After one close half of basketball, Rice Lake pulled away from Dominican and never looked back on their way to a 56-42 victory in the WBY Shootout at Concordia University.
In the first quarter, things were pretty even as Rice Lake were in the lead by one point over Dominican, 13-12. The storyline going into the game was Diamond Stone vs. Henry Ellenson, but the important plays in the quarter were made by each player's supporting cast with Stone scoring four and Ellenson scoring six in the first quarter.
The game remained even through the second quarter as Rice Lake held only a five point lead, 25-20, going into the second half. At the half, Ellenson edged Stone in scoring, 11-6.
The storyline before the game was Henry Ellenson vs. Diamond Stone, but the real story of the game was between the two teams and Rice Lake proved why they were the better team in the third quarter. Just two minutes into the third quarter, Rice Lake had three three point baskets from three different players and stretched their lead out to 14 points with a 36-22 lead.
Dominican started thr fourth quarter down by 19 points and attempted to mount a comeback. With 5:18 left, Dominican was able to cut it the deficit all the way down to nine following three baskets from Diamond Stone, but were unable to get any closer after that and lost 56-42.
All the attention was obviously on Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson, but Rice Lake’s junior point guard Ben Widdes really did a nice job running the show for Rice Lake. He did a great job handling pressure and dictating tempo for Rice Lake.
Rice Lake senior guard Brandyn Christman is a nice shooter for Rice Lake. He hit a few big threes and used his shot fake to make plays.
6’5” Trapper Ward took Stone for a small portions of the game to give Ellenson a break on defense and he did a really great job defensively. He did a good job using his strength to slow down Stone until help came from the backside.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that many people may think Henry Ellenson is the lone reason why Rice Lake is a highly rated Division II team, but they would be wrong. This is a truly impressive TEAM and will likely do some damage come tournament time.
Dominican looks significantly different than they did last year. With Duane Wilson on the squad last year, Stone posted up constantly, but was playing second fiddle to Wilson. This season, Dominican makes a concerted effort to look inside to Stone every single possession.
Stone is just a load down low. He does a good job getting post position and has soft touch around the basket. He is a monster on the glass and blocking shots. I was just as impressed with him this season as I was last season.
Dominican’s junior guard Tywon Bressler Jr. does a really nice job getting to the rack and using his quickness and the attention given to Stone to exploit defenders and get easy baskets.
This is the second year in a row I’ve came away impressed by Jack Jelacic from Dominican at the WBY Shootout. The 6’7” senior does it all for Dominican including tough rebounding, blocking shots, and showing off a little range.
Though Stone (6’10”) and Ellenson (6’9”) are both tall, Stone is definitely a post player and Ellenson is definitely a wing.
This was my first time seeing Ellenson and I came away impressed. He has a nice handle for a player his size and does a good job creating off the dribble. Though he struggled from the field tonight, he does have a good looking stroke and he can get that shot off against just about anyone.
Stone fouled out with 1:43 remaining.
Stone finished with 21 points and Ellenson ended with 17.
Both teams will be in action again tomorrow. Rice Lake takes on Neenah at 3 p.m. while Dominican will face off against Catholic Memorial at 4:30 p.m.