The high school season at its midway point and with conference play heating up a level of clarity is starting to slowly emerge as to who the legitimate contenders are for state championships this March.  We look at that, this week’s matchup between Riley Lachance led Brookfield Central and Lamonte Bearden led Germantown, and more in today’s news and notes from across the state of Wisconsin…

HEADLINES
(1) GERMANTOWN ROLLS ON
The Warhawks stayed unbeaten this past week despite struggling in a victory over Homestead on Friday but it all ends up the same and the record of consecutive wins continued.  This week features the showdown with Brookfield Central on Tuesday in arguably the biggest test to their recent supremacy to date.

(2) KING STARTING TO HEAT UP
We indicated earlier this season that Milwaukee King would really start to get rolling once Jemell Posey was back in the lineup and the Generals are doing just that.  Fresh off a stellar Holiday Tournament run in Texas King added two more convincing wins this past week and they look primed to challenge for City Conference Championship honors once again.  They are starting to click across the board and are firmly positioned to play their best basketball when it matters the most.

(3) LOADED AT THE TOP OF DIVISION 2
There are six legitimate contenders for the D2 crown this season and that’s not even including a couple others that have also impressed this season.  West De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Rice Lake, Wisconsin Lutheran, Seymour, and Mount Horeb seem to be the head of the class right now.  West De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Rice Lake, and Seymour all have that dynamic player that serves as the catalyst for their attack while Mount Horeb and Wisconsin Lutheran both hit you with a balanced attack that can feature a different leading scorer each night.  The D2 state tournament picture is slowly coming into focus and it could very well be the most exciting come season’s end as a handful of teams are positioned to challenge for the gold ball at the end of this season. 

RANKINGS
(1) GERMANTOWN (13-0)
The Warhawks were challenged by Homestead this past week as they trailed at the half and led by a couple after the third period but their depth and experience proved to be too much as they stayed unbeaten with a 72-63 victory.  This week they face their biggest challenge of the season to date as they travel to Brookfield Central on Tuesday before traveling to Port Washington on Friday.

(2) BROOKFIELD CENTRAL (11-0)
The Lancers stayed undefeated with an impressive win at Milwaukee Vincent on Saturday and this week will offer up the game of the year at this point as they play host to undefeated Germantown on Tuesday before a Friday matchup at Marquette.  They have four players averaging in double figures led by Vanderbilt bound senior Riley Lachance at 23.5 PPG. 

(3) NEENAH (12-0)
A strong and legitimate contender for the Division 1 state championship at this point in the season, Neenah is well coached and they boast a strong interior presence with junior Matt Heldt (19 PPG) as well as a solid and experienced backcourt with Adam Pohlman and Trevor Entwisle.  This team is for real.  They travel to Oshkosh West on Tuesday and play host to Appleton West on Friday this week.

(4) MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE (10-1)
A deep and talented young group from Riverside continued their solid play this past week with two easy victories and this week.  They legitimately can go 9-10 deep in their rotation and on any given night a different player can lead them in scoring whether it be Nicholas Cobbins, James Batemon, N’Gai Dixon, etc.  Right now the City Conference looks like a two team race between Riverside and King.  They travel to Bay View on Tuesday before hosting Milwaukee Vincent on Friday.

(5) MILWAUKEE KING
The Generals continued their stellar play this past week with two more convincing wins and they appear to be hitting their stride with conference play starting to heat up.  Chris Howell, Curtis Weathers Jr., and Jemell Posey lead this offensive attack that has 6 different scoring weapons and a host of solid role players.  Both King and Riverside are the head of the class in the City Conference at this point with a Valentine’s Day showdown at Riverside looming larger and larger with each passing week.

STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH
BRADY ELLINGSON – SUSSEX HAMILTON
The Iowa bound sharpshooter continues to pour out big time performances every time he hits the court.  He’s currently averaging over 25 points per game and has delivered some of the most prolific scoring efforts of the season so far.

RILEY LACHANCE – BROOKFIELD CENTRAL
The best player on one of the best teams in the state, the Vanderbilt bound guard is averaging close to 24 points per game on an undefeated team currently regarded as the #2 team in the state.  He is a legitimate player of the year candidate and deservingly so as he produces with consistency and dominance every time out.

KEVON LOONEY – MILWAUKEE HAMILTON
A legitimate McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand All-American candidate, Looney is scoring close to 30 points a game through a variety of double and triple teams.  The UCLA bound talent is the best senior in the state and the front runner for state player of the year honors at the midway point of this season.

REED TIMMER – NEW BERLIN EISENHOWER
He doesn’t get the credit he deserves but make no mistake Timmer belongs in this conversation as much as anyone else does.  Currently averaging over 32 points per game, the Drake bound lead guard has his team at 11-1 and they will be a serious contender for a trip to Madison in March. 

GAMES OF THE WEEK
GERMANTOWN @ BROOKFIELD CENTRAL – TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2014
#1 against #2 in a gym that sold out within 7 hours of tickets being released.  Need we say more.  This is a must see game that features the two best teams in the state and two of the premiere senior guards in the country in Buffalo bound Lamonte Bearden of Germantown and Vanderbilt bound Riley Lachance. 

UPCOMING EVENTS
SWISH N’ DISH SPRING WARM-UP – APRIL 4-6, 2014
The annual travel school exposure bonanza returns April 4-6, 2014 to the greater Milwaukee area.  Annual regarded as one of the premiere tournaments in the country each year for 9u-17u travel programs, the Swish 'N Dish will once again feature a 3 game guarantee with 1st and 2nd place teams receiving customized individual trophies/medals and t-shirts.  Last year's tournament was coverage by recruiting services across the country including, but not limited to, the likes of NY2LASPORTS.COM, SCOUT.COM, ESPNU.COM, RIVALS.COM, 247SPORTS.COM, ETC. and the 2014 installment promises much of the same with teams already committed from coast to coast once again.  The tournament alumni are a who's who of current NBA stars and collegiate standouts with alumni that includes the likes of Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wisconsin Wizards); Marquis Teague (Chicago Bulls); Wayne Blackshear (Louisville), JP Tokoto (North Carolina), Trent Lockett (Marquette), Jamil Wilson (Marquette), Brandon Dawson (Michigan State), Glenn Robinson Jr. (Michigan), Mitch McGary (Michigan), Johnny O'Bryant III (LSU), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Paul Jesperson (Virginia), Myke Henry (Illinois), Travis Trice (Michigan State), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Sam Thompson (Ohio State), Deonte Burton (Marquette), Duane Wilson Jr. (Marquette), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Quentin Snider (Louisville), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Matt Thomas (Iowa State), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), etc.  The tournament alumni also includes many of the top high school prospects in the country annually.  The tournament will be covered online at NY2LASPORTS.COM as well as our middle school affiliate at GENERATIONNEXTBASKETBALL.COM and our Wisconsin affiliate at 414HOOPS.COM. For more information including registration forms CLICK HERE

NY2LA SPORTS SPRING EXTRAVAGANZA – APRIL 25-27, 2014
The annual travel school exposure tournament returns April 25