Category Archives for "Blog"

Jan. 25 Ranking my Boys Prep Basketball Teams

1. Brookfield Central (13-1, 7-1) – The Lancers lack of height is starting to come to light a little more, but they still only have one loss. But they have impressive wins over Wisconsin Lutheran (58-47), Menomonee Falls (78-75) and Wauwatosa East (59-53) in the last 10 days.

Gage Malensek has continued to show why he is one of the best players in the area, scoring 49 points (16.3 ppg) and hitting 24-of-25 free throws as Central puts the ball in his hands down the stretch.

Junior Andres Peralta-Werns continues to step up his game (14, 16, 15) and sophomore Cole Nau has chipped in with 7 rebounds, 4 assists vs. Wisco, 19 points vs Falls and 7 points and 6 rebounds vs Tosa East.

They host Germantown (6-7) in the Luke Homan Memorial Showcase on Saturday and former Brookfield Central coach Mark Adams will be honored in a pre-game ceremony at 3:45 p.m. The host West Allis Central on Feb. 1.

2. New Berlin Eisenhower (8-5, 5-4) – Ike is starting to get their act together. Coach Dave Scheidegger has 4 solid starters in guards Bryce Miller and Bryce Wesling and forwards Sullivan Kulju and Matt Rolefson and plenty of solid depth.

The Lions have won two of their last three games, beating Brookfield East and Wauwatosa West and losing to powerful Pewaukee in a close game. This week they have Shorewood and Greenfield on Friday and Tuesday in conference games and face Wauwatosa East in the Luke Homan Memorial Showcase on Saturday night at 9 p.m. That game could affect my rankings next week.

3. Wauwatosa West (8-6, 4-4) – West gets the benefit of the doubt because they beat Wauwatosa East, but after watching the Red Raiders almost beat Brookfield Central on Tuesday, this could be reversed.

Coach Craig Stelse’s guys lost a thriller at Pius XI (71-67) and dropped their second game to Eisenhower (71-60), so I won’t hold that against them. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they can’t beat the Lions.

Up next for the Trojans are Cudahy (1-7) and Brown Deer (7-2), with the latter game being an extremely telling game.

5. Wauwatosa East (7-7, 5-3) – The Red Raiders have lost two of their last three games, losing to Marquette and Brookfield Central. They had a bad first half against the Hilltoppers and were never in the game. They could have beat Brookfield Central, but missed 14 contested lay-ups. They rallied in the second half to beat Brookfield East.

The Red Raiders will see what they are made of, because they face three tough games in a row against Eisenhower on Saturday before hosting Marquette on Tuesday and Menomonee Falls on Friday.

5. Brookfield East (7-7, 5-3) – The Spartans lost close games to Eisenhower and Tosa East and then blew out West Allis Hale so they played better than the scoreboard showed. They face Menomonee Falls on Tuesday and Sussex Hamilton on Feb. 2 and the young Spartans continue to get their act together.

6. New Berlin West (4-8, 1-8) – With the loss of sophomore point guard Joe Robey to a leg injury, this is not the same Vikings team. Senior Fred Cottrell has taken on the bulk of the scoring load.

The Vikings lost to Greenfield and Pius XI to extend their losing streak to three games as Cottrell had 31 points in the two games.

Next up are winnable games with South Milwaukee, Holman and Shorewood as each team as one conference win.

 

Jan. 24 Ranking my Girls Prep Basketball Teams

1. New Berlin West (14-1, 9-0) – The state-ranked Lady Vikings beat Bay View, 67-38, in a non-conference game, and Greendale, 56-29, in league play. Alyssa (Chubby) Nelson (21 points) and Morgan Henrichs (7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) led the way vs. Bay. Henrichs (13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), Nelson (12) and Lily Adkison (10 pts, 7 rebs) led the way vs the Panthers.

The Lady Vikings have big games with Pius XI and South Milwaukee this week.

2. New Berlin Eisenhower (9-5, 7-2) – The Lady Lions had a 4-game losing streak through Saturday, playing ranked King closely, 57-53, but getting blown out by Pewaukee, 61-33. Julia Hintz put on a show with 26 points vs. the Generals but no one reached double figures in the loss to Pewaukee.

Coach Gary Schmidt’s team faces Wauwatosa West and Shorewood this week and should get back on the winning track.

3. Wauwatosa East (12-2, 5-2) – The Red Raiders defeated Brookfield East, 48-35, in their only game of the week. Sophomore Brooklyn Blackburn had 12 points and an amazing 18 rebounds and Johanna Taylor had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.

