Red-hot Aquinas basketball ready to tip off Midwest Players Classic

In less than 24 hours one of the state’s best prep basketball events tips off at the La Crosse Center–the 12th edition of the Midwest Players Classic.

Aquinas boys head coach Brad Reinhart coordinates the Classic, and has been juggling the schedule a bit this week as out-of-state teams have had to pull out.

Two years ago bad weather canceled the event, then last year COVID created limitations to fans and available teams.

This time around, Reinhart expects a full house.

“Coaches were excited to be able to come back and are excited by the idea of having Coulee Region fans here at the La Crosse Center again,” he said. “Last year was a really limited list of people who could come see it–basically parents and a few select fans. This year we’re excited to welcome the fans from the Coulee Region back to the event.”

Reinhart’s Aquinas boys squad will tip things off Friday at 6 p.m. against Black River Falls. The Blugolds are on a tear so far, 10-1 overall with a huge win over Onalaska last week to keep them perfect in the MVC.

Last year’s team leaned more on tough defense and only scored 48 points a game offensively. This year the offense has exploded to 64 points a game, with plenty of talented perimeter shooters.

“Those kids have really just owned the ‘this is our last chance to do what we knew we were capable of doing’ [mentality],” Reinhart said. “They’ve embraced the challenge of ‘this is our time.’ They’re up for the big games, up to compete.”