Another challenge awaits Prescott boys' hoops in tournamentTaking on and overcoming challenges is how Prescott High School boys’ basketball team has played this postseason.
Taking on and overcoming challenges is how Prescott High School boys’ basketball team has played this postseason.
“We weren’t scared to playing against defending state champions with one of the best players in the country (La Crosse Aquinas with Bronson Koenig),” PHS head coach Nick Johnson said. “We weren’t scared to take on Westby with all their three-point shooters in their gym hundreds of miles away from home and we certainly aren’t going to back down against Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau.”
A good thing because if they did they would have no chance of beating the No. 2 ranked team in the state in Division 3 this evening in Osseo at Osseo-Fairchild High School in WIAA River Falls Sectional semifinal game. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
On paper the Red Hawks certainly are imposing. They are 23-1 overall, their only loss coming to one of the best teams in the state in Division 2, Onalaska. G-E-T has an imposing frontline of 6-9 junior center Chandler Lamke, 6-5 senior Chris Johnson and 6-4 guard senior Riley Bembenek. They also have another 6-3 guard in junior Marcus Wynn. Bembenek leads the Red Hawks in scoring averaging over 20 points per game and junior 6-2 guard Tim Wagner averages 14 per game. And Johnson 13 points per game. Bembenek and Johnson both lead the team in rebounds as well.
The Red Hawks like play a 1-3-1 or 2-3 zone trapping defense with great pressure put on the ballhandlers. How Prescott deals with this will big factor in determining the outcome according to Johnson.
“We had a tough time handling the pressure against Aquinas and even Westby initially because they use the same defenses,” Johnson said. “But eventually we did. Our kids are mature enough to learn and adapt to different defenses. Against Westby we did this and forced them out of their 1-3-1 because we were able to get open three-point shots and lay-ups we were able to make. That’s what we have to do tonight. If don’t give up the ball, then we’ll be in very good shape.”
The winner of this game will play either fellow Middle Border Conference school Somerset, 16-8 overall, or Maple Northwestern, 10-12 overall, who are playing this evening in Rice Lake. The sectional final will be played at River Falls High School at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hastings radio station KDWA AM 1460 will be carrying the game both on the air and on their website with livestream audio at www.kdwa.com