Some observations from the 15th annual Rick Majerus Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout, held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Buuck Fieldhouse on the campus of Concordia University in Mequon:
Five Individual Standouts
Hayden Doyle, 6-1, Jr., G, Brookfield East
The work ethic Doyle brings to the court on both sides of the court is always something to appreciate as he plays each possession at 110 percent. His all-out play helped Brookfield East to a pair of extremely hard-earned victories at the WBY Shootout as the Spartans improved to 6-1 under Joe Rux with a 58-57 triumph over Eau Claire Memorial and a 62-60 overtime win over Wisconsin Lutheran. One of the better defenders in the state regardless of class, Doyle excelled on that end of the court while also providing the Spartans with plenty of offensive punch. He scored 15 points in the win over Eau Claire Memorial and had 25 points, making all 10 of his free-throw attempts, in the victory over Wisconsin Lutheran. Doyle is averaging 21.3 ppg on the campaign to lead Brookfield East.
Carter Gilmore, 6-7, Sr., G/F, Arrowhead
With his team trailing 46-31 at intermission and looking overwhelmed by the Kimberly Papermakers of the Fox Valley Association, Gilmore decided to take things into his own hands. The preferred walkon for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball program had a rather pedestrian eight points in the first half. But in the second half, he was nothing short of dominant. He scored 24 points in the second 16 minutes and overtime, and was virtually unstoppable on his spin moves to the basket. He either scored, dished to an open teammate or put in a rebound basket as the Warhawks rallied for a memorable 78-76 victory. Gilmore, a serious candidate for the Mr. Basketball award, finished the contest with 32 points, 11 points, 9 assists, 5 blocks and 3 steals in one of the more memorable individual performances in the 350-game history of the WBY Shootout.
Brock Heffner, 6-7, Jr., F, Grafton
Heffner is proving to be one of the fastest risers in the state's class of 2021. He is healthy and playing at a very high level for coach Damon James and the Black Hawks. At the WBY Shootout, the athletic, versatile and productive Heffner scored 29 points and snared 9 rebounds to help Grafton rally past Kaukauna, 75-68. He then netted 26 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and had 4 assists in a 74-69 victory over Waukesha West. Heffner's ability to play facing the basket and in the post are assets for Grafton, which improved to 6-2 with the two triumphs.
Jacob Ognacevic, 6-8, Sr., F, Sheboygan Lutheran
Perhaps the most dominant player in the state to date in the 2019-20 season, Ognacevic turned in two stellar performances for Sheboygan Lutheran in victories over Lake Country Lutheran and Edgerton. The Valparaiso recruit looked like he might break the WBY Shootout record for most points in a game after scoring 30 points in the first half against Lake Country Lutheran. He "settled" for 45 points in a 93-74 victory, five shy of tying the mark of 50 points set by Cuba City's Evan Richard in 2008. Ognacevic also hauled down 18 rebounds and had 3 blocked shots in the contest. In the Crusaders' come-from-behind 70-69 win over Edgerton, Ognacevic finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds. On the season, Ognacevic averaged 35.7 points and 16.2 rebounds to lead the state in both categories. He is shooting 70 percent from the field, 87 percent from the foul line and 66 percent from three-point range.
Tyrell Stuttley, 6-5, Sr., F, Onalaska
The Minnesota State Mankato recruit was outstanding while helping a very balanced and deep Onalaska squad to wins over Kaukauna and Oshkosh West, both members of the highly regarded Fox Valley Association. Stuttley went for 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and several impressive dunks in a 75-57 win over Kaukauna. He then netted 14 points and had 4 rebounds in a 64-44 win over Oshkosh West. Stuttley, a physical defender with size and length to go along with the ability to score in the paint and from mid range, leads Onalaska in both scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg).
