., Monona Grove
Each and every time I have watched Schroeckenthaler, whether in high school or on the club circuit, he has produced at an extremely high level. His ability to run from one rim to the other and score in the post with next to little wasted motion is a thing of beauty. Playing against a very good opponent in The Prairie School, Schroeckenthaler absolutely dominated in the paint, scoring a career-best 36 points. He also stepped outside and made a couple of three-point shots for Monona Grove, which is 9-0 and a legitimate title contender at the WIAA Division 2 level. Schroeckenthaler also is a very good golfer and hopes to play both basketball and golf in college.
Vlado Zrnic, 6-7, F, Sr., Greendale
Zrnic turned in perhaps the play of the entire WBY Shootout when he grabbed an offensive rebound in front of the rim and then finished it off with a two-handed dunk. He scored 27 points for Greendale in the Panthers' 57-48 victory over Port Washington. At 6-foot-7, Zrnic has excellent size and length. He also possesses a very good skill set that allows him to play multiple positions. It seems each time you watch Zrnic he has improved aspects of his game, a trait that collegiate programs will love as he moves on to the next level in 2018-19.
Gage Malensek, 6-0, PG, Jr., Brookfield Central
Malensek already is considered one of the top 2019 prospects in the state, but to date, the skilled, tough-minded point guard has yet to receive an offer from a NCAA Division I program. That needs to change, despite the fact he is on the small side for a point guard at college basketball's highest level. His ability to penetrate and pass to open teammates versus Oshkosh North's heralded zone defense helped Brookfield Central remain within striking distance of a program that has won 35 of its past 36 games. Malensek finished the game with 20 points, but it's his mental and physical strength that jump out more than anything else when you watch him compete for a full 36 minutes.
Mitchel Schneider, 6-1, WF, Sr., Roncalli
Schneider suffered through one of the worst shooting performances of his three-year varsity career during the Jets' 66-56 loss to Brookfield Academy. Despite some good looks at the basket, Schneider made just one three-point shot in eight attempts and scored a total of three points, his lowest output since scoring two points as a sophomore in a loss to Brillion. However, Schneider showed his resiliency a day later, scoring 21 points and knocking down five of seven attempts from three-point range in the Jets' impressive come-from-behind 70-65 triumph over Mineral Point. Schneider's shooting is his main strength as he connected on 46 percent of his three-point shots a year ago and is making 45 percent of his long-distance attempts through eight games this season. But his feel for the game, defense and ability to not force shots are equally impressive.
Five Class of 2020 and 2021 Prospects To Remember
Caden Boser, 6-7, F, Soph., Eau Claire Memorial
Boser did a bit of everything for Eau Claire Memorial in the Old Abes' 67-41 victory over Seymour. He scored 21 points and showed the ability to play facing the basket while also scoring in the post. He has a long, basketball build and is very skilled away from the basket. Boser knocked down a triple in the game and appeared very comfortable taking his defenders off the dribble to the basket. Playing against some athletic players from Milwaukee Lutheran a day earlier, Boser had 15 points in a 72-62 loss. Boser is a guy NCAA Division I schools will monitor very closely over the next couple of seasons.
Trey Zastrow, 6-0, G, Soph., Manitowoc Lutheran
The left-handed combination guard is a terrific shooter, both from outside the three-point arc and off of pull-up jumpers from 10-to-15 feet. The son of Manitowoc Lutheran coach Gordy Zastrow, Trey Zastrow was fantastic during the Lancers' win over Lourdes Academy, scoring a career-high 35 points and drilling five three-point shots. He also had 12 points in a 72-63 loss to Living Word Lutheran. Zastrow is averaging 23.6 points for a Manitowoc Lutheran squad that has won nine of 10 games.
Sam Kick, 6-1, PG, Frosh., Onalaska
Kick doesn't look or play like a freshman. He has a good size and strength to match his very impressive skill and overall feel for the game. Kick also possesses good quickness and the ability to anticipate on both ends of the floor. On a very balanced and young Onalaska squad, Kick scored 15 points and made four three-point baskets in a victory over Catholic Memorial. He also finished with 10 points and made a pair of three-point shots in the Hilltoppers' win over Whitefish Bay. Kick has earned a starting spot for coach Craig Kowal and figures to be a mainstay in the Onalaska lineup throughout his prep career.
Logan Jedwabney, 6-1, G, Soph., Kaukauna
The outstanding backcourt players just keep coming at Kaukauna, where coach Mike Schalow has established his program as one of the elite in the rugged 10-team Fox Valley Association. Jedwabney came off the bench in the Ghosts' win over Waunakee to score 13 points on the strength of four three-point baskets. Jedwabney appears more suited as a off guard, but his combination of good size, excellent strength and basketball IQ figures to help the Ghosts the rest of the way as they attempt to dethrone Oshkosh North as FVA champions.
