Monthly Archives: December 2017

WORK ETHIC, HUSTLE KEYED TYLER TOROSIAN

WORK ETHIC, HUSTLE KEYS VIKINGS'
TYLER TOROSIAN'S SUCCESS

To say that New Berlin West's Tyler Torosian got the 2017-18 basketball season off with a bang would be an understatement.

Torosian scored a school record 44 points in a 101-95 win over Milwaukee Golda Meir in the season opener on Friday, Nov 24, in the Fresh Coast Classic at the Klotsche. He broke Charlie Averkamp's record of 42 points.

The Vikings trailed 39-33, but rallied to tie the game at 88 and send it into overtime where they outscored Golda Meir, 13-7, to win the game.

Torosian hit 13 of 18 shots from the field, 3 of 4 from 3-point range and was 9-of-12 from the free throw line. He also led the team with 10 rebounds.

Photo by Tom "Sky" Skibosh --- Senior forward Tyler Torosian set a school record in the opener this season, scoring 44 points as the Vikings defeated Milwaukee Golda Meir in overtime. He also led the tream with 10 rebounds.

"I don't think anyone was really expecting it," Tyler said. "I wouldn't say it was out of no where, but it wasn't like we were running a whole lot of plays for me. I started outworking everyone, getting rebounds, hitting a few 3s. I got to the line 12 times. I made my free throws, just put in shots all around.

"Everyone knows - even myself - that I'm capable of having a game like that. It's more of a 'We know he can score so we can trust him when he has the ball down low.' It's more of a trust thing."

Torosian talked about his role on this year's Vikings team.

"I play a forward. I'm not the big guy, but I play the wing," he said. "We cycle it through guys, extend the floor, get up the floor, shoot the 3, drive the hoop. I do just a little bit of everything."

Tyler began playing basketball at an early age and knew it was the game for him.

"I started in first grade when my dad (Greg) introduced it to me," he recalled. His dad played at New Berlin Eisenhower and at UW-Whitewater."It was a fun game. He played NBAA for three years and from fourth to eighth grade I played on the school's select team.

He’s a gym rat, a serviceable big man,” Mattox said. He likes running, he can dunk, pick and roll. What I like about him the most is he has the versatility to guard multi-positions. He is a tough kid with a nose for the basketball.”

--- Coach Brandon Mattox

"I was always a little taller than everyone, so I had somewhat of an advantage. I just like the competitive nature of it. I was never really into football or any other sports."

Despite his height - he is currently 6-feet, 5 inches tall, he pointed out a lot of his success comes from the way he plays the game.

"A lot of my buckets are from outworking other players," he said. "My rebounds are from out muscling guys, getting up the court. That's just how I've always played. Just trying to get easy buckets."

Mattox and Tyler arrived at New Berlin West at almost the same time.

"His first year was my first year. I knew his dad," Mattox said. "Tyler hadn't grown into this body yet. But he was coachable and he wants to play well."

After playing on the freshman team, Tyler made the varsity as a sophomore, played in 21 games and averaged 5.5 points per game, shot .577 percent from the field and .767 from the free-throw line.

He started 6 of 22 games as a junior, averaging 4.9 points and this year he has played well following his huge opener.

Photo by Tom "Sky" Skibosh --- Work ethic, hustle best describes the 6-foot, 5 inch Tyler Torosian's success on the basketball court.

In 9 games, he leads the team with a 20.7 points average and 14 steals and is second in rebounds (6.8). He continues to shoot well, hitting .595 from the field, .350 from 3-point range and .692 from the free-throw line.

He has scored in double figures every game, following the opener (44 points) with totals of 13, 14, 26, 10, 17, 10, 23 and 29. He has also been consistent in rebounding, grabbing 10 7,7, 5, 6, 7, 2, 9 and 8.

When the Vikings defeated Greendale, 57-48, on Dec. 8, it was their first win against a Woodland West opponent since Mattox took over and Torosian had 26 points in the game.

"He's a gym rat, a serviceable big man," Mattox said. He likes running, he can dunk, pick and roll. What I like about him the most is he has the versatility to guard multi-positions. He is a tough kid with a nose for the basketball.

"He has a knack for getting involved. I had no idea he had set a school scoring record in that first game. We did not run one play for him. He has no ego, he just wants to play. He's a team guy, I love coaching him. I told him to be physical, that's OK. He does have to be more consistent at the free-throw line. That part of his game must continue to evolve."

Torosian was candid when he talked about his strengths and weaknesses.

​"I'm good at finishing around the basket and I'm a decent rebounder for not being big and wide (he weights only 180). I'm pretty good at that. I also enjoy running the court in transition.

