NOW's JR Radcliffe takes a weekly look at the top five boys and girls teams in the NOW and Lake Country Publications coverage area and ranks the schools, updated every Sunday.
NOW's JR Radcliffe takes a weekly look at the top five boys and girls teams in the NOW and Lake Country Publications coverage area and ranks the schools, updated every Sunday.
New Berlin Eisenhower, 17-1 (no change)
Ike trailed at halftime on the road against Greendale on Feb. 5, but the 69-59 victory might represent the final obstacle to an outright Woodland West title. Second-place Pewaukee sits two games back in the loss column and faces the Lions in the season finale Feb. 24, but it would be a stunner to see Eisenhower lose another game before then. Pictured: Jay Gentry of Brown Deer and Jordan Canady of New Berlin Eisenhower.
Brown Deer, 13-4 (no change)
Jay Gentry and Taurus Adams again provided the 1-2 punch in an 88-71 win over Whitnall, supplying 42 of the points that helped Brown Deer register another quality win. The Falcons meet Greendale on Feb. 19, and that could be a challenge, but the Woodland East pretty much belongs to Brown Deer.
Dominican, 15-1 (down 1)
On Saturday, the Knights defeated a Homestead team that doesn't have a great record but does represent a quality Division 1 challenge, and the 54-41 win came in typical fashion, with three players scoring double figures and a stifling defense. There are some decent challenges remaining in the regular season, but it would be fairly unsurprising to see this team at 21-1 when the Division 4 playoffs begin. Pictured: Kostas Antetokounmpo.
Muskego, 11-4 (up 1)
Since losing to Arrowhead, a team that now lurks close behind in these rankings, Muskego has properly dismantled three Classic 8 foes, and an intriguing battle awaits against a streaking Kettle Moraine team on Feb. 9. If the Warriors win convincingly in that road test, then not only are the odds of at least sharing the Classic 8 title pretty strong, but we have to resume thinking about the Warriors as a very real threat to qualify for state.
Arrowhead, 12-5 (up 1)
We haven't forgotten about the double-overtime loss at home to Waukesha North just a couple games ago, but the Warhawks' vengeance of an earlier-season loss ot Mukwonago is the seventh win in nine games, and the other loss in that run was a 3-point loss to then-undefeated Middleton on the road. This is still a potential Classic 8 champion, and it can grab at least a share if it wins its final four league games (including against Muskego on Feb. 25).
Oak Creek, 15-2 (up 1)
As we've said, Oak Creek was just lingering, waiting for the top couple teams to fall from their perch, and now it's officially the Knights' time to own the distinction of the area's best team. The one drawback on the Knights' resume is a lack of top-flight competition in the Southeast, but that's what wins over Brookfield Central, King, Riverside and Kimberly are for, not to mention the two league wins over Franklin. Keep an eye on the Feb. 16 battle against surging Arrowhead. Pictured: Madison Hart.
Mukwonago, 16-3 (up 2)
Mukwonago has come back to the point where it can be considered a favorite to take at least share the Classic 8 and get back to the state tournament. After Arrowhead defeated Waukesha West to put Mukwonago within a game of first place, Mukwonago won big over Arrowhead on Friday, 52-37. Clicking at the right time, Mukwonago will now attempt to grab a share of the league lead with a huge Feb. 9 battle at Waukesha West.
Waukesha West, 15-4 (down 2)
West finds itself facing its first real adversity of the season, with two losses in three games against tough foes Arrowhead and New Berlin Eisenhower, the latter in overtime. Nobody is going to mistake this as a sign that the Wolverines are anything less than a state-tournament contender in Division 2, but it does knock West from the top of our rankings and offers some cause for alarm, especially given the loaded nature of the Division 2 sectional (Pewaukee, Eisenhower, Pius, New Berlin West). All but Pius are in the same regional. Better that West learns where its vulnerabilities are now than in the playoffs.
