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NICOLET SHOWS OUT IN HOME OPENER

The high school season continues to move forward and after another exciting weekend of action in Wisconsin some things are starting to take shape early on.  We look at some top individual performers as well as quality team efforts along with more in today’s news and notes from across the Badger state…

SEE ALSO ARCHIVES - WISCONSIN NEWS AND NOTES - WEEK 1

TEAM RANKINGS
(1)     Nicolet

Two games and two explosive wins that were basically a highly reel once the team got going.  They struggled a bit early against Hartford but fought through adversity and then dominated in the second half.  On Friday against Slinger they defensively suffocated them right off the bat and were dominant.  They head to Washington D.C. later this week before a showdown at the NY2LA Sports Classic on December 15, 2018 against Sussex Hamilton.  Very impressed with the play of sophomore guard Kobe Johnson so far as he’s really blended in well.  Junior Jalen Johnson has posted two near triple doubles and fellow Junior Jamari Sibley has been exceptional in the two opening games.  

(2)     Sussex Hamilton
No games yet but lots of promise.  They have depth, experience, perimeter shooting, and they’re still young.  They start next week with games against Brookfield Central, Wauwatosa West, and then Nicolet at Brookfield Central on December 15, 2018.  They’ll be tested right off the bat and they’re the team to beat in Division 1 right now.

(3)     La Crosse Central
An opening game win powered by junior Johnny Davis is pretty much standard for what you’ll see this season.  Brother Jordan and senior guard Noah Parcher also scored in double figures for the win.  A showdown at Brookfield Central against Brookfield Central as part of the NY2LA Sports Classic on December 15, 2018 will be a measuring stick game early for them.

(4)     Brookfield Central
A strong opening game win over Milwaukee King on Saturday at the Terry Porter Classic was impressive and really scripted the narrative on them this season.  Gage Malensek, Ben Nau, Cole Nau, and David Joplin all scored in double figures.  They have exceptional guard play and some nice depth.  Their next three games in order are Brookfield East, Sussex Hamilton, and as mentioned La Crosse Central.  They are arguably the top challenger to Sussex Hamilton for the Division 1 crown this season at this early stage and they will come out of their first handful of games really battle tested and aware.  

(5)     Greendale Martin Luther
They’re the favorite at this stage for the Division 3 crown after an impressive opening game win over Milwaukee Washington Saturday.  Senior guards Trequan Carrington and Ace Evans are as good a high school duo as you’ll find most nights and senior wing Xzavier Jones has to be accounted for as well.  Don’t sleep on Jeramie King either.  Martin Luther sent a message on Saturday that the state of Wisconsin heard loud and clear.  They are targeting a Division 3 state title this year and it’s going to take a great team effort to stop them.

(6)     Milwaukee Washington
A couple games in and Washington has already been a bit of a roller coaster so far.  Against Racine Park they had solid runs and then gave leads back before closing things out late in impressive fashion.  Against Martin Luther they couldn’t stop their guards and it gave them fits all night.  Barring injury or an unforeseen collapse they’ll capture the City Conference Championship but they’ll need solid consistent guard play to navigate through the landmines of the Division 2 state field at the end of the year.  Sophomore Chianti Clay Jr. is a player that I could see emerging as very important for them.  Fellow sophomore Michael Foster is the real deal as advertised so you can expect him to keep delivering high caliber performances game in and game out.

(7)     Waukesha West
An opening game win was powered by seniors David Skogman and Chris Bready as well as sophomore Cam Palesse.  On paper most think they’ll challenge for the Division 1 state title but early on it really seems that Sussex Hamilton and Brookfield Central are ahead of the class.  They’ll need much of the same from Bready game in and game out to give them another offensive weapon as the season moves along.  A team to watch closely.

(8)     Brown Deer
State championships have become part of the DNA of Brown Deer in recent years and Head Coach Kelly Applebee has another one of those teams that will fly below the radar a bit all season but have a chance to hoist the gold ball at the end of the year once again if everything comes together.  Senior guard Jaylon Gentry powers the attack but the balance is provided by fellow senior Brooklyn Jager and sophomores Jeremiah Dotson and Mark Wade.  If Dotson and Wade continue to play at a high level the Falcons will be very tough to beat come seasons end.

