Recap: 2018 Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle

High School
Minnesota

Posted On: 01/29/18 11:55 AM

STEVENS POINT — The 2018 annual Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle returned on Saturday at Stevens Point Area High School. An event that never disappoints, the Border Battle featured a number of record performances as the Badger State came out with a 5-2 edge in the seven-game series.

Drew Blair – 2018 – SG – Stevens Point

In arguably the best individual performance of the night, Blair dropped 40 points in a loss to Minnehaha Academy. Inside the comfort of his own gym, Blair was 12-of-23 from the floor, including a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line, while adding three steals.

A crafty sharpshooter, Blair has a large bag of tricks and there’s only so much defenders can take away from him. The Northwest Missouri commit doesn’t have ideal athleticism, but makes up for it with some exciting length and playing angles really well. Blair doesn’t need much space to get his shot off and is very dangerous when he gets going to his left.

 

Minnehaha did a very nice job of forcing Blair to put the ball on the deck, rather than allow him spot-up opportunities. Perhaps a bit outside his comfort zone, Blair was still able to be effective by getting to the rim or pulling up from mid-range against a fast, athletic defense.

Scoring 40 of his team’s 68 points, Blair’s explosion will go down as one of the top individual performances in Wisconsin this season.

Jordan Davis – 2020 – SF – La Crosse Central

Central found themselves in a dog fight against North St. Paul and it was Davis who came up big down the stretch. The 6-foot-4 sophomore was clutch, hitting a few late jumpers that helped seal the deal, including a triple to break a 53-53 tie.

A terrific mid-range shooter, Davis loves the 15-17 foot looks off the bounce. He’s so comfortable in that area that a hand in Davis’ face rarely fazes him. Davis is always ready to catch and rip on the wing. He doesn’t always have to settle either. Davis has the strength and body control to viciously attack the basket and finish against contact.

Also a standout defender, Davis has the length to make things difficult on the perimeter. Davis does a good job of playing low and wide, using active hands, and walling up to keep people out of the paint.

Davis scored 16 points to lift Central to a win over North St. Paul.

Jalen Dearring – 2019 – G – Minnetonka

Dearring got off to a slow start, but was able to get things going in the second half. A prospect that’s having a big year, averaging near 20.0 ppg, Dearring can be electric with the ball in his hands.

A speedy combo guard with a nice pull-up jumper, Dearring knocked down a handful of one or two-dribble jumpers in the second half. Dearring has put on some good size since last spring and it’s helped his overall athleticism and shot creating ability.

Trailing most of the way, Minnetonka depended on Dearring down the stretch and he came through with some timely shots. He started having some success off the ball, working off screens to get open and also getting into the teeth of the defense where he could survey and find open cutters at the rim.

Nate DeYoung – 2018 – PF – Appleton Xavier

DeYoung would be exciting as a Division 3 prospect. Don’t get excited though as he’s headed to UW-Milwaukee to play baseball.

A stretch forward with a great shooting stroke, DeYoung scored 15 points (5-9) and 12 rebounds in a win over Minnetonka. Young knocked down a couple of triples at the top of the key and also displayed a smooth mid-range jumper. The lefty can also put the ball on the deck a bit and converted some impressive sweeping shots on the run.

At the high post, DeYoung can slash, but loves to see over the top of the defense and drop the basketball inside. He can be very effective in the high-low game as a facilitator. Against a Minnetonka team with some shooting bigs, DeYoung chased around the perimeter, got out to shooters, and really took away a big part of the opposition’s games by his ability to defend on the perimeter.

Nasir El-Amin – 2019 – G – Minneapolis North

A bit overshadowed by Kaukauna’s 122-point flurry, El-Amin did have a game-high 37 points in the loss. Somehow, it felt like El-Amin didn’t shoot enough.

An unselfish guard that was clearly looking to set up others first, El-Amin kept the defense on its toes and knocked down perimeter and mid-range jumpers at a high rate. El-Amin stretched the defense with some deep triples and also had the ball handling skills and body control to work his way past multiple defenders for good looks inside the arc.