New Berlin Eisenhower, 15-4 (up 5)
What a week for New Berlin Eisenhower. The Lions took down undefeated a No. 1-ranked Milwaukee Pius, downed Greendale as expected, then topped Waukesha West in overtime on Saturday. Ike suddenly finds itself as a team that can realistically get to state, having previously defeated Pewaukee and now owning wins over the three other powerhouses of the Division 2 sectional in which they'll play. They'll look to avenge a loss against New Berlin West on Feb. 9. Pictured: Katie Ludwig (right).
Germantown, 15-4 (no change)
Germantown has still won eight of nine, though a loss to Homestead on Feb. 2 put the North Shore back up for grabs. Germantown can still finish strong win wins over Whitefish Bay, Cedarburg and Port Washington, and for now, the Warhawks get the tiebreaker edge over Sussex Hamilton for the No. 5 spot in our rankings by virtue of head-to-head outcome.
Pewaukee, 14-3 (down 2)
Others (alpha): Brookfield East, 2-14; Catholic Memorial, 7-10; Cudahy, 9-7; Franklin, 4-13; Greenfield, 0-16; Homestead, 5-11; Kettle Moraine, 9-7; Lake Country Lutheran, 8-8; Martin Luther, 6-11; Menomonee Falls, 11-7; Mukwonago, 8-9; New Berlin West, 3-14; Nicolet, 9-9; Oak Creek, 11-8; Shorewood, 6-11; South Milwaukee, 5-12; St. Francis, 7-9; St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, 5-12; St. Thomas More, 7-11; University Lake School, 3-13; University School, 9-7; Waukesha North, 10-7; Waukesha South, 9-8; Waukesha West, 1-16; Wauwatosa East, 7-11; Wauwatosa West, 10-7; West Allis Central, 8-11;
Sussex Hamilton, 15-4 (down 3)
Others (alpha): Brookfield Academy, 14-4; Brown Deer, 2-15; Catholic Memorial, 10-8; Cudahy, 10-9; Dominican, 10-8; Greendale, 4-15; Greenfield, 7-11; Lake Country Lutheran, 12-7; Menomonee Falls, 5-14; Muskego, 10-9; Nicolet, 4-15; Oconomowoc, 6-13; South Milwaukee, 5-12; Shorewood, 12-6; St. Francis, 5-12; St. Thomas More, 6-12; University Lake School, 7-8; University School, 3-15; Waukesha North, 0-18; Waukesha South, 8-11; Wauwatosa East, 12-7; Wauwatosa West, 3-16; West Allis Central, 3-16; West Allis Hale, 10-10; Whitefish Bay, 8-11; Whitnall, 11-8
Averages are taken from the Wissports.net online database. Adjustments will be made only if submitted by that player's coach to JR Radcliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Averages through Feb 7. Teams covered on Roundball Rankings include those by NOW Newspapers (including extended coverage zone involving Dominican, Cudahy, Thomas More, Martin Luther, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, Sussex Hamilton and Brookfield Academy) and Lake Country Publications.
Current active leading scorers among all NOW-area high schools. All seniors, unless noted.
Stats accumulated from Wissports.net database through Feb. 7, 2016.
Several NOW teams have popped up on the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association rankings (Feb. 9).
Division 1 girls
2. Oak Creek (16-2)
3. Mukwonago (16-3)
9. Germantown (15-4)
10. Sussex Hamilton (15-4)
Division 2 girls
6. New Berlin Eisenhower (15-4)
8. Waukesha West (15-4)
10. Pewaukee (14-5)
Division 1 boys
7. Germantown (13-4)
9. Muskego (13-4)
Division 2 boys
2. New Berlin Eisenhower (17-1)
9. Pewaukee (14-3)
Division 3 boys
4. Brown Deer (13-4)
8. Brookfield Academy (13-4)
Division 4 boys
1. Dominican (15-1)
Oconomowoc senior George Kneiser (00) battles inside for a shot during the game at home against Watertown on Feb. 5. Oconomowoc won and moved to 10-0 in conference. Photo by Scott Ash.
