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Previewing the 2020 MN-WI Border Battle

By Mark Miller and Ryan James, 01/28/20, 10:30AM CST


The annual event is this Saturday, Feb. 1 at La Crosse Central HS and UW-La Crosse

Game Previews

Saturday, February 1, 2020
Tickets $10 for entire day (Sold at the door only)

Tickets will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. at La Crosse Central High School. Fans attending games at both Central and UW-La Crosse will receive a wristband that will be good for admission at both sites. Remaining tickets will be sold at UW-La Crosse starting at 5:30 p.m.

STREAMING: Available for some games on Zaleski Sports

10:00 A.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At La Crosse Central

Stratford Tigers
 Curt Schmidt, 20th year
Enrollment: 306
Top Players: Ben Barten (6-5, Sr., 16.7 ppg), Vaughn Breit (6-5, Sr., 7.8 ppg), Chandler Schmidt (6-2, Sr., 11.7 ppg), Teddy Redman (6-0, Sr., 11.1 ppg), Dawson Danen (6-3, Sr., 7.7 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 13-0 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Tigers compete in the highly competitive Southern Division of the Marawood Conference ... Barten has committed to playing football at the University of Wisconsin ... Breit is a four-year varsity performer for Stratford ... Barten, Breit and Schmidt are returning starters from a club that finished 24-1 a year ago ... The Tigers are ranked No. 2 among WIAA Division 4 schools in the Coaches Poll.
Coach's Comments: "Experience, size and skill are strengths. Quickness is our biggest concern."

Spring Grove Lions
Coach: Wade Grinde, 26th year
Enrollment: 161
Top Players: Caden Grinde (6-4, Jr., 15.4 ppg), John Koch (6-4, Jr., 8.9 ppg), Caleb Nurstad (6-1, Sr., 8.6 ppg), Payton Leahy (5-8, Sr., 8.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 7-9 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: The Lions made the Class A state tournament last season with a 25-5 record.  The 2019-20 season is off to an 8-8 start as they are replacing four starters and two key players from the bench.  Spring Grove started the year solid but had a stretch of five losses in six games.  Six-foot-4 junior guard Caden Grinde leads the team with 15.4 points a game and 6-foot-4 junior teammate John Koch is helping up front. 


11:30 A.M. Game (Updated 1/23/2020)
At La Crosse Central

Brookfield Academy Blue Knights
 Pat Clarey, 10th year
Enrollment: 314
Top Players: Aidan Clarey (6-2, Sr., 24.1 ppg), Max Kunnert (6-3, Jr., 19.1 ppg), Logan Landers (6-10, Jr., 18.1 ppg), Alex Leech (6-6, Sr., 8.5 ppg), Peytan Clarey (6-2, Soph., 4.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 11-4 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Blue Knights compete in the Midwest Classic Conference ... Aidan Clarey, the son of the head coach, has signed with NCAA Division II Rockhurst ... Leech, Landers and Kunnert also are very good collegiate prospects ... Brookfield Academy went 20-6 a year ago and is ranked No. 4 among WIAA Division 4 schools in the Coaches Poll.
Coach's Comments: "Our strengths include staying awake during film sessions, taking turns at the drinking fountain and being on time for team meals. Accepting roles is our biggest challenge."

Lake City Tigers
Coach: Greg Berge, 14th year
Enrollment: 361
Top Players: Nathan Heise (6-5, Sr., 29.3 ppg), Reid Gastner (6-4, Sr., 15.6 ppg.), Jake Wohlers (6-3, Sr., 10.2 ppg), Justin Wohlers (6-5, Soph., 9.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 14-1 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Lake City is one of the top contenders for the Class AA title and they are led by Nathan Heise, a top 300 ranked player nationally who signed with Northern Iowa.  Heise has the Tigers at 14-1 on the year and second in the state with wins over Minneapolis North, Rochester Mayo, Osseo, and St. Charles.  Heise is scoring 30 points a game averaging a double double while Minnesota State-Moorhead signed Reid Gastner is averaging 15 points and eight boards a game. Add in the regular contributions of Jake and Justin Wohlers and we have one of the top teams in the state.


