Midwest Showdown (NY2LA Sports Classic)
Milwaukee – the whole city of Milwaukee was at Brookfield Central High School to see the matchup between Hoop Hustler’s #7 ranked player in the 2020 class versus the #3 ranked player in the 2021 class. The matchup between Jalen Johnson and Patrick Baldwin Jr. was as good as it was advertised.
Upon arriving at Brookfield Central HS, I noticed that the parking lot was almost full. I saw a lot of people being directed to the front of the gym, so I followed. Then I realized that I parked in the overflow section – this place was packed. Once I got to the front, I noticed the line wrapped around the building and this was 2 hrs before the epic showdown. Inside the gym, I noticed that the large high school gym was almost full. My first thought was that people would leave after the Homestead and La Crosse Central game to create more space, but after halftime I realized that everybody was there to see the Nicolet vs. Sussex Hamilton game.
The tipoff to the Headliner started at 8pm and this place was standing room only. I kept saying to myself what an atmosphere to play in. Jalen Johnson started the game off with back to back 3 pointers followed by a couple of 3 pointers from Patrick Baldwin Jr. The game was good as advertised. At the end of the 1st half, Patrick Baldwin Jr and Sussex Hamilton were up but not by much. I thought the difference in the first half was that Nicolet’s head coach Al Hanson didn’t substitute for Jalen to get him a breather and Hamilton coach was able to substitute for Patrick and get him back in the game. The 2nd half, Nicolet took the lead and never looked back. Nicolet won a tough fought game 78 – 70. Jalen Johnson finished with his 2nd triple double of the year – 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Patrick Baldwin finished with a double-double – 21 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists. The highly-anticipated game didn’t disappoint. Below is my scouting report on Jalen Johnson and Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Jalen Johnson – 6’8 Guard – Jalen Johnson is truly 6’8”. He has the size of a forward by mindset and skills of a guard. Jalen brought the ball down the court most of the game – he shot the ball well from the 3pt line and finished around the rim. With the skills that Jalen possesses he could easy average 30 plus points per game but Jalen loves to pass the ball and get his teammates involved. He rebounds well for his size on the defensive end. (Click here to see full 2020 Rankings)
Patrick Baldwin Jr. – 6-8 Forward – Patrick Baldwin is truly 6’8” he handles the ball like a guard and shoots the ball very well from the arch, he also plays with his back to the basket. Patrick rebounds the ball very well and could easily average 15 rebounds per game. Patrick is only a sophomore, and with 2 years left in high school, he has the chance to be the best player in the country in the class of 2021. (Click here to see full 2021 Rankings)
PLEASE VISIT: WWW.THETIPOFFCLASSIC.COM for the #1 non live event in the country (APRIL 19-21) – This event will sell out, Early Bird Registration is now open. (Click picture for more information)