The Red Raiders play Brookfield Central and Sussex Hamilton this week.

4. Brookfield Central (5-7, 3-4) – The Lady Lancers lost to Menomonee Falls, 53-42, last week and they face a tough schedule against Wauwatosa East and Divine Savior Holy Angels this week. Freshman Anna Mortag continues to improve as she had 22 points and Caroline Busch had 12 vs the Indians. Point guard Amanda Miller and forward Ellery Nordling as also picked up their games.

Claire Haynes, who suffered a severe injury (back) in the second game of the season, has been given the green light to slowly work her way back onto the court. Her presence and leadership alone could be a boost to this club.

5. Brookfield East (8-8, 3-5) – The Lady Spartans have a 5-game losing streak going with games against West Allis Hale and and West Allis Central this week. They need to get back on track or see a good season go down the drain.

They lost to Catholic Memorial, 53-37, and Tosa East, 48-35, last week. The Crusaders blew them out in the second half, 29-15. Molly DeValkenaere had 15 points, 8 rebs, 2 blocks, while Emma Ralfs had a good all around game (7 rebs, 6 assists, 4 steals). In the loss to Tosa East, Nikki Pink and DeValkenaere had 10 points each. The Red Raiders outscored them by 5 points in the first half and 8 in the second.

6. Wauwatosa West (5-10, 2-7) – Lost a 65-33 decision to Pius XI at home. Irene Phillips had 9 points, Margaret Radske had 8 and Cheri’a Adams had 7. Look for my feature on Dasia Davis, who leads the team in several categories, beginning on Thursday at preps2pros.net.

West plays New Berlin Eisenhower and at Cudahy this week. Trojans have lost 3 straight and 5 of 6.

Luke Homan Memorial Basketball Showcase

The Luke Homan Memorial Basketball Showcase will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Brookfield Central High School.  This year marks the 10th anniversary for the holiday basketball tournament.  This will be the 1st year the tournament will be played in a showcase format after being run as a bracketed tournament in the past.

The 2017 Homan Showcase features 26 teams, including 5 ranked in the state polls.  In addition, it boasts several top players.

 Play begins at 10:30 am with Franklin facing Kettle Moraine Lutheran.  Franklin’s top player, Max Alba, is one of Wisconsin’s best all around athletes.  He is an all state performer in both football and baseball and is currently leading the Sabers in scoring.

Early afternoon action features a great match up of WIAA state tournament hopefuls.  Whitnall, a tournament participant in 2016, faces Cedarburg, which lost in a D2 Sectional final in 2016 at 2:30 pm.  Whitnall is led by Tyler Herro, a University of Wisconsin commit and also features Winona State (NCAA D2) commit Kevion TaylorCedarburg, coached by the legendary Tom Diener, features Junior John Diener, a DePaul University commit and senior Jordan Johnson, who currently has multiple offers from NCAA D2 schools.  Another afternoon game of interest matches Brown Deer and Racine Case.  Brown Deer enters the game with a high octane offense led by senior forward Jay Gentry as Case is led by senior guard Koreem Ozier, a D1 prospect averaging over 31 points per game.

 Headlining the list of other teams are Pius XI Catholic, with seniors Zach Zavada, Victor Nwagbaraocha & Michael Pitrof and juniors Preston Maccoux & Bilal Shabazz, Martin Luther, Sun Prairie, host Brookfield Central, Racine Horlick, and Racine Park with talented sophomores Nobal Days, Larry Canady, & Demonta Hudson. 

A list of some of the top players in the Showcase include:  Greg Foster, Jr. & Jack Quinleven of Homestead, Ryan Haertel of West Allis Hale, sophomores Traquan Carrington & Xavier Jones of Martin Luther, Jalen Johnson-one of the state’s top freshman, of Sun Prairie, Alex Setzer & Aidan Clarey-another top freshman- of Brookfield Academy, Kyle Chlow of Germantown, Marquis Milton of Racine Case, Sullivan Kulju of New Berlin Eisenhower.

