Saturday, March 20, 2010

An accolade, going into the Championship Game!

posted by Nicholas Kartos at 3/20/2010

Elevating his game throughout the season while competing in one of the state’s toughest conferences, Catholic Memorial senior T.J. Bray is the winner of the 2010 Mr. Basketball award presented by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.

One of the state’s most complete all-around players, the 6-foot-4 Bray led Catholic Memorial to an unbeaten record in the Classic Eight Conference while also helping the Crusaders gain a berth in the WIAA Division 2 state championship game today against Maple Northwestern.

A smooth, instinctive player who will play college basketball at Princeton University, Bray leads Catholic Memorial in scoring (18.2 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg) and assists (7.2 apg). A four year varsity performer for Catholic Memorial, he took home Classic Eight Player of the Year honors for the second straight year this season.

Bray played his best in the Crusaders’ biggest games. In a pair of league victories over Arrowhead, which will play Madison Memorial in today’s Division 1 title game, Bray averaged 26.5 ppg.

A great example of his versatility was in the regional semifinal game against Lakeside Lutheran, he recorded a triple double with 26 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in Catholic Memorial’s 72-62 victory.

“I think it’s an accurate statement to say T.J. has taken his game to a new level this season,” Catholic Memorial coach Dean Bellanti said. “It’s hard to say where and how he’s done it because he’s always been a very good player.

“But I see a different sense of confidence in T.J. He’s able to take over games and he does it while involving his teammates. He just knows how to lead his team in the right direction.”

The voting committee for Mr. Basketball consisted of nine WBCA Hall-of-Fame Coaches: Ken Barrett, La Crosse; Bob Buck, Dodgeville; Eli Crogan, Watertown; Dick Diener, Fond du Lac; Jim Jones, Brookfield; Win Parkinson, Milwaukee; Jerry Stelse, Lake Geneva; Roger Turchany, Hayward; Lee Young, West Bend.

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