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Thursday, March 9, 2017

PHS boys' hoopsters in sectional tournament with familiar foes

Familiarity won’t breed contempt in the approach of the Prescott High School Boys Basketball Team in regards to the field of teams in the WIAA Division 3 Menomonie Sectional Tournament this weekend.

Prescott, Maple Northwestern and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau have been in three or in some cases four or five of the past sectional tournaments since 2012. All three squads will be back again for this season’s tournament, all No. 1 or No. 2 seed and all with 20 or more wins.

“It’s important in a tournament that you know well who you are up against,” PHS head coach Nick Johnson said. “You always want to be one step ahead at this time of year and knowing your opponents well gives us that advantage.”

They will be joined by newcomer Mauston, a five seed with 17-7 overall record which upset Bloomer in the regional finals last weekend.

The Golden Eagles, who finished third in the South Central Conference, have three players scoring in double figures led by 6-2 senior point guard Tarren Hall, 17.7 points per game while teammates Joe and John Bauer both average 10 points per contest.  Joe is six foot sophomore guard while John Bauer is a 6-4 senior guard as well.

The rest of the tourney field will look very familiar to Prescott coaches, players and fans starting with Thursday’s semifinal match-up with Northwestern at River Falls High School. The Tigers were tri-champs of Heart O’North Conference this season and have same big three leading them as they did when they were sophomores: 6-2 guard Riley Stowers, 6-4 forward Tanner Klobuchar and big 6-5 center Alex Tecker.  Stowers averages nearly 18 points per game while Klobuchar is at 14.6 ppg. and Tecker at 13.3 ppg.

Prescott has won their last two games against the Tigers, both in the sectional semifinals. However, G-E-T has had the Cardinals’ number both in the regular season and in the playoffs with three straight wins. This year’s Red Hawk squad, the defending sectional champions and Coulee Conference champs, are led by familiar faces to Cardinal fans: 6-4 junior guard Chris Thompson, averaging nearly 20 ppg., 6-0 junior guard Tyler Scherr who averages 16.8 ppg. Another junior who is a top scorer for the Red Hawks is 6-2 guard David Kvistad who averages 10 ppg. While G-E-T is junior dominated, their tournament experience paid off handsomely against Altoona in the regional final. Trailing 36-22 at halftime, the Hawks rallied in the second half to win 63-60 led by Thompson’s 21 points.

Against Prescott during the regular season, G-E-T led by 14 points at halftime but had to hold on for a 72-70 win led by Thompson’s 26 points and 20 from Blake Thiesse, a 6-3 junior guard.

Here's a link to the tournament bracket:

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