1:15 P.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At La Crosse Central

Eau Claire North Huskies
 Todd Marks, 5th year
Enrollment: 1,426
Top Players: Dalton Banks (6-2, Sr., 21.6 ppg), Ashton Kallstrom (6-0, Sr., 20.1 ppg), Chad Kron (6-0, Jr., 13.9 ppg), Luke Warren (6-2, Sr., 7.5 ppg), Henry Wilkinson (6-4, Soph., 3.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 9-2 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Huskies compete in the Big Rivers Conference ... Banks is a four-year varsity performer who signed with NCAA Division I Southern Illinois last November ... Kallstrom and Kron join Banks in the Huskies' potent backcourt ... Banks, Kallstrom and Kron are returning starters from a club that finished 14-9 last season ... The Huskies are ranked No. 7 among WIAA Division 1 schools in the Coaches Poll.
Coach's Comments: "Guard play, basketball IQ and perimeter shooting are assets. Physicality, lack of size and rebounding are concerns."

Rochester Mayo Spartans
Coach: Luke Madsen, 3rd year
Top Players: Gabe Madsen (6-5, Sr., 29.9 ppg), Mason Madsen (6-3, Sr., 19.9 ppg), Michael Sharp (6-2, Jr., 10.2 ppg), Andre Crockett (6-0, Jr., 7.0 ppg), Mo Hammadelniel (6-2, Jr., 6.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 10-4 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Mayo Spartan stars Gabe Madsen and Mason Madsen are in their third year of playing basketball in Minnesota but the Madsens are originally from Bloomer, Wisconsin.  Gabe and Mason are both signed with Cincinnati as nationally ranked guards.  The Spartans are 10-4 on the season and one of the top contenders in Section 1AAAA to make the state tournament.    Mason scores 30 points a game, Mason averages 20 points while junior Michael Sharp is the third option at 11 a game.


2:45 P.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At La Crosse Central

Kaukauna Ghosts
 Mike Schalow, 25th year
Enrollment: 1,165
Top Players: Logan Jedwabny (6-2, Sr., 16.4 ppg), Jacob Newhouse (6-6, Sr., 15.5 ppg), Keaton Ferris (6-0, Sr., 11.5 ppg), Chris Morgan (6-1, Soph., 10.9 ppg), Gabe Hammen (6-2, Jr., 5.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 7-7 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Ghosts compete in the Fox Valley Association ... Jedwabny, Newhouse and Ferris are receiving recruiting attention from several NCAA Division II programs ... Jedwabny and Ferris are four-year varsity performers for the Ghosts ... Schalow is closing in on 500 career coaching victories as he entered the 2019-20 season with 484 career triumphs.
Coach's Comments: "Team speed, confidence and free-throw shooting are strengths. Rebounding and half-court defense are question marks."

Mahtomedi Zephyrs
Coach: Keith Newman, 14th year
Top Players: Brody Fox (6-3, Sr., 17.3 ppg), Cal Greene (6-6, Jr., 13.8 ppg), Cole Chapman (6-10, Sr., 11.5 ppg), Luke Ricker (6-5, Sr., 10.3 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 6-8 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Despite the Zephyrs losing Class AAA All State talent J’Vonne Hadley to transfer they have played like a solid team.  A four game losing streak has set the team back to 6-8 because of some injuries but Mahtomedi will likely come into the Border Battle as a .500 team.  Senior wing Brody Fox leads the team with 17 points a contest while Cal Greene is the top prospect averaging 14 and 8.  Six-foot-10 senior center Cole Chapman scores a dozen a contest.


