Tigers head into playoffs

The boys basketball season has been a very interesting season to say the least. There have been some tough losses: West Salem, 50-67 or Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 55-74. There’s been some close calls like the first game of the season in Wisconsin Dells, 55-59, or the game against La Crescent, 73-70. There have also been some substantial wins for the Tigers like the 61-35 win against Melrose-Mindoro.

From sophomore starting point guard Jack Roou, we have seen a lot coming out of each game. Standing 5’11”, Roou is averaging around 19 points per game (18.8). He scored the most points (26) against La Crescent, Viroqua and Fall Creek. Though Roou almost scored 50% of the 53 points in the game, the Tigers fell to Viroqua on January 3. So far this season, Roou has scored 339 points according to Wissports.

Junior starting shooting forward Matt LaFaunge has also seen show his impressive skills both defensively and offensively. LaFaunge is currently averaging 10.3 points per game. Though he isn’t a frequent shooter, you can count on LaFaunge to be on defense when needed. His three-pointers are rare; however, they do show up when the team needs it the most. It sometimes has you thinking ,“Where did that come from?” He scored the most points against Sparta, complementing Roou’s 22 points with his 20 to score 42 out of the 58 points that game. LaFaunge has scored 207 points this season so far; however, it would be interesting to see how many points he has prevented.

Senior starting small forward Brian “Junior” Gulbronson surprised everyone after he showed many that hard work and determination can sometimes overpower experience. Standing 6’ 3”, Gulbronson is averaging  12.1 points per game. He scored 29 points, being the most points scored in a single game, against La Crescent.  So far this season Gulbronson has scored 229 points.

Senior starting center Ryan Hansen started the season as just another player, but as the season progressed we quickly saw him evolve into a player that uses Blake Griffin’s dunks and amazing defensive skills. It’s no surprise that he can dunk since he stands at a towering 6’ 9”. He frequently has the ball, but always makes clean and strong passes for Gulbronson, LaFaunge or Roou to put up for some points.

Senior starting power forward Joel Kinder, like Hansen, has evolved throughout the season, but one thing that hasn’t gone unnoticed is his defensive skills. Like Hansen, he rarely has the actual ball, but that doesn’t mean he isn’ta huge part of the team. Thanks to his defensive skills, Roou, Gulbronson and LaFaunge can do what they need to do to score points.

Though 6’3” junior Eli Parker isn’t a starter on basketball, he is always interesting to watch when he goes out on the court. You will frequently hear the crowd cheering his name when he gets off of the bench. You can hear them even more when he makes an impressive block and takes a rebound. This isn’t a rare occurrence and as the season has progressed, Parker is seeing more playing time. That means that other teams are seeing their dreams crushed when he steps out on the court.

So far this season has been a mix of ups and downs. After breaking the four-game losing streak, some games lost by only two points, the Tigers should see some more victories in the future. These wins will be mandatory for the season to progress any further. The Tigers are in action tonight as they take on Arcadia, an opponent who they have just recently beaten.