Thursday, March 7, 2013

State Hoops Preview

The games for two local teams don't start until tomorrow, but today begins the final journey for two of the best local teams in recent memory. Both Aquinas and Onalaska will end their seasons at the state tournament, and whether it's a gold ball, silver ball or no trophy at all, it's been a hell of a ride for both teams.

Here's a quick preview of each of the two teams' games tomorrow.

Aquinas vs. Little Chute

This has the potential of being one of the best games in the whole tournament. Aquinas is led by Wisconsin-bound senior point guard Bronson Koenig and Michael Conway, who will be walking on at Minnesota to play football. Little Chute is led by two UWGB-bound seniors in 6-8 Kenneth Lowe and 6-6 Turner Botz. The Blugolds have the size to combat the Mustangs with Conway and Parker Weber, but it's important that they stay out of foul trouble. Whether or not Little Chute has anyone to stop Koenig should be the deciding factor in the game. And remember - Aquinas has been here before. They were the 2011 Division 3 state champs.

Onalaska vs. Pulaski

Pulaski's best players are 6-5 senior Cody Wichmann and 6-0 junior Luke VanLanen. I can only assume the Hilltoppers will defend the two of them with their traditional zone defense, either in a 1-3-1 or 2-3 variety. Size doesn't scare Onalaska, as they dealt with plenty as they made their run through sectionals. Senior Matt Thomas should scare the Red Raiders thought. The Iowa State signee dropped 41 on Hortonville in a sectional final last year and had one of the most ruthlessly efficient games I've ever seen in the state final vs. Kaukauna a season ago. If the Hilltoppers play the way they are capable of, there's no reason they shouldn't be playing for the gold ball on Saturday afternoon.

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