The high school boy’s basketball season is in full swing and Oshkosh North has stepped out as the team to beat in Wisconsin this year with a number of impressive performances. They’re not the only ones making noise though as a host of quality teams and talented prospects are also delivering across the Badger state. Here’s a look at that in today’s news and notes from across the state of Wisconsin…
(1) OSHKOSH NORTH
Undefeated at 9-0 and rolling, this team has balance, coaching, depth, and talent and right now they will be a very tough matchup for anyone. They have exceptional guard play and generally speaking that dictates a lot at the high school level. Their role players are also stepping up with solid consistent efforts as well. If they can continue to stay true to the concept of team they could very well hoist the gold ball in March at the Division 1 level.
(2) STEVENS POINT
Hard to not like the job Coach Anderson is doing at Stevens Point this season without standout Joey Hauser in the fold and you have to tip your hat to the two time defending state champions as their entire cast is stepping up so far this season. Without Joey Hauser they can’t win another state chip and even with him it will be a tough task with Oshkosh North playing the way they are. That being said they have delivered beyond expectations so far without Hauser and are playing quality basketball once again.
A few years back we raved about the potential of senior forward Will Chevalier and early in his career it was really about upside and potential rather than production. Fast forward a few years to today and the senior standout is driving the ship for Kimberly in impressive fashion. A matchup problem who can score from all levels on the court, Chevalier is averaging close to 20 points a game for undefeated Kimberly who is tied atop a LOADED Fox Valley Association Conference with Oshkosh North. A showdown with Oshkosh North on Tuesday in Oshkosh is the game to watch this week.
(4) LA CROSSE CENTRAL
Understanding that they were tripped up during the holidays, Central has still played their best basketball to date with some solid wins and quality play from the senior duo of Bailey Kale and Kobe King. The 1-2 punch at the guard spots translates to a deep run in March and with a victory over defending state champion Kaukauna already on their resume, Central could hoist the gold ball in March if they continue their stellar play.
Milwaukee Vincent is a tough senior laden team so when a program from up the street comes into the V House and can defeat the home team in front of a packed gym you have to give credit where credit is due. They were impressive this season and save for a 2 point loss to Pius XI at Pius XI they’d be 12-0 on the season. They have quality wins to their resume in the form of Racine Case, Milwaukee Vincent, Whitnall, etc. and all of those were on the road. Coach Joseph is doing an exceptional job this season as they have balance (i.e. 5 guys averaging double figures) and their 1-2 punch of senior Terrence Banyard and Sarion McGee is as good an interior duo as you will find in Wisconsin this season, hype notwithstanding. They’re the best team in Southeastern Wisconsin at the midway point of the season.
414 HOOPS PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH
(Note – Listed in Alphabetical Order – Not an Exclusive List)
JORDAN ANDERSON – 2017 – G – MILWAUKEE NORTH
The guards at Milwaukee North rarely get their just due but just like his predecessors Jordan Anderson is getting buckets at a high level rate. A quick and talented perimeter scoring machine, Anderson is averaging close to 40 points a contest for North who sits at 9-2 on the season. He’s scoring in half court sets, in transition, and he’s ripping the nets from beyond the arc in scintillating fashion. A quality undersized sleeper at the guard position who can put the ball in the basket with the best of them.
WILL CHEVALIER – 2017 – F – KIMBERLY
When you are the driving force for one of the top teams in the state that is undefeated in the toughest conference in the state you desire credit. That’s exactly what Chevalier is doing this season as the once promising forward is making due on that promise in impressive fashion. Averaging close to 20 points a contest Chevalier is slowly trending towards his high potential ceiling and that stellar play is among the best so far in the state. A huge matchup tomorrow against Oshkosh North is on deck this week.
KOBE KING – 2017 – SG – LA CROSSE CENTRAL
Averaging close to 27 points a contest and doing so with a variety of defenses being thrown at him, King has really stepped up his aggressiveness and his consistency this season and the talent is taking care of the rest. Already committed to Wisconsin, the senior standout wing stands with Terrence Lewis a top the 2017 class in the state and his play this season is his best to date in terms of consistency, floor impact, and effort. An excellent season so far.