 

LUKE HOMAN MEMORIAL BASKETBALL SHOWCASE SCHEDULE

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017

All games played at Brookfield Central High School

10:30 AM                  Franklin vs. Kettle Moraine Lutheran*

11:00 AM                   Homestead vs. West Allis Hale

12:15 PM                   Martin Luther vs Messmer*

12:45 PM                   Brown Deer vs Racine Case

2:00 PM                    Sussex Hamilton vs Sun Prairie*

 

2:30 PM                    Whitnall vs Cedarburg

3:45 PM                    Grafton vs. Brookfield Academy*

4:15 PM                     Brookfield Central vs Germantown

5:30 PM                    Racine Horlick vs Greendale*

6:00 PM                    Marquette vs Pius XI Catholic

7:15 PM                     Milwaukee South vs West Allis Central*

7:45 PM                    Milwaukee Rufus King vs Racine Park

9:00 PM                    New Berlin Eisenhower vs Wauwatosa East*

*Brookfield Central Auxiliary Gym.

 

Ranking my Boys Prep Basketball Teams

Earlier this week I listed my Top 6 Girls Basketball Rankings for my teams in New Berlin, Brookfield and Wauwatosa. Today I will list my boys teams.

 

  1. Brookfield Central

The Lancers are currently 11-1 overall and are tied for first with Menomonee Falls in the Greater Metro Conference, each with 5-1 records. The Lancers host Falls on Friday night, with the winner taking the conference lead.

Senior big man Chris Post has stepped up lately, using his 6-foot, 2 inch frame to score inside and grabbed some rebounds for coach Dan Wandrey’s crew.

 

  1. New Berlin Eisenhower

I feel like I’m on coach Dave Scheidegger staff since I have covered the Lions four of my last six free-lance outings for CNINOW. The Lions are still trying to find themselves, as they are 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the rugged Woodland West.

The talent is there – Sullivan Kulju and Matt Rolefson up front – and shooting guards Bryce Miller and Bryce Wesling – but the Lions are still learning to consistently play together.

 

  1. Wauwatosa West

When it comes to talented basketball players, coach Chad Stelse takes a backseat to no one. Led by Alou Dillon, a 6-8 forward, who is one of the best in the area, averaging around 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks a game.

LaRon Perine, Javaree Jackson and Se’veon James all average around 10 points a game. Perine leads them with 23 3-pointers and Jackson averages over 8 rebounds. Toss in sophomore Marquiss Childs, senior John Franks, Paris Howell and Tyrone Powell and Stelse is blessed with talent.

The Trojans are 8-4 overall and 4-2 in the Woodland West which is being dominated by Pewaukee.

 

  1. Brookfield East

First year coach Joe Rox – except for his outstanding senior guard Jake Graf – has a line-up sprinkled with juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

Joining Graf in the line-up is last year’s starting center Patrick Cartier, a 6-6 junior who needs to shoot the ball more when he’s inside.

Freshmen Sam McGath and Michael Poker and sophomores Riley Le Tourneau and Thomas Francken and junior Peyton Simon give Rox some young talent to work with.

The Spartans are 6-6 and 4-2 in the Greater Metro Conference, where they were win less last season. They have won 3 of 4 games, losing to Eisenhower their last time out.

East plays Tosa East on Friday and I ranked them ahead of the Red Raiders because they beat Brookfield Central and Marquette earlier this year while Tosa East lost to those teams.

 

  1. Wauwatosa East

Like previously mentioned, Coach Tim Arndorfer’s team is 6-6 and 4-2 in the GMC. The Red Raiders have won two of three and four of six games and there are not a lot of familiar names in the line-up.

No one is averaging in double figures, but 7 players are averaging between 5.1 and 9.8 points per game.

Seniors who contribute are Blake Kratzer, Dane Mikkelson, Mark Cole and Elijah Flenorl. Juniors are Jalen Holley, Deshun Hunter and Mahlik Lindsey.

 

  1. New Berlin West

Coach Brandon Mattox continues to build his program at New Berlin West, but losing sophomore point guard Joe Robey with a knee injury 3-6 weeks) will set him back a bit.

The Vikings are 4-6, but only 1-6 in the Woodland West.

West needs seniors Fred Cottrell, Zach White and Hunter Pipik to pick up the slack with Robey out. All three can score and Pipik is a key rebounder.

Freshman Desmond Polk, a 6-3 guard, leads to run the show at point guard. He had a huge game against Eisenhower and broke the Vikings back to make a game of it down the stretch.

Matt Obradovich, a 6-5 senior forward, and Tyler Torosian, a 6-4 junior forward, must also step up.

Ranking my Girls Prep Basketball Teams

If you follow me on Twitter (@skyskibosh), you know I worked for CNINOW the past 14 years and retired on June 30. But I still free-lance for the paper/web site and my teams reside in Brookfield, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.

This week I wanted to rank my girls teams.