Five Emerging Prospects
Tre Burris, 6-1, Jr., G, Martin Luther
After helping the Martin Luther JV team to a 20-2 record a year ago, Burris is emerging as one of the better juniors in the rugged Metro Classic Conference. The athletic, long and aggressive combination guard played well for coach Paul Wollersheim and the Spartans, who defeated Catholic Memorial and lost a close game to Milwaukee Academy of Science at the WBY Shootout. Burris is beginning to assert himself on the offensive end of the court as he scored 18 points and had 6 assists in the 75-72 loss to Milwaukee Academy Science. He also contributed 7 points and 4 assists in the 83-64 win over Catholic Memorial.
Jeremiah Dotson, 6-7, Jr., F, Brown Deer
The mobility, athleticism and activity of Dotson were impressive in the Falcons' two contests at the WBY Shootout. Like many big players, Dotson is working hard on improving his skills, but his overall production in the post was impressive for first-year coach Jose Winston. Dotson had 10 points in a 58-55 win over Mineral Point and added 9 points in the loss to River Falls. He is averaging 13.8 ppg for the Falcons this season.
Zac Johnson, 6-3, Jr., WG, River Falls
The left-handed Johnson was clutch for the Wildcats in their hard-earned 80-76 victory over Xavier. He made several key three-point shots late in the contest and scored a game-high 31 points. Johnson went 8-for-14 from deep in the win over Xavier. A day later, Johnson scored 15 points and drilled 3 triples in a 49-38 win over Brown Deer. Johnson's ability to shoot from deep, his physical strength and his highly competitive nature figure to appeal to college recruiters who will watch him closely over the next six months.
Max Kunnert, 6-3, Jr., G, Brookfield Academy
Known as a freshman and sophomore for his ability to defend and make perimeter shots, Kunnert showed at the WBY Shootout that he can also run a team from the point-guard position. Kunnert's ability to break down defenses and either score or pass to his teammates was evident in the Blue Knights' win over Mineral Point and loss to Cuba City. The son of former UW-Oshkosh great Ric Kunnert, Max Kunnert remains a terrific three-point shooter, but he now has added the ability to create off the dribble. His size, length and desire also make him a terrific defender. Kunnert is averaging 20.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists for coach Pat Clarey and the Blue Knights.
Jack Misky, 6-5, Jr., F, Cuba City
The improvement Misky has shown over the past two seasons is nothing short of outstanding. He has emerged as a dependable scorer, rebounder and defender for coach Jerry Petitgoue and the Cubans, who scored an impressive 100-82 triumph over Brookfield Academy. While guards Brady Olson, Jackson Noll and Brayden Dailey often do more of the scoring for this very, very good Cuba City team, Misky is proving to be a capable scorer in his own right. He finished with 17 points in the win while also successfully battling Brookfield Academy's Logan Landers (6-9) and Alex Leach (6-6) in the paint. Misky can score in the paint, but he's also very good off the dribble and an improved shooter as well. His willingness to play physical in the lane is a big asset for a Cuba City ranked No. 1 among WIAA Division 4 schools in the state.
Five Class of 2022 and 2023 Prospects To Remember
Joah Filardo, 6-1, Soph., G, Mineral Point
A confident young player who made shots and competed at a high level for coach Dan Burreson and the Pointers. He had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists in a narrow loss to Brown Deer, and contributed 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in a setback to Brookfield Academy. Filardo made 7-of-19 shots from outside the arc in the two games for Mineral Point. With senior Isaac Lindsey coming off an injury and playing in just three games to date for the Pointers, Filardo has taken over the scoring lead for the team at 18.4 ppg.
Jackson Paveletzke, 6-1, Soph., G, Kimberly
Impressive. To say the least. Paveletzke was simply outstanding for Kimberly at the WBY Shootout. His skill, poise, basketball IQ and overall impact on the game were off the charts for such a young player. He finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in a 79-57 win over Waukesha West, and added 20 points and 3 assists in the 78-76 overtime loss to Arrowhead. Paveletzke made an incredible 12 of 19 shots from three-point range in the two contests for coach Lucky Wurtz. He is averaging 14.2 ppg and teams with senior Jake Buchanan (6-0) to form one of the state's more dynamic backcourt duos.