"But I need to work on my all around defense. I feel that's not the strongest part of my game. I'm working on quickness, keeping guys in front of me, trying to guard smaller defenders."

One thing Mattox doesn't have to worry about is Torosian slacking off.

"I love the game so much, I try to get better at it everyday," Tyler said. I like shooting around after practice, just going hard all the time. I try to out work everyone else, getting better, working in the off-season, lifting weights, putting shots up. I'm working on basketball all the time."

For a big man, Tyler loves the transition game.

"I enjoy running the court instead of being in a half-court setup," he said. "When I'm up the court, passing everyone else, even when they have a guard back, it's hard for the guard to stop someone who is 6-5, if they're smaller - even 6-1 - it's hard to stop me."

Both Tyler and Joe Robey are team captains and Tyler is happy to take on the responsibilities.

"Being a captain you need to bring leadership," he said. "With me and Joe - we're two of the four seniors - we have to make sure to hold guys accountable for what's going on. For stepping up when the team needs us, being an overall leader.

"It's important to me being a captain. I've always been a quieter guy. This year has been a little bit of a change, taking charge, leading the rest of the guys. We're a younger team. We have like five juniors, five sophomores.

"I wouldn't say I'm the most vocal guy, but I think I lead by example in practice, running drill to drill, not walking around, making guys follow by example."

But earlier this year, Mattox saw a different side of Tyler when New Berlin West was trailing West Allis Central by one point at half time.

"We were losing and I felt we played a really bad half," Tyler said. "We should have been up. We really weren't rebounding well at all. They were just out hustling us. I just wanted to get guys pumped up to go out there and just win it."

West went on to beat the Bulldogs, 68-63, outscoring them, 41-35, in the second half.

Mattox laughed when I asked what kind of kid was Tyler off the court.

"He's kind of a goof ball," he said. "He has this big Russian fur hat he wears. He's playful, but real laid back. He's a different kid. I love coaching him. He's very social. I think he has a bright future."

Torosian has been happy with the direction of the program under Mattox.

"I think the program as made tremendous steps since I was a freshman," he said. "We only on two games when I was a freshman and now last year we had our first season with double digit wins in four or five seasons.

"Coach Mattox is just doing a great job. We're just trying to change the culture. He knows what he's talking about. He's a great guy. Before every game he preaches about wanting it more. You want to lay everything out there. It's good motivational stuff."​

HANGING WITH TYLER TOROSIAN

  • FAVORITE FOOD:   ​Pizza
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   ​Mainstream Rap
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   ​​Horror.
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'Walking Dead'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   ​History
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   ​Phoenix, Arizona
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:    Watch TV, sleep  or hang with friends
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   ​New Berlin Eisenhower
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   ​Scoring a school record 44 points in this year's opener.
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend UW-Whitewater, play basketball and study Business

PACKERS’ ARROGANCE GROWING OLD

I am fed up by the arrogance which is Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.
How many times have I heard McCarthy talk about “We think about Super Bowls in Green Bay.”
But then Murphy talks about making the playoffs 8 years in a row. Who cares, Murph. Green Bay cares about Super Bowls.
People are asking for the heads of Thompson, who feels his job description doesn’t include answering questions from the media, and/or McCarthy.
But that’s not going to happen.
Aaron Rodgers got hurt and everyone is off the hook. Maybe Dom Capers will be sacrificed to quiet the crowd, but don’t expect much more.
It’s time to stop using Rodgers as a crutch. If you lose one player – yes, he is a Hall of Fame player – your season shouldn’t turn into crap.
Brett Hundley is McCarthy’s project – and I thought Mac did the right thing by playing him to see what he has learned. But you won’t see people standing in line to give up a high draft choice for him.
It does look like Thompson made good draft picks in running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. But if you aren’t going to use them because McCarthy wants to throw, throw, throw with Rodgers, obviously people aren’t on the same page.
People say get Rodgers more weapons – yet the ones he has, he doesn’t use.
As for Murphy, he sits on the top of the heap, handles building the neighborhood around Packer Stadium and makes money for the team which they don’t spend on personnel. It would be nice if he made some decisions in the football area. Saying Thompson can be the general manager as long as he wants shows how ignorant/arrogant Murphy is.
Personally I don’t think Murphy-Thompson-McCarthy are in the same book, let alone on the same page. And who suffers? The fans.
I tweeted when Rodgers got hurt that the Packers would win maybe two games the rest of the year. With two games left – vs. Minnesota and at Detroit with Hundley at the helm – they beat my prediction of two wins by one – beating Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa Bay, the latter two in overtime.
People say I’m negative. I think I’m a realist and I don’t see things changing.
And why should the Packers care. People are lined up to get season tickets and will be for years.
Not much to worry about if your names are Murphy, Thompson and McCarthy.