  1. New Berlin West (12-1)

The Lady Vikings sit on top of the Woodland West with an 8-0 record, having won 10 straight games going into a non-conference game with Bay View on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

West has three solid starters to lead this team, including two outstanding shooters in 5-foot, 8 inch guard Alyssa (Chubby) Nelson and 5-10 forward Maddie Fritz.  Senior Morgan Henrichs, a 5-9 forward, has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Lady Vikings according to assistant coach Jef Radtke.

“It depends on how Morgan plays,” Radtke told me before the West-Ike game on Jan. 13. “We go, how Morgan goes.”

Henrichs had a team-high 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals in the 41-33 win.

But first-year head coach Collin Thompson has plenty of depth in starters Ewelina Schlomann, a 5-8 senior guard, Lily Adkison, a 5-9 senior forward, and Skylar Berens, a 5-4 senior point guard, among other.

West has 8 games left, including battles with Pius XI (8-5, 6-2), Pewaukee (11-3, 5-3) and Eisenhower (9-3, 7-1).

  1. New Berlin Eisenhower

Coach Gary Schmidt’s team has lost two straight games to top-ranked Beaver Dam (13-0) and New Berlin West and face Milwaukee King (14-0) on Jan. 17.

Sophomore guard Julia Hintz and junior guard Katie Ludwig lead the backcourt-oriented offense, while Olivia Canady, a 5-8 junior guard, rounds out the backcourt.

Hannah Plockelman, 5-11 junior forward, and Jasmyn Somarsingh, a 6-1 senior forward, give the Lady Lions a solid post combination.

Schmidt has plenty more depth, but a possible difference-maker down the stretch is 6-2 freshman Erin Hedman, who moves well and has an outside shot like most guards. But she is still a freshman.

  1. Wauwatosa East

Coach Rob Hamell’s Red Raiders are 11-2 and in third place (4-2) in the Greater Metro Conference race.

Like the New Berlin teams, Wauwatosa East has a solid three-person trio to work with – led by sophomore Brooklyn Blackburn, a 6-0 guard/forward (15.3 points, 8.0 rebounds).

Johanna Taylor, a 6-2 senior post, averages 10.1 points and 6.8 rebs, and junior forward Eric Bueckers averages 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds. Add Mariana Ibanez-Baldor, a 5-6 junior guard, who averages 8.2 points, 3.5 assists and a team-leading 22 3-pointers and you can see why Tosa East has only lost 2 games.

Junior guard/forward Molly Persin averages 6.4 points and is second in 3-pointers with 14. Sophomore guard Sydney Halstead (4.6 points) also contributes.

  1. Brookfield Central

The Lady Lancers have won 3 of 4 games to improve to 5-6 overall and are now 3-3 in conference play. They have a tough schedule coming up with Menomonee Falls (3-4), Tosa East and Divine Savior Holy Angels (5-1). They beat the Indians, but lost to the Red Raiders and Dashers.

With senior All-GMC forward Claire Haynes still out with injury, and senior All-GMC guard Caroline Busch, now Central’s second all-time scorer, coach Mallory Liebl needed some offensive help.

Expected to be the third wheel, freshman Anna Mortag (10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds) has stepped up to No. 2 to give Busch (15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds) some help. Mortag scored 15 points in the upset of Brookfield East, 16 against West Allis Hale and 17 vs Menomonee Falls.

  1. Brookfield East

The Lady Spartans are 8-6, but only 3-4 in the GMC. They should be ranked higher, but have lost 3 in a row and 4 of 5.

There are no seniors, but plenty of talent and I do expect them to get better as the season goes on. Molly DeValkenaere and Lizzy Cagle are two of the best big players in the area. Nikki Pink, Adriana Plavsic and Emma Ralfs are sharpshooting 3-point guards.

Experience comes by playing together for coach Michael Goodman’s squad.

  1. Wauwatosa West

The Lady Trojans are 5-9 overall, already surpassing last year’s win total (4) under first-year coach Gordon Nikolic, going 2-4 in conference play.

Senior Dasia Davis, a transfer from Dominican, leads the team with averages of 10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Senior Cheri’a Adams, sophomore Irene Phillips, junior Emma Elliott and junior Emily Wagy give Nikolic some talent to play with as the Lady Trojans are deep, but must learn to play together.

Bucks, Packers, Badger thoughts

Thought I would share some thoughts on this weekend’s Bucks, Packers and Badgers games.

Fear the Deer (sometimes)

The Bucks so far are proving me wrong – they will probably make the playoffs. Rumors of Khris Middleton possibly returning early has me even more interested.

