The boy’s high school season went into full swing last week with a number of prep contests taking center stage throughout the holiday weekend. Iowa State bound Terrence Lewis erupted for Milwaukee Riverside while others like Milwaukee Vincent’s Andrew Lewis also stood front and center with big time efforts. Here’s a look at that and more in this week’s news and notes from across the state of Wisconsin…
(1) STEVENS POINT
The defending state champions are off to a 2-0 start after last night’s win despite not having highly regarded junior Joey Hauser in the fold as he recovers from a knee injury suffered during the football season. Fellow junior shooting guard Drew Blair has filled in nicely in his absence and his solid play has served as the catalyst for Stevens Point as they anxiously await Hauser’s return.
(2) MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE
If the Terrence Lewis and Carlos Curtis combination plays as they did in their opener it’s going to be a long season for everyone else. The 1-2 punch combined for 68 points with Lewis delivering 44 and Curtis 24 in helping them to a 1-0 mark on the year. They are as good a combination as there is in the state right now and only trending upward. An emergence of a consistent third player in the mix or simply a balance by committee in terms of overall floor impact will be necessary for them to hoist the gold ball at the end.
They open up December 2nd and without junior guard Adam Smith until January reportedly, it will be up to fellow junior and West Virginia bound lead guard Jordan McCabe to guide the ship. There is additional raw talent in the fold but it’s young so this team could be one that really is at its best comes season end with added experience from everyone not named McCabe and Smith.
(4) RACINE PARK
A solid team with a young group at its core that drives the ship, Park is a mystery to start the year with lots of rumors flying around. Once they tip off we will see where they’re at but sophomore big man Nobal Days is a great place to start.
(5) LA CROSSE CENTRAL
Powered by Wisconsin bound guard Kobe King and fellow senior Bailey Kale Central has a stellar backcourt that should make noise this season. They’re off to a 1-0 start after last night’s win and for them to have a big year consistency night in and night out needs to be the rule of thumb for King and Kale both.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR FRONTRUNNERS
JOEY HAUSER – 2018 – F – STEVENS POINT
He’s out recovering from an injury suffered in football. Hauser is an excellent talent so looking forward to seeing the young fella on the court soon.
TYLER HERRO – 2018 – SG – WHITNALL
Herro is already off to a fast start averaging 31 points a game through 3 contests with a 43 point effort already on his resume. For Herro to take the next step as a prospect he needs to continue to fill the box score beyond just the scoring. That means a step up defensively. If he does that Whitnall has a legitimate chance in March.
KOBE KING – 2017 – SG – LACROSSE CENTRAL
King was solid last night with a 19 point effort but he needs to do the same as Herro in terms of filling the box score and playing at a high level nightly. A solid start to the season for King who needs to trend upward and look to post solid double double figures and beyond game in and game out.
TERRENCE LEWIS – 2017 – SF – MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE
With the type of player Carlos Curtis is Lewis is blessed to be able to really channel in scoring the basketball at key times and that was evident as he erupted for 44 points to start the year. The key to Lewis is and has always been staying active and engaged as he is at his best when attacking the glass and getting easy buckets along with scoring off plays designed for him. He’s the frontrunner for player of the year honors as he’s primed for a big year and continues to simply trend upward for what could arguably end up being the best team in the state come season’s end.
JORDAN MCCABE – 2018 – PG – KAUKAUNA
Love his impact at a high school level and without Smith McCabe should be an even bigger producer early in the year. He tips off December 2nd.
OTHERS OF NOTE – Carlos Curtis (Milwaukee Riverside), Andrew Lewis (Milwaukee Vincent), Tyrese Haliburton (Oshkosh North), Mitch Listau (Waunakee), John Diener (Cedarburg)
KOREEM OZIER – 2017 – PG – RACINE CASE
This young man simply continues to get better as his 32 point effort in a big win over Racine St. Catherine’s showed last night. He handles the ball well, can score, can create, etc. He’s off to a great start and should be primed for a big campaign for Case this year.
TANNER BRANDT – 2018 – F – WISCONSIN DELLS
Look for a big campaign for Brandt as he is playing with elevated confidence and improved skill. Everything about him physically and skill wise is better than we last saw him and he’s only trending upward. Keep close tabs on him as he should end up with a big year for the Dells this season.
MICHAEL KENNEDY – 2019 – SF – HOMESTEAD
With new leadership in place at Homestead and a solid core group to build on the Highlanders could potentially be a surprise come season’s end. The play of this young sophomore could be key to that as he’s got nice size and solid potential to go along with a decent skill package. Still raw in some areas, Kennedy could make a name for himself as he stands to be a solid consistent figure in the rotation for Coach Sean Crider and company.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ANDREW LEWIS - 2017 - SG - MILWAUKEE VINCENT
In a big matchup on a solid stage Lewis bounced back from early foul trouble to erupt for 34 points and help Milwaukee Vincent to an impressive come from behind victory over a tough Pewaukee team. Lewis did it in a variety of ways as he scored at each level while showing toughness and leadership as well. An excellent early season statment for the talented senior guard to start the year.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Coach Joseph has this group clicking right off the start with some excellent early season performances. Standing at 3-0 on the year, Destiny went right into Whitnall and withstood a 43 point effort to grab the victory and then followed that up with two large margin wins right after that. There’s a lot of talent for Coach Joseph this year starting with a senior duo of Sarion McGee and Terrence Banyard, one of the bigger sleepers in the state for the 2017 class. They have six players averaging in double figures right now through the first three games and that’s extremely impressive. They have a solid schedule ahead and they will be tested but right now this team looks like a legit contender to end up in Madison come March.
GAME OF THE WEEK
MADISON EAST VS. SUN PRAIRIE (THURSDAY)
Sun Prairie is powered by junior Marlon Ruffin who is another solid sleeper in the 2018 class. Ruffin can do it all and he’s an excellent effort guy on both ends who is constantly on the attack. They’ll host a solid Madison East group paced by junior Keshawn Justice and senior Steve Wooten. A talented mix of athleticism and skill, East looks like a tough matchup on paper for anyone they play. This will be a good early season indicator for both squads.