Charlie Pfefferle, 5-10, Soph., PG, Xavier
There is a lot of zip to Pfefferle's game as he and junior Ray Zuleger do an excellent job of pushing the ball in transition and finding open teammates. Pfefferle had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the 80-76 loss to River Falls, and followed up that showing with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists in an 80-70 loss to Catholic Memorial. The one drawback to Pfefferle's strong showing at Concordia University was his free-throw shooting as he connected on just 8-of-17 attempts from the foul line. Still, his quickness in the open court and aggressiveness in getting to the paint are key attributes for the high-octane Xavier offense.
Casey Verhagen, 6-0, Soph., PG, Sheboygan Lutheran
The relentless nature Verhagen competes with on both ends of the court is contagious for the Crusaders, who improved to 8-1 under Casey's father, coach Nick Verhagen, with wins over Lake Country Lutheran and Edgerton. Verhagen had 18 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists in the 93-74 win over Lake Country Lutheran, and then added 11 points, 3 rebounds and 12 assists in the 70-69 win over Edgerton. In the closing seconds against Edgerton, Verhagen used his quickness and speed to move the ball into the paint, and he then passed out to junior Jonah Jurss, who hit a three-point shot with just under three seconds left to help Sheboygan Lutheran grab its lone lead of the game.
Prentice Young, 6-3, Frosh., G, Wisconsin Lutheran
One of three class of 2023 prospects on the varsity squad at Wisconsin Lutheran, Young is a mature player who understands the game and can make big-time plays off the dribble. His combination of strength and skill were evident for the Vikings, who lost in overtime to Brookfield East before rebounding with a convincing win over Milwaukee Marquette. Young averaged 10.0 ppg in the two games and is contributing 11.2 ppg on the season for the Vikings, who are 4-2 under coach Ryan Walz. Teaming with classmates Joshua Knueppel (6-0) and Landon Key (6-3) over the next three years, Young should help Wisconsin Lutheran rank among the elite teams in the Woodland Conference in the near future.
Others who played well ...
Carson Arenz, 6-5, Sr., Onalaska
Grant Asman, 6-9, Jr., Kimberly
Travis Bentley, 5-11, Sr., Pewaukee
JD Bohaty, 6-3, Sr., McDonell Central
Caden Boser, 6-7, Sr., Eau Claire Memorial
Jake Buchanan, 6-0, Sr., Kimberly
John Bunks, 6-4, Sr., Appleton Xavier
Micah Causey, 5-8, Soph.., St. Thomas More
Aidan Clarey, 6-2, Sr., Brookfield Academy
Brayden Dailey, 6-6, Jr., Cuba City
JT Dougherty, 6-9, Jr., River Falls
Tyrese England, 6-1, Sr., Wisconsin Lutheran
Payton Flood, 6-5, Sr., River Falls
Aiden Flynn, 6-5, Sr., Milwaukee Marquette
Caleb Fuller, 6-3, Sr., Oshkosh West
David Gray, 6-1, Sr., Madison La Follette
Derek Gray, 6-0, Sr., Madison La Follette
Justin Greenlee, 6-0, Sr., Brown Deer
Luke Haertle, 6-3, Soph., Lake Country Lutheran
Darius Hannah, 6-9, Sr., Milwaukee Academy of Science
Zech Hans, 6-2, Sr., Lake Country Lutheran
Alex Huibregtse, 6-4, Sr., Grafton
Sam Hytinen, 6-4, Jr., Arrowhead
Joey Immekus, 6-2, Sr., Martin Luther
Armani Jones, 5-8, Soph., Brown Deer
David Joplin, 6-7, Jr., Brookfield Central
Jonah Jurss, 6-1, Jr., Sheboygan Lutheran
Sam Kick, 6-2, Jr., Onalaska
Eion Kressin, 6-5, Sr., McDonell Central
Logan Landers, 6-9, Jr., Brookfield Academy
Isaac Lindsey, 6-5, Sr., Mineral Point
Dakota Mannel, 6-0, Sr., Onalaska
Sam McGath, 6-2, Sr., Brookfield East
