The Border Battle Features Top MN & WI Talent

The inaugural Border Battle, which is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook and The Breakdown magazine of Minnesota, features five of the top teams in both states facing off at Tartan High. The games will be broadcast at www.crystalclearsports.net with free, live internet action from the Border Battle. GoldenSports.Net will provide updates of all the games.

Randolph (11-1) vs. St. Paul (MN) St. Bernard's (14-0) Noon

 

St. Bernard's has already beaten two Wisconsin team this season as they defeated Wauwatosa West, 56-54, and Milwaukee Marquette, 61-52, at the Al McGuire Center in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout. St. Bernard's is led by 6-foot-7 Marquette University signee Trevor Mbakwe, who is averaging 21.5 points per game and has scored 20 or more points in nine of his 14 games. Senior guard Chad Jones is averaging 13.8 points per game and Patrick Cassidy, a 6-foot-6 senior and son of St. Bernard's coach Ed Cassidy, is averaging 12.1 points.

 

Randolph is off to an 11-1 start with their lone loss being against Division 1 Verona (9-2). Bryan Johnson, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, is leading the Rockets in scoring at 17.8 points per game. Dan Tillema, a 6-foot-4 senior, is averaging 16.6 points per game and younger brother Tyler Tillema, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is averaging 12.4 points per game. Dan Tillema inked with Minnesota-Duluth in the early signing period. Their older brother, Ryan, who is a sophomore at Wisconsin Green Bay and Greg Stiemsma (Wisconsin) helped Randolph to four WIAA Division 4 state titles with a four-year prep record of 101-6. Freshman Kyle Kelm (6-8) is averaging 8.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and has received a scholarship offer from UW-Milwaukee.

 

La Crosse Aquinas (12-2) vs. Rockford, Minn. (12-3) 2 p.m.

 

Rockford is a high-scoring team, that is averaged 75.4% per game and has scored more than  80-point five times this season. The Rockets are led by 6-foot-3 junior Nick Haugen, who is averaging 16.5 points per game and Nathan Maher, a 6-foot-2 junior, who is contributing 12.8 points.

 

Aquinas was ranked #1 among Division 3 schools in Wisconsin, but has lost two of their last three games. The Bluegolds are led by Marquette University recruit Scott Christopherson, a 6-2 guard who scored a season-high 35 points in a 73-66 victory over city rival La Crosse Central on Tuesday.

  

Seymour (11-2) vs. Minneapolis Patrick Henry (8-5) 4 p.m.

 

Notes: A pair of heavyweights square off in the Division 2 contest as perennial powers Seymour and Patrick Henry once again boast strong units. Seymour avenged an early season loss to Shawano on Tuesday behind 27 points from senior Matt Hackl, while Patrick Henry is sitting at just 8-5 but has played a powerful schedule that has included games against several out-of-state schools …

 

Patrick Henry is a well-rounded team with five players in double figures and another player who is averaging nine points per game. The Patriots led by 6-foot-2 senior point guard Al Nolen Jr., who signed with Minnesota in the fall. He is averaging 13.0 points per game. Junior Jerry Sweezy is leading the team with 16.7 points. Tim Saxson, a standout quarterback on the Henry football team, is averaging 14.3 points per game. Brandon Mitchell is adding 10.9 points and Mandela Jackson is scoring ten points per game.

 

Seymour has played in the last seven WIAA Division 2 state title games and won last year's title over Monona Grove. Head Coach Jon Murphy has more than 370 victories in his 20 years with the school. The Thunder are led by senior Matt Hackl, who is one of the top seniors in the state.

 

Madison Memorial (11-1) vs. Minnetonka (10-4) 6 p.m.

 

Minnetonka is off to a 10-4 start this season and won the Hastings Tournament in December. The Skippers finished 9-17 last year as they have faced what could be the state's most difficult schedule. They are led by Anthony Tucker, who is perhaps one of the top players in the state for the Class of 2008. Tucker is averaging 14.9 points per game as the Skippers have three players averaging double figures. The Skippers are also led by fellow classmates C.J. Erickson and Andy Burns. The 6-foot-6 Erickson became a starter in the middle of his freshman season, but broke his foot in early February of that year. He had a strong sophomore campaign as he averaged 13 points per game and 13.6 points this season. Burns averaged 12.2 points at the point guard spot last season and is averaging 8.3 points this year. Burns is also a standout defensive back on the Skippers' football team. Former reserves Andrew Latzke and C. J. Schilling have emerged this season. Latzke, a 6-foot-6 junior, has scored in double figures in twelve of 14 games and is averaging 11.6 points per game. Schilling, the younger brother of former Minnetonka standout Shane, is averaging 9.9 points.

 

Madison Memorial has won 11 in a row since opening the season with a loss to Peoria, Ill., Notre Dame. The Spartans have played in the last three Division 1 state title games. They are led by 6-foot-8 senior Keaton Nankivil, a Wisconsin recruit, and 6-6 sophomore Jeronne Maymon, who is one of the top sophomores in the state.

 

Wisconsin Rapids (7-4) vs. Tartan (13-3) 8 p.m.

 

Host school Tartan is a young team with a true superstar or top-flight big man, unlike past Titan squads. They have five players scoring more than nine points per game and are led by junior Sam Ryan. He is averaging 9.8 points per game and is an outstanding outside threat.

 

Wisconsin Rapids is led by 6-foot-1 senior Vinny Ritchay, who is averaging 22 points per game.

 


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