Some of my early thoughts are their ‘big’ off-season signings are disappointing.

Matthew Dellavedova is a ‘B’ at the best. I do like him, he is not worth what he is getting, but most players aren’t.

Mirza Teletovic has been maybe a ‘C’ but it was be nice if he could stay on the court. Both him and Delly have fallen short of what I expected from 3-point range.

Miles Plumlee was signed at a ridiculous cost, even though they though they could trade Greg Monroe, their best offensive center, and they failed there. Mile’s a ‘D.’

OTHER THOUGHTS

I am also sick of reading how many or how close Giannis Antetokounmpo was to a triple-double. I want to read more about wins, NOT individual feats.

If Antetokounmpo makes the All-Star team that is a positive for the Bucks from a PR point of view and that would be nice. But that and $2.00 gets you a cup of coffee.

Jason Kidd is quoted more about next year from an improvement point of view and I like that because he is being realistic.

The Bucks lack of consistency shows how young and arrogant they are. It makes no difference if you beat Cleveland and lose to the lesser teams. A win is a win and you don’t get two wins for beating the defending champs and a half a win beating the bad teams. The Bucks are ridiculous to show up to anyone in this league, throw the ball on the court and EXPECT a win.

Jabari Parker said the Bucks need to close teams out and that’s good. Shows he’s becoming a leader. But twice one of the reasons they failed was because he missed crucial free throws and lay-ups. Free throws are the easiest thing in the world to shoot. Lay-ups for a 6-9 guy should NEVER be missed. I don’t care if your hammered going into the basket, you’re 6-9!

Lack of D – Letting the opponents shoot 3-pointers like they’re free throws is ridiculous. The rules state you can’t be guarded when taking free throws, but there is no rule that states you can’t guard players shooting 3-pointers – yet the Bucks act like there is.

But I do see progress and that makes me happy. What would make me happier if the owners spent more money on the team getting ‘real’ talent and less on the surrounding neighborhood.

PACKERS
I know the Packers are favored going into the game Sunday night, but I am not as comfortable as the fans who see everything through green & gold glasses.

Injuries have a big deal to do with both defenses stinking – and boy do they suck. This should be a high-scoring affair, someone might even reach 40 points, especially in perfect field conditions. So here are the keys.

1. What teams will have a running game that can keep the other team off the field by controlling the clock? That’s their best defense. On paper that favors the Packers – but the game is not played on paper.
2. You have to like Aaron Rodgers over Matt Stafford, but the receivers are a wash. Stafford hasn’t been as accurate lately with the injury and the glove hampering his middle finger. That could be the difference.
3. Which defense can play better than what they are.

The Packers should win, but I would not be surprised if they lost this game, since they almost blew the first one at home.

I am interested in seeing what happens if they lose and don’t make the playoffs. Will Mark Murphy go hide in the corner or will he be a man. Digging yourself in a hole like this doesn’t give Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy an excuse on the season win or lose.

I am not interested in division titles. I’m interested in Super Bowls. The Packers need to take that attitude instead of just talking about it.

BADGERS
I was never foolish enough to think the Badgers would be in the final four National Championship Playoff Format. They had never the reputation or the record for it.

I did expect them to defeat Penn State and go to the Rose Bowl.

LSU was 8-4 this year. Michigan State was 3-9. That’s a combined record of 11-13. They were Wisconsin’s ‘big’ wins this year. I don’t care what their records were when they played the Badgers. These were their final numbers.

The Badgers lost to PSU (11-2), Ohio State (11-1) and Michigan (10-3). They really didn’t beat anyone that was a ‘super’ team.

Now they get to face Western Michigan (13-0) of the Mid-American Conference. They are a fine team and if they beat the Badgers I wouldn’t be shocked.

BOTTOM LINE
The way the season ended – even with a win over Western Michigan, which is no big deal – makes the season feel like a disappointment to me.

If the Badgers win they finish 11-3, if they lost they finish 10-4. I give coach Paul Chryst and his staff credit for this season because I think they did a lot with an average amount of talent with a bunch of big hearts.

I will take it all things considered.

A look at the area teams before Christmas

With only a few games left before Christmas, here’s a quick look at some of my teams in Brookfield, Tosa and New Berlin.

BOYS BASKETBALL

PLUS SIDE

Coach Dan Wandrey’s Brookfield Central squad is 6-0, 3-0 in the Greater Metro Conference, tied with Menomonee Falls (6-1 overall).

