2013 Midwest Players Classic Thoughts

Its the 3rd annual Midwest Players Classic at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI.  Always great to get back to The Old Kingdom for this one.  Now thanks to an early morning train ride with Roseville, the arrival is late for game 1.  The games themselves didn't stand out but plenty of D1 talent on hand.  If there's anything I've learned, I've figured out that the bigger the building, the more expensive the concessions.  $3 for a 20 oz Pepsi isn't the cheapest but I'm more than happy to support a quality event in my hometown.  Here are some of the sights and sounds.  I arrived in time to see the end of Austin steamrolling Westby 71-48.  Packers on a serious roll right now and might be at another level to compete against De La Salle in AAA.

Game 2: Eastview vs Holmen, WI
Eastview gets their pace as they hold the Vikings to 1 field goal in the 1st quarter.  But Ben Oberfeld picks up his 2nd foul with 44.4 left in the quarter.  He'll sit the rest of the half.  That kills the Eastview offense as they only get 1 field goal in the 2nd quarter.  Some of that due to a clock killing 5 out look.  That allows Holmen to cut the lead in half to pull within 17-13 at the half.  5 in a row to start the half for Eastview pushes the lead to 9. Oberfeld sits the last 3:56 of the 3rd quarter after rolling an ankle.  But a late Eastview 3 keeps the lead at 7 after 3.  Holmen makes it interesting in the last minute with a 3 to cut the lead to 2 with 11.6 left.  But a pair of free throws seals a 37-33 Eastview win.  Ben Oberfeld 6 points and 10 boards on my sheet.

Game 3: Manitowoc (WI) Roncalli vs Maple River
This was the game I was most looking forward to.  Roncalli knocks down 5 3s in the 1st quarter and then 2 right away to start the 2nd quarter.  7 3s in less than 9 minutes, those lead to a 17-2 run to put the Jets up 27-11.  The Jets run out of fuel with no 3s the rest of the half.  Soph Jonah Breiter with 7 in the quarter for Maple River to cut the lead to 7 at half.  Roncalli quickly extends that lead to 13.  Then a pair of late 3s from the Jets to push the lead to 17 after 3.  Roncalli in no danger from there for a 66-49 win.  Jaron Denn 14 to lead the Eagles.  Nate Stelzer with 5 3s and 20 points to lead Roncalli.  The Jets play Eden Prairie at the Border Battle and that will be a battle of great half court motion offense against the tough EP man defense.

Game 4: Onalaska vs Linn-Mar, IA
Iowa State signee Matt Thomas goes nuts with 14 of his 32 in the 1st quarter.  Starting with a 3, a couple of drives, a sweet backcut and knocking down all 3 free throws after getting whacked behind the line.  Onalaska coming off a big come back win against my alma mater La Crosse Central the night before in a very emotional game.  None of that showed.  Onalaska blows out the Lions 67-32.

Game 5: Robbinsdale Cooper vs DeForest, WI
Rashad Vaughn with a pair of quick jumpers and a deep 3.  Brandon Robinson with a 14 point layup drill.  DeForest not getting back on defense and getting crushed on the offensive glass.  29-17 Hawks after 1 in the most scoring we've seen all day.  Second quarter not much better as the Hawks get a 3 point play, a skip to Vaughn for another 3 and Lavar McCollough for 4 in a row.  39-18 Cooper at the 5:46 mark of the 2nd and the rout appears to be on.  DeForest hangs within 47-32 at half.  A rough 3rd quarter for the Hawks as DeForest regains their composure and the Hawks don't respond.  Norskies within 58-53 after 3 and we have a game again.  The lead is 4 when Vaughn scores a tough 2 with 4:20 left.  Then pesky Brett Minich wiht a putback and he steals the inbounds for 2 more.  Vaughn misses after a timeout and DeForest has a chance to tie but can't convert.  Robinson runs the other way for a critical layup.  Vaughn with a tough move inside for 2 more inside a minute and the lead is back to 6.  Vaughn makes 2 free throws with 10 seconds left to seal a 71-67 Hawks win.  Rashad Vaughn 25 points on 9-18 shooting.

Game 6: Roseville vs La Crosse (WI) Aquinas
Wisconsin signee Bronson Koenig getting the assignment on Mack Johnson.  After a block Koenig is on the board.  Then a pair of assists for layups.  Post Parker Weber with a big quarter of 8 points with Mike Conway on the bench.  12-7 Aquinas after 1 quarter.  Jordan Burich with a block on 1 end and then runs for 2 the other way.  Koenig counters for 3.  Then Mack Johnson goes down with an injury at the 5:32 mark and doesn't return.   Its all down hill from their for Roseville.  Conway for 2, Koenig another assist and then a dunk off a turnover.  27-9 Aquinas at the 3:10 mark.  32-14 at the half.  The lead is 19 after 3.  Jacques Perra with a big 4th quarter as Roseville closes to within 10 with 3:07 left but no matter.  Aquinas goes on to win 58-48.  Bronson Koenig 18 points and 8 boards.  A tough 24 hours for Roseville giving up a lead at Woodbury, the early morning train ride, a long day waiting around and then the Johnson injury and loss.  Jacques Perra 15 to lead the Raiders.

1 comment:

  1. Blake be De last year with Crawford averaging 5pts and 4 rebounds a game, this year he is at 15/8. No reason Blake and Austin cannot compete with D who lost 5 games last season as well as their number 3 and 5 leading scorers from last season.


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