2012 Border Battle Review

YAAAAAWN!  It's 5:30 AM, why am I getting up at this awful hour?  Its a long day trip to one the Czar's stomping grounds in the Old Kingdom as the 2012 Border Battle visits Sun Prairie, WI (suburban Madison).  Great concept of a Fritos walking taco but in a bowl.  Everything set out to make your own.  Salsa didn't have enough kick and the cheese was seriously lacking but overall a quality meal.  Smuggle in your own beverages and food as only popcorn and water are allowed in the new gym.

Game 1: #10AA Maple River (MN) vs #3 D3 Wisconsin Dells (WI)
Maple River playing without star Jaron Denn amongst their many injuries. Forward Shane Wimann with 9 points in the 1st quarter for the Dells before he picks us his 2nd foul late in the quarter.  Maple River hangs around in the 1st quarter with 4 3s in 6 FGs vs the Chiefs 1-2-2 zone.  Dells PG MJ Delmore takes over in the 2nd quarter.  He scores 15 in the quarter as the Chiefs outscore the Eagles 18-6.  36-22 Dells at the break.  Ben Larson scores 10 in the 3rd quarter for Maple River.  His 8 in a row with a pair of 3s cut the lead to 10.  46-35 Dells going to the 4th.  Clark Minks with 1 of his 5 3s on the day cuts the Dells lead to 8 but Maple River misses 2 free throws and won't get any closer.  Wisconsin Dells wins the opener 61-47.  MJ Delmore scored 28 points, 15 in the 2nd quarter that was ultimately the difference.  Shane Wimann 17 for the Dells.  For Maple River, Clark Minks with 17 points and the 5 3s.  Ben Larson 13, Josiah Breiter 14 for the Eagles.  Only 9 points from benches combined.  Tough day for Maple River vs the 1-2-2 zone that the Dells used.  They go to it at 3/4 court make or miss.  Hadn't seen that since Waukesha Catholic Memorial a few years ago.  Very few teams will extend on a miss.

Game 2: Maranatha (MN) vs #2 D3 Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (WI)
MCA also depleted as they played without one of their top players Josh Goldschmidt.  MCA with no answers early for GET star Riley Bambenek (Winona St recruit).  He scores 12 of the 1st 14 for a 14-7 lead.  Post Chris Johnson cleans up with 8 points late in the quarter.  MCA used 3 timeouts in the quarter to try and figure out the 1-3-1.  23-14 GET after 1.  Jamey Hammond with 3 triples in the 2nd quarter as MCA settles down.  MCA only down 38-31 at the half.  Frosh Grantham Guillard makes a pair of free throws and then a 3 from older brother Garrison at the 4 minute mark.  MCA within 44-38.  But GET would pull away from there.  They go on an 11-3 run to end the quarer and then bust the game open to 22 in the 4th .  GET wins 71-54.  Jamey Hammond 16 for MCA.  Riley Bambenek 24 points and 6 rebounds for GET.  Center Chris Johnson impressive again with 20 points.  They had the only FTs and 2 point FGs for GET.  The other 5 scorers combine for 9 3s.

Game 3: #6AAA Grand Rapids (MN) vs #6 D2 Beaver Dam (WI)
I said right before the game that this could be a sleeper game of the day but I didn't expect this.  Austin Pohlen with 2 assists for 3s and a 3 point play of his own as Grand Rapids opens on a  9-0 run.  Beaver Dam comes right back with an 11-0 run of their own. Pohlen with another assist for 3 as he's in on the 1st 12.  13-11 Grand Rapids after 1.  Beaver Dam switches from man to 1-3-1 for the whole 2nd quarter and that slows things down.  Their scoring point guard RJ Shelton scores the 1st 5 but Pohlen knocks down a pair of 3s.  23-22 Beaver Dam at half.  Pohlen 9 points and 3 assists for 9 more points (18 of the 22).  Beaver Dam back to man to start the 3rd (love the switching of defenses).  But it doesn't take long to go back to the 1-3-1.  Star frosh Alex Illikainen active for Grand Rapids in the quarter with 5 points and 6 rebounds.  Grand Rapids gets the last 4 of the quarter for a 34-33 lead going to the 4th.  Mike Spoden puts back a miss and converts a 3 point play after 2 Pohlen free throws.  Its an 11-0 run for the Thunderhawks and they lead 41-33 with 5:35 left.  Owen Salzwedel with 1 3 point play and puts back a miss for another with 3:27 left to cut the lead to 4.  Pohlen to Spoden and Illikainen for layups to sandwich a Beavers 3.  47-42 Grand Rapids with 2:25 left.  But the Thunderhawks miss 7 of 8 FTs (includes 2 front ends missed) down the stretch.  Wing Jake Heuer would make 2 with 44.8 left, Salzwedel 2 with 19.5 left and Heuer would post and be fouled.  He makes 2 more with 4.2 left and we'll go to overtime tied at 48.