The Lancers are a 3-point shooting team, which starts three talented underclassmen – sophomore guards Gage (G-Money) Malensek and Cole Nau and junior guard Andres (The Giant) Peralta-Werns.

Seniors Sam Rohde, one of the team leaders and a dead-eye 3-point shooter, and Chris Post (7.8 rebounds) round out the starters.

But Central has plenty of depth topped by juniors Charlie Debbink and Jack Brady.

Wandrey is looking for his first boys title after winning several as the girls coach.

***

Wauwatosa West has as much physical talent as any of my former teams.

Seniors Alou Dillon (18.3 points), Se’veon James (11.3), Tyrone Powell (10.4) and LaRon Perine (10.4) give them four players who average double figure points.

They are 5-2, with losses to Woodland Conference rival New Berlin Eisenhower (59-56) and the aea’s top-ranked Milwaukee Vincent team (87-72). Poor free throw shooting and turnovers did them in in their losses.

Four players average over 5 rebounds per game – Jaravee Jackson (8.4), Dillon (7.6), Powell (6.2) and John Frank (5.2).

But unless the Trojans play better defense, learn to avoid the pressure and improve on their half-course offense, they will not reach their potential.

***

WORKING ON IT

Eisenhower (3-3, 2-2) and Wauwatosa East (2-3, 1-1) have talent, but are still working things out and New Berlin West (3-3, 1-3) and Brookfield East (2-3, 1-2) are showing improvement over last year’s squads.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

BEST OF THE BEST

New Berlin Eisenhower – The defending state champion Lady Lions reside in the Woodland West and they are off to a fine start with a 6-1 record and a 5-0 mark in the conference play.

This is a different Ike team, still playing good defense, but attacking more so from the perimeter behind sophomore Julia Hintz (11.3 pts, 5.1 assists 2.3 steals) and junior Kate Ludwig (9.9 pts).

Junior Hannah Plockelman (8.9 pts, 7.3 rebs), a 5-foot-11 inch forward, and senior Jasmyn Somarsingh (7.1 pts, 5.1 rebs) a 6-1 forward, handle the inside game for coach Gary Schmidt.

Juniors Olivia Canady and Alicia Putney, senior Abby Szukalski and 6-2 freshman Erin Hedman are just some of the players Schmidt can call on because the Lady Lions are extremely deep.

New Berlin West – New coach Collin Thompson and old coach-new assistant Jef Radtke are one of my top two teams to watch. The Lady Vikings have always played outstanding defense in the past and this year is no different.

Now add to that the scoring of juniors Alyssa (Chubby) Nelson (16.8) and Maddie Fritz (7.2) and seniors Morgan Henrichs (7.0) and Ewelina Schlomann (8.0) and you can see why the Lady Vikings are 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Woodland West.

PLUS SIDE

Brookfield East – Coach Michael Goodman’s team is 6-2, 3-1 in the Greater Metro Conference, losing to Menomonee Falls, 50-47. The Lady Spartans have no seniors on the team, so the best is yet to come.

Molly Devalkenaere, a 6-0 junior forward, leads the way (13.9 pts, 7.9 rebs, 23 blocks) and has help underneath from multi-sport star Lizzy Cagle.

Cagle, a 6-0 junior, is an outstanding volleyball player and excels in the field events (shot put, discus) in track & field. She averages 8.4 pts and 7.4 rebs per game and gives the Lady Spartans two tough inside players.

But East has an outside arsenal as well in Emma Ralfs, a 5-11 junior guard (12.1 pts, 4.1 rebs, 3.6 steals, 2.4 assists), Adriana Plavsic, 5-10 junior guard (7.1 pts, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds) and Nikki Pink, a 5-4 junior guard (5.8 pts, 12 3-pointers).

Wauwatosa East – Sophomore Brooklyn Blackburn (15.9 pts) and senior Johanna Taylor (8.8) have led East to a 6-2 start, but only 1-2 in Greater Metro Conference play.

Coach Rob Hamell has depth and talent with juniors Molly Persin, Mariana Ibanez-Baldor and Elizabeth Bueckers on hand.

WORKING ON IT

Wauwatosa West – West (2-5, 2-2) has shown improvement under new coach Gordon Nikolic behind senior Dasia Davis and sophomores Irene Phillips and Kayla Stoffel leading the way.

M.A.S.H. UNIT

I have to have a separate category for Brookfield Central, a team that has been ripped apart by illness and injuries before and then in the first part of the season.

Coach Mallory Liebl lost junior Jenny Cape (illness) and Maddy Brauer (ACL), an outstanding sophomore forward, before the season even started.

