APPLE VALLEY, Minn. – The 2017 annual Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle presented by Breakdown Sports USA tipped off on Saturday. With the best from the Badger and Gopher states dueling it out, it was Minnesota who dominated the series, taking six out of the seven games…
JaVonni Bickham – 2018 – PF – Minnehaha Academy
Putting together one of the best performances of his career, Bickham powered Minnehaha Academy to an easy win over Prescott. Bickham went for 30 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists on Saturday. Mixing it up offensively, Bickham controlled the game from the opening tip. He had a number of powerful finishes around the rim and also displayed a nice long range shooting game. Bickham hit four of his six 3-point field goal attempts and was 12-for-18 shooting overall. Defensively, Bickham was very solid. He made the seven-footer Owen Hamilton work for most of what he got. Coming off an injury that sidelined him for roughly the first half of the season, Bickham appears to be back to form.
Owen Hamilton – 2017 – C – Prescott
Hamilton has a good chance to be another key piece for Northern Illinois that came from the state of Wisconsin. Not surrounded by a ton of talent like he is on the AAU circuit, it’s fun to see what Hamilton is fully capable of. The seven-footer scored a team-high 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Little came easy for Hamilton, especially early as he was forced to operate in a lot of traffic inside. He forced a little too much in the first half, but it paid off in the final period as Hamilton wore down Minnehaha Academy, allowing Prescott to nearly erase a 26 point lead. Hamilton even stepped out on the perimeter and knocked down his only 3-point field goal attempt – a new wrinkle in his game. The Huskie commit added nine rebounds in the loss.
Joey Hauser – 2018 – F – Stevens Point
He didn’t have a great game, but you have to give Hauser credit for being on the floor for 31 minutes on Saturday. Coming off a high ankle sprain and battling the flu, Hauser also took a hard fall and hurt his shoulder during the game, yet stayed in and helped Stevens Point make a late run. The top 50 forward didn’t have his outside game going, but managed to knock down a few triples in the second half en route to 22 points and 11 rebounds. A player that continues to get even more versatile, Hauser spent a lot of time on the perimeter and even played some point forward. Cretin-Derham Hall had the luxury of defending him with a smaller wing player most of the time, but usually Hauser is such a mismatch nightmare for opposing forwards with his ball handling skills and transition threat.
Jordan Horn – 2017 – G – Tartan
Horn put Whitefish Bay away early and made it look easy on Saturday. The Sienna commit poured in 20 points in the first half alone before scoring 25 and checking out with over 10 minutes still left in the final period. One of the best mid-major pickups in the country, Horn dazzled with his ability shoot off the dribble and off-balance. When he’s feeling it, there’s not a shot outside of Horn’s capabilities. He drained five triples and was 8-of-16 from the field in just 24 minutes along with five rebounds and two assists. Along with his scoring, Horn delivered some beautiful passes to set up teammates for easy buckets. The potential is there for Horn to continue to be a big time scorer at the college level with his blend of speed and strength. Horn could be one of those players teams hate to game plan against come March.
Tre Jones – 2018 – PG – Apple Valley
If Jones is running the show, you know there’s a great chance your team is going to get a good look each time down the floor. A player that has such a high understanding of the point guard position, Jones is like a surgeon offensively, picking apart a defense with precision passing. The four-star floor general had one of the quieter triple doubles you’ll ever see, scoring 12 points to go along with 10 rebound and 10 assists. He became just the second player in school history to record 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds and assists on Saturday. It’s often incredible how much Jones can do for a team without scoring the basketball. His defense on Riverside’s guards was outstanding and turned the game in the second half. Jones flusters opponents and forces turnovers, often without fouling. The frustration of his opponents was noticeable as Jones completely took them out of their game. Whoever picks up Jones in college is going to be in great hands for the foreseeable future.
Gabe Kalscheur – 2018 – SG – DeLaSalle
Kalscheur almost did whatever he wanted offensively during Saturday’s win over Kaukauna. The 6-foot-4 junior poured in 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, making it look easy at times. A terrific two-way player that gives his team a little bit of everything, Kalscheur also grabbed six rebounds. Kalscheur has a scorer’s mentality, but rarely forces things. He has a great understanding of how defenses are trying to attack him and takes what the opposition gives. Kalscheur was on fire from beyond the arc Saturday, connecting on four of his five attempts from 3-point range.
Kobe King – 2017 – SG – La Crosse Central
King had the performance of the day without question. Playing a very talented and deep Lakeville North squad, King carried La Crosse Central for 36 minutes and it was obvious the Red Raiders could not hang on without him on the floor. The Wisconsin commit had more than half of his team’s points in Saturday’s loss, pouring in 49 on 17-of-28 shooting. King was simply unstoppable and scored from all over the floor. It didn’t matter if North clogged the paint, King found ways through and around the defense, hitting some ridiculous, off-balance shots in traffic. When he’s knocking down outside shots, it’s over. King was 5-of-7 from downtown and even started hitting some tough step-back triples. He also added 14 rebounds and two assists in the loss.
Terrence Lewis – 2017 – SF – Milwaukee Riverside
Coming off a game the previous day and a five hour bus ride to Apple Valley, you knew Riverside probably wouldn’t have its best stuff. Regardless, Lewis came to play. The Iowa State commit had 23 of his team’s 46 points in a loss to Apple Valley. As usual, Lewis was just relentless with the ball in his hands. He converted numerous tough drives at the rim and mixed it up by knocking down two triples. Lewis did a little bit of everything, also displaying a nice back-to-the-basket game when he had a smaller defender on him. He also isn’t afraid to score going away from the hoop and shooting off-balance. Lewis played all 36 minutes on Saturday and also added eight rebounds in the defeat.
