Posted On: 03/21/18 5:51 PM
Day one of the Class AAAA State Tournament had little for surprises but several outstanding performances. NHR gives the rundown on the day’s top players.
Nate Adams of Maple Grove, junior. Davis was the Maple Grove second leading scorer this year for the Crimson and he found ways to get 16 points for his team despite having a tough day shooting from the perimeter. A scorer to watch going forward as it was interesting to see the way the 6-foot-2 junior crafted scores without the deep touch.
Austin Andrews of Eden Prairie, sophomore. Andrews made 6 of 8 shots for 13 points plus recorded six rebounds. Andrews in the low post is so intelligent. At 6-foot-5 his balance, strength, and more importantly foot work and positioning allow him to touch in shots in many ways. He always seems to be in the right position and his feel playing a few different spots is rare.
Alex Battist of Maple Grove, senior. It was not a big offensive day for Alex but what he will always do is board both ways. Only had five shots in the game but did collect 14 rebounds. At 6-6/6-7 he’s going to be a big number rebounder for Carleton.
Jacob Beeninga of Wayzata, junior. The length of activity of the Raiders defense caused problems for all of the Trojans including Beeninga. Beeninga had a tough time at the arc missing 7 of 9 but his fight is always there. He ran after ten boards and scored 15 points including a tear drop over the Oturu length.
Cooper Berg of Forest Lake, senior. At 6-foot-6 the Rangers stretch four man knocked out four treys and 7 of 11 shots overall for his 18 points. Cooper was a 40 plus percent three point shooter this year scoring 11-12 a game with that jumper. There are a lot of area schools that can use a 40 plus percent three point shooter at 6-foot-6.
Sy Chatman of CDH, senior. Chatman backed players down in the post and vaulted over guys for a score. He moved off the ball for dunks and Chatman connected with the guards to collect and finish 10 of 19 shots for 22 points. Sy also had ten rebounds and he spent some time guarding Beeninga and held his own. Chatman finished an alley-oop dunk right before the first half.
Connor Christensen of Eden Prairie, sophomore. Christensen began the game by hitting corner and wing threes – four of them in fact in the first half. Connor also scored off two first half cuts: cutting off the high post for a pitch into a finger roll, and the other an attack and hitting a reverse lay-up. Add in the 11 rebounds and the effort on the defensive end and you had a memorable day (scored 22 points).
Collin Denk/Spencer Fossey of Lakeville North, senior. The Panthers have shooters all over. Today Denk and Fossey each hit three treys joining Jensen as marksman in the game. Collin and Spencer combined for 21.
Kyle Dreyer of Maple Grove, junior. Dreyer gave the Crimson a chance by scoring 13 highlighted by his three three-point makes. A guy to know going forward for the Crimson who surprised this year with their 21 wins.
Tommy Jensen of Lakeville North, junior. With Tyler Wahl handling a lot of the lead guard duties in this game Jensen spent more time focused on defense as well as play making as a wing. Jensen made four threes as well as several one dribble attacks into rim scores or mid-range jumpers. With space to work because of the Wahl danger and the Panther ball movement, Jensen was free to score an important 23 points.
Manny Jingco of Forest Lake, senior. If Manny can make 8 of 15 shots for 20 points against Apple Valley plus one dribble playmake for others like he did, I would say he’s a guy that should garner a few more college calls tomorrow. What I really like about Manny is that he went right at the Eagles fight. There was no intimidation.
Tre Jones of Apple Valley, senior. The best players find ways to make what ever impact they can in close games. Tre Jones did not have a Tre Jones like game in the first half against Forest Lake. However, in the second half he found his way to some baskets and he also started denying and chasing Forest Lake guard Manny Jingco leading to a lack of shots for his opponents and four turnovers forced that turned into open floor scores. Once the Jones defense opened the game for transition chances, he had 22 points and the Eagles had a first round win. Tre scored on 7 of 13 field goals and 8 of 10 foul shots.
Kyler Kluge of Eden Prairie, senior. Kluge went against old summer teammate Zach Theisen and was able to limit him. Kluge’s defense in both man to man, and in Triangle and Two, helped limit Theisen to 3 of 11 shooting. Kluge played one of those games were the decisions made were high percentage successful. There were a couple dribble attack separations to finish, dribble attacks to hit teammates, and most importantly the ball movement to shooters led to his six assists (I had him for 8).
Ryan Larson of CDH, senior. With Presbyterian’s Head Coach in the stands along with head coaches from Sioux Falls, SD School of Mines, and St. Cloud State plus others, Larson did a great job dropping bounce passes and throwing lobs for his seven assists but had a tough day shooting.
Luke Martens of Apple Valley, senior. Luke scored a supportive 11 including a couple baseline jumpers. Not quite the big impact that he’s shown in the past but he was the supporting offensive player the Eagles needed many different times.
Daniel Oturu of CDH, senior. With Richard Pitino looking on Oturu made 12 of 14 shots for his 24 points and he grabbed his double-double on an open floor rim run collecting and score. Most of what Oturu was getting to the front of the rim and finishing. Wayzata had no choice with Oturu in the middle.
Jacob Prince of CDH, senior. The future Southern Miss football player once again led his team with that first man to the fight approach on both ends. Nine boards and nine points.
Cornell Richardson of Osseo, sophomore. The Eagles put a lot of pressure on the seniors but Page was able to make plays for his team on a down day. Cornell scored ten including some quality attacks recognizing where the Eagles were overplaying the seniors and attacking space for finishes.
Tyler Wahl of Lakeville North, junior. Tyler had the most complete game of any player at the Class AAAA level today. Defensively in the post his positioning is outstanding which is why he recorded several blocks and deflections plus he took a charge. Wahl’s lateral movement on the perimeter and in the post is high quality. At one point he moved with an opposing player forcing a turnover on the baseline then turned a guy over forcing him into a trap. Going the other way Wahl played point guard in the second half and it was when the Panthers were at their best. A couple times he used ball screens to instantly attack and score or he attacked and found shooters. Then inside Wahl was unstoppable. His ability to leverage his way into position and hold that position deep led to quick spins and soft deep post finishes. Wahl scored on 10 of 14 field goals for 25 points with seven boards and five assists.
Logan Wangerin of Apple Valley, senior. Logan’s impact was the way he defensively rebounded and found guards for the quick outlet to transition. In the second half Forest Lake was not only limited to some tough shots, but only one shot as Wangerin got his big hands on balls and held on tight.