Homestead used a hot-shooting first half and some clutch plays and composure in the final minutes to score a 78-66 victory over Germantown to move into a virtual tie for first place with the Warhawks atop the conference.
Will it really be 10 years this spring?
It certainly wasn't the start that the host Arrowhead girls basketball team was looking for Tuesday night against undefeated Classic 8 Conference leader Waukesha West. There was no indication the Warhawks would be walking out of the gym with a 56-43 win, having handed West its first Classic 8 loss of the season.
Abby Gerrits came into the program at Pewaukee High School with talent and expectations, and she’s met and exceeded those with her improved marksmanship and ascension into one of the area’s best players.
Nick Fuller's career-high in scoring three games ago was 19 points. After his games of 30, 29 and 22 points, it seems the Kettle Moraine boys basketball team has developed a big-time second scoring option to fellow senior Sean Miller, and it's no coincidence that the Lasers are riding a five-game winning streak.
Brookfield Central led by 12 points early in the second half, but the Lancers could not hold on against first-place Divine Savior Holy Angels, which picked up two late free throws from Taylor Drost and won a 49-48 thriller that marked its 26th straight Greater Metro Conference victory.
Coach Dan Wandrey's Brookfield Central boys basketball team is a surprising one to watch. You never know what team will show up.
Marquis Carter spent most of the basketball season on the bench nursing a foot injury. But when the four-year senior returned to the floor, he didn’t just make a cameo. His big shots lifted North to a signature win in double overtime, one that has the Northstars in the thick of the league race.
For all the accolades he and his team have earned in the past two WIAA Division 3 state championship seasons, Brown Deer's 102-99 triple overtime victory at New Berlin Eisenhower on Jan. 29 was a first for Falcons coach Scott Appleby.
Big-time players come through even on nights when they aren't having their best games. Pewaukee senior forward Abby Gerrits is a big-time player.
LIKELY TO DANCE
Diamond Stone (Dominican), Maryland. Maryland rallied to top nationally-ranked Purdue on Feb. 6, 72-61, where Stone finished with 12 points and six boards. Stone had another 14 points in a nonconference win over Bowie State, and he remains second on the team in scoring (13.0) with a healthy 5.6 rebounds per game.
Brady Ellingson (Sussex Hamilton), Iowa. Iowa's 85-78 loss to host Indiana on Feb. 11 provided a shake up in the Big Ten, with the Hawkeyes now tied atop the standings at 10-2 with Maryland and the Hoosiers. Purdue and Michigan are both at 8-4, with Wisconsin (yep) lurking at 7-4. Ellingson played just 5 minutes in two games this week.
Jaylen Key (Homestead), Northern Illinois. Once a team that looked like a strong candidate to grab the automatic berth out of the MAC, Northern has now lost five straight games and looks like it will now need a Cinderella run through the conference tournament. Key continues to start as a freshman and scores 5.9 points per game, with 3.8 rebounds. Darrell Bowie (Wauwatosa East) is also on the team but has been out all year with a shoulder injury.
Paul Miller (Kettle Moraine), North Dakota State. For the third week in a row, the Bison won one and lost one, avenging an earlier loss in a 62-46 win over Fort Wayne but incurring a loss to South Dakota, 72-58, a team NDSU beat earlier in the year. This remains an intriguing Summit League tourney possibility. However, Miller did not play in either game last week with injury, and though NDSU coach Dave Richman said it's not season-ending, he didn't specify the nature of it, either. Evan Wesenberg (Germantown) is redshirting this year.
Riley LaChance (Brookfield Central), Vanderbilt LaChance continued to see limited production though he remains a key part of the rotation during his slump. He had 4 points in 17 minutes when the Commodores defeated Missouri on Feb. 10, and he played 25 minutes in a loss to Ole Miss, scoring 7 points and handing out three assists. He's shooting 38 percent and scoring 8.3 points per game after scoring 12.3 and shooting 43 percent last year. Vandy has fallen to 14-10 and will need a late surge to make the Dance.
