Cardinals, Brookshaw enter new level of play before playoffs
Scoring 120 points against a 17-4 high school basketball team is unheard of.
Unless you're the Prescott Cardinals.
The Cardinals (20-2, 14-0) soared to a 120-83 victory over their rival Ellsworth Panthers (17-4, 11-2) team on Monday, Feb. 19 in a game that few thought would end with a 37-point deficit. The Cardinals shot 30-47 from the field and 16-40 from three-point range in the game that set them apart from the rest of the Middle Border Conference.
The game looked as though it'd come down to the wire in the opening minutes when the top two MBC teams traded leads five times, but threes from Peter Brookshaw and Brian Tayson opened up the floodgates for Prescott's offense.
The Cardinals were faced with some adversity when Joe Roosen and Tayson were called for their second fouls with 11 minutes to go in the first half, but that's when Brookshaw entered into a level of play that no one else on the court could match.
A Jacob Doffing steal led to Brookshaw's ninth point of the night, and the Prescott senior knocked down his 12th point with a three-pointer before Ellsworth called its second timeout of the night midway through the first half.
The Panthers were able to draw seven fouls on the Cardinals with 8:41 remaining in the first half, but only got to the free-throw line once after they entered into the bonus. Drake Flom kept his Panthers team's offense alive, but his team became flustered and rushed its shot selection while trying to keep up with the uptempo Cardinals.
The first half came to a close with Tayson hitting his fourth three of the night and Brookshaw scoring the final five points of the half, which included a deep, buzzer-beater three, to give the Cardinals a 60-35 halftime lead. The Prescott senior surpassed his own single-game scoring record in the second half, and totaled up 53 points on 12-15 shooting from two-point range and 8-13 from behind the arc. Brookshaw also recorded seven rebounds and seven assists in his unreal performance.
Brookshaw had few words after the game to describe his record-breaking performance. "It felt awesome," Brookshaw said. "I just put my team in a position to win the game."
"Petey wows you," head coach Nick Johnson said. "He's an unbelievable player, and sometimes I just have to take a step back and watch what he can do on the basketball court."
"Petey had a lot of shots and he hit a lot of shots," Ellsworth's head coach Tim Dahl said. "Hopefully that won't happen when we see them again in two weeks."
Brookshaw is now averaging 30 points per game as Wisconsin's sixth-best scoring leader.
"We've got a really good point guard, and we've got really good players around him," Prescott's head coach Nick Johnson said after the game. "We have a lot of weapons right now, and that's the momentum we need to keep going as we head into the playoffs."
Sophomore Brian Tayson, who Brookshaw said "came up huge" finished as the Cardinals' second-leading scorer with 25 points, 15 of which came from behind the three-point line. Tayson's 25-point performance was his career high.
When asked if he'd want to see Ellsworth again in the playoffs after beating them by 37 points, Johnson said, "Everything changes come playoffs; there's no guarantees, and Ellsworth's got a really good team."
"[Prescott] is one of the best teams in the state and have been for the past five or six years," Dahl said. "We didn't take our time on the offensive end, and we didn't get back on transition defense too well."
Dahl said his team did do some good things, which included scoring 83 points and getting five players in double figures.
The Panthers were led in scoring by Drake Flom and Cole Woodland who both finished with 17 points. Woodland topped his previous scoring career high of nine points with his Monday night 17. Logan Benson finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Alex Motley put up 11 points before he fouled out in the second half, and Erik Lange added 10 points of his own.
"We just didn't do enough," Dahl said. "We've got to figure out a way to do a little bit more."
Ellsworth will wrap up its regular season on Thursday, Feb. 22 when they host Somerset. Both Ellsworth and Prescott will begin their playoff runs on Friday, March 2, and could potentially see one another again on Thursday, March 8 in the Division 3 Sectional 1 championship game.
"It's crazy," Brookshaw said of the playoffs. "There's nothing like it."
Scoring for the Cardinals: Brookshaw 53; Tayson 25; Parker Nielsen 14; Dylan Rieken 9; Roosen 6; Westy Bartsch, Mason Holte 4; Dylan Malmlov 3; Hunter Daymond 2.
Scoring for the Panthers: Flom, Woodland 17; Benson 13; Motley 11; Lange 10; Logan Richards 6; Mason Anderson 5; Logan Betthauser, Zach Nugent 2.