Then in the second game of the season, Claire Haynes, one of two returning All-GMC selections, injured her back (two fractured transverse processes) and was lost for the year.

Senior captain Caroline Busch (16.7 pts, 4.7 rebs) will be asked to carry a bigger load than she was already counted on for and it will be a difficult task.

Senior Ellery Nordling has picked up the rebounding load (5.9 pts, 5.5 per game) along with 6-foot freshman Anna Mortag (7.6 pts, 4.3 rebs). Senior Amanda Miller tops the team in assists (2.2) and steals (2.0), but there is some drop off in talent after that.

It is a tough break since the Lancers were favored to win the GMC, but will now struggle to finish above .500.

The guts of this team’s talent has been ripped right out, but Liebl will have her team ready to play every game and the effort will be there.

It will be interesting to see what the results are.

Can Lancer boys win the GMC this season?

With the Greater Metro Conference boys basketball regular season about to begin on Friday, coach Dan Wandrey’s Brookfield Central Lancers are considered the favorites in which should be a very close race.

Wandrey is not only blessed with talent, but young talent, and a senior leader in 6-foot-2 inch sharp-shooting ‘2’ guard Sam Rohde.

Rohde is averaging 8.3 points per game and has made 5 of 6 3-pointers in the first three games. He also hasn’t missed from the field (9-for-9) or the free-throw line (2-2).

Central’s best player and one of the best guards in the area is sophomore point guard Gage Malensek, a 5-9 guard who is worth the price of admission.

Gage the Rage

Gage is averaging 18.3 ppg, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game. And like Rohde, he can shoot the eyes out of the basket. He is hitting .792 from the field (19 of 24), .929 from the free-throw line (13 of 14) and .800 from the 3-point line (4 of 5).

He is an outstanding passer, distributes the ball well and is money taking the ball to the hoop.

Central’s second-highest scorer is 6-2 junior guard Andres Peralta-Werns, who is averaging 17.3 ppg, 3 assists and 2 steals and has brought a more well-rounded game to the Lancers this season. He has improved his floor game, his defense and he is still working on becoming a better rebounder.

Sophomore Cole Nau, a 6-2 guard, rounds out the top four, averaging 8.7 points, a team-leading 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals. Another all-around athlete, giving Wandrey two sophomores and a junior among his top four players.

Chris Post, a 6-2 senior forward, is Central’s other captain along with Rohde and provides scoring (6.0) and rebounding (4.5) help and does the dirty work inside.

Plenty of depth

Guards Charlie Debbink (a 6-2 guard) and Ian Debbink (6-0) provide a spark off the bench, and are joined by 6-0 guard Jack Brady, 6-2 forward Nate Verhagen, 5-11 guard Matt Flynn and 6-3 forward Carson Gehl.

The Lancers have plenty of depth, as Wandrey can also call on 6-0 guard Stephen Williams, 5-10 senior guard Dawson Carnell and sophomore forwards Joey Cleary (6-4) and Jack Cooney (6-1).

The Lancers will go as far as their defense and shooting take them. Their defense can cause headaches for other teams – in the half and full court, applying pressure when they need to. Their shooting in the early going as has been outstanding.

But the Lancers are going to have to hit the boards with more than one player. If this team has an early weakness is they don’t have that  regular ‘big’ player, who can dominate.

Look out for Hilltoppers

Ryan Coffey, a second-team all-conference selection along with Malensek and Brookfield East’s Jake Graf, returns to lead defending champion Marquette.

Coffey is a 6-5 dominating forward and leading scorer so far this year as is Niko Kerschner, a 6-6 junior forward. Also on their roster is 6-7 junior Liam Schroeder and 6-6 senior Justin Novotny. Will Barbera, a 6-3 guard, will also be someone to deal with.

West Allis Hale returns scoring machine Ryan Haertel, who was an honorable mention all-conference choice along with Rohde and West Allis Central’s Payshame Jelks. Guard Jordan Smith, who is averaging 16 ppg, will lead Sussex Hamilton.

Wauwatosa East should have excellent balance and depth behind senior guards Blake Kratzer and Dane Mikkelson. I saw the Red Raiders defeat Kettle Moraine the other night and Leonard Avery was an impressive player around the basket.

Menomonee Falls had eight players average 8.0 or more points in their first few games under new coach Steve Showalter, who replaced Ben Farley, who came to Brookfield East and won the state football championship.

Speaking of the Spartans, look for a big improvement under new coach Joe Rux, who brings a winning background with him.