ANDRES PERALTA-WERNS COULD BE KEY TO LANCERS’ SUCCESS

ANDRES PERALTA-WERNS COULD BE
KEY TO LANCERS' SU​CCESS

If the Brookfield Central boys basketball team hopes to defend their Greater Metro Conference Championship and make a return trip to the state tournament in Madison, a lot will depend on the Lancers top returning senior - Andres Peralta-Werns.

When people who aren't close to the program think of the Lancers, they think of two juniors - point guard Gage Malensek or forward and defensive stopper Cole Nau.

But the play and the enthusiasm of Peralta-Werns will play a key role in the Lancers success.

The 6-foot-3 inch, 190 pound swing man (guard/forward) averaged 16.7 points per game in the early going, shooting .455 from the field and .333 from 3-point range. He was second on the team last season, averaging 15 points per game and was third in rebounds (3.7). 

Where as Peralta-Werns is known for his long-range shooting, he can put the ball on the floor and drive to the hoop and improved his defense as well, putting together a well-rounded game.

Brookfield Central coach Dan Wandrey saw good things from Andres early in his career.

"I always thought he had a lot of ability, especially offensively," Wandrey said. "His sophomore year when he played with us on the varsity, he had a handful of explosive games. Really, what I was most impressed with with Andres was from his sophomore until his junior year he really focused in on what we asked him to do.

Photo by Alan Herzberg , SportsPhotoLLC --- Senior Andres Peralta-Werns has improved his game the last three seasons, adding defense and taking the ball to the basket to his long-range shooting arsenal.

"He's a better defender, a better rebounder, he has a better shot selection and he takes better care of the ball. You saw the improvement he made last year averaging 15 points a game, his most impressive year as he had some of his best games. He's been really good that way."

Andres considers that one of his strong points.

"One of my main strengths is I'm very coachable and I'm good at adapting to what people want me to do," he said. "People don't really know this, but I spend - right now as a senior - I spend 2-3 hours a day with my dad (Glen) playing basketball.

"He is a really good coach. He is one of these people I can't correct because he's right about what he says. When people tell me something I have a mindset of what they want now in a basketball perspective. I can comprehend what they're saying."

Ironically, Wandrey first became aware of Peralta-Werns because of his sister, Alejandra, who played for him when he was the girls coach.

"His sister played in the girls program when I was coaching there, so I knew him from middle school," Wandrey recalled. "When I accepted the boys position, he was in eighth grade. I had the opportunity to watch him play a little bit then. He made our JV team right away as a freshman. I knew who he was because of the family connection. Obviously it's not on your radar when you're coaching girls."

Andres started playing in the fifth grade with the Jr. Lancers. He only made the 'B' team, so he went out for club basketball. He played with the Ballers, a Menomonee Falls team, until early ninth grade. He played on a 17U team when he was only in eighth grade.

"I wanted to try and get better and make the 'A' team eventually. I played in the summer and a couple times played in the fall before basketball season. It was a really good way for me to work on my abilities. I wanted to get the experience and stuff, get better, scoring, running up and down the court. When I got into high school, playing club was more for recruiting purposes. Everyone wants to see you play AAU and also wants to see you play high school."

He has an uncanny knack for being able to score. In some ways he reminds me of Andrew Bruggink who played for us a few year’s ago. They kind of came to us as shooters – Andres was a really good 3-point shooter, a really good long-range shooter. As people started taking that away, he improved the other parts of his game.”

--- Dan Wandrey

Wandrey was very complimentary about Peralta-Werns' skills and compared him to a former GMC Player of the Year.

"He has an uncanny knack for being able to score. In some ways he reminds me of Andrew Bruggink who played for us a few year's ago," Wandrey said. "They kind of came to us as shooters - Andres was a really good 3-point shooter, a really good long-range shooter.

"As people started taking that away, he improved the other parts of his game. Is he a finished product? Of course he's not; he's only a senior in high school. You look at the way he's played this year and what I've seen in the off-season in the summer. He can finish getting to the rim and he has a nice mid-range game."

Peralta-Werns is always look to improve and he talked about what he needs to work on.

"Two things I want to get better at are athleticism and defense," he said. "Everyone loves to score. That's something that everybody in this generation picks up. They can shoot the ball or dribble the ball or make good passes. But a lot of people forget about the defensive side of it. I'm not the most athletic guy so any time we play a team I always try to get up there and compete at the level they've at."

Wandrey see an important area Andres can help the Lancers with.

