LAKE MILLS — In a crosstown rivalry, Lake Mills (7-6) upset previously unbeaten Lakeside Lutheran (9-0) 60-49 on Thursday in Capitol North play… A.J. Bender A.J. Bender 6'4" | SG Lake Mills | 2025 State WI – 2025 – G…
LAKE MILLS — In a crosstown rivalry, Lake Mills (7-6) upset previously unbeaten Lakeside Lutheran (9-0) 60-49 on Thursday in Capitol North play…
A.J. Bender A.J. Bender 6'4" | SG Lake Mills | 2025 State WI – 2025 – G – Lake Mills
Bender finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists in a very well-rounded effort. It was a team defensive effort against Lakeside Lutheran’s star wing, but Bender led the charge and did a lot of the heavy lifting there as well. Was glad to finally see Bender in person, because I’m not sure the film always does him justice. You see a lot of explosive plays above the rim, but what you don’t see is the versatility, positionless basketball, and all-around ability. I like Bender as a bigger, playmaking point guard. He’s kind of a swiss army knife in the way he can score, facilitate, play on the block, and defend. For a young prospect, Bender is also a quality leader. As a sophomore, when you can get on a senior and he responds positively, think that’s a terrific sign of respect.
Brady Benish Brady Benish 6'0" | SG Lake Mills | 2026 WI – 2026 – G – Lake Mills
This is a prospect that can absolutely shoot the rock. Benish blew the game open in the second half with a flurry of triples and finished with 17 points on five 3-pointers. You can’t give Benish an inch. He’ll snap that ball off his hands before a defender can even react and showed terrific moxy for a freshman, hitting shots when Lakeside Lutheran was punching its way back into the game. Not sure he’s a prospect that makes the first class of 2026 rankings, which generally only includes about 25 players, but Benish has quietly had a big year for Lake Mills, averaging better than 13 points per game during his first season on varsity.
Levi Birkholz Levi Birkholz 6'2" | SG Lakeside Lutheran | 2023 State #290 Nation WI – 2023 – W – Lakeside Lutheran
It wasn’t the best performance for Birkholz, but give Lake Mills a lot of credit. The L-Cats had a great defensive game plan and had very few breakdowns on Thursday. I like watching guys when they struggle, because it gives you a sense of how confident they really are in their ability and what type of player they are. Everyone can play when things are going well, but when an opponent is taking away your strengths and you’re down by double digits, how do carry yourself? Never once did I see Birkholz voice any frustration nor did his effort level drop off. At some point, he had to take some bad shots. His team was in danger of getting run out of the gym, but you still saw him happy for his teammates when they did something well and the lack of offense didn’t impact other parts of Birkholz’s game. The Citadel commit still had 19 points and came out of the second half with a purpose, scoring or assisting on seven-straight points to momentarily get Lakeside Lutheran back in the game.
Trey Lauber – 2023 – SF – Lakeside Lutheran
The Warriors were struggling to get a lot going offensively. Lauber definitely picked things up a notch and made a lot of plays on Thursday to try and move things along. With Lake Mills setting up a wall in the paint, Lauber shot the ball well and fed off dribble penetration. The senior had a game-high 19 points in the loss, surpassing his season average of about 11 ppg. Lauber not only spaced the floor from 3-point range, but was able to hit some tough one dribble jumpers when the defense collapsed on him.