Many high school basketball standouts in Wisconsin go on to big things at the college level and in the pros, and this is our spot to recognize those athletes each week and help you keep up with what is going down on some of your favorite players from the past. If you have alumni news, please send it to Colton Wilson by 6 p.m. on Mondays.
2019 is here! With the holidays over the past week, the alumni round-up took a one week hiatus as many colleges around the nation didn’t schedule games to conflict with the Christmas holiday and finals week for the student athletes. This week’s round-up will cover the two previous weeks worth of action.
James Batemon has been a potent offensive threat all season for Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference. Over the holiday season, the Milwaukee Riverside grad had a game to remember. James tied a career high with 30 points in a 70-69 win over Boise State. He scored the two most important points as he took an inbounds the length of the court and put in a game-winning layup with only one second remaining on the clock.
The WIAC was loaded with big performances from in-state athletes over the past two weeks.
To begin, Ben Boots, formerly of Kimberly, had 31 points as UW-Oshkosh beat St. Norbert College 79-68. Adam Fravert (Marshfield), Jack Flynn (Appleton West), and Brett Wittchow (Laconia) all scored in double digits for the Titans. Joe Ciracks (East Troy) and Connor Curtis (Green Bay Preble) combined for 37 points for St. Norbert.
UW-Stevens Point was another team that got multiple contributions from many alumni in multiple games. Nate Dodge of East Troy had a game high 25 points in Point’s 76-57 win over Cal Lutheran. Ethan Bublitz (Kettle Moraine Lutheran), Canon O’Heron (Bangor), and Drew Frederickson (Mount Horeb) all scored in double figures. Dodge then had 31 points, while O’Heron and Frederickson added over 10 in a 76-70 win over Illinois Wesleyan.
In more WIAC play, UW-Stout got a combined 46 points and 15 rebounds from Jon Ciriacks (East Troy) and Luke Geiger (Burlington) in an 85-76 win over Northland College.
Finally, UW-Whitewater was led to three victories behind great play from a plethora of in-state recruits. Malik Clements (Madison West) and Derek Rongstad (Middleton) poured in over 25 points a piece as Whitewater beat Loras College 114-104. Melvin Brown Jr. (Milwaukee Vincent) and Mitchell Pfeifer (Kettle Moraine) added over 10 points each as well. Clements and Rongstad then scored in double figures again as the Warhawks beat Sul Ross State 79-59. Finally, Brown had 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Clements and Pfeiffer added double-digit scoring outputs, to propel Whitewater to a 96-81 win over Concordia (Texas).
River Valley High School alum Brandon Gilbeck has been a defensive force in the paint for Western Illinois this season. He currently leads the Summit League in blocks per game by swatting an average of 3.7. In an 81-52 win over Chicago State, Gilbeck had 12 points, 14 rebounds, and blocked 6 shots.
Drake University won the Las Vegas Classic this past week behind a pair of in-state recruits. Brady Ellingson had a season high 25 points on 8 of 11 shooting in Drake’s 110-103 victory over San Diego. He hit a game-tying three point shot at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. Teammate Nick McGlynn (Stoughton) added 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Brandon Myer has put together quite the season this year for Minnesota Duluth. In a 75-60 win over St. Cloud State, the Superior High School grad had 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead his team to victory.
Former Oshkosh North standout Quincy Anderson has seen his playing time increase at Minnesota State-Mankato and is making the most of the opportunity. In an 116-72 win over North Central, Anderson had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Another 2018 recruit put up a season high for the Kentucky Wildcats in their 71-58 win over Louisville. Tyler Hero of Whitnall had a season high 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting to lead the Wildcats to a win over their long time rival. Hero was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.
In a matchup between MSOE and Lakeland which saw MSOE come out victorious 96-84, many former Wisconsin high school athletes contributed for each team. Jason Palesse (West Allis Hale) had 24 points and 7 assists for MSOE while Matthew Kirmse (Port Washington) added 20 points and 8 rebounds. Jake Gebert (D.C. Everest) and Michael Pitrof (Pius XI) both added double digit scoring outputs. Jequan Pegeese (Beloit Memorial), Zach Hasenstein (Sheboygan North), and Eric Nygaard (Plymouth) all scored in double figures for Lakeland.
In other NACC play, Collin Kennedy continued to have a hot hand for Wisconsin Lutheran despite a 65-55 loss to Lawrence University. The Luther High School grad had 25 points and 8 rebounds while teammate Andrew Bruggink (Brookfield Central) had 15 points and 5 assists. Kennedy then had 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 77-70 win over Madison Edgewood College. Bruggink added 21, while Caleb Goldstein (Fond du Lac) had 13. Jake Negus (Janesville Craig), Emil Radisevic (Brookfield Central), and Sy Staver (Mineral Point) all added double digit point outings for Edgewood.
Shareef Smith poured in a season high 20 points in Eastern Illinois’ 81-70 win over North Alabama. Smith, a Madison Memorial graduate, added 6 assists in the game.