Posted On: 11/25/18 1:00 PM
MILWAUKEE — The 2018 annual Fresh Coast Classic tipped off on Friday with a number of the area’s top teams in attendance. Here are the 10 individual performances that most grabbed our attention during Friday’s action…
J.P. Benzschawel – 2021 – PF – Grafton
The energy level that Benzschawel brought Friday morning was a big difference maker for Grafton in their win over Greendale. The physical, 6-foot-7 sophomore just bullied people under the rim, putting home second chance opportunities or catching in the low post and finishing through contact. A tone setter on the floor, Benzschawel has the ability to control the paint on both ends. Also a standout football prospect, Benzschawel played just one game on the hardwood last season following a season-ending injury. He’ll be a big piece for the Black Hawks, who have a chance to surprise some people in 2018-19.
Kyran Gaines – 2019 – PF – Milwaukee Madison
Coming off a season in which he averaged 24.3 points per game, Gaines scored 33 points, including 18 in the first half as Madison ran away with an easy victory over Shorewood. Gaines probably didn’t shoot it as well as he would have liked, but his aggressiveness around the rim was more than Shorewood could handle. Gaines worked for second chance opportunities and lived at the free throw line, sinking 12 free throws on Friday. Gaines is also a scary sight in transition. The 6-foot-6 senior is very fluid when coming down hill and has coast-to-coast ability. In the half court, Gaines was also effective from the high post, catching in traffic and distributing the basketball that led to quality looks for his teammates.
Tyler Gouin – 2019 – PG – Arrowhead
Thought coming into the season that Arrowhead was going to have to rely heavily on Carter Gilmore. That was not the case on Friday. Gouin was maybe the biggest surprise of the day. The senior point guard, who averaged 9.5 ppg last season, dropped 22 in a loss to Milwaukee King. Gouin has terrific handles and change or direction with the basketball. He can over-dribble at times, but the Warhawks seem comfortable with it, knowing sooner or later Gouin will capitalize on a defender’s mistake. Gouin has an excellent pull-up jumper from 12-15 feet and he’ll counter with a hesitation and blow-by finish at the rim. Even though Arrowhead lost, their prospects in the Classic Eight Conference look much better if Gouin can continue to play like this and take some of the burden off Gilmore.
Wes Juszczak – 2019 – F – Mukwonago
Was pleasantly surprised by Juszczak, who is a stretch forward with some bounce. Active on both ends of the floor, Juszczak changes the game with hustle and effort plays. Defensively, he slides his feet well and does a great job of walling up around the rim. Juszczak runs the floor well in transition and is always looking to clean up the glass. The 6-foot-4 senior can shoot the ball from the outside and made Milwaukee Bay View pay a few times for lackadaisical coverage. Juszczak had four quick points to cut the deficit down to two late, but it wasn’t enough as Mukwonago fell.
Marcus Kartes – 2019 – SG – Milwaukee King
A player we haven’t laid eyes on sine he was a freshman, Kartes appears to have steadily progressed as a player. He’s not blessed with great size
or athleticism, but Kartes is a player that understands the game and gets the most out of his talent. He’s developed into a nice shooter off the dribble. Kartes has a quick first step and pull-up game that’s hard for defenders to time. Kartes scored a game-high 24 points to lead King in a blowout win over Arrowhead.
Deontay Long – 2019 – F – Milwaukee Washington
He’s not in basketball shape yet, but Long was still pretty impressive during a win over Racine Park. Playing in the main event of the Fresh Coast Classic, Long scored a game-high 19 points. One thing that stood out on Friday was Long’s shot selection. Normally a free spirit offensively, Long really reigned himself in and took quality looks while also passing up his good shots in order to get great ones. Against Park’s zone, Long shredded it in the second half, sparking an 18-0 run as the Purgolders put the hammer down. We’ll wait to see Long a few more times, but he’ll probably resume his spot as the state’s top class of 2019 prospect.
Sam Meleski – 2019 – G/F – New Berlin West
New Berlin West would just not go away and nearly pulled off a fantastic comeback win over Milwaukee Vincent. Meleski led the charge, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also made some plays defensively in the second half that sparked some easy transition buckets and recorded two steals. Coming into this game, the Vikings probably weren’t sure what they had. NBW lost a few key seniors from last season’s squad and their star Desmond Polk opted to transfer. However, Meleski and company gave a very strong first impression.
