Middle Border Conference boys basketball team packed with quality
With Prescott headed back to another WIAA state tournament, there's no arguing the strength of the boys basketball played in the Middle Border Conference.
Prescott had four players named to the 2018 All-MBC team. St. Croix Central and Ellsworth both had three players chosen for the team. New Richmond had two players picked for the team and Somerset had one player make the team.
St. Croix Central
Central gave Prescott one of its toughest games of the season in the WIAA Division 3 regional final, losing 59-56. The Panthers had three players selected for this year's All-MBC team. Junior Peyton Nogal was a first team selection, senior Collin Nelson was a second team selection, and junior Will Soderberg was an honorable mention selection.
Nogal ranked fifth in the conference in scoring (16.5 ppg) and third in rebounds (8.4 per game). Nogal was able to score at this clip despite receiving heavy defensive pressure on a nightly basis from opponents. Nogal has the athleticism to create shots on his own. He became a much more polished defender this season. He has a chance to reach the 1,000-point milestone as a senior.
Nelson was the floor general for the Panthers. He ranked fourth in the conference in assists, dishing out 4.2 per game. His smarts showed in all areas of the game. He ranked second on the team in rebounds and his defensive skill earned him the assignment of shutting down the opponent's top perimeter threat each game.
Soderberg ranked second on the Panthers in scoring, averaging 8.8 points per game. Tall, lean and athletic, Soderberg can play anywhere on the court, of offense or defense. He was one of the team's top perimeter scoring threats, but he was also fully capable of making a power move to finish at the rim.
Sophomore Joey Kidder and senior Blake Getschel became the key ingredients in the Tigers' second half resurgence this season. Kidder was chosen for the All-MBC second team and Getschel was an honorable mention selection. The Tigers found an identity in the second half of the season built around defense and a team-first offensive structure and Kidder and Getschel led that success.
Kidder emerged as one of the most versatile players in the conference. He led the Tigers in scoring (10.4 ppg), rebounding (7.5 per game) and assists (4.6 per game). He was also one of the team's top defenders, frustrating a number of top scorers from around the conference.
Getschel was the only senior who saw extensive time for the Tigers. He took the leadership role to heart. He ranked second on the team in scoring, rebounds and assists and he became the leader of the team's interior defense.
The Spartans made a big step forward this season in being competitive with most of the teams in the MBC this season. A main reason for that was the immense progress made by sophomore Ty Madden. Madden became a second team All-MBC selection this season.
The biggest need for the Spartans is at the offensive end of the court and Madden filled that need. He averaged nearly 15 points a game. He proved he can score from anywhere on the offensive half of the court. As teams pushed more defensive attention his way in the second half of the season, he continued to knock down shots from beyond the arc. Teams that crowded him too much around the perimeter saw that he is also fully capable of making skilled drives to the rim.