"I think an important key for us with him is to be a better rebounder," he said. "When I say better, what I mean most is consistent, because he shows he can do it. We just need him to do it a little bit more regularly. He's gotten a little bigger, a little stronger and I think that helps him in those areas too. His ability to go to the basket - that's something he really improved on."

Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotosLLC --- When you think of Andres Peralta-Werns, you think of his impressive long-range shot.

Wandrey then had an interesting theory, comparing Andres to a good golfer.

"Just offensively, having that knack to score. He has a great short memory, but not in a bad way. Good scorers and shooters like good putters have short memories," Wandrey said. "I play golf.    If I miss a 3-foot put on the second hole, I don't want that hanging around me for the next 15. Andres has it. The game over at Tosa East last year sticks in my mind. He shot a very poor percentage, but late in the game, we're down by one or two points and he takes the ball to the rim and makes a basket and then makes a 3-pointer after going like 3-for-15. He makes that basket and it's one of the most important baskets of the game.

"In a good way that short memory - 'I'm not going to let it get to me' - is a good thing too."

Andres then spoke about something that is important to him - leadership.

"It's a thing that everyone should have, everyone should take ownership on what they should do," he said. "Overall perception is everyone's part of the team, so no one can blame others.

"I like working with young players. My dad told me respect the people that are older than you and respect people who are younger. When they're older, they're going to remember you (and how you treated them). When they look up to you, they want to say I want to be just like him. You don't want them to have any negative view on you and they also don't want to pick up any negative habits."

Wandrey feels Andres is on the right path.

"What I like about Andres is he is a very pleasant person, just a great kid," he said. "I wasn't sure how to take him when he was a freshman. He was always 'Thank you coach, Yes coach.' As I watched him, he's been on the team now where we've had a couple freshman when he was a sophomore - we have a couple freshman now when he's a senior. I think this is a great form of leadership - he treats those guys well. He wants them to be successful. He wants them to be an important part of our team. He looks for ways to help them and make them feel comfortable and I think that's really important.

"Even though your captains aren't seniors, I've talked to my seniors and said 'It doesn't mean you can't be a leader.'

Andres’ personality is another way he influences the Lancers.

"In some fun quirky ways at the end of practice, Andres is the guy who 'claps it up,' gets everybody fired up. He's got that vivacious personality of being up and keeping the crowd up with him."

HANGING WITH ANDRES PERALTA-WERNS

  • FAVORITE FOOD:   ​Tamales
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   ​R & B
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   'White Men Can't Jump.'  Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'Friends'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   ​History
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   ​Sinoloa, Mexico, mom's hometown
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:    Watch TV or go watch other sports
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   ​Any MPS school
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   ​Fans reaction when team came out before game in sectional final.
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend college​, play basketball and study Physical Therapy

SOME PREP BASKETBALL OBSERVATIONS

Progress

With the girls and boys basketball seasons underway, here are a few observations, some based on games I saw, others I what I have talked with coaches about or read about.

AMAZING MORTAG

Sophomore Anna Mortag, who stepped up her game last year when Brookfield Central lost Claire Haynes to a back injury, has continued her performance and has taken over the top spot in the Lancers program.

The Lancers will be a work in progress this season, as Mortag has an inexperienced supporting class for the most part. She is averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds in Central’s 0-3 start (Franklin comes to town on Dec. 3). They meet Brookfield East on Friday.

Junior guard Emma Ticcioni averages 8 points and 7 rebounds a game and senior guard Jenny Cape averages 5 rebounds and does a good job team running the show.

Freshman guard C.J. Romero stands only 5-1, but she averages 3 points, 3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.  Against Germantown, she lead the team with 9 rebounds.

If the Lancers are going to get better, they need to shoot better, rebound better and play better defense or coach Mallory Liebl will have gray hair before the season is over.

For the first time since covering Liebl, I saw the mild-mannered coach yell at her team during a timeout and then slam her clipboard to the ground afterward.

It will be interesting to see what they do against Brookfield East on Friday.

GAGE, ANDRES SPARKS LANCERS

Junior Gage Malensek (16.5 points) and senior Andres Peralta-Werns (15.5 points, 5 rebounds) led the Lancers in their 1-1 start. Junior Cole Nau (10.0 points, 3 assists) and freshman David Joplin (5.5 points, 5.0 rebounds) have also chipped in.

The Lancers host Brookfield East on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Look for my feature on Peralta-Werns on Dec. 14 on Preps2Pros.net.

VIKINGS LOSE OVERTIME THRILLER

Port Washington nipped New Berlin West, 59-58, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at West, as senior guard Joe Robey stood out with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals.

Sophomore Desmond Polk had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists and senior Tyler Torosian had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Coach Brandon Mattox should have a fun team to watch this year.