Prescott basketball: Record scoring night for Brookshaw, G-E-T's Wagner drops 51
Basketball fans were in for a treat on Saturday, Jan. 20 when Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau traveled to Prescott for two high-caliber basketball performances.
G-E-T's Lexi Wagner set high standards for the day by scoring 51 points against the Cardinals in her team's 75-52 victory, and Peter Brookshaw followed her performance in the second game of the day by scoring 48 points against G-E-T's boys team.
Brookshaw's 48 set Prescott High School's new single game scoring record, which was originally set at 46 by Prescott boys basketball assistant coach Pat Ptacek.
In the opening game, the Cardinals were within two early at 9-7, but a Wagner 8-0 run helped put the Cardinals away in the first half. Wagner was eager to shoot against the Cardinals and finished with 27 first-half points to lead her team to a 40-26 halftime lead.
The Red Hawks tried out a box-and-one defense against Prescott's Haylee Yaeger, and were able to hold the Cardinals' leading scorer to just five first-half points.
Bella Lenz and Allie Murphy both scored seven points in the first half and ended with 11 points each.
Yaeger continued to play aggressively in the paint, which brought her to the free-throw line more often in the second half than the first, but Yaeger's final 22 points were not enough to cover Wagner's 51.
Prescott managed to bring G-E-T's lead down to four points with 14 minutes left in the game after two Yaeger free throws and a Kaelyn Lewis three, but the Red Hawks answered back with Wagner's superior play and by shooting free throws for the last eight minutes of the game once Prescott committed its seventh foul.
Wagner made seven three's in her team's 75-52 win, and is now averaging 22.8 points per game in her junior season.
"Defensively, I thought we played pretty well," Prescott's head coach Ron Murphy said. "[Wagner] just made every look she got."
Murphy said he told his girls after their game that there are only four or five teams they'll lose to in the state if they continue to play the way they did against G-E-T.
"Our girls don't quit, even when things don't go our way," Murphy said. "We were down 17 at one time then cut it to four in the second half, so it just boils down to us gaining more experience and more confidence."
Scoring for the Cardinals: Yaeger 22; Lenz, Murphy 11; McKenzie Carey; Lewis 3; McKenna Johnson 1.
The Cardinals are currently working with a short lineup with Katie Miller and Katie Burmood out with injuries, but will have to fight their way through another tough week that begins on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at St. Croix Central. The Cardinals host Somerset on Friday, Jan. 26.
Brookshaw, Joe Roosen and Westy Bartsch had never beaten G-E-T in their high school careers. Last year, the Red Hawks were one of four teams to beat the 24-4 2016-17 Cardinals team, but the Prescott seniors got their revenge in the second game of Saturday's double-header.
The game began with a Parker Nielsen steal and layup that gave the Cardinals the first lead of the game, but G-E-T's Alex Pearson's three quickly turned the tables and set the tone for the overtime game that was to come.
The Red Hawks went on a 6-0 lrun to take a 9-2 lead, but then Brookshaw got active to score Prescott's next 17 points, to give his team a 19-16 edge. The Cardinals made a slight gain with a Brian Tayson to Nielsen basket, another Brookshaw three, another Nielsen basket, and Joe Roosen three, but G-E-T's Chris Thompson cut Prescott's lead to one with two minutes left in the half.
A Westy Bartsch free throw and a Thompson bucket set both teams at 30 going into halftime.
Brookshaw once again got things going for his team to begin the second half, and scored the first nine Prescott points after the break. The Red Hawks were unable to find an answer for Prescott's point guard, but picked up their own offense and refused to let the Cardinals pull away.
Although Brookshaw will go down in Prescott history for his Saturday, Jan. 20 performance, the record-breaking point guard could not have secured the Prescott win without his supporting cast. Dylan Rieken, Tayson and Nielsen all had crunch time points that helped Prescott recover from being down 57-53 at one point.
Bartsch, who was going up against players three or four inches taller than him, continued to dominate on the boards in the second half, which gave his team multiple second chances offensively. With 3:13 left to play, Bartsch finished an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Cardinals a 63-61 lead.
"Every game, [Bartsch] gives us his full effort," head coach Nick Johnson said. "He's so important; he fits our system so well. We can't ask for a better defender than what we have with Westy."
After two more lead changes, a Blake Thiesse basket tied things up at 67 with 1:07 to go in regulation. Both teams had one more shot at finishing the game, but were unable to convert and gave their large crowd four extra minutes of high-caliber basketball.
G-E-T won the tip but missed a three-pointer on their first possession of overtime, and Nielsen showed the Red Hawks how it was done by connecting from deep in front of his own team's bench. Another Brookshaw basket was matched by one from Scherr before G-E-T called a timeout with 1:43 left in overtime.
After the Red Hawks' huddle, Brookshaw was sent to the free-throw line where he shot a perfect 6-for-6. His last pair of FTs came with 2.2 seconds left on the clock, and gave his team a 78-74 victory and himself a placed in the Prescott record books.
"It was a good win," Brookshaw said after the game. "Us or G-E-T have won the section the last four years, so it was a big game, big win."
Despite his 48-point performance, Brookshaw was quick to compliment his teammates in his post-game interview with the Herald.
"We worked so hard on the glass, on defense, and we hit big shots," Brookshaw said. "Dylan Rieken, Joe Roosen, Brian [Tayson], Parker [Nielsen], Westy [Bartsch] ... everyone made big shots."
Brookshaw said it was "cool" to pass up his coach in the single game scoring record, but first and foremost said he was happier to just get the team win.
Brookshaw and his team celebrated their win over their rivals, but said they will move forward by playing every game like it's a sectional final game.
"We got pretty hyped after the win," Bartsch said, "but we saw some things that we need to work on tonight, and we're going to keep working hard and executing."
Johnson was grateful for the fans who came out to provide a section final atmosphere for his team's Saturday night game, and was all smiles when discussing the players' effort against their rivals.
"Petey is going to get a lot of credit for scoring 48 points as he should, but we had a lot of guys play really well," Johnson said. "We celebrated a lot right now, but we have to move on and get after it. But this will be a game that we look back on as a statement win for such a great program."
The Cardinals are now 12-1 on the season and will face New Richmond on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Scoring for the Cardinals: Brookshaw 48, Nielsen 12, Bartsch 6, Rieken 5, Tayson 4, Roosen 3.
Scoring for the Red Hawks: Thompson 23, Scherr 22, Thiesse 19, Pearson 6, Kriesel 4.