Zak Showalter (Germantown), Wisconsin. Showalter scored 10 points and brought in five rebounds when Wisconsin downed Nebraska on Feb. 10, the sixth win in a row for a Badgers team looking to make a late push for the tourney. The team had a huge battle looming Feb. 13 against Maryland. T.J. Schlundt (Oconomowoc) has played in four games this year.
OTHERS OF NOTE
Duane Wilson (Whitefish Bay Dominican, Marquette. Like Wisconsin, this team is hard to figure out. Marquette defeated Providence in double overtime, marking a season sweep against the nationally-ranked Friars. Wilson had 6 points in 32 minutes, and Luke Fischer (Germantown) played a strong 12-point, 10-rebound game. Marquette also gave Xavier a scare on the road, with Wilson scoring 16 points and Fischer again flirting with a double-double. Cam Marotta (Homestead) has seen the floor in three games.
Lamonte Bearden (Germantown), Buffalo. Bearden scored 14 points in a win over Eastern Michigan but was out of the lineup Feb. 9 in a crucial loss to Toledo. He'd been out with an injury earlier, but this time, he's been suspended indefinitely by the Bulls for "conduct detrimental to the team."
Jarvis Garrett (West Allis Central), Rhode Island. Garrett's scoring average jumped from 12.6 to 13.3 for the Rams after a strong week where he helped his team grab two wins over La Salle and George Mason. He scored 26 against La Salle, along with five rebounds, and he added 17 with five assists against Mason. He's tied for the team scoring lead as the Rams (6-5 in Atlantic 10) try to position themselves for a league tourney run.
Reed Timmer (New Berlin Eisenhower), Drake. Timmer leads Drake (6-19) at 17.6 points per game.
Tanner Plomb (East Troy), Army. Didn't attend school in our coverage area but hailing from Mukwonago, Plomb is the top-scoring Wisconsin native in all of Division 1 college basketball at 21.4 points per game. Army is 14-11 and 5-8 in the Patriot League. He's also a finalist for the "Dark Horse Dunker" fan vote for the State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships, and there are various rounds of voting at darkhorsedunker.com.
Martin Breunig (SJNMA post-grad), Montana. Breunig is from Germany and started his career at Washington, but he also spent a year in the inaugral post-graduate class at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy. He averages 19.2 points and 8.7 rebounds for Montana, which sits at 15-8 overall and 10-2 in the Big Sky, looking like an NCAA Tournament team. He also has a team-best 27 locks this year and shoots 65 percent from the field.
MORE: Garrison Goode (Dominican), UC Davis | Christian Griggs-Williams (Nicolet), Tennessee State | Iman Johnson (Dominican), Samford | Tyler Miller (Nicolet), Prairie View A&M | DJ Mlachnik (Muskego/SJNMA), UMASS-Lowell | Trayvon Palmer (Brown Deer), Chicago State | Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay), UMBC | Dan Studer (Germantown), UW-Milwaukee | Najeal Young (West Allis Central), Illinois Chicago.
NCAA Division 1 women
LIKELY TO DANCE
Taylor Gradinjan (Cudahy), Florida Gulf Coast. Gradinjan scored 11 points in a win over North Florida and then logged 24 minutes in a close 59-55 win over Jacksonville, one of the few times FGCU (21-4 overall, 9-0 in Atlatnic Sun) has been tested this year. Jessica Cattani (Muskego) is also on the roster.
Mehryn Kraker (West Allis Central), UW-Green Bay. Kraker scored in double figures in both wins this week, smooth victories over Milwaukee and Youngstown State that bumped Green Bay to 20-3 overall and 10-1 in the Horizon. Lexi Weitzer (Waukesha South) posted a strong line of 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks against Youngstown. Ashley Luke (Oak Creek), who had a decorated career at Western Illinois, is a graduate transfer on the team but has been sidelined by an ACL tear.