Daniel Oturu – 2018 – F/C – Cretin Derham Hall
Putting together another stellar performance, Oturu dominated the paint in a win over Stevens Point. The Minnesota commit made 12 of his 16 field goal attempts en route to a game-high 30 points. As always, Oturu shut down the lane for the opposition, just waiting off the weak-side for any ball handlers foolish enough to challenge him at the paint. Oturu is so long and gets off the ground so quickly that he’s almost always able to make a play on the ball without fouling. Offensively, his game continues to grow at a rapid pace. Oturu didn’t necessarily need to take his game outside the paint, but his comfort level on the block is exceptional and there’s no wasted movements when he’s going to the hole, even against someone who can match his size and physicality. This was a really good pickup for the Gophers and a player they can build around for the future.
Nathan Reuvers – 2017 – PF – Lakeville North
One of the most difficult matchups in the country, Reuvers used his versatility to his advantage on Saturday. In a win over La Crosse Central, Reuvers dropped a team-high 33 points on 14-for-22 shooting. The Wisconsin commit does a lot of things that are difficult to teach young post players. He handles the ball so much in traffic and always seems swarmed by multiple defenders when he’s on the block, yet Reuvers keeps the ball high and away from where the guards can’t swipe at it. Most of the time, Reuvers has already scored before he even touches the ball, pinning and sealing his man to where they have no angle to stop him. Reuvers was excellent off the dribble, pulling up and hitting from mid-range or getting all the way to the bucket with some smooth maneuvers.
Eric Carl – 2018 – SG – Kaukauna
Although Kaukauna suffered a lopsided defeat, Carl was a big bright spot for his team. The junior shooting guard came up with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. With so much attention going to Jordan McCabe, Carl did an excellent job of moving without the ball and getting into spots where McCabe could find him wide open on the perimeter. Carl is a strong shooter with some good length for the 2-guard position. He also did a nice job of taking advantage of an over-aggressive defense and getting to the free throw line once the opposition adjusted to his hot shooting.
Isaac Fink – 2019 – G – Springfield
Fink made countless plays for Springfield in Saturday’s loss to Columbus Catholic. Facing a hot shooting squad, Fink helped keep Springfield close with his scoring, passing, and dribble penetrating ability. Fink has an excellent feel for the game and knows how to suck a defense in, only to kick to an open man. He had a huge first half, scoring 17 of his team’s 36 points. Fink used his deep skill set to his advantage. A smoother operator offensively, Fink isn’t overly quick or athletic, but can get by people with creative ball handling moves. Fink can also invert himself in the offense and play down on the block occasionally. If teams leave him open from beyond the arc, Fink is deadly as the sophomore connected on four triples. He finished with a game-high 30 points and added four rebounds and four assists in the loss.
Tyler Fuerlinger – 2017 – SG – Columbus Catholic
Columbus Catholic relies heavily on Fuerlinger to make plays and create scoring opportunities on offense. Fuerlinger did get cold towards the back end of the first half after a nice start, but still displayed the ability to create his shot and open looks for his teammates. Reaching 1,000 points for his career on Saturday, Fuerlinger scored 27 on 9-of-20 shooting. He also added six rebounds and three assists. Down the stretch, the senior guard was big time for Columbus Catholic, who pulled away late. Fuerlinger answered Springfield’s run with timely shots of his own. Always moving without the ball, Fuerlinger caught the defense napping time and time again and was able to put the game away with straight-line drives to the rim.
Kaden Johnson – 2020 – G – Minnehaha Academy
With Terry Locket out, Johnson elevated his game, helping Minnehaha Academy to a lopsided victory over Prescott. Johnson had 14 points at halftime and finished with 18 for the game. One of many promising freshman for the Redhawks, Johnson has an advanced frame and shooting stroke for his age. He loves to feast off dribble penetration from the likes of Jalen Suggs and Terry Lockett, who also enjoy kicking to him for open triples. His usual success from the outside wasn’t there on Saturday, so Johnson made sure to get more going towards the rim. Johnson broke the backs of the Prescott defense, pump faking from beyond the arc and finishing in the paint through traffic. He was 6-of-10 shooting from inside the 3-point line. Part of a very young squad, Johnson’s emergence was promising for Minnehaha Academy.
Tyler Wahl – 2019 – SF – Lakeville North
This is going to be a player to watch in the coming years and definitely had some breakout moments during Saturday’s win over La Crosse Central. Wahl was a big x-factor for North, who led by as many as 22 points. While all the attention was on King and Reuvers, Wahl took full advantage with some game-changing hustle plays and a couple of big dunks that broke the backs of the opposition. A good looking small forward with some surprising athletic ability, Wahl finished with 14 points (6-10), four assists, and three rebounds as part of a very strong playmaking performance.
Columbus Catholic 96 Springfield 83
Minnehaha Academy 81 Prescott 73
Tartan 80 Whitefish Bay 53
Cretin-Derham Hall 71 Stevens Point 68
Apple Valley 97 Kaukauna 65
Lakeville North 98 La Crosse Central 83
Apple Valley 66 Milwaukee Riverside 46
JaVonni Bickham said Denver and New Mexico were recruiting him hardest among his offers. He’s also picking up interest from Minnesota, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, Drake, Green Bay, Tulsa, and Milwaukee.
Joey Hauser listed Michigan State, Marquette, Virginia, Iowa, and Wisconsin as the five schools recruiting him hardest. He’s also heard from Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and more this winter.