Jacob Ognacevic, 6-5, F, Soph., Sheboygan Lutheran
The transfer from Sheboygan South proved to be very impressive for Sheboygan Lutheran, despite the fact the Crusaders lost games to both Kettle Moraine Lutheran and Brookfield Academy. Playing against two quality opponents did not slow Ognacevic, who scored 20 points against KML and 22 in a close loss to Brookfield Academy. Ognacevic has a good perimeter shooting touch, can score with his back to the basket and has good length and size. He is averaging 21.1 points and 14.1 rebounds for a Sheboygan Lutheran squad that is 7-3 under coach Nick Verhagen.
Rick Majerus MVP Plaques
The Majerus Family Foundation purchased Most Valuable Player plaques for each of the 27 games played at the WBY Shootout. The following players were selected as game MVPs:
Game 1: Manitowoc Lutheran 59, Lourdes Academy 43. MVP: Trey Zastrow, Manitowoc Lutheran, 35 points
Game 2: Kettle Moraine Lutheran 74, Sheboygan Lutheran 56. MVP: Solomon Zarling, Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 20 points
Game 3: Brookfield Academy 66, Roncalli 56. MVP: Logan Landers, Brookfield Academy, 19 points
Game 4: Martin Luther 73, Mineral Point 68. MVP: Ki-Anthony Blake, Martin Luther, 17 points
Game 5: Monona Grove 90, The Prairie School 76. MVP: Jake Schroeckenthaler, Monona Grove, 36 points
Game 6: Waupun 61, Pius XI Catholic 54. MVP: Marcus Domask, Waupun, 27 points
Game 7: Xavier 94, Catholic Memorial 69. MVP: Nick Otto, Xavier, 33 points
Game 8: Waunakee 54, Whitnall 33. MVP: Mitch Listau, Waunakee, 21 points
Game 9: Greendale 57, Port Washington 48. MVP: Vlado Zrnic, Greendale, 27 points
Game 10: Living Word Lutheran 72, Manitowoc Lutheran 63. MVP: Jacob Bolwerk, Brookfield Academy, 22 points
Game 11: Roncalli 70, Mineral Point 65. MVP: Mitchel Schneider, Ronalli, 21 points
Game 12: St. Thomas More 63, Lourdes Academy 36. MVP: Eric Williams, St. Thomas More, 13 points
Game 13: Milwaukee Lutheran 72, Eau Claire Memorial 62. MVP: JaVeon Tolliver, Milwaukee Lutheran, 25 points
Game 14: Onalaska 79, Catholic Memorial 37. MVP: Noah Skifton, Onalaska, 20 points
Game 15: Xavier 83, The Prairie School 69. MVP: Hunter Plamann, Xavier, 19 points
Game 16: Kaukauna 101, Waunakee 66. MVP: Jordan McCabe, Kaukauna, 9 points, 16 assists
Game 17: Oshkosh North 75, Whitnall 50. MVP: Tyrese Haliburton, Oshkosh North, 16 points
Game 18: Milwaukee Marquette 63, Wisconsin Lutheran 56. MVP: Joey Platz, Marquette, 18 points
Game 19: Brookfield Academy 63, Sheboygan Lutheran 58. MVP: Jack Cahalane, Brookfield Academy, 11 points
Game 20: Living Word Lutheran 56, St. Thomas More 53. MVP: Jacob Bolwerk, Living Word Lutheran, 23 points
Game 21: Martin Luther 70, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 50. MVP: Ace Evans, Martin Luther, 29 points
Game 22: Onalaska 69, Whitefish Bay 49. MVP: Tyrell Stuttley, Onalaska, 12 points
Game 23: Eau Claire Memorial 67, Seymour 41. MVP: Caden Boser, Eau Claire Memorial, 21 points
Game 24: Waupun 66, Homestead 43. MVP: Trevor VandeZande, Waupun, 15 points
Game 25: Oshkosh North 59, Brookfield Central 55. MVP: Matt Hickey, Oshkosh North, 14 points
Game 26: Waukesha West 34, Wisconsin Lutheran 26. MVP: Finley Schumacher, Waukesha West, 9 points
Game 27: Milwaukee Marquette 63, Milwaukee Lutheran 46. MVP: Liam Schroeder, Marquette, 10 points
Quincy Anderson, Oshkosh North
State Championship Outlook
Over the past six seasons, 19 of 30 eventual WIAA state champions competed in December at the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout.
This time around, the best bets for potentially winning a state championship at the Kohl Center in Madison come March include Oshkosh North, Brookfield Central and Waunakee in Division 1; Kaukauna, Onalaska, Whitnall and Monona Grove in Division 2; Xavier, Waupun, Brookfield Academy and Martin Luther in Division 3; The Prairie School, Manitowoc Lutheran and Roncalli in Division 4
Odds & Ends
* Mineral Point lost two games at the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout, but the future looks extremely bright for coach Dan Burreson and the Pointers. Especially impressive for the Pointers in close losses to Martin Luther and Roncalli were sophomores Isaac Lindsey (6-3) and Wes Berget (6-4) along with freshmen Brayden Dailey (6-5). Lindsey is a skilled combination guard who already owns some NCAA Division I offers, Berget is a strong inside player who can finish, and Dailey is rangy, athletic wing prospect who had several dunks in the event.