OTHERS OF NOTE
Allazia Blockton (Dominican), Marquette. Blockton's sensational freshman season continued, but Marquette hit a wall with two losses after five straight wins and six of seven. In a 75-72 loss to Georgetown on Feb. 5, Blockton scored 19 points and brought in seven rebounds and four assists. She was held in check, with 10 points, in a lopsided loss to Villanova. She remains one of the nation's best freshmen.
Lydia Rohde (Brookfield Central) and Maya Jonas (Whitefish Bay), Northwestern. Northwestern's tailspin continued in gut-wrenching fashion with a 112-106 loss to Minnesota in double overtime and a 61-59 loss to Rutgers. Rohde scored 10 points against the Gophers, but NU has fallen to 3-10 in the Big Ten.
Nicole Bauman (New Berlin Eisenhower), Wisconsin. Wisconsin is also 3-10 in league play but did register a win last week over Purdue, an upset win that featured 16 points and three assists from Bauman. She added 10 more with four helpers in a loss to Michigan.
Taylor Higginbotham (Germantown), Western Illinois. Like Higginbotham's old Germantown teams, Western isn't afraid of high-scoring games. In a 96-87 loss to IUPUI, she had 10 points and four rebounds, and she added 12 points and eight boards in an 80-69 win over Denver. Michelle Farrow (Waukesha West) also had 8 points for the Leathernecks (14-11, 7-5 in Summit League) in the latter contest.
Mackenzie Latt (Sussex Hamilton), Davidson. Latt had a mosnter game with 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in a 68-63 win over George Mason two weeks ago, and she flirted with double doubles in both of her team's games last week. She scored 20 points with nine rebounds in a 67-59 win over Richmond. The Wildcats are still 5-7 in league play and 11-14 overall.
Steph Kostowicz (Oak Creek), UW-Milwaukee. She had 11 points in a narrow win over Cleveland State and added 5 points with eight rebounds in a loss to Green Bay. The Panthers are 7-4 in the Horizon League and 13-9 overall. Jordyn Swan (Pewaukee) is out all year with a torn ACL.
Kelly Smith (Arrowhead), Northern Illinois. Smith is scoring 11 points per game with 6.5 rebounds and has started every contest for the Huskies (10-12, 3-8 in MAC). Others seeing the floor for NIU are Ally May (Arrowhead) and Amber Gray (Mukwonago).
MORE: Renee Bennett (Muskego), Ball State | Briana Gray (Nicolet), Bradley | Kianna Keller (Waukesha West), New Mexico | Katie Salmon (Wauwatosa East), Loyola (Ill.) | Tamya Sims (Oak Creek), Bradley | Eileen Van Horn (Waukesha South), Marist
Updated: Feb. 12.
You can't really have a better week than the New Berlin Eisenhower girls had, and senior Chelsea Brackmann was a big part of the equation. The Lions knocked off undefeated and top-ranked Milwaukee Pius on Tuesday, took care of Greendale on Friday and then knocked off the No. 1 team in our Roundball Rankings, Waukesha West, in overtime on Saturday. Brackmann scored 21 against West and 13 against Pius, and the Lions now look like a major threat in the loaded Division 2 sectional that features all three teams.
Feb. 9: Whitefish Bay at Germantown. The Warhawks have regained a one-game lead ahead of Cedarburg for first place, but they'll have to hold off a Bay team that made it very interesting the first time around and also just got the best of Cedarburg.
Feb. 9: Muskego at Kettle Moraine. The Lasers have been lingering in the Classic 8 race and can make the title chase interesting with a win over frontrunning Muskego.
Feb. 12: Brookfield Central at Sussex Hamilton. The Lancers are just one game back of Marquette in the Greater Metro chase, but the Chargers were able to get the best of Central the first time around.
Feb. 13: Dominican at Racine Case. With like-sized schools not looking like a match for Dominican again this year, the Knights get one last quality test against a Division 1 squad heading into the postseason.