4:15 P.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At La Crosse Central

Milwaukee Washington Purgolders
 Fred Riley, 8th year
Enrollment: 747
Top Players: Tre Valeriano (5-11, Jr., 16.3 ppg), Koriayon McKay (5-9, Jr., 12.3 ppg), Shamar Hollins (5-10, Jr., 9.7 ppg), Marquise Gray (5-9, Jr., 8.8 ppg), Nicholas Spain (6-3, Jr., 6.1 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 4-9 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Purgolders compete in the Milwaukee City Conference ... Coach Fred Riley has guided Washington to the WIAA State Tournament in each of the past three seasons ... Valerinao, McKay and Hollins form one of the top backcourt trios in the Milwaukee City Conference ... Former Washington standout, Michael Foster Jr., is a 6-foot-10 junior center playing this season at Hillcrest Prep School in Arizona.
Coach's Comments: "Quickness, speed, guard play and toughness are strengths. Post depth and injuries are question marks."

Austin Packers
Coach: Kris Fadness
Top Players: Teyghan Hovland (6-3, Jr., 13.2 ppg), Agwa Nywesh (6-3, Sr., 13.4 ppg), Ogur Gari (6-4, Sr., 9.4 ppg), Okey Okey (6-2, Jr., 8.2 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 13-3 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Austin is one of the top Class AAA programs in the state of Minnesota having made the state tournament six of the last eight seasons.  Austin is currently 13-3 on the year ranked 8th led by top 20 level senior Agwa Nywesh.  Austin’s top win this year is over Lakeville North, the Class AAAA runner-up a year ago.   Nywesh and junior Teyghan Hovalnd lead the team in most statistical categories while Ogur Gari and Okey Okey have stepped up with big contributions after playing JV a season ago. 


6:15 P.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At UW-La Crosse

La Crosse Central Red Raiders
 Todd Fergot, 16th year
Enrollment: 1,120
Top Players: Johnny Davis (6-5, Sr., 28.2 ppg), Terrance Thompson (6-7, Sr., 14.7 ppg), Jordan Davis (6-4, Sr., 13.1 ppg), Charlie Masewicz (6-6, Sr., 9.4 ppg), Devon Fielding (6-0, Soph., 7.5 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 9-3 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Red Raiders compete in the Mississippi Valley Conference ... Johnny Davis and Jordan Davis signed letters of intent to play college basketball at the University of Wisconsin ... Thompson also has several offers from NCAA Division I programs, but has not signed with a program yet ... Fielding is one of a handful of talented sophomores in the La Crosse Central program ... The Red Raiders are ranked among the top teams in the state at the WIAA Division 2 level.
Coach's Comments: "Size, length, depth, talent and experience are all strengths. Perimeter shooting is our top concern."

Minnehaha Academy Redhawks
Coach: Lance Johnson, 16th year
Top Players: Jalen Suggs (6-5, Sr., 22.9 ppg), Chet Holmgren (7-0, Jr., 17.0 ppg), Prince Aligbe (6-6, Soph., 11.0 ppg), Donovan Smith (5-8, Soph., 10.6 ppg), Isaiah Davis (6-3, Jr., 6.7 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 11-2 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Minnehaha Academy is 11-2 on the year and the top ranked team in Class AAA basketball.  The squad includes 5-star Gonzaga committed senior Jalen Suggs, 5-star big man Chet Holmgren who is ranked second in the nation, and top 40 sophomore Prince Aligbe.  The team also has Big Ten signed football players Kaden Johnson (Wisconsin) and Terry Lockett (Michigan State) plus D1 offered players Chase Carter, Herci Miller, Donovan Smith, and Isaiah Davis.  The Redhawks recently sold out the Target Center for a game with Sierra Canyon (California).


