SPASH boys return to State Tournament this weekend
The top-ranked Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH)
boys basketball team will look to win its second consecutive State Title at the
WIAA Division 1 State Tournament at the Kohl Center
in Madison this
The top-seeded Panthers (26-0) continued their dominating
run this season at Sectionals, as they beat fourth-seeded Superior (21-4) 68-28
in the Sectional Semifinals at Wausau West Thursday, March 11, and then won
86-49 over second-seeded Appleton West (19-7) in the Sectional Final at
Marshfield Saturday, March 13, to advance to state for the second year in a
SPASH is scheduled to open at the State Tournament against
fourth-ranked Sheboygan North (24-2) in a WIAA Division 1 State Semifinal at Friday, March 19, with the
winner to play either fifth-ranked Milwaukee Marquette (23-3) or seventh-ranked
in the WIAA Division 1 State Championship Game at Saturday, March 20.
“It feels just as good as last year,” said SPASH senior
point guard Trev Anderson. “We’ve worked so hard for this, and we have a lot of
“And that’s always just an awesome feeling, to be going back
down to Madison,”
“It’s so special to be going to Madison, but what’s kind of neat this year is
we’re in school,” said SPASH boys basketball head coach Scott Anderson. “Last
year we were on Spring Break during this week, so the guys didn’t get to be
around their friends and around the school and the buzz at SPASH and in the
community about us going to state, so that makes it a little bit more special.
“I know there are a lot of people excited about it, we had a
great crowd last weekend up in Wausau
and we had a tremendous crowd in Marshfield,”
he said. “And I think they’re going to travel for us again this weekend, so
it’s a great time.”
After beating 16th-seeded Appleton North 72-36 in the
Regional Semifinals March 4 and eighth-seeded Chippewa Falls
105-57 in the Regional Final at home March 5, the Panthers took on Superior in the Sectional
Semifinals Thursday night.
SPASH, which beat Superior
52-31 in the Sectional Final at Wausau West last year, led 12-4 with 10 minutes
left in the first half Thursday night, and went into halftime up 25-8.
“We were crowding ourselves a little bit,” said coach
Anderson. “And with their deliberate style, they were playing a little bit
slower, and there weren’t a ton of possessions, so I didn’t think we caught a
rhythm until maybe toward the end of the first half.
“And then we played really well on both ends in the second
half,” he said.
The Panthers went on a 23-6 run to start the second half and
open up a 48-14 lead with eight minutes left and went on to win 68-28, as Trev
Anderson had 18 points, senior forward Sam Hauser finished with 14 points and
seven rebounds, and sophomore forward Joey Hauser had 13 points and seven
With a berth at state on the line, SPASH took on Appleton
West in the Sectional Final in Marshfield
West, which used a last-second layup to beat third-seeded
Oshkosh North (19-6) 58-56 in the Sectional Semifinals Thursday, managed to
take a 5-3 lead just over three minutes into the game Saturday afternoon
against the Panthers.
However, SPASH answered with a 23-4 run to build a 26-9 lead
with six minutes to go in the first half, as sophomore guard Drew Blair and
Trev Anderson each had a pair of three-pointers during that stretch.
Blair added two more three-pointers and finished with 14
points in the first half, while senior forward Evan Mallek scored on a layup
just before the buzzer, as the Panthers went into halftime with a 41-18 lead.
“It was a tight game, and I knew I needed to create a spark
off the bench,” said Blair. “I was feeling good in warm-ups, pretty confident
coming in, and caught a rhythm.”
“Drew was outstanding offensively, and I thought he played
some good defense too,” said coach Anderson. “But he can really shoot it, and
we were able to find him and credit him, he knocked them down, and those were
some big shots to give us some separation.”
SPASH opened the second half with a 14-3 run to build a
55-21 lead with 13:48 remaining and rolled the rest of the way to an 86-49 win
to advance to state for the second year in a row.
“It’s unreal,” said Sam Hauser. “It’s pretty much
“Going back, finishing out senior year at Madison, there’s nothing better,” he said.
“The support we get from the community is awesome, and it’s just great to be a
“I’m so excited for all of us, as a family, as a team,” said
Blair. “We’ve worked hard every practice, and we really thought we deserved it.
“We just came out and played our hardest tonight,” he said.
Trev Anderson finished with 23 points, Sam Hauser had 18
points, Blair was 7-of-8 from the field and finished with 17 points, and Joey
Hauser added 11 points in the Sectional Final win.
“We know they’re big, obviously they’re starting 6-7, 6-6
and 6-5, and we knew they were going to bang it around inside,” Trev Anderson
said of Appleton West. “Joey and Sam did a heck of a job battling (6-7 senior
center Jack Flynn), that kid averages 18 points a game, and I think they made
him earn every single one he got.
“Every shot was contested, every dribble they had the clamps
on him, so they did a heck of a job,” he said. “And not just them; but the
“Our goal from the get-go was to take this season, and not
try to do it again, but just make this season be on its own,” said coach
Anderson. “Every kid and every coach dreams to be down on that floor (in Madison), and we’re
getting to do it again.
“So I’m very thankful, and I think our guys are too, but
they’ve earned it as well,” he said. “They’ve worked for this and they’ve just
been an outstanding team, and we want to continue it for one more week.”