(9)     Waupun
Off to a 2-0 start with impressive early victories, Waupun is powered by senior do it all forward Marcus Domask and they’re extremely well coached.  Domask already holds a D3 state title under his belt and they have a legit chance at capturing another one this season.  

(10)   Racine Park
Couldn’t decide whether to go with Park or Racine St. Catherines here but we chose Park this week.  They have a lot of senior leadership with Canady, Days, etc. and they have versatility and talent to have a great season.  My only reservation is that Park never seems to really get that statement win or step up in the big games with consistency.  Perhaps this year I’m wrong as the seniors are experienced and this team is built for a deep March run if they all come together.

Other Notables – Brookfield East, Kimberly, Franklin, Madison La Follette, Madison East, Onalaska, Kaukauna, Milwaukee Madison, Racine St. Catherines

2019 Player To Watch
James Kelley – G/F – St. John’s Military Academy

A highly under appreciate and underrated talent, Kelley is a monster game in and game out and a virtual double double every time he takes the floor.  He can score at multiple levels, he dominates the glass, and he’s one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest right now.  Expect a huge season from him this year.

Junior To Track Closely
Carter Gilmore – F – Arrowhead

A plus length skilled forward with the ability to handle, create, finish and defend, Gilmore already holds a number of Division 1 offers and he’s really just starting his ascent.  His versatility, vision, instincts, and skill are advanced and a problem for opposing teams because he can finish or create from all three levels.  He’s already delivered a couple of very strong floor games and he has triple double potential when he’s active and at his best.  Look for him to deliver some strong performances and fill the box score for Arrowhead this season.  

Super Sophomore
Ezra Stargell – PG – Kenosha Indian Trail

For those who don’t know they will shortly and for those who do Ezra is already off and running with a 34 point effort in a win over crosstown rival Kenosha Tremper last week.  Ultra-quick with handles, instincts, vision, and skill, Stargell is a blur in the opening court and a tough cover with his ability to penetrate and create or score.  Expect and explosion breakout type year for him this season as he’s one of the best kept secrets in the state…until now.  

Freshman Sensation
Marshawn Robinson – G – Waukesha South

An athletic slashing guard, Robinson made some noise at times this fall in the various fall leagues and he will be a big piece in rebuilding things at Waukesha South.  He’s a talented freshman to keep track of and watch closely moving forward as he could grow and develop into a quality prospect in the coming years.  One to track closely.  

Sleeper Watch 
Karter Thomas – 2020 - G – Oshkosh West

A scoring machine already this season, Thomas can fill it up from anywhere on the court and he has the ability to flip the scoreboard quickly and often with a high level of consistency.  A 6-0 guard with instincts, feel, and skill, Thomas is one to watch if you get the chance to check him out this season.  

Team to Watch
Milwaukee Madison – Head Coach Quemont Greer

Something is brewing at Milwaukee Madison and a big reason why is the leadership of Head Coach Quemont Greer.  One of the best and most respect young coaches in the state with a resume on the hardwood that demands attention, Greer has his team off to an excellent 4-0 mark playing the right way.  Senior forward Kyran Gaines has been ridiculous to start averaging over 30 points a contest and sophomore guard Brandon Leach is also delivering some high caliber play.  Madison is guaranteed to come to play every night so you better bring it.  They’re starting to believe and Greer is an excellent coach and leader so they’re only trending upward from here.  

UPCOMING PLATFORM
NY2LA SPORTS CLASSIC – DECEMBER 15, 2018 – BROOKFIELD CENTRAL HS

4:00 p.m. – Brown Deer vs. Homestead
6:00 p.m. – La Crosse Central vs. Brookfield Central
8:00 pm. – Sussex Hamilton vs. Nicolet

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2018 NY2LA Sports Classic