Pohlen would drive for 2 and find Spoden for 2 free throws for the Grand Rapids scoring in the 1st overtime.  Grand Rapids held for the last 55 seconds but got into their look late and didn't get a good look 52 all and we'll go to a 2nd overtime.  Pohlen to the left hand to start the 2nd OT.  Beaver Dam would tie and then another long Grand Rapids possession. Pohlen would cash that in with 1:07 left for a 56-54 lead and make a FT after a Beavers turnover.  Heuer with a clutch 3 with 30 seconds left to tie it.  Grand Rapids would turn it over with 10 seconds left.  Beaver Dam used 2 timeouts to set up the final possession but couldn't convert and we'll go to a 3rd OT tied at 57.  Illikainen grabs an offensive board for 2 FTs, then Pohlen with a free throw and a steal for 2 free throws on the intentional foul on the breakaway.  David Liebe 3 of 4 FTs to push the lead to 8, 65-57 with 1:40 left.  But a pair of Thunderhawks turnovers result in 4 points.  67-65 Grand Rapids with 29.8 left but they would make their free throws from there to win 71-65 in 3 overtimes.  Jake Heuer 19 points as he was a tough matchup at the 3 and RJ Shelton 17 for Beaver Dam.  Austin Pohlen 26 points to lead Grand Rapids.  Mike Spoden 14 points mostly in the 4th quarter and overtimes.  Quiet day for frosh Alex Illikainen with 10 points and 9 boards, most of that in the 3rd quarter.

This was only the 2nd longest game in Border Battle history.  Manitowoc Roncalli beat Plainview-Elgin-Millville 91-83 in 4 overtimes at Owatonna in 2009.

Game 4: North St. Paul (MN) vs Madison Edgewood (WI)
This game was the only game of the day without a ranked team involved.  Edgewood has been playing without guard Spencer Brink and was coming off a tough loss the previous night.  Hunter Books scores the 1st 6 points for NSP as they jump out to the 6-0 lead.  Edgewood with 10 in a row to reclaim the lead and they wouldn't give it up.  UW-Milwaukee recruit Austin Arians with a 3 at the halftime buzzer for a 36-27 lead.  NSP would hang around as they hold Edgewood to only 1 FG in the 3rd quarter but they only get 1 FG until the last 30 seconds of the quarter where they get 2 of them to cut the Edgewood lead to 44-37 after 3.  Books with a jumper with 6:30 to play to cut the lead to 46-41.  Edgewood misses a layup but NSP can't convert.  Edgewood scores the next 7 and won't be threatened again.  70-59 Edgewood wins.  Austin Arians with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Crusaders.  Hunter Books 23 for NSP.  Edgewood 23-30 FTs getting to the basket vs 10-14 for NSP.

