Metcalf-Grassman the area’s top boys basketball player

Marion tabbed top team after memorable year
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The winter boys basketball season was highlighted by special individual performances and some memorable team moments.

Shawano was in the hunt for a Bay Conference title all season behind Michael Metcalf-Grassman, who was named the NEW Media Inc. Player of the Year. It marks the second straight season Metcalf-Grassman earned the honor, but this time he received it outright.

“Tons of hard work in the offseason, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it with my team,” said Metcalf-Grassman on what helped him have another big season.

Metcalf-Grassman, known to the Shawano faithful as MMG, averaged 20.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.8 assists in his senior season.

Despite being the known go-to guy for the Hawks, Metcalf-Grassman shot an efficient 53% overall.

“Again, I put in a lot of hard work this offseason to improve my game in areas where I struggled last year,” said Metcalf-Grassman. “Additionally, the help of my team to put me in positions to succeed helped as well.”

The senior enjoyed some big-time scoring games and put together many clutch plays to help his team win games. Through it all, crossing the 1,000-point milestone for his high school career — which included just six games before his junior season — was his favorite individual moment.

“Scoring my 1,000th point against Xavier was something I will never forget,” said Metcalf-Grassman. “The moment was so much cooler than I imagined it to be. It was awesome to be surrounded by family and friends.”

The Shawano senior is set to continue his basketball career at UW-Oshkosh in the years to come.

Honorable mentions

As mentioned before, the amount of individual talent was strong in the area, with several area teams having a guy or two lead the charge.

Derek Shaw led Pulaski this winter and served as one of the top shooters in the entire state. Shaw, who capped his season competing in the state 3-point challenge, averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

Emmitt Kietlinski and Beau Brunner guided Bowler. Kietlinski averaged 15.5 points, 9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 steals, while Brunner was at 13.3 points, 6.6 boards, 4.6 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.7 blocks.

Parker Miller led a pretty balanced Marion squad. He averaged 15 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.8 steals.

Jesse DeBauch and Austin VandeCorput were the leaders of Gillett’s team. DeBauch finished with averages of 15.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals, while VandeCorput averaged 14 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals.

Alex Haines enjoyed a solid season despite Oconto Falls struggling to earn many wins. He averaged 12.2 points, 5.1 boards, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks.

Tigerton was paced by Ryder Graham, who averaged 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals.

Mason Meverden averaged 15.1 points, 7.8 rebounds 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per contest for Wittenberg-Birnamwood.

Isaiah Moss tallied averages of 20.6 points, 7.7 boards, 4.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.6 blocks for Menominee Indian.

Also in the Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division, Bonduel’s Noah Weier and Ryan Westrich led Bonduel with 13.4 points a game. Weier also averaged 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks, while Westrich had 8.3 boards and 1.8 blocks a game.

While Metcalf-Grassman led Shawano, he did get some help from a few teammates. Jacob Landon averaged 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3 assists, Brandon Reed added 10.9 points, 5.3 boards and 1.8 assists and Logan Sipple had 10.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists a game.

Team of the Year

Marion is the Team of the Year after winning a conference title for the first time in 55 years. The Mustangs split the CWC-North crown with Northland Lutheran.

While it wasn’t always pretty for Marion, the team had the ability to rally from double-digit deficits on several occasions to earn some crucial wins.

Only four of the team’s players will graduate in the spring, with its top-three scorers returning next winter.

Marion also upset Northland Lutheran for a postseason win this winter, the program’s first in 11 years.