Donald McHenry, 6-0, Jr., Milwaukee Academy of Science
Chas Miles, 6-3, Sr., Catholic Central
Carson Nell, 6-2, Sr., Winnebago Lutheran
Jacob Newhouse, 6-6, Sr., Kaukauna
Jackson Noll, 5-11, Sr., Cuba City
Brady Olson, 6-0, Sr., Cuba City
Jacquez Overstreet, 6-3, Jr., Oshkosh West
Cam Palesse, 6-5, Jr., Waukesha West
Logan Pearson, 6-3, Sr., Kimberly
Michael Poker, 6-0, Sr., Brookfield East
Ben Probst, 6-1, Sr., Madison La Follette
Brandon Pum, 5-11, Sr., Catholic Central
Jonah Rindfleisch, 6-6, Jr., Wisconsin Lutheran
Ryan Scholfield, 5-10, Sr., Martin Luther
Donovan Schwartz, 5-10, Sr., Winnebago Lutheran
Mekhi Shaw, 5-8, Soph., Eau Claire Memorial
Riley Simonz, 6-3, Jr., Milwaukee Marquette
Peter Skogman, 6-5, Jr., Waukesha West
Nick Spang, 6-8, Sr., Edgerton
Isaiah Stewart, 6-0, Sr., Madison La Follette
Tyrell Stuttley, 6-5, Sr., Onalaska
Chrys Stringfellow, 6-3, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Kaliem Taylor, 6-3, Sr., Milwaukee Academy of Science
Karter Thomas, 6-0, Sr., Oshkosh West
Tyler Tsui, 5-6, Jr., Grafton
Bennett Wright, 6-1, Sr., Catholic Central
Trey Zastrow, 6-0, Sr., Manitowoc Lutheran
Sam Ziebell, 6-2, Jr., Waukesha West
Rick Majerus MVP Plaques
The Majerus Family Foundation purchased Most Valuable Player plaques for each of the 27 games played at the WBY Shootout. The following players were selected as game MVPs:
Game 1: Catholic Central 68, Heritage Christian 30. MVP: Chas Miles, Catholic Central, 12 points
Game 2: Martin Luther 83, Catholic Memorial 64. MVP: Ryan Scholfield, Martin Luther, 16 points
Game 3: Sheboygan Lutheran 93, Lake Country Lutheran 74. MVP: Jacob Ognacevic, Sheboygan Lutheran, 45 points
Game 4: Winnebago Lutheran 86, Manitowoc Lutheran 70. MVP: Donovan Schwartz, Winnebago Lutheran, 33 points
Game 5: Grafton 74, Kaukauna 69. MVP: Brock Heffner, Grafton, 26 points
Game 6: Brookfield Academy 68, Mineral Point 55. MVP: Max Kunnert, Brookfield Academy, 18 points
Game 7: Arrowhead 78, Kimberly 76, OT. MVP: Carter Gilmore, Arrowhead, 32 points
Game 8: Brookfield East 62, Wisconsin Lutheran 60, OT. MVP: Hayden Doule, Brookfield East, 25 points
Game 9: Milwaukee Marquette 67, Pewaukee 46. MVP: Riley Simonz, Milwaukee Marquette, 14 points
Game 10: Catholic Central 53, McDonell Cathlolic 47. MVP: Brandon Pum, Catholic Central, 13 points
Game 11: Lake Country Lutheran 88, St. Thomas More 38. MVP: Luke Haertle, Lake Country Lutheran, 27 points
Game 12: Milwaukee Academy of Science 75, Martin Luther 72. MVP: Kaleim Taylor, Milwaukee Academy of Science, 29 points
Game 13: Cuba City 100, Brookfield Academy 82. MVP: Brady Olson, Cuba City, 26 points
Game 14: River Falls 80, Xavier 76. MVP: Zac Johnson, River Falls, 31 points
Game 15: Brown Deer 59, Mineral Point 55. MVP: Armani Jones, Brown Deer, 21 points
Game 16: Onalaska 75, Kaukauna 57. MVP: Tyrell Stuttley, Onalaska, 27 points
Game 17: Kimberly 79, Waukesha West 57. MVP: Jake Buchanan, Kimberly, 19 points
Game 18: Oshkosh West 77, Eau Claire Memorial 71. MVP: Karter Thomas, Oshkosh West, 32 points
Game 19: Sheboygan Lutheran 70, Edgerton 69. MVP: Jonah Jurss, Sheboygan Lutheran, 22 points
Game 20: McDonell Catholic 55, St. Thomas More 32. MVP: JD Bohaty, McDonell Catholic, 18 points
Game 21: River Falls 49, Brown Deer 38. MVP: Payton Flood, River Falls 12 points
Game 22: Catholic Memorial 80, Xavier 70. MVP: Chrys Stringfellow, Catholic Memorial, 14 points
Game 23: Brookfield East 58, Eau Claire Memorial 57. MVP: Sam McGath, Brookfield East, 22 points
Game 24: Onalaska 64, Oshkosh West 44. MVP: Dakota Mannel, Onalaska, 13 points
