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Three days, three challenges for Huskies at Mike Miller Classic

Bridgewater-Emery's Jamin Arend (2) drives to the basket during a game at the Mike Miller Classic last year against Prairie Seeds Academy at the Corn Palace. Arend and the Huskies will play three games in the MMC this year. (Matt Gade / Republic)

EMERY — This year's Mike Miller Classic will be awfully similar to a state tournament for Bridgewater-Emery.

And the top-ranked Huskies (2-0), the defending Class B state champions, are looking forward to the challenge of playing three games in three days.

"It'll be a tough test for us with three really good teams," Bridgewater-Emery head coach Scott Schultz said. "The biggest key for us is to use our depth. We'll need some guys to step up and give us some quality minutes."

Up first for the Huskies, who haven't lost since March 1, 2016, will be Wauwatosa West (Wisconsin) at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Corn Palace. On Friday, Bridgewater-Emery faces Prior Lake, a Minnesota Class 4A team, at 5:30 p.m. at the Corn Palace before wrapping up the MMC against Class A No. 1 Tea Area at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon.

Schultz said he's hoping his team will lean on the experience they learned from last year's state tournament run which also featured three grueling games in three days. He added he's liked what he's seen out of the Huskies in two games this season.

"We've been focusing on rebounding the ball and we thought that was a key for us last year to be able to rebound and share the ball," Schultz said. "I was really happy with the boys who have filled in for the seniors we lost from last year. They understand where to go and what we're trying to do out there."

Led by junior standouts Sawyer Schultz and Jamin Arend, the Huskies are averaging 74 points per game after two wins over Dell Rapids St. Mary and Canistota. Sawyer scored 37 points against the Hawks on Dec. 19, while Arend is averaging 17 points per game and Carter Dye is averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per game.

Scott Schultz said Wauwatosa, who are 3-4 on the season, will test the Huskies from the outside, while Prior Lake will challenge the team inside.

"They have a lot of good perimeter players from what we've been able to find out," Schultz said about Wauwatosa. "Prior Lake is traditionally a tough team in Minnesota and they'll be a lot different than what we see on the first day. They have a lot more size. We'll have to rebound the basketball."

Prior Lake (1-1) is led by 6-foot-10 sophomore center Dawson Garcia and 6-foot-9 forward Robert Jones, as well as 6-foot-10 junior Carson Schoeller.

After facing two out-of-state teams, the Huskies' schedule doesn't get any easier with the Tea Area Titans, who won last year's Class A state title. The Titans are led by Noah Freidel, who plays on the South Dakota Attack club basketball team with Sawyer Schultz.

At last year's MMC, Bridgewater-Emery went 2-0, defeating Chester Area and Prairie Seeds Academy (Minnesota) and the Huskies are 2-2 all-time since first playing in the classic in 2015.

"The crowds were great last year and anytime our kids get to play in the Corn Palace, they really love it," Schultz said. "The Pentagon, the kids eyes will get pretty wide there too but they want to go and play there. It will be fun and great experience for them."

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