MILWAUKEE – One of the highlight events in the state of Wisconsin, the 2017 Fresh Coast Classic returned on Friday from the Klotsche Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A number of the top teams in the Milwaukee area competed in some high-level matchups. The nightcap featured Brown Deer against Milwaukee Washington. In a game that lived up to the hype, the Falcons came away with a thrilling victory thanks to the clutch play of Jay Gentry…

Patrick Baldwin Jr. – 2021 – SG – Sussex Hamilton
At some point, there’s going to be nobody in the state of Wisconsin who can stop Baldwin. Based on how gifted and skilled Baldwin already is after his first varsity game, that day is likely coming sooner rather than later. Already 6-foot-8, Baldwin can already pretty much generate any shot he wants on the floor. Baldwin can catch and shoot off screens, isolate his man on the perimeter, or play with his back to the basket on the block and in the high post. When left open, his 3-point stroke is sweet and automatic. Baldwin will face up, see what the defense gives him, and take it. Milwaukee Hamilton tried to defend him with smaller, quick guards, but Baldwin showed advanced ability to still put the ball on the deck and operate in tight driving windows. Upperclassmen often tried to rattle the diaper dandy, but Baldwin never took the bait, shaking off physical defense away from the ball and continuing to pour in buckets. Baldwin finished with a game-high 23 points in a win. 

Carlos Curtis – 2018 – G – Milwaukee Riverside
Curtis did his best to try and get Riverside a win versus Arrowhead. Forced into taking a number of difficult shots, Curtis shot a respectable percentage from the floor, but didn’t have enough gas in the tank to tough out a victory. The East Tennessee State commit dropped a game-high 24 points. Earlier in his career, opponents could live with letting Curtis take outside shots. That’s no longer the case. Curtis has mastered the step-back jumper and hit a couple from the corner with defenders draped all over him. A relentless attacker, Curtis kept Riverside close down the stretch with some tough finishes around the rim. As always, Curtis also created a lot of havoc defensively and competed on glass, racking up hustle plays. 

John Diener – 2018 – SG – Cedarburg
Cedarburg lost quite a bit from last season and Diener now essentially has the green light for 36 minutes. A team that’s going to rely heavily on him to score at a high level, that’s exactly what Diener did on Friday. The DePaul commit scored 23 of Cedarburg’s first 27 points and finished with 30. Diener had the mid-range game working, simply sizing up his man, creating a little bit of space, and letting it fly. Once he got into a zone, Diener was just coming down the floor and almost chucking. Diener’s persistence and mental toughness is very impressive. He gets hounded for 36 minutes and doesn’t let one bad possession – whether it’s a turnover or miss – carry over to the next. He did eventually run out of steam as Wauwatosa West came away with an 11-point victory, but it would have been a much different game without Diener’s hot hand. 

Michael Foster – 2021 – F – Milwaukee Washington
A highly regarded talent with tremendous upside, Foster was sensational in flashes on Friday.  He played less than 20 minutes but in that time he managed to deliver 13 points 13 rebounds 4 blocks and a handful of assists.  Part of a stellar 2021 class that includes the Baldwin (see above), Foster is the real deal and he’s just getting started.

Jay Gentry – 2018 – PG – Brown Deer
Gentry was big time down the stretch for Brown Deer, who pulled off a dramatic win over Milwaukee Washington. The Falcons trailed by as many as 10 late in the game and Gentry willed his team back. Gentry scored seven-straight points down the stretch, including the game-winning free throws with .8 seconds left in a 97-96 victory. Gentry dropped 36 points against a team that will be competing for a state title. A player that always shows up and seems to play his best against the best, Gentry was unstoppable for long stretches of the game. He hit tough shot after tough shot from the outside and finished some tough, contested drives at the rim, using his strong frame to absorb contact and power the ball home. 

Allen Johnson – 2019 – G – Wauwatosa West
Johnson had 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists for Tosa West in their win over Cedarburg. Johnson was 7-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. The 6-foot guard was terrific in transition, keeping defenders on their toes, slicing through the defense, and getting all the way to the cup. Defensively, he seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. Figuring out opponents’ tendencies, Johnson clamed down on the perimeter and helped Tosa West pull away late. 

Deontay Long – 2019 – SF – Milwaukee Washington
Long appears to have had a really good off-season. You can see it in his body, which he’s slimmed down, but also added some good muscle. That translated to some eye-popping explosiveness against Brown Deer. Long flew up and down the court and finished some poster dunks against contact. His outside shot is also much quicker as Long has fine-tuned his release. More of a catch-and-shoot wing earlier in his career, Long has the ability to shake people on the perimeter and hit off-balance jumpers. The one thing that hasn’t changed? Long is still a scoring machine. He dropped 33 points against Brown Deer and did so by scoring all over the floor and in a variety of ways. While he’ll put up some huge numbers this season, Long doesn’t get enough credit for his unselfishness. He draws some much attention as a scorer that it opens up the floor for his teammates. Long surveys the floor about as well as you can ask of a high volume scorer and is good for 4-5 assists per game on most nights. 

Desmond Polk – 2020 – G – New Berlin West
A definite high major potential prospect, Polk had a very solid opening effort, stuffing the state sheet with 18 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks. Polk impacted the game in a variety of ways, scoring, assisting, and most of all, defensively. Polk got things going right from the opening tip, recording back-to-back steals followed by consecutive dunks on the other end. His length allows him to play the ball very well and he can pick his man’s pocket from a good distance away. A player that gets it done defensively, Polk would often switch to the hot player and shut them down. On offense, Polk can take flight. He threw down while taking off well away from the rim and nearly finished off some more dunks in traffic. Polk also knocked down a triple, but his bread and butter is slashing to the rim and getting to the foul line. Polk can play on and off the ball, but is probably more suited for the point guard position at this point in his career. When it was time to take over, Polk put New Berlin West in front with some pretty drives and dishes. The 6-foot-3 sophomore has a big upside because he has so much to improve upon still – in a good way. A plus-length guard with intangibles and a high IQ, Polk has the mental part of the game down. If he adds a consistent perimeter game, quicker feet defensively, and can learn to play lower to the ground/speed up his ball handling…watch out.

Brandun Robinson – 2018 – F – Milwaukee Golda Meir
The overall impact of Robinson was outstanding in Friday’s loss to New Berlin West. A high motor player that gives his team everything he has, Robinson’s effort and tenacity was unmatched. While he did most of the dirty work, it was Robinson’s heroics that sent the game into overtime. The 6-foot-4 senior hit a prayer from 3-point range to send the game into overtime. Robinson racked up blocks, rebounds, and offensive put backs prior to his game-tying triple. The engine of Milwaukee Golda Meir, Robinson was terrific as a tone setter. He finished with a team-high 25 points and a handful of rebounds and blocks in the loss. 

Tyler Torosian – 2018 – F – New Berlin West
In a performance nobody saw coming, Torosian exploded for 44 points against Milwaukee Golda Meir. Torosian always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and his teammates did an excellent job of making plays for him. Torosian did plenty of work himself, going 13-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Every time Golda Meir made run after run on Friday, but every time it felt like Torosian quieted the noise. Torosian made it a double-double with 10 boards and didn’t back down from an aggressive front line, getting to the foul line 12 times.