Willen, Bogan two different types of post players

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Their style of play on the court is about as similar as their body types, but the end results mirrored each other in the 2006-07 season for Bell City senior Will Bogan and junior Ryan Willen.

Both players averaged more than 22 points and 10 rebounds a game -- Bogan was closer to 25 and 16. Both players led their teams to the state final four, eventually earning runner-up finishes.

Bogan, who has orally committed to play next year at Southeast Missouri State, used his imposing size to bang his way to domination. The 6-foot-10 senior tips the scale around 300 pounds, and Bogan was adept at using his size to control the paint.

Offensive rebounding was likely Bogan's biggest weapon, with much of his scoring on pubacks. Bogan's ability to control his large frame in the air showed his athleticism.

During the state final four, Bogan opened with a 26-point, 21-rebound game. The 21 rebounds ranks in the top-five in final four history, as does his two-game total of 35 rebounds.

Willen, whose game includes a strong 3-point shooting repetoir to go along with his post moves, had 50 points in the final four. In the championship game, Willen had 31 points. The junior added 18 rebounds, shot 16-for-19 from the free throw line and 6-for-13 from 3-point range.

Unfortunately for area fans, the two teams did not meet on the court during the last two seasons, leaving Willen and Bogan to wonder what a matchup would have been like.

"I'd take him outside, try to shoot 3-pointers on him," Willen said. "If he came out, I'd try to take him to the hole.

"[Defensively] I'd front him, and every time he put the ball on the floor I'd try to take it away. I'd probably just foul him."

Bogan enjoyed the idea of the hypothetical mathcup.

"I think it would be a good game," Bogan said. "He's got the speed. I've got the inside game, he's got the outside. It would be a good game to see."

Three teams got to see those matchups up close. Jackson faced the two post players on consecutive nights in the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament, spoiling a showdown by beating Notre Dame for the only time in three meetings between the two teams this season.

Willen scored 26 points in a Notre Dame loss, while Bogan torched the Indians for 42 points in Bell City's championship win.

"Ryan, his matchup [problem] is he can go outside or inside," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "He can shoot the 3 so well, and he just has a knack for the ball around the basket and he can get rebounds. He can finish with his left and his right hand, and he's probably a lot stronger than people give him credit for.

"[Will], he's got good hands and good footwork. His size, it's not that he's 6-10, but that's he's 6-10 and so big. If you front him, there's probably a likelihood he'll get a putback, and when you play behind him he can beat you over the top."

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