Game 5: Tartan (MN) vs #10 D2 Waunakee (WI)
A good start for Tartan with a pair of 3s from Kyle Von Schmidt Pauli and another bucket.  Darrion Strong with a 3 and its 17-7 Tartan late in the1st.  Then Strong to Kharie Kirkland for 3 to beat the 1st quarter buzzer.  22-14 Tartan after 1.  Strong with another 3 to start the quarter for an 11 point lead.  Waunakee counters with 7 in a row to cut the lead to 4.  Strong for 3 to push the lead back to 7 before Waunakee gets 8 in a row with 5 from forward Will Decorah..  32-31 Waunakee at the 4:14 mark of the 2nd quarter.  Strong with a floater and then he beats the buzzer for 3 to give Tartan a 37-36 halftime lead.  Strong with 18 on 4 3s.  Decorah with 15 for Waunakee.  Elite defender Xavier Hall sat out almost the entire half with 2 fouls and now gets the task of slowing Decorah down.  Back and forth we go in the 3rd.  Joe Tagarelli with the 1st 6 of the quarter for Waunakee.  Tartan's star frosh Marshawn Wilson with a drive, a 3 and a free throw.  45-42 Tartan at the 3:40 mark.  Waunakee with 8 of the next 10 but Strong to Mitch Grohs for 3 to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer.  50 all going to the 4th.  A Tartan turnover results in a Waunakee bucket.  57-53 Warriors with 6:35 left.  Wilson for 3, Strong picks up a loose ball gives it up and gets it back for a layup and Wilson scores again.  61-58 Tartan with 4:35 left.  Decorah with a steal for 2 and Waunakee back on top 62-61 with 3:15 left.  Tagarelli in the post for 1 of 2 FTs with 1:22 left to tie the game at 64.  Tartan holds and Wilson is fouled on the trap with 19.7 left.  He makes 1 of 2 for a 65-64 lead.  Tagarelli spins and is fouled.  He makes 2 freebies with 5.9 left for the 1 point lead.  Strong drives and kicks to Mike Wales for an open 3 but this time Tartan doesn't beat the buzzer.  Waunakee wins 66-65.  What a battle.  Will Decorah with 23, Joe Tagarelli 17 for the Warriors.  They'll be a very tough out come tourney time.  Tartan gets 20 from Darrion Strong, 18 in 1st half.  Frosh Marshawn Wilson with all 15 of his points in the 2nd half.

Game 6: #5AAA De La Salle (MN) at Sun Prairie (WI)
UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin with assistants in the building to watch this one.  Sean Fitzgibbons and Luke Scott with 3s for the Islanders to counter a pair of inside buckets from Sun Prairie's Andre Wallace.  6-4 DLS at the 6:20 mark.  Then the 1-3-1 is too much.  Sun Prairie goes on an 18-0 run with 9 points in a row from their D1 star Nick Fuller.  22-8 Cardinals after 1.  Fuller for 3, a drive and takes a turnover for a dunk.  29-10 Sun Prairie at the 4:10 mark, Fuller with 16 in a row.  Sun Prairie 33-15 at the half.  Fuller with 20 points.  Its blowout city from there, Sun Prairie leaves the starters in a little too long.  Sun Prairie wins 61-35 as DLS had no answer for the 1-3-1.  Nick Fuller finishes with 33 points.  DeLaSalle star Reid Travis held scoreless by the zone.

All Border Battle Team
MJ Delmore - Wisconsin Dells
Riley Bambenek - Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau
Will Decorah - Waunakee
Joe Tagarelli - Waunakee
Nick Fuller - Sun Prairie
Austin Arians - Madison Edgewood
Jake Heuer- Beaver Dam
Austin Pohlen - Grand Rapids
Darrion Strong - Tartan
Hunter Books - North (St. Paul)

History and Future
Wisconsin goes 5-1 on the day to even the all time series at 16-16.  That's payback for Minnesota going 5-0 at Eau Claire Memorial 2 years ago.  Zones were the story.  Dells 1-2-2, 1-3-1 from Beaver Dam, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and G-E-T were all very effective.  The 7th edition of the Border Battle comes to Prior Lake next season.  Here are your 2013 teams.

MN - Apple Valley, De La Salle, Hopkins, Osseo, Prior Lake, Eden Prairie and Mahtomedi.
WI - Rice Lake, Hudson, Manitowoc Roncalli, Appleton West, Madison Memorial, Eau Claire Regis and De Pere.

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