The Panthers will play in the State Semifinals Friday
against Sheboygan North, which won 72-64 against Bay Port (19-7) in the
Sectional Final last Saturday, after Bay Port beat sixth-ranked and last
season’s State Runner-up Germantown (20-5) 73-63 in the Sectional Semifinals.
Sheboygan North is led this season by 6-4 senior
guard/forward and NCAA Division II Hillsdale recruit Davis Larson (20.5 points,
8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.9 steals per game, 39.5 percent on three-pointers,
10th-ranked player in state in WisSports.net Class of 2016 rankings), 6-3
junior guard Zach Hasenstein (13.4 points, 3.6 assists), 6-8 senior center Sam
Kaminski (12.1 points, 8.5 rebounds), 6-3 senior forward Julian Jones (7.5
points) and 6-0 junior guard Ethan Cinealis (7.3 points).
“Their program has been outstanding for years now,” said
coach Anderson. “(Head) coach (Tom) Desotell is an outstanding coach, they’ve
got some nice guards that can shoot it, they’ve got some size and they’ve got a
great wing player in Davis Larson.
“They’re going to be a great challenge for us,” he said.
“But we’re looking forward to it.”
The winner will take on either fifth-ranked Milwaukee
Marquette or seventh-ranked Muskego
in the Division 1 State Championship Game at Saturday.
Marquette beat second-ranked Milwaukee Riverside (22-4) in
the Sectional Final Saturday, and is led this season by 6-3 senior guard Job
Alexander (13.9 points, 3.4 assists), 6-3 senior guard Jack Dwyer (11 points,
36.5 percent on three-pointers), 6-4 senior forward Nolan Wright (9.3 points,
4.9 rebounds), 6-5 junior forward Ryan Coffey (9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds) and
6-7 senior forward Lane Von Rueden (7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds).
lost to SPASH 81-56 at the Sentry Classic at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse Dec.
28, and advanced to state as the fourth seed in its Sectional with a 69-67 win
over seventh-seeded Madison West (15-11) in the Sectional Final.
Muskego is led by 6-1 senior point guard Caleb Wagner (22.3
points, 4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 24th-ranked player in state in WisSports.net
Class of 2016 rankings), 6-4 senior guard Tommy Anderson (15.4 points, 40.7 percent
on three-pointers), 6-3 senior forward Matty Farmer (14 points, 11.3 rebounds),
6-4 freshman forward Stu Vent (5.3 points) and 6-5 senior forward Erik Henkel
(1 point, 2.6 rebounds).
“(That was) Muskego
from earlier in the year, but I haven’t looked at them recently,” said coach
Anderson. “I also saw Marquette
when we were down in Milwaukee South, they were playing (Milwaukee) King right after we played Riverside, and they were
very good too.
“But you know there are good teams there,” he said. “When
you get to that level and that place, they’re all good.”
Meanwhile, SPASH has outscored its opponents by 34.1 points
per game this season (83.4 to 49.3) and carries a 35-game winning streak into
the State Tournament.
The Panthers are led by 6-2 senior point guard and NCAA
Division 1 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) recruit Trev Anderson (24.9
points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, state-best 53.2 percent on three-pointers,
No. 2-ranked player in state in WisSports.net Class of 2016 rankings); 6-6
senior forward and NCAA Division 1 Marquette University recruit Sam Hauser
(18.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.2 blocks, 43.6 percent on
three-pointers, No. 1-ranked player in state in WisSports.net Class of 2016
rankings); 6-7 sophomore forward Joey Hauser (17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1
assists, 40.5 percent on three-pointers, No. 1-ranked player in state in
WisSports.net Class of 2018 rankings); 5-11 senior guard Jamison Kryshak (4.6
points, 2.7 assists); and 6-0 senior guard Ted Kearney (1.6 points, 2.4
rebounds, 3.2 assists).
“I’ve been really pleased and happy with our guys,” said
coach Anderson. “I thought we had another gear to get, and I feel like we kind
of have hit another gear here in the playoffs.
“We’ve just got to continue to do that, and we have to
understand what has been good to us, and that’s that we play so hard and that
we play great defense, we share it on offense, and we’ve got good shooters,” he
said. “And if they stay with the formula, we’ll have a great chance at having
success again next weekend.”
The Panthers moved up to No. 6 in the nation this week in
the Max Preps Xcellent 25 National Rankings, while Trev Anderson was selected
as the state’s top senior shooter and Sam Hauser was selected as the state’s
top senior wing as part of the Wisconsin Sports Network Senior Boys Basketball
This weekend, SPASH will look to close out an unbeaten
season with a State Title, and become the 10th team in the history of the
state’s top division to win consecutive State Championships, joining Beloit
(1932-34), Superior Central (1935-36), Shawano (1956-57), Milwaukee Lincoln
(1961-1962) and (1966-67), Milwaukee Vincent (1996-1998) and (2000-01),
Milwaukee King (2003-04) and Germantown (2012-14).
“But we’ve got to take it one day at a time,” he said. “Have
a good week of practice, and then come ready for our next game.”
“We’re not done yet,” said Trev Anderson. “We want that
second one, but we’re not going to overlook Sheboygan North on Friday.
“We can’t overlook them, because any team’s capable at this
point, and they’re a great squad,” he said. “We’ve just got to come out
battling, and hopefully get the job done.”