2014 Border Battle Thoughts

I made the cold journey to the 2014 Border Battle in Kaukauna, WI.  For the 3rd straight year, the home state destroys the visitors.   Home state teams have won 21 of the last 22 in the series dating back to the 2011 Border Battle at St. Cloud Tech.  Here are some of my thoughts from the day in the home of the Galloping Ghosts.

Game 1: Rockford vs Stevens Point Pacelli
The game was close the entire way.  13 after 1 quarter thanks to 6 points from Brock Deering.  Rockford would lead 32-30 at half and open that lead to 37-30 early in the 3rd.  But Stevens Point Pacelli would get a big quarter from forward Brett O'Sullivan and a Colin Jamison 3 at the 3rd quarter buzzer sent the game to the 4th tied at 42.  James Gollon with a putback to put Pacelli up 49-48 with 1:45 left.  Rockford turns it over on back to back possessions.  Isaac Elliot with a charge between those turnovers but he knocks down 4-4 clutch free throws in the last 36.5 seconds.  Rockford would get 2 looks at the end to tie but no good.  Pacelli wins game 1 53-50.  Brett O'Sullivan with 20 points inside for Pacelli.  Isaac Elliot 2 big 3s and the big late free throws for 16.  Brendon Schumacher with 15 to lead Rockford.  Jeremiah Bingham with 14 and Brock Deering with 11.

Game 2: Byron vs Waupun
A really ugly 1st half with no shots going in and offense that was reminiscent of the movie Hoosiers.  15 all at the half.  Waupun would break away in the 3rd quarter to open a 31-19 lead.  That was thanks to a 22-6 run across halftime.  Waupun's 6'8" center Jack VandeZande too much inside with 7 points in the quarter.  33-23 Waupun after 3.  Byron would claw their way back.  Tyler Coble starts the run with a 3 point play, guard Buster Meyer for 3, Coble a steal for 2 more and another Meyer bomb.  That concludes a 13-3 Byron run to cut the Waupun lead to 41-38 with 2:10 left.  But VandeZande scores inside, Byron misses a front end and VandeZande makes 1 of 2 free throws to keep the game out of reach.  Waupun wins 47-42.  Jack VandeZande 14 points to lead Waupun.  Waupun star Mason Domask 10 points and came back from a nasty fall on a lob early in the 2nd quarter.  Tyler Coble leads Byron with 13 points.  Buster Meyer 3 3s 11 points.

Game 3: Simley vs Milwaukee Pius XI
1st quarter sees Pius guard Donovan Jackson nail 3 3s and go for 13 points.  Mark Della Vedova a quick start with 7 points in the quarter.  19-18 Pius after the 1st quarter.  Della Vedova picks up his 2nd foul 25 seconds into the 2nd quarter and sits most of the rest of the half.  Sam Stensgard would pick up the offense with a pair of bombs.  Then Pius would go on a 12-2 run late in the half to open the lead.  Sam Stensgard with his 3rd bomb of the quarter to keep Simley within 38-30 at half.  After a quiet 3rd quarter, Donovan Jackson makes a living at the line to put the game out of reach.  After 3 of 4 free throws by Jackson, Simley is down 6.  Then Jackson scores the next 8 for Pius (6 FTs) to open the lead to 61-47.  Pius XI wins 65-48.  Donovan Jackson leads Pius with 30 points.  Levi Bradley with 21.  Sam Stensgard leads Simley with 6 3s and 22 points.

Game 4: Lakeville North vs Stevens Point
The top 2 sophs in Wisconsin taking on JP Macura with UW-Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle in attendance.  Macura goes absolutely nuts with the 1st 20 of the game for Lakeville North.  SPASH decides to faceguard him the rest of the way.  That holds him to 24 at halftime and a 31 all tie.  Then SPASH rains in 5 bombs in the 3rd quarter, 3 of them from star soph Sam Hauser.  The other star soph Trevor Anderson adds 8 in the quarter.   Meanwhile Macura continues to get no help so SPASH opens up a 58-45 lead after 3.   Only 3 FGs for Lakeville North from players other than Macura at that point.  Macura cuts for 2 and then a steal for a dunk as he tries to bring Lakeville North back.  But Anderson nails a 3 and drives.  Hauser with another bomb on great ball movement and SPASH puts the game away.  Stevens Point wins 76-58.  Sophs Trevor Anderson and Sam Hauser each go for 23 points.  JP Macura leads Lakeville North with 36 but only a total of 14 from the other 4 starters.

Game 5: Seymour vs Blake
Seymour's 1-3-1 zone just too much in this one.  Blake within 9-7 with just over 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter.  But the Bears would only score 2 buckets in the 2nd quarter.  Seymour would open the lead to 14 at half and then the 1st 6 points of the 3rd push the lead to 20.  John Veil would get his 16 points and 4 3s after that. JR Bascom 8 of his 14 after that.  But a standard problem for Blake as the rest of the roster only scores 8.  Seymour wins 61-38.  Marquette signee Sandy Cohen 14 points, Dakota Oskey a very nice game with 21 points.

Game 6: Centennial at Kaukauna
Kaukauna rains in 4 3s in less than the 1st 2 minutes for a 12-6 lead and a Centennial timeout.  They make 6 in the quarter for a 22-16 lead after 1.  The Centennial defense tightens up and holds Kaukauna to 8 points in the 2nd to close within 30-27 at the half.  3rd quarter also quiet and even.  A pair of free throws right at the end of the quarter give the hosts Ghosts a 40-38 lead going to the final stanza.  Kevin Grow picks up his 4th foul with 7:44 left and has to sit.  Then an 8-1 Kaukauna run allows the Ghosts to put the game out of reach.  6 of those are free throws and the last bucket is off a turnover.   Kaukauna wins 58-52.  Tyler Peterson leads Centennial with 20 points, Kevin Grow with 11.  Kyle Schalow with 17 points (8-8 FTs and 3 bombs) to lead Kaukauna.

After seeing 13 out of 14 games under quarter rules, I'll be happy to go back to 18 minute halves.  The flow is just so much better.

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