Ferris buried seven triples for Kaukauna.

The main catalyst offensively, El-Amin also played very well in transition. Helping North put up 103 points on Saturday, El-Amin’s passes were on time and on target. Just about everything kept his teammates in rhythm, allowing them to get a full head of steam going to the rim.

Keaton Ferris – 2020 – G – Kaukauna

If you play with Jordan McCabe, you better be ready to shoot at all times. Ferris was locked and loaded on Saturday, chipping in with 25 points.

Every time it looked as if Minneapolis North was going to make a run, Ferris delivered a dagger. Ferris went off with seven 3-pointers. Working well off the ball, Ferris found soft spots in the defense, particularly in the corners and let it fly.

While he’s only 5-foot-10, Ferris was able to play off the ball effectively. When defenders eventually started to overplay, Ferris would trade good looks for great wins, either putting the ball on the deck and creating something around the rim or kicking to open shooters.

Sam Ferris – 2018 – G – Xavier

Ferris did a little bit of everything in Xavier’s win over Minnetonka. He might not be the go-to guy in this lineup, but Ferris takes a back seat to nobody when it comes to making plays.

Scoring a team-high 21 points, Ferris didn’t miss a shot from the field, going 9-of-9 shooting. He also contributed five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Ferris scored 13 of his 21 in the second half, helping Xavier pull away in the final period.

A high-motor, active guard, Ferris just seemed to be everywhere. Defensively, he was a pest, picking the pocket of unsuspecting ball handlers. The 6-foot senior guard pushed the ball up the floor in transition and converted some beautiful coast-to-coast buckets.

Goodnews Kpegeol – 2018 – G/F – North St. Paul

La Crosse Central forced Kpegeol away from the rim, but the senior wing was able to extend his range and knock down a few triples. An athletic, bouncy prospect, Kpegeol affects the game in a variety of ways when engaged.

Kpegeol is still on the market.

Expanding his offensive skill set, Kpegeol showed the ability to score in other ways than just shooting 3’s and generating transition buckets. When he couldn’t get all the way to the rim, Kpegeol used a jump stop into the paint and nice floater from five feet out. Kpegeol played well in traffic, muscling his way into high percentage areas and creating offensive for himself and others.

When Kpegeol plays with a high motor, he can be a handful. An above the rim transition threat, Kpegeol can be unstoppable when he gets a head of steam going to the rim. Kpegeol was also active on the glass. He chased after rebounds and creating a number of second chance opportunities.

Kpegeol finished with 16 points in the loss.

Terry Lockett – 2020 – G – Minnehaha Academy

The numbers Lockett would be putting up if he didn’t play next to five-star guard Jalen Suggs would be really big. As it is, Lockett is still producing at a high level.

Lockett scored 19 points in a win over Stevens Point, including a late 3-pointer that proved to be the game-winner. A smooth guard that can excel as a dribble penetrator or sharpshooter, Lockett can score in a variety of ways. He was terrific in the half-court, breaking down defenders and finishing some acrobatic layups in traffic. With Suggs drawing so much attention, Lockett set up shop on the wings and corners, hunting 3-point opportunities. Lockett also dished out some beautiful dimes to his posts, firing some one-hand passes in the paint with precision.

A top seven prospect in a strong 2020 class in the state of Minnesota, Lockett continues to cement himself as a Division 1 talent.

Jordan McCabe – 2018 – PG – Kaukauna

McCabe knows each time out that he’s going to get his opponent’s best effort. He still finds way to utterly dismantle them.

The West Virginia commit exploded for 36 points and 13 assists. McCabe led an offensive explosion that saw Kaukauna score a school record 122 points. McCabe challenged defenders, isolating them at the top of the key and found little resistance for 36 minutes.