7:45 P.M. Game (Updated 1/26/2020)
At UW-La Crosse

Onalaska Hilltoppers
 Craig Kowal, 12th year
Enrollment: 929
Top Players: Tyrell Stuttley (6-5, Sr., 14.8 ppg), Carsen Arenz (6-5, Sr., 13.2 ppg), Sam Kick (6-2, Jr., 11.0 ppg), Dakota Mannel (6-0, Sr., 7.4 ppg), Gavin McGrath (6-11, Jr., 6.6 ppg), Victor Desmond (6-6, Jr., 6.6 ppg), Evan Gamoke (5-9, Jr., 5.3 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 13-1 (Through Jan. 26)
Notes: The Hilltoppers compete in the Mississippi Valley Conference ... Stuttley signed with NCAA Division II Minnesota State Mankato while Arenz is receiving strong interest from a number of Division II programs ... McGrath, Kick and Desmond rank among the top juniors in the state ... Stuttley and Arenz each earned first-team all-league honors as juniors ... The Hilltoppers are ranked No. 1 among WIAA Division 2 schools in the Coaches Poll. 
Coach's Comments: "Experience and balance are our primary strengths. Vocal leadership is a question mark."

Lakeville North Panthers
Coach: John Oxton, 34th year
Top Players: Will Blascziek (6-4, Jr., 13.8 ppg), Josh Kamara (6-0, Sr., 12.2 ppg), Noah Frechette (6-5, Sr., 8.9 ppg), Carter Patterson (6-1, Sr., 7.2 ppg), Nelson Koshiol (6-0, Sr., 7.2 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 9-6 (Through games of Jan. 26)
Notes: Coach John Oxton has led the Panthers to the state tournament the past eight seasons and they are currently working on a ninth straight top.  North lost all five starters from a second place team in state a year ago but a pair of returning guards – Carter Patterson and Josh Kamara – have led the team to a 9-6 record.  Kamara is the team’s second leading scorer at a dozen a game while junior Will Blascziek is the top point producer at 14 a game.

Minnesota Players to Watch


  • Prince Aligbe of Minnehaha Academy (6-6, Soph., 11.0 ppg)
  • Chase Carter of Minnehaha Acadmey (6’6, Soph)
  • Nathan Heise of Lake City (6-5, Sr., 29.3 ppg)– signed with Northern Iowa
  • Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy (7-0, Jr., 17.0 ppg)
  • Gabe Madsen of Rochester Mayo (6-5, Sr., 29.9 ppg) – signed with Cincinnati
  • Mason Madsen of Rochester Mayo (6-3, Sr., 19.9 ppg) – signed with Cincinnati
  • Herci Miller of Minnehaha Academy (6’3, JR)
  • Agwa Nywesh of Austin (6-3, Sr., 13.4 ppg)
  • Donovan Smith of Minnehaha Academy (5-8, Soph., 10.6 ppg)
  • Jalen Suggs of Minnehaha Academy (6-5, Sr., 22.9 ppg) – committed to Gonzaga


  • Reid Gastner of Lake City (6-4, Sr., 15.6 ppg.)– signed with Minnesota State-Moorhead
  • Cal Greene of Mahtomedi (6-6, Jr., 13.8 ppg)


  • Will Blascziek of Lakeville North (6-4, Jr., 13.8 ppg)
  • Cole Chapman of Mahtomedi (6-10, Sr., 11.5 ppg)
  • Isaiah Davis of Minnehaha Academy (6-3, Jr., 6.7 ppg)
  • Brody Fox of Mahtomedi (6-3, Sr., 17.3 ppg)
  • Caden Grinde of Spring Grove (6-4, Jr., 15.4 ppg),
  • Teyghan Hovland of Austin (6-3, Jr., 13.2 ppg)
  • Josh Kamara of Lakeville North (6-0, Sr., 12.2 ppg)
  • Justin Wohlers of Lake City (6-5, Soph., 9.8 ppg).


  • Andre Crockett of Rochester Mayo (6-0, Jr., 7.0 ppg)
  • Moses Idris of Austin (6’4, Sr)
  • John Koch of Spring Grove (6-4, Jr., 8.9 ppg)
  • Okey Okey of Austin (6-2, Jr., 8.2 ppg).
  • Carter Patterson of Lakeville North (6-1, Sr., 7.2 ppg)
  • Riek Riek of Rochester Mayo (6’8, Sr)
  • Michael Sharp of Rochester Mayo (6-2, Jr., 10.2 ppg)
  • Jake Wohlers of Lake City (6-3, Sr., 10.2 ppg),

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