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. 2).
Division 1 girls
2. Oak Creek (15-2)
4. Mukwonago (14-3)
7. Germantown (14-3)
10. Sussex Hamilton (14-3)
Division 2 girls
5. Waukesha West (14-2)
7. New Berlin West (13-4)
9. New Berlin Eisenhower (12-4)
Division 1 boys
9. Germantown (11-4)
Division 2 boys
2. New Berlin Eisenhower (15-1)
4. Pewaukee (13-2)
Division 3 boys
4. Brown Deer (11-4)
8. Brookfield Academy (13-4)
Division 4 boys
1. Dominican (13-1)
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.
Who's making waves at the next level, and who might we see dancing when the NCAA Tournament field gets announced?
NCAA Division 1 men
LIKELY TO DANCE
Diamond Stone (Dominican), Maryland. Stone struggled, going 3 for 11 shooting, but he still managed 10 points and 8 rebounds in a close win over Ohio State. The Terrapins (20-3) also struggled to work past Nebraska but still won, with Stone faring much better in a 16-point, 10-rebound, 8-block performance. Mock drafts still see Stone as a top 10-20 pick -- perhaps to Milwaukee?
Brady Ellingson (Sussex Hamilton), Iowa. With Iowa coasting to a pair of wins over Northwestern and Penn State this past week, Ellingson saw some increased court time, though he had just 2 points against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes are ranked third in the country at 18-4 and 9-1 in the Big Ten.
Riley LaChance (Brookfield Central), Vanderbilt LaChance now comes off the bench for Vandy but still sees more than 20 minutes per game, as he did when the team lost to Texas and defeated Texas A&M. Vanderbilt has fallen to "First Four Out" status in ESPN's latest round of Bracketology.
Jaylen Key (Homestead), Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois has also been struggling lately, with three consecutive losses. Most recently, Key scored 12 points with 10 rebounds off the bench agianst Buffalo, but it came in a 90-78 loss on Feb. 2. Now at 5-4 in the MAC and 16-6 overall, Northern no longer looks like the likely representative in the Big Dance from the conference. 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. It was good news and bad news again this past week fro the Bison, who lost a 73-72 heartbreaker against IUPUI on a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining (despite Miller's team-leading 21 points) but avenged an earlier-season loss with a 67-63 win over Oral Roberts on Feb. 4. NDSU is 15-8 overall and 5-4 in conference play. Evan Wesenberg (Germantown) is redshirting this year.
OTHERS OF NOTE
Zak Showalter (Germantown), Wisconsin. Wisconsin just won't go quietly. Despite a bad start to the year, the Badgers are working their way into at least the conversation of the NCAA tournament, with five straight wins. Showalter had 8 points and 7 rebounds in a win over Illinois and 6 points and 4 assists in a win over Ohio State. T.J. Schlundt (Oconomowoc) has played in four games this year.
Duane Wilson (Whitefish Bay Dominican, Marquette. Things have fallen apart for the other big-time home-state squad. Though Luke Fischer (Germantown) had 17 points and 6 rebounds against Seton Hall, Marquette fell to 4-6 in the Big East with a road loss Feb. 3, failing to capitalize on a win over Butler on Jan. 30, where Wilson had 7 points but Fischer was held scoreless. Cam Marotta (Homestead) has seen the floor in three games.
Lamonte Bearden (Germantown), Buffalo. Bearden's scoring average jumped to 13.5 per game from 12.8 after a productive week. He scored 23 in the aforementioned win over Northern Illinois, with 7 rebounds and 7 assists to boot. He added 16 points and helped Buffalo defeat Toledo on Jan. 30, 73-68. At 13-9 and 6-3 in MAC play, the Bulls could be a candidate to win the league tourney and reach the Dance.
Jarvis Garrett (West Allis Central), Rhode Island. Garrett (team-leading 12.6 ppg) scored 13 points and grabbed 9 reobunds in a loss to St. Joseph's, but he was also taken to the hospital with a jaw injury after a mid-game collision, and he did not play in the team's overtime loss to UMASS on Feb. 2. His timetable to return is unclear.
