Holiday Hoopers: Northeast Nebraska’s Top Performers
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Players all-around Northeast Nebraska were excited to get back on the hardwood after a five-day Christmas break. Here is a look at some of the top performers in the area from last week. The list feature some household names and…
Players all-around Northeast Nebraska were excited to get back on the hardwood after a five-day Christmas break. Here is a look at some of the top performers in the area from last week. The list feature some household names and some serious stock risers, look for more in-depth coverage and breakdowns in mid-week player evaluations.
Benjamin Brahmer (2023) | 6-6 F | Pierce
27 points in a 58-37 win over LCC
30 points in a 59-39 win over Hartington Cedar Catholic
18 points in a 50-39 OT win over Auburn
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Pierce standout Benjamin Brahmer. Signing with Iowa State football before the Christmas break, only to be followed up with 75 combined points in three wins in the Northeast Nebraska Shootout in Wayne. Brahmer led his undefeated Pierce Bluejays to an overtime win over perennial championship contender, Auburn. Brahmer is a freak athlete and skilled player; a true three-level scorer who can shoot from beyond the arc as well as mid-range. Brahmer’s unique strength and athleticism make him nearly impossible to stop around the rim.
(2023) | 6-2 PF | Laurel-Concord-Coleridge
30 points, 15 rebounds in a 56-46 OT win over Pender
35 points, 15 rebounds in a 75-61 win over Winnebago
Rath has seen his stock rise significantly during his senior campaign for LCC. The definition of a statsheet stuffer, two 30+ point 15+ rebound games is a prime example. As an undersized post, Rath displays great footwork and is an exceptional finisher. High basketball IQ coupled with a great work ethic, Rath puts himself in positions to impact the game in multiple ways. His numbers don’t lie, averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds over six games.
(2023) | 6-1 G/F | Wausa
21 points in a 47-44 win over Boyd County
18 points in a 45-39 win over Creighton
Claussen has been a volume scorer this year for Wausa and has shown the ability to put his team on his back. 39 points and two wins in the Creighton Holiday Tournaments is his most recent accomplishment. Claussen has freaky athletiscm with a long wingspan. A knockdown mid-range jump shot and a unique ability to finish around and above the rim have made Claussen one of the state’s top scorers (24.9 ppg).
(2023) | 5-11 SG | Winnebago
19 points in an 81-52 win over Plainview
20 points, 5 steals in a 61-75 loss to LCC
One of the best shooters in the area oftentimes a hand in the face doesn’t do much in defending Blackfish. He can score in multiple different ways, but it all starts beyond the perimeter. Blackfish shot 11-21 from deep in these two games at the Northeast Nebraska Shootout.
(2023) | 6-2 PG | O’Neill
15 points, 8 assists, 7 steals in a 72-39 win over St. Paul
Classen can impact the game in multiple different ways. He has the ability to be a pure scorer and take over a game with points. But, a high basketball IQ player, he prefers to make the heads-up play filling the stat sheet completely. A holiday tournament that got cut short due to weather, Classen was well-rounded helping O’Neill to a lopsided victory.
Josh Rojas (2024) | 5-11 CG | Lutheran High Northeast
21 points in a 75-59 win over Stanton
19 points, 5 steals in a 61-28 win over Neligh-Oakdale
Rojas is a talented, heads-up guard for Kenny Blank’s LHNE Eagles. Averaging nearly five steals per game, he specializes in stepping into passing lanes and starting the fast break for the Eagles. Efficiency was key for the junior guard during their two wins in the Stanton Holiday Tournament, going a combined 18-25 from the field and 3-5 from three. 57% from the field and 47% from three this season, Rojas has put up an extremely efficient 15.3 points per game this season.
Drew Morrow (2024) | 6-2 G/F | O’Neill
24 points in a 72-39 win over St. Paul
A guard with a lot of length and skill, Morrow has been a key piece for O’Neill this season. The 6’3 guard is a knockdown shooter if left open, and has shown the ability to drive past closeouts and score in the paint. With length and athleticism, it’s no surprise Morrow is putting up points in bunches.