Matthew Schultz – 2020 – W/F – Greendale
Schultz wasn’t even on our radar heading into Friday, but came up with 24 points in a loss to Grafton. The junior forward hit some tough shots to help Greendale hang around. The Hawks relied heavily on Schultz’s shot making ability, which came from around the basket and from mid-range. Schultz was particularly effective with his back to the basket. Able to knock down contested, off-balance jumpers, Schultz definitely grabbed our attention in Milwaukee.
Ryan Waddell – 2019 – G – Homestead
Waddell certainly didn’t have any first game rust or jitters. The senior guard just came out and put it on Milwaukee Academy of Science in a blowout win. Waddell finished with a game-high 26 points, including 18 in the first half. A skilled and crafty guard that finds different ways to score, defenders never know what’s coming when Waddell has the basketball. Pushing towards a scholarship-level player, Waddell can probably play either guard spot. He may not look the part, but Waddell is a much better athlete than he’s given credit for and that showed against a fast MAS squad as Waddell was able to blow by people to the rim or shake defenders in the half court and create an open jumper. Waddell also dishes the ball very well. He makes the simple passes, but has some added flavor to shift the defense in the he way he wants to allow for cleaner looks for his teammates.
Shelton Williams-Dryden – 2020 – F – Milwaukee Bay View
Williams-Dryden had some dominant stretches in the paint on Friday. The junior forward had a huge game, scoring 24 points and adding a whopping 21 rebounds for a double-double. A long, athletic forward, Williams-Dryden pairs that with a high motor. He also had three steals and two blocks against Mukwonago, always looking to impact the game. Whether it was running the floor in transition, cleaning up the glass, generating second chance buckets, blocking/altering shots, Williams-Dryden was always looking for work.
- Milwaukee Washington 2021 F/C Michael Foster Jr. scored 17 points in a win over Racine Park. The 6-foot-9 sophomore looked very smooth shooting the basketball and also had some eye-popping rejections.
- Milwaukee King 2021 shooting guard Quinton Murrell appears to be a breakout candidate in 2018-19. Murrell finished with 16 points, including 12 in the second half after shaking off some early foul trouble.
- At the point, 2021 guard Bryson Clague had a nice morning distributing the basketball. Clague was credited with a handful of assists in the win over Greendale.
- Milwaukee Madison 2021 guard Brandon Leach Jr. had a solid showing. The sophomore scored 20 points against Shorewood. A lanky, shifty guard, Leach knocked down four triples in the win.
- Arrowhead 2020 forward Carter Gilmore had 19 points in a loss to Milwaukee King. The Generals trapped Gilmore at almost every opportunity, but Gilmore came on late with some tough finishes around the rim and drew a number of trips to the free throw line. Gilmore also delivered some excellent passes against the King zone.
- Racine Park 2019 forward Nobal Days appears to be taking steps in the right direction. Although he fouled out with just over seven minutes to play, the Tulane commit had some nice flashes, including a dunk on Foster and a couple swats around the rim. The 6-foot-9 senior is shooting the ball with much better touch as well.
- Racine Park 2019 guard Zyiere Carey was a bright spot on Friday. The senior came up with 19 points and helped keep the game interesting as the Panthers’ star guard Larry Canady didn’t have his best stuff.
- Milwaukee Academy of Science 2020 guard Kaleim Taylor scored 33 points in a loss to Homestead. However, Taylor did a lot of his damage late with the game out of hand.
- Homestead 2020 forward Declan Ciurlik complimented Waddell’s performance with 24 points. Ciurlik stretched the floor and buried some key 3-point shots. An undersized, but skilled forward, Ciurlik did an excellent job of exploiting some mismatches on Friday. Ciurlik doesn’t blow anybody way with his measurables, but just gets the game of basketball and makes his mark by being a high-IQ player that takes what the defense gives him and making the simple plays.
- He needs to not be so obsessed with scoring and find other ways to impact the game, but it’s hard to believe that Milwaukee Vincent beats New Berlin West on Friday without 2019 guard Robert Anderson. Anderson is a high volume scorer that’s allowed tremendous freedom offensively. The senior guard didn’t shoot well, but was relentless on that end of the floor and got the free throw line a ton, finishing with a game-high 23 points. A strong and fast guard, Anderson is always looking to push the pace. If teams can get him in the half court, Anderson is a strong isolation scorer that can create shots with ease.
Milwaukee Madison 76 Shorewood 38
Grafton 60 Greendale 39
Milwaukee Vincent 66 New Berlin West 63
Milwaukee King 86 Arrowhead 67
Milwaukee Bay View 79 Mukwonago 72
Homestead 94 Milwaukee Academy of Science 75
Milwaukee Washington 68 Racine Park 54