The regular season is in the final stretches for the 2018-2019 high school year and the upcoming state tournament has a number of teams positioned to challenge for state supremacy in their various divisions.  Here’s a look at five key players that could be the determining factor in helping their teams capture the gold ball at season’s end in Wisconsin…

Note – Listed in alphabetical order - This is not an exclusive list

Chris Bready – 2019 – G/F – Waukesha West High School (WI)
A late blooming and talented matchup problem, Bready is a key factor in the resurgence of Waukesha West since December.  Bready’s ability to create matchup problems, score from multiple levels, and bring versatility and athleticism to the court has given a different dynamic to the West attack and it now has them as one of the top 2-3 teams in the state along with Sussex Hamilton in Division 1.  Bready has to be accounted for and that production combined with the other pieces on the West board make them very dangerous come tournament time.

Kobe Johnson – 2021 – PG – Nicolet High School (WI)
While older brother Jalen Johnson and junior forward Jamari Sibley take most of the headlines with their stellar play, the emergence of this sophomore guard has added a third piece to the Nicolet arsenal and it’s also brought some nice balance to the table as well.  Johnson has added size since the summer and his ability to score off the dribble, knock down perimeter shots, and create as well has continued to help the Knights as a team and given them a third piece to the puzzle that has to be game planned for night in and night out. His play will be critical down the stretch and in the state tournament as he’s a legitimate Division 1 prospect of his own who really is just starting his ascent as a player.  

James Kelley – 2019 – SF – St. Johns NW Military Academy (WI)
An unsung senior with an ability to score and rebound at a high level, Kelley has SJNWMA in the Division 3 conversation now and legitimately so.  He can score at multiple levels and he has the ability to put the team on his back and dominate a game when needed.  One of the best kept secrets in the state, SJNWMA is a serious challenger to the likes of Greendale Martin Luther, Waupun, Racine St. Catherines, etc. and Kelley’s production is a big reason why.

Carson Smith – 2020 – G – Sussex Hamilton (WI)
While sophomore Patrick Baldwin Jr. is the focus of every game plan for Sussex Hamilton and justifiably so, this talented junior has emerged the past few weeks as one to pay close attention to as well.  He’s an excellent perimeter shooter with range, a quick release, and consistent production and he provides balance to the Hamilton attack from the perimeter night in and night out.  He has to be accounted for and that allows Hamilton to get creative with Baldwin if they want.  Smith can fill it up quickly and when it’s time to take the big shot, he has no fear in doing so and he will make it as well.  Combine that with the multiple intangibles he brings with his hustle and Smith is a critical part of the Hamilton attack down the stretch as they pursue a state championship.

Jermaine Tomlin – 2020 – SG – Racine St. Catherines (WI)
St. Cats is always well coached and always balanced and while sophomore Tyrese Hunter is a primary focus, junior wing Jermaine Tomlin has had some solid eye opening games where his perimeter shooting and rebounding have brought balance to the attack.  His ability to spread the floor consistently and make shots has opened up the lanes for Hunter and provided another piece on the board for St. Cats in big situations.  If Tomlin is playing at the top of his game during the state tournament, Racine St. Catherines will be a very tough out as they challenge for the D3 state chip.