High school basketball is just around the corner in the state of Wisconsin. In Division 1, Stevens Point has claimed the state title in each of the last two seasons. Will there be a new champion in 2016-17? Here’s a preseason look at the top five potentially...
After they were upended by Milwaukee Marquette and denied a state berth last season, Riverside comes into 2016-17 hungry and reloaded. Led by Iowa State commit Terrence Lewis, Riverside has a high-octane, fast-paced offenses that will run most of their opponents out of the gym. Lewis’ running mate, Carlos Curtis is arguably the most underrated player in the state of Wisconsin. Don’t sleep on fellow guard Alondes Williams, who rounds out a terrific trio for this squad that went 22-4 in 2015-16.
Key Games: Oshkosh North (Dec. 29/WBY Shootout), Apple Valley (MN) (Jan. 28/MN vs. WI Border Battle), at Milwaukee Vincent (Feb. 24).
A young team that overachieved last season, Racine Park also reloads in a big way in 2016-17. Featuring some of the state’s top class of 2019 talent, Park was 22-3 a year ago with mostly young talent. Led by the state’s top sophomore Nobal Days, this a group that’s going to continue to get better and chase a high ceiling. Demonta Hudson and Larry Canady are also sophomores who play well beyond their years.
Key Games: Arby’s Classic (Dec. 27-30), Milwaukee King (Jan. 28), at Wauwatosa East (Feb. 15)
Stevens Point may have lost the best 1-2 punch the state of Wisconsin has ever seen, Sam Hauser and Trevor Anderson, but they return arguably the top player in the 2018 class Joey Hauser. The defending two-time Division 1 state champions, the Panthers will look a lot different, but still very capable of making it back to Madison with a handful of players ready for a larger role, including sniper Drew Blair.
Key Games: Middleton (Dec. 17/Kwik Trip Classic), Cretin-Derham Hall (MN) (Jan. 28 MN vs. WI Border Battle), at. La Crosse Central (Feb. 7).
Oshkosh North will have one of the strongest guard tandems in the state. 2018 point guard Tyrese Haliburton and his running mate Shane Wissnik lead an offensive attack that hit 80 points or more 10 times last season. The x-factor could be Philip Flory, who’s one of the best players in the state when healthy. His presence makes North a dark horse candidate to walk away with the gold ball.
Key Games: at Milwaukee Riverside (Dec. 29/WBY Shootout), at. Kaukauna (Jan. 13), at. Fond Du Lac (Jan. 27)
Vincent finished last season very strong and came together at the right time, giving Milwaukee City champions Riverside a run for their money twice. While the Vikings lost seven games last season, they were to all among the best teams in the state, or Chicago power Whitney Young. Five of those seven defeats came by single digits. Vincent gets a ton back in 2016-17, including Justin Brookens, Andrew Lewis, Kente Rushing, Jamel White, and Jamal White.
Key Games: Pewaukee (Nov. 26/Fresh Coast Classic), at. Milwaukee Washington (Jan. 31), vs. Milwaukee Riverside (Feb. 24).
Others Contenders: Middleton, Arrowhead, Madison Memorial, Madison East, Brookfield Central, Bay Port, Milwaukee Hamilton, Fond Du Lac