TERRENCE LEWIS – 2017 – SF – MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE
No one in the 2017 class has improved more and made themselves into a complete player like this young man who has made his weaknesses as a young talent now his strengths to go along with his natural instinctive assets. Averaging over 31 points a contest with impressive high caliber performances in losses, the Iowa State commit has been sensational so far in his senior campaign. He’s hard working and skilled and he’s done his best so far to navigate through a unique senior season.
KOREEM OZIER – 2017 – PG – RACINE CASE
Another talented senior who won’t get his just due in all likelihood, Ozier has been nothing short of spectacular. Averaging close to 33 points a contest so far, the skilled and quick lead guard has powered the Case attack to quality wins over Destiny and Racine Park. Ozier is a Division 1 caliber lead guard who is a sleeper in the 2017 class both locally and regionally. He has been exceptional so far this season.
GAME OF THE WEEK
KIMBERLY AT OSHKOSH NORTH (TUESDAY)
It doesn’t get much bigger than this at the midway point as the #1 ranked team in the state hosts the #3 ranked team in the state on Tuesday. Both teams sit atop the Fox Valley Association Conference and both teams are undefeated. Notwithstanding the stellar overall team play and team performances of both clubs, each has solid prospects to watch as well with Kimberly boasting senior Will Chevalier and Oshkosh North being powered by senior Philip Flory and junior guard Tyrese Haliburton. The role players and benches could play a huge factor in this one and Oshkosh North has a number of them to keep an eye on in senior Shane Wissink, junior Quincy Anderson, and senior Brett Ellestad to name a few. Kimberly counters with their own in senior Danny Venden Boom and junior guard Alec Rosner. Kimberly has size and Oshkosh North has stellar guard play so this one is an intriguing matchup in terms of it being a matter of who can neutralize whose strength on Tuesday. Must watch basketball Tuesday night.
OTHER TOP GAMES
Milwaukee Vincent (6-3) at Milwaukee Hamilton (6-3)
Two favorites in the Milwaukee City Conference square off Tuesday night.
Sitting atop the standings, Vincent has a dangerous duo of St. Cloud State commit Andrew Lewis (21.0 ppg) and 2017 point guard Justin Brookens (17.6 ppg). Hamilton counters with 2018 guard Keonte White (22.5 ppg) and senior shooting guard Equan Ards (21.6 ppg).
Madison East (6-5) at Middleton (9-2)
The Big Eight has beaten up on each other this season and despite three conference losses, East is just one game back of Middleton for first place.
The Purgolders are getting 17.6 points per game from 2018 small forward Keshawn Justice, who has a handful of mid-major offers with some high major programs waiting to see what he does this spring.
Middleton’s 1-2 punch of North Dakota State commit Tyree Eady (24.1 ppg) and Wofford commit Storm Murphy (20.1 ppg) make the Cardinals still the favorite in the Big Eight, but enter a difficult three-game stretch beginning Thursday.
Oshkosh North (9-0) at Kaukauna (5-3)
Will Oshkosh North still enter this matchup unbeaten on Friday? Regardless, these two teams will put together one of the individual matchups of the year and they’ll get to do twice in the Fox Valley Association.
Tyrese Haliburton against West Virginia commit Jordan McCabe should be an outstanding point guard battle. McCabe, who’s currently without Minnesota-Duluth commit Adam Smith, is having a special season, posting 26.8 points per game.
Kaukauna desperately needs a win to get back into the title race, having dropped two conference games already this season.
Waunakee (9-0) vs. La Crosse Central (7-1)
The main event at the 2017 Midwest Player’s Classic is going to be a good one. In a battle of two teams that reached the state tournament in Division 2 a year ago, Saturday is a sneak peek at title contenders.
Waunakee comes in unbeaten, led by 2018 guard Mitch Listau. One of the best on-ball defenders in the state, Listau also leads the team at 21.8 points per game.
Wisconsin commit Kobe King (25.6 ppg) leads La Crosse Central. His running mate, Minnesota-Duluth commit Bailey Kale chips in with 17.2 ppg. The Red Raiders also feature two talented freshman, Jordan and Jonathan Davis that you’ll hear more about in the coming years.
Note - Evan Flood also contributed to this article.