* Defending WIAA Division 3 state champion Xavier was an absolute pleasure to watch due to their extremely impressive ability to push the ball, locate open shooters, make the extra pass and knock down long-range jump shots. The Hawks had 21 made three-point shots in two games, including 12 by Nick Otto. The senior backcourt tandem of Minnesota-Duluth recruit Hunter Plamann (6-1) and Sam Ferris (6-0) compliments each other particularly well. Xavier has won 37 games in a row and is averaging 97.2 ppg, thanks in large part to the up-tempo style of play that utilizes the strengths of players like Plamann, Ferris and Otto, among others.
* Martin Luther played without the injured Trequan Carrington, but coach Paul Wollersheim has a deep roster and was able to move Ace Evans over to the point guard position in place of Carrington. Evans played the role very well in helping the Spartans to wins over Mineral Point and Kettle Moraine Lutheran. Junior wing Xzavier Jones (6-5) was good in virtually all aspects of the game in both outings and had assistants from both Green Bay and Milwuakee watching his every move at the WBY Shootout.
* The collection of young talent in the Brookfield Academy is very impressive as coach Pat Clarey has two freshmen and two sophomores in his regular playing rotation. Sophomore guard Aidan Clarey (6-1) is a scoring wing guard who can shoot from deep or attack the basket. Sophomore Alex Leach (6-6) is a physical inside player who finishes well in the lane. Freshmen Logan Landers (6-7) and Max Kunnert (6-2) are both skilled performers who are not afraid of the varsity spotlight. Like Mineral Point, the future is bright at Brookfield Academy.
* Kaukauna set at WBY Shootout record with its 101 points scored against Waunakee. The previous mark for most points in a game was 100 set by Germantown in a win over Arrowhead in 2012.
* In easily the most perplexing game of the WBY Shootout, Waukesha West edged Wisconsin Lutheran 34-26. What made the game so unusual was the fact Waukesha West opted to run a semi delay game despite holding a slim lead at the start of the second half. The game was the lowest scoring in the 295-game history of the WBY Shootout.
* Here is hoping for a speedy recovery for Whitnall senior standout Tyler Herro, who missed the final 11 minutes or so of the Falcons' loss to Waunakee after tweaking his ankle. Herro, who sat out the Falcons' loss to Oshkosh North the next day, was having a tough shooting night while being guarded by Belmont recruit Mitch Listau (6-4) of Waunakee. Listau's strong defense led to 3-for-15 shooting from the field for Herro, a Kentucky recruit who had scored 30 or more points in five of eight games heading into the WBY Shootout.
Scholarship Award Winners
Congratulations to the following 16 senior student-athletes who were awarded scholarships from the Majerus Family Foundation at the 13th annual Rick Majerus WBY Shootout:
Ryan Backes, St. Thomas More
Ki-Anthony Blake, Martin Luther
Quinton Conti, St. Thomas More
Zach Felden, St. Thomas More
Max Fischer, Waunakee
Sam Fritsch, Port Washington
Mikey Garven, Marquette
Niko Kerschner, Marquette
Derek Krismer, Catholic Memorial
Alex Reinke, St. Thomas More
John Richter, Brookfield Central
Ethan Rindfliesch, Wisconsin Lutheran
Adam Sadoff, Homestead
Tanner Sebastian, Greendale
Eliot Van Grunsven, Eau Claire Memorial
Solomon Zarling, Kettle Moraine Lutheran
Final Thoughts ...
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for providing Majerus WBY Shootout T-shirts to all participating players and workers.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the scholarship program that awarded $5,000 scholarships to 16 student-athletes from participating schools.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the Rick Majerus MVP plaques for each of the contests.
* Thanks to the athletic administration and men’s basketball program at Concordia University in Mequon for again providing outstanding facilities and support for the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout. Special thanks to Concordia head coach Shawn Cassidy and assistant coach Dan Mueller for all their help.
* Thanks to the athletic department, administration, parents and basketball coaches at St. Thomas More High School for serving as the host school for the WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to all the workers and volunteers from St. Thomas More who annually help to make the WBY Shootout one of the premier events in the state.
* Thanks to the fans who attended the WBY Shootout and again supported the greatest game in the country – high school basketball.
* Thanks to the players, coaches, fans and parents of all 32 participating teams.
* Thanks to all my family members who continue to give up their time to help run the event.
* Thanks to Aurora Sports Health for providing training services throughout the 27 games.
* Thanks to the outstanding officials who worked the games at the WBY Shootout. The three-man crews once again did an outstanding job.
* Thanks to our announcers -- Kent Korth and Jim Ganzer -- along with the clock operators and official scorers -- Deb Dublinski, Joe Kershasky, Dan Grusczynski, Vince Sciano, Mike Goodwin, John Fullerton and Bob Wanek.
* Thanks to Brian Roebke, the official photographer of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook.
* Thanks to Sarah Hill for again designing the game program and the T-shirts for the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to WSSP (1250-AM) and sports insider Mike McGivern for providing media support throughout the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Next year's dates -- either December 26-27-28 or December 27-28-29, 2018 at Concordia.
Tag(s): WBY Shootout