Feb. 9: Mukwonago at Waukesha West. With Mukwonago healthier this time around, the Indians will look to knock off league-leader Waukesha West, which took its first Classic 8 loss against Arrowhead on Feb. 2 and is just one game up on MHS and Kettle Moraine.
Feb. 9: New Berlin Eisenhower at New Berlin West. Now that Ike has knocked off Pewaukee, Pius and Waukesha West, it will look to complete the recent sweep of Division 2 powers Tuesday.
Feb. 12: Cedarburg at Germantown. With Homestead's loss to Cedarburg on Feb. 6, the North Shore title might very simply come down to this clash. Both head into the week tied for first.
Feb. 16: Sussex Hamilton at Brookfield Central. Divine Savior Holy Angels has the Greater Metro locked up, but second place will come down to this battle between top-flight teams.
Feb. 6 marked the first time the John Chekouras Showcase at Homestead would be presented as a six-game tournament, with Mark Miller of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook also lending his expertise to the rare late-season tournament. In the final games of the night, Dominican beat the host school and Oak Creek battled past Waukesha North.
A look at area players headed to play college basketball in NCAA Division 1 and Division 2
Chelsea Brackmann, New Berlin Eisenhower (Northern Illinois)
Bre Cera, Mukwonago (Iowa)
Abby Gerrits, Pewaukee (Northern Iowa)
Morgan Glatczak, Mukwonago (Ball State)
Mariah Miller, Brookfield East (Cleveland State)
Carly Graverson, Franklin (Lewis)
Christal Hearn, Homestead (University of Mary)
Kariss Keller, Waukesha West (Nova Southeastern)
Taylor Klug, Sussex Hamilton (Minnesota State-Mankato)
Claire Radtke, New Berlin West (Lake Superior State)
Sam Schuh, West Allis Hale (Dakota Wesleyan)
Emily Schumacher, Waukesha South (Charleston)
Nicky Widenski, Oak Creek (Lee University)
Juwan McCloud, Germantown (Northern Iowa)
Bryce Nze, Arrowhead (UW-Milwaukee)
Harrison Cleary, Oak Creek (Minnesota-Crookston)
Max Keefe, Germantown (Concordia St. Paul)
Spencer Treder, Oconomowoc (Winona State)
Missing any? Email email@example.com
State appearances by area teams:
We check in with past area basketball players and ask about their experiences at the state tournament.
Erin Monfre was on the cover of the state's women's basketball yearbook before the season, and she and her Waukesha South teammates proved the hype was real, reaching the WIAA Division 1 state championship game before falling to De Pere. "It kept me accountable, it never allowed me to settle. There were people who had expectations of me, people who doubted me and expectations I had for myself. That spotlight kept me in line, as well as motivated."
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Jamie Schneck, Whitefish Bay boys
Kay (Mikolajczak) Chmielewski, Franklin girls
Jay Schauer and Rollie Blanchett, South Milwaukee boys
Whitefish Bay girls team, 2006
Brenda (Brunner) Hojnacki, Pius girls
Griffin LaDew, Catholic Memorial boys
Tina (Vilter) McDonald, Arrowhead girls
Eric Dale, Wauwatosa East boys
Kelly (Schwerman) Leibham, Kettle Moraine girls
JR Blount, Whitefish Bay Dominican boys
Alex Izzo, New Berlin Eisenhower boys
Ashley Imperiale, Greendale girls
A look back at the best of the best from the NOW Newspapers and Lake Country Publications coverage areas.
Sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Sports Channel's JP Cadorin discuss local sports. Latest episode: The Initial Reaction guys discuss Jonathan Lucroy explaining that he and the Brewers would be better off if Lucroy were playing elsewhere. Also discussed: final morsels from the WIAA controversy, a post mortem on the Green Bay Packers and a New Berlin Eisenhower team that might very well be the best D2 boys basketball squad in the state.