Reed Timmer (New Berlin Eisenhower), Drake. Timmer leads Drake (6-17) at 17.5 points per game. He scored 19 in a win over Bradley on Jan. 30 that snapped a nine-game losing streak.
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 13-10 and 4-7 in the Patriot League.
MORE: Garrison Goode (Dominican), UC Davis | Christian Griggs-Williams (Nicolet), Tennessee State | DJ Mlachnik (Muskego/SJNMA), UMASS-Lowell | Trayvon Palmer (Brown Deer), Chicago State | Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay), UMBC | Dan Studer (Germantown), UW-Milwaukee
NCAA Division 1 women
LIKELY TO DANCE
Taylor Gradinjan (Cudahy), Florida Gulf Coast. Gradinjan had 15 points in a win over North Florida and continues to be third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game. Gulf Coast is 19-4 overall and 7-0 in conference and hasn't really been tested in many of its 12 straight wins. Jessica Cattani (Muskego) is also on the roster.
Mehryn Kraker (West Allis Central), UW-Green Bay. Kraker posted a double-double at 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 58-36 win over Detroit, a rebound from Green Bay's first league loss of the year. Lexi Weitzer (Waukesha South) added seven rebounds. The Phoenix are now 18-3 overall and 8-1 in the Horizon League. 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 is on fire, and Marquette has won five straight games. Most recently in an 89-82 win over Seton Hall, Blockton brought in 21 points and 10 rebounds, part of the reason why she was named NATIONAL freshman of the week for the second time this season. She already has a Marquette freshman record for points in a season and is just 112 away from the Big East freshman record.
Lydia Rohde (Brookfield Central) and Maya Jonas (Whitefish Bay), Northwestern. Northwestern is in a serious skid, having lost seven of eight before defeating Illinois on Feb. 4. Jonas hasn't played in the Wildcat's last two games, and Rohde has played sparingly. Northwestern isn't mentioned even among the team's just missing the field in ESPN women's basketball Bracketology.
Nicole Bauman (New Berlin Eisenhower), Wisconsin. Wisconsin has lost seven straight games and continues to sputter, but it sure isn't Bauman's fault. She had 19 points and 6 rebounds in a loss to Ohio State and anotehr 19 with four assists in a loss to Michigan State. Last week, a question about Bauman's strong play in the postgame led to a bit of a viral sensation when Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey went on a rant about what it takes to become a good shooter.
Taylor Higginbotham (Germantown), Western Illinois. Higginbotham started and scoired 7 points in a win over Omaha but really broke out with 24 points and 7 rebounds in a buzzer-beating win over IPFW to get the Leathernecks back into the conference race at 6-4 in the Summit and 13-10 overall. Michelle Farrow (Waukesha West) adds 5.9 points per game.
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. Davidson (10-13, 4-6 in Atlantic 10) also lost to Dayton last week despite anotehr 13 points and 10 boards from Latt. The 19 boards were the most by a Wildcat player since 2012, and it was Latt's seventh straight double-double.
Steph Kostowicz (Oak Creek), UW-Milwaukee. Kostowicz's posted another strong outing at 10 points and 8 rebounds in a win over Oakland on Jan. 31, and she's second on the team with 12.9 points per game, plus a team-leading 8.8 boards. Jordyn Swan (Pewaukee) is out all year with a torn ACL.
Kelly Smith (Arrowhead), Northern Illinois. The sophomore kept rolling with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in a buzzer-beating win for Northern Illinois over Buffalo on Jan. 30. She remains second on the team in both scoring (11.1 points) and rebounds (6.6) per game. 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. 5.
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.
The Wisconsin Little Ten conference wrestling tournament figured to be close, with several ranked teams competing. The Vikings of Wisconsin Lutheran made a shambles of that idea, building up a 50-point lead after the semifinal round on the way to a resounding victory.