 

McCabe scored a high rate from all three levels. In transition, he went coast-to-coast. His step-back jumper from 15-17 feet was deadly as McCabe overcame any size limitations by creating a ton of separation for his jumper. A shooter with unlimited range, McCabe was feeling it from downtown, knocking in six triples.

McCabe’s creative passing ability kept Minneapolis North off balance all game. A flurry of no-look and behind the back passes sliced up the defense for easy buckets. With so much attention being paid to him at all times, McCabe took advantage of the shooters around him as the Ghosts connected on whopping 25 3-pointers.

Hunter Plamann – 2018 – G – Xavier

A big credit to Plamann, who didn’t have his best stuff and was being defended by Minnetonka’s 6-foot-4 defensive stopper Jon Martens, but still found other ways to impact the game.

Plamann found good looks from the field hard to come by. He managed to stay aggressive without forcing, however, finishing with 17 points, including 6-of-8 from the foul line. Even more impressive, Plamann dished out 10 assists to just one turnover, despite some terrific perimeter defense by Minnetonka.

Plamann dished out 10 assists.

A speedy, high-IQ floor general, Plamann is an excellent change-of-pace guard that’s difficult to stay in front of. Plamann has the ball on a string and uses a series of head fakes, crossovers, and in-and-out dribbles to get where he needs to go. The Minnesota-Duluth commit can be deadly from beyond the arc and is just as comfortable shooting off the bounce as he is off the ball. This is a nice pickup for Duluth, who not only has a solid floor general, but someone who can pick up the scoring slack should its top options hit a cold spell.

Andy Stafford – 2019 – SF – Minnetonka

Stafford helped keep Minnetonka around against Xavier with some timely shooting. A mismatch problem most of the game, Stafford’s length and athleticism were a big problem for the opposition.

A long, smooth wing, Stafford got himself very comfortable early, pulling up from 15-17 feet and knocking down shots with ease. Stafford made sure to catch in high percentage areas and simply took what the defense gave him, either a jumper or a straight-live drive to the basket. When help did come at the rim, Stafford showed the ability to adjust in mid-air and still finish.

Scoring a game-high 21 points, Stafford also knocked down two 3-pointers. The 6-foot-6 wing has some Division 1 upside and certainly should be coveted at the Division 2 level…at the very least.

Jalen Suggs – 2020 – SG – Minnehaha Academy

Suggs is not from this planet. So advanced for his age, Suggs was flat out dominant in Saturday’s win over Stevens Point. All but cancelling out Blair’s 40-point effort, Suggs scored 36 to lead Minnehaha to a big victory.

The five-star guard was unstoppable in isolation settings. An exciting blend of strength and explosiveness, Suggs blew by defenders with some devastating handles. If there’s not multiple defenders in perfect help-side position, you’re not keeping Suggs away from the rim and sometimes that’s not even enough.

 

When Suggs is hitting his outside, it’s over. Suggs knocked down five triples on Saturday, forcing defenders to pick their poison. Sizing his man up, Suggs hit some tough 3-pointers with a hand in his face. Suggs ended the first half with a deep triple as time expired to send Minnehaha into the locker room with some huge momentum.

When the game was in the balance, Suggs sealed the deal with a couple of key assists late in the contest.

Notes

Sam Ferris is receiving interest from Michigan Tech and Hillsdale.

Nasir El-Amin has interest coming in from North Dakota, Northern Iowa, Tennessee State, and Tulane.

Jordan Davis has an offer from UW-Green Bay. Wisconsin, Marquette, Iowa, Iowa State, New Mexico State, and others are showing interest this season.

Arizona State, Baylor, Minnesota, Iowa, Marquette, Georgia Tech, UNLV, Memphis, UCLA, Wake Forest, and others have offers out to Jalen Suggs.

2018 guard Cam Cloud scored 29 points to lead Pacelli over Spring Grove.

Lake City had three players in double figures, Marc Kjos (24), Reid Gastner (22), and Nathan Heise (21) in their victory over Prescott. Peter Brookshaw, a North Dakota State baseball commit, had 34 for Prescott.