APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - It is not often that two future Wisconsin basketball teammates from out of state square off against one another in high school. La Crosse Central Kobe King and Lakeville North Nathan Reuvers had that opportunity Saturday.
Taking part of the Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle, Reuvers scored 33 points to lead Lakeville North to a 98-83 win over La Crosse Central.
Reuvers was 14-for-22 shooting while King scored a game-high 49 points on 17-for-29 from the field, as both put on a show individually that drew cheers from the crowd.
“I thought I played well,” King told BadgerNation after the game. “We didn’t get the win. Nothing else really matters but I liked how we competed till the end.”
Looking to get his team back to the Kohl Center in the state playoffs, King scored the last 12 points for Central and created instances where he appeared able to get the Red Raiders back into the game. But every time La Crosse Central would cut the lead under eight points, it was Reuvers who was able to respond with a bucket of his own.
“He’s really athletic; he’s a really good player,” Reuvers said about King. “He was hitting everything. He got really hot at the end hitting all those threes. He’s definitely a player who can go on mini-scoring runs and is definitely a player who can help climb his team back into a game.”
Reuvers was able to generate a couple of clean looks from three and shot well when he was able to create separation, but the bulk of his success came in the paint. Like King, Reuvers was able to demonstrate his versatility and forced La Crosse Central to stretch the floor defensively.
“I have to hit a few more shots from the outside and also my rebounding needs to improve,” Reuvers said. “I think only had eight rebounds, which I think was my lowest for the season, so I need to improve on that.”
Although Reuvers was happy with his individual and team performance, he acknowledged that the Panthers didn’t play a perfect game despite being in control for most of it.
“I thought our team played great against Kobe and La Crosse Central,” Reuvers said. “One weakness for us was rebounding. Shooting the ball inside we were making pretty much everything but from three we weren’t really hitting it. So that’s where our emphasis of the game was getting the ball inside.”
King stayed aggressive throughout the night – scoring 20-plus in each half – and had success in a combination of ways, whether it was driving to the basket, pulling up for mid-range jumper or getting open for a 3-point shot.
While he would have loved nothing more than to have bragging rights over Reuvers, King couldn’t have been more impressed with how his future teammate played.
“It’s fun,” King said about playing Reuvers. “He’s a unique player. I’m glad he’s on my side next year because he’s a tough cover. To play someone like that in high school that skilled and that big, he’s a special player clearly. They have a good team.”
While two-thirds of Wisconsin’s 2017 recruiting class competed on the court, combo guard Brad Davison – the other member of head coach Greg Gard’s class – made the 40 minute drive from Maple Grove to watch his two future teammates.
Appreciative of Davison making the drive to watch them play, Reuvers said the support the group give each other gets him excited for their futures at Wisconsin.
“I’ll be really happy that (Davison’s) my teammate next year with how well he can score,” Reuvers said, echoing the same sentiment about King. “Me, Kobe, Brad all of us out there are good scorers, it’s going to be fun to play with each other.”