New Richmond basketball faces "the next big thing"Rice Lake sophomore Henry Ellenson is being touted as one of the best basketball prospects to come out of western Wisconsin in decades.
Rice Lake sophomore Henry Ellenson is being touted as one of the best basketball prospects to come out of western Wisconsin in decades.
The New Richmond Tigers got to see Ellenson and the Warriors up close in a Saturday afternoon clash that resulted in Rice Lake notching a 64-46 win over the Tigers.
Ellenson has been linked to some of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the country and fans who saw Saturday’s game understand why. Ellenson is 6-9, muscular and he can shoot the lights out. He scored 24 points on Saturday, including nailing three three-pointers.
“He’s a pretty special player,” New Richmond coach Rick Montreal said. “He’s got such good fundamentals. He’s pretty versatile, pretty impressive.”
New Richmond played man defense most of the game, with senior Jake LaMirande drawing the assignment of guarding Ellenson. LaMirande is six inches shorter than Ellenson, but he made sure nothing came easy for the sophomore standout.
Tiger coach Rick Montreal said LaMirande was the logical choice to battle Ellenson.
“Jake has become the lean-on guy for us. He’s just so steady,” Montreal said.
Rice Lake started the game on fire, building up a 17-6 lead in the first five minutes of the game. The Tigers then settled down and made it a game until the final two minutes of the half. Rice Lake ended the half on a 10-2 run to lead 36-19 at halftime.
In the third quarter Rice Lake tore up the Tigers. The Tigers were outscored 23-5, leaving them with a 59-24 deficit.
Rice Lake then put its starters in to start the fourth quarter, so the Tigers did too. It turned out to be a rallying point for the Tigers. The Tigers outscored Rice Lake 22-5 in the fourth quarter, with most of the points being scored while both teams’ starters were on the court. Montreal said the fight shown by the Tigers gives him high hopes for the rest of the season.
“That was a real crossroads for the rest of the year. We can beat anybody, we just have a smaller margin for error,” he said.
When the Tigers were successful against Rice Lake, it was the result of quick, precise ball movement on offense. Senior Joe Deppe led the Tigers with 16 points and LaMirande produced nine points, but no other player scored more than four points.
Loss at Prescott
The Tigers carried a two-game win streak into Thursday’s contest at Prescott. The Cardinals’ gym has been a tough venue for the Tigers over the years and it was again, with Prescott beating the Tigers 45-42.
At the start of the game, it looked like the Tigers were going to dominate. They outscored Prescott 17-6 in the first quarter, getting eight points from Deppe and five from LaMirande.
By halftime, that lead was nearly gone. Prescott began getting the ball to Nick Jacobsen in the post and the Tigers struggled to defend him. The Tigers also had major problems stopping Prescott’s rebounding attack.
“The main issue was our lack of physicality, it really got exposed,” Montreal said.
Prescott’s willingness to get physical resulted in the Cards getting more than a dozen offensive rebounds. It also was reflected in free throws. Prescott shot 17 free throws in the game, compared to two for the Tigers.
The Tigers trailed throughout the second half, getting the final margin down to three points.
Deppe led the Tigers with 20 points and a season-high eight rebounds. Isaiah Hobbs paced the Tigers with a career-high seven assists. The Tigers committed just seven turnovers in a game where both teams were patient in their offensive sets.
The Tigers are hoping for better results in the second half of the Middle Border Conference season. That begins on Friday, when the Tigers host Ellsworth. The Tigers have a non-conference game slated for next Tuesday, playing at Hudson.