Game 25: Madison La Follette 69, Brookfield East 52. MVP: Isaiah Stewart, Madison La Follette, 21 points
Game 26: Wisconsin Lutheran 96, Milwaukee Marquette 77. MVP: Tyrese England, Wisconsin Lutheran, 19 points
Game 27: Grafton 75, Waukesha West 68. MVP: Alex Huibregste, Grafton, 31 points
State Championship Outlook
Over the past eight seasons, 2 of 40 eventual WIAA state champions competed in December at the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout.
This time around, the best bets for potentially winning a state championship at the Kohl Center in Madison come March include Arrowhead, Brookfield Central, Kimberly and Madison La Follete in Division 1; Grafton, Onalaska, River Falls and Wisconsin Lutheran in Division 2; Brookfield Academy, Cuba City, Milwaukee Academy of Science and Winnebago Lutheran in Division 4; Catholic Central and Sheboygan Lutheran in Division 5.
Scholarship Award Winners
Congratulations to the following 7 senior student-athletes who were awarded scholarships from the Majerus Family Foundation at the 15th annual Rick Majerus WBY Shootout:
Simon Attenberger, Brookfield East
Aiden Flynn, Milwaukee Marquette
Justin Greenlee, Brown Deer
Joey Immekus, Martin Luther
Ryan Krizenesky, Kimberly
Noah Reindl, St. Thomas More
Sam Troudt, Oshkosh West
Final Thoughts ...
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for providing Majerus WBY Shootout T-shirts and game programs to all participating players and workers.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the scholarship program that awarded $5,000 scholarships to seven student-athletes from participating schools.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the Rick Majerus MVP plaques for each of the contests.
* Thanks to the athletic administration and men’s basketball program at Concordia University in Mequon for again providing outstanding facilities and support for the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout. Special thanks to Concordia head coach Shawn Cassidy and assistant coach Dan Mueller for all their help.
* Thanks to the athletic department, administration, parents and basketball coaches at St. Thomas More High School for serving as the host school for the WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to all the workers and volunteers from St. Thomas More who annually help to make the WBY Shootout one of the premier events in the state.
* Thanks to the fans who attended the WBY Shootout and again supported the greatest game in the country – high school basketball.
* Thanks to the players, coaches, fans and parents of all 32 participating teams.
* Thanks to all my family members who continue to give up their time to help run the event.
* Thanks to Aurora Sports Health for providing training services throughout the 27 games.
* Thanks to the outstanding officials who worked the games at the WBY Shootout. The three-man crews once again did an outstanding job.
* Thanks to our announcers -- Kent Korth and Jim Ganzer -- along with the clock operators and official scorers -- Joe Kershasky, Vince Sciano, Mike Goodwin, Deb Dublinski, Steve Kotze and Dan Grusczynski.
* Thanks to Sarah Hill for designing the game program, and thanks to Jim Ganzer for designing the T-shirts for the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to WSSP (1250-AM) and sports insider Mike McGivern for providing media support throughout the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Next year's dates -- December 28-29-30 at Concordia.