One of East football stars – QB Jake Graf – returns along with Patrick Cartier, an outstanding 6-7 forward, who also stood out on the football team as a receiver. This is a great base for Rux to work with.

It could be a very interesting season on the boys side in the Greater Metro Conference this season.

 

 

Weekend Thoughts – Bucks, Packers, Badgers

What an interesting weekend of local college and pro sports. Here’s a closer look.

BUCKS

I was more impressed with the Milwaukee Bucks beating Brooklyn twice than defeating the World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers once.

Too many times – and it will probably happen again – the Bucks would beat a strong team and then turn around and lose to a garbage team next time out. Anyone with a brain would realize all they did was cancel each other out.

So beating the Cavs was impressive BECAUSE the Bucks followed up with wins over the Nets on the road and at home. Tough schedule coming up so it will be interesting to see how they compete.

PACKERS

Important win for the Packers – they are all important and necessary at this point. Not impressive, but that’s not important. All that’s important is the ‘W.’

Wonder when Mike McCarthy will wake up and use Ty Montgomery,  Christine Michael and Aaron Ripkowski more. I said when it happened, James Starks should have NEVER been signed in the off-season. That one is on Ted Thompson, but coach Mac is dumb enough to use him. Mr. ‘I’m a Highly Successful coach’ has one more Super Bowl win than I do.

If the Packers can be successful using the short-passing game in Sunday’s miserable weather, Big Mike shouldn’t hesitate to use it most of the time in good weather.

BADGERS

I feel sorry for the coach Paul Chryst and his staff, especially secondary coach Jim Leonard to see the Badgers fold quicker than a deck of cards against Penn State.

A 10-3 record is impressive – but wins over LSU and MSU aren’t impressive when you see how their seasons finished. The only good teams UW played they lost to – PSU, OSU and Michigan.

I said beforehand that there would be no way the Badgers would make the final four with a win over PSU. The playoff committee looks at won-lost record and WHO you beat.

Facing Western Michigan in the Cotton Bowl is certainly a BIG step down for Badger fans who watched their team choke away the season in the second half on Saturday.

BUCKS’ MESSING WITH MONROE

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the NBA. Let’s get that out in the open right now. I do have some common sense, though, and that is something the Bucks seem to be lacking.

Someone please tell me why Jason Kidd has just about benched his best center – Greg (Moose) Monroe?

While averaging only 17.6 minutes a game Monroe is second on the team in rebounds (6.3) and steals (1.25), literally tied for third in points (8.4), third in blocks (0.58) and tied for fourth in assists (2.3).

He is playing behind John Henson, who in 17 minutes, averages (4.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1 BPG) and Miles Plumlee, who in 13.1 minutes, averages (2.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG).

Let’s take a closer look at this.

TRADE MONROE

It is the worst kept secret that the Bucks have tried to trade Monroe. So how do you help Monroe’s trade value if you sit him on the bench? Unless there is a deal made and they don’t want him to get hurt, by not playing him you are making one of two weakest position (along with the 2 guard) weaker and hurt his trade value.

NBA HAS CHANGED

I have read enough stories about how the NBA as changed. You don’t need a center anymore, everyone is running up and down the court, yada, yada, yada. That is not Monroe’s game, I know. So what if Plumlee and Henson can run up and down the court better than Moose, this is the NBA and not the NCCA (National Cross Country Association).

HE’S A BLACK HOLE

People whine because they say the ball goes into him and doesn’t come out. He’s fourth on the team in assists per game so he must be passing it to someone!  And if the ball does go inside to Monroe and he scores, that is something that Plumlee and Henson seem to be incapable of doing.

MONROE’S NOT THE PROBLEM

The problem lies in the front office. No matter what is being said, John Hammond is not calling all the shots. Kidd, who knows less about personnel than he does coaching, also has his fingers in the pie. And I have a feeling ownership does also.

Monroe did not change the type of player he is when the Bucks signed him. He has the ability to average a double-double – and there aren’t a lot of players who can say that. He was not brought here to block shots and shut down the other team’s center. So why do I have to listen to the experts complaining about that. That is not who he is.

I like Henson’s inside game, his defense around the basket and his little left handed hook, but he needs to develop another shot or two. Plumlee has that ability to run up and down the court and not get many results, although I stress in his defense, not from a lack of hustle.

But the bottom line is this. Monroe needs to play more minutes, with Henson as the closer and Plumlee filling in the rest. Even if Monroe comes off the bench to give the second team some scoring power, the minutes should increase.

It’s not really brain surgery.