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Posted On: 02/12/18 2:30 PM
MEQUON — The 2018 annual John Chekouras Classic returned from Homestead High School on Saturday. With some of the top teams and prospects in the state of Wisconsin on hand, the Chekouras Classic was well worth the price of admission.
Patrick Cartier – 2018 – PF – Brookfield East
Cartier continues to have a terrific year. The Hillsdale commit had a team-high 21 points before being knocked out of the game due to injury.
A skilled, blue collar post prospect, Cartier is going to be a really nice player at the Division 2 level. Very refined on the block, Cartier understands how to do the little things that lead to big results. You can tell how important Cartier’s production is to Brookfield East, because they’ll spend a minute on offense trying to get him a look if necessary. And Cartier will never stop working either. While his interior play makes him a good Division 2 prospect, it’s what he can do in the open floor that makes him exciting and a potential steal at that level. Cartier had the play of the day, going behind the back against a defender in transition and gliding all the way to the rim for a dunk.
Shon Ford – 2019 – PF – Milwaukee South
Ford was a bright spot in a struggle for South during a loss to Sturgeon Bay. The 6-foot-3 junior scored 15 of his team’s first 17 points, finishing with 19 for the day in a 40-38 loss. Ford is worker. What he lacks in ideal size for the power forward position, he makes up for with tenacity. A wide body with some nice length, Ford is able to score against tight coverage, despite not getting far off the ground. A prospect that will punish people on the interior, Ford loves to bang down low and embraces physical play.
Jay Gentry – 2018 – PG – Brown Deer
Prior to Saturday, I never really though of Gentry as a Division 1 player. He’s always produced and put together some big games against top competition, but he’s an unorthodox player with the type of frame you don’t see in a lot of guards. When it comes down to it, Gentry’s just too good not to play at that level. As much as people may knock his build or athleticism, the kid gets buckets and has clearly worked his tail off to overcome any shortcomings he may have.
Brown Deer was dead in the water against Stoughton. The Vikings were threatening to blow the game open in the second half and had shut down the Falcons, who came in averaging close to 90 points per game. Then Gentry took over and there wasn’t a thing Stoughton could do to stop it. For the Falcons, it was give Gentry the ball and get out of the way. The senior guard took out his do-it-yourself kit and took the game over.
Gentry was unstoppable at the rim. The 6-foot-1 senior put his head down at got the rim at will. He converted some huge 3-point plays that helped shift the momentum late. Even when Gentry had defenders draped all over him, he found ways to float shots over the top of the defense and power through major contact like it wasn’t even there. The most impressive thing about Gentry’s 32-point performance? He was shaking off an awful first half where he couldn’t get anything to drop.
Normally a terrific mid-range shooter, Gentry has a great pull-up game from 15-17 feet off the bounce. He’s worked hard to expand his range as well and can hot from 3-point range in a hurry. A kid that shoots it so well from all areas of the floor, it’s tough for defenders to take things away from Gentry without giving up something else.
Gentry has a couple Division 1 schools sniffing around. The Division 2’s are there as well, but his trajectory seems to be going towards the highest level as Gentry is averaging better than 29 points per game this season.
Keyron Gouveia – 2018 – G – Milwaukee Messmer
Messmer was playing from behind all night versus New Berlin West, but Gouveia helped make things interesting. The senior guard had a dominant second half as Messmer got within single digits after trailing by more than 20 at one point. Finishing with a team-high 26 points, Gouveia took advantage of what the defense was giving him. Gouveia was getting the rim consistently, knocking down his jumpers, both on and off the ball, and also got to the foul line a ton with electric drives to the rim.
Mason Herkstroeter – 2018 – G – Winnebago Lutheran
Herkstroeter shot the ball very well from the outside. The senior guard burried five triples in the first half alone to put things away early. Finishing with a game-high 22 points, Herkstroeter buried six triples on the day. A nice Division 3 prospect, Herkstroeter (6-2) has
nice size for the point guard position. While he can score the basketball, Herkstroeter is a pass-first floor general who would rather give up a good look for himself in order to get a great one for a teammate. Also a leader on the floor, Herkstroeter is always communicating on both ends of the floor and instructing his soldiers.
Rance Kenderick – 2018 – G – Racine Park
Kenderick is the straw that stirs the drink for Racine Park. His overall impact on the game is easily noticeable. Kendrick was everywhere in Saturday’s win over Muskego. The 6-foot-1 guard created havoc in the press, picking off passes and taking them the other way for buckets. When Kendrick was defending, ball handlers wanted nothing to do with him. He got after people for 90 feet and when he was able come up with the ball, it was off to the races. An athletic, high motor guard, Kenderick posted 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. He also distributed eight assists and recorded three steals.
Alex Kuehl – 2018 – SF – Winnebago Lutheran
Liked the impact in the middle of the 2-3 zone. Kuehl is a bouncy wing with good size (6-6) and a soft shooting touch from 8-10 feet out. Kuehl also destroyed the zone with his high-low passing or skip passes across the court. He knew exactly how to beat the zone, flashing into the high post where he could either take the shot or float passes over the top to his bigs. Kuehl a playmaker in transition, streaking up the wing and generating easy buckets. An active defender, Kuehl sees ball and man and is always making passes difficult or protecting the rim with his long wingspan. Kuehl scored 13 points on eight shots during a blowout victory over Kewaskum. It’s tough to find this type of athleticism this late in the process and at the small schools. Division 3 teams should be taking a hard look here.
Noah Lorenz – 2018 – PF – Winnebago Lutheran
What luxury for Winnebago Lutheran to bring this kid off the bench. A 6-foot-8 forward with great size and some intriguing skill, Lorenz provides instant energy and scoring. Lorenz can beat people up on the block, but can also beat defenders with finesse. He’s got solid footwork down low, including a nice spin into a jump hook. Lorenz is more athletic than he looks. Off his own misses, Lorenz gets off the floor again quickly and can run the floor a little bit. Lorenz had a very efficient performance in a win over Kewaskum, scoring 11 points on just six shots off the bench.
Tommy McClain – 2018 – PF – Stoughton
Although he’s going to play football, McClain could be a very nice small school pickup, as we’ve said before. In a big time matchup, McClain was a tone setter with tough interior defense and his rebounding presence. Even when he gives up a few inches and some pounds, McClain continues to be the toughest player on the floor.
The exciting part about his game is that McClain also has some skill. The 6-foot-4 senior is a great passing big man. He can step out and shoot the basketball, connecting on two triples Saturday. When he gets 1-on-1 opportunities on the block, McClain has the footwork and skillset to score consistently.
McClain had a team-high 19 points in the loss to Brown Deer.
Desmond Polk – 2020 – PG – New Berlin West
This kid is getting really good, really quick. You can just see the confidence of Polk soaring as there’s not a shot on the floor he doesn’t believe he can’t hit. Polk has clearly earned the green light to pull the trigger from his coaching staff as the sophomore guard was taking some tough, contested looks early in possessions and delivering.
Exploding for 30 points in a win over Milwaukee Messmer, Polk was lighting it up from 3-point and mid-range. A plus-length, athletic guard, Polk is learning to be a shot creator and excelling in that role. Polk was a guy who always did other things well too — defend, distribute the basketball, play above the rim in transition, and rebound, which he does an exceptional job of for a guard. Now that he packs a scoring punch and is a guard that can heat up like a microwave, it’s taken Polk’s game to another level or two.
If he can replicate similar results on the travel circuit while continuing to display his upward trajectory, I don’t see why Polk wouldn’t land at the high major level. Polk hits a lot of check marks, but there will also be plenty of upside for college coaches to unleash as well.
Tyler Torosian – 2018 – F – New Berlin West
It might surprise a lot of people that Torosian is West’s leading scorer this season, despite all the hype surrounding Polk. Torosian just lives on garbage baskets and I don’t mean that in a negative sense at all. After a few viewings this season, it’s definitely not an accident that he’s putting up big numbers this season. Torosian just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
During Saturday’s win over Messmer, Torosian totaled 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Whether it’s collecting second chance points, cutting the to the rim and making himself available to his teammates, scooping up loose balls, Torosian just finds unorthodox ways to score the basketball. He’s not a guy that maybe you run a lot of offense for, but you definitely don’t mind when the ball is in hands because good things always seem to happen.
A combo forward, the 6-foot-4 senior would be a nice pickup at the small school level. At worse, this is a blue collar player that can find a role somewhere at the next level, even if it’s just doing the dirty work. Torosian can definitely do more though. He’s very effective at catching in high percentage areas and making things happen from the high post, whether it’s taking a short jumper, making the right pass, or attacking the basket. Torosian can also extend his range beyond the perimeter and times and stretch the defense as well.
Ryan Waddell – 2019 – PG – Homestead
Second night in a row that Waddell had a big performance. After dropping 25 points against Nicolet on Friday, Waddell went for 28 in a loss to a ranked Brookfield East squad. Waddell has a really nice offensive package. A shifty guard that uses change-of-pace to get by defenders, Waddell can score the ball in a variety of ways. He’s a solid 3-point shooter, but also has a knack for scoring in traffic at the rim. What’s really impressive about Waddell is he’s aggressive without being out of control or forcing the issue. He can take a lot of shots, but rarely will Waddell settle for a poor look. Waddell definitely isn’t the most athletic guard, but he has a a knack to create separation and generate clean looks at a high rate. He’s got a deep bag of tricks when the ball is in his hands and is definitely one of the more difficult players to defend in the state.
Other top performers: Brady Schipper (Stoughton), Joe Robey (New Berlin West), Frank Koehnk (Burlington Catholic Central), Larry Canady (Racine Park), Jared Van Bramer (Sturgeon Bay), Jaylon Gentry (Brown Deer), A.J. Makinen (Muskego), Tyler Reick (Burlington Catholic Central), Riley Le Tourneau (Brookfield East)
Mason Herkstroeter is receiving interest from Wisconsin Lutheran.
Alex Kuehl is hearing from Wisconsin Lutheran, Concordia (WI), and Ripon.
Jay Gentry has Division 1 interest from South Dakota State and Holy Cross.
Desmond Polk has an offer from UW-Green Bay. He’s receiving interest from Cincinnati, Nebraska, Bradley, UW-Milwaukee, Portland, Wright State, and Mount St. Mary’s.
Tyler Torosian said he’s leaning towards UW-Whitewater. UW-Waukesha is also coming on late.
Ryan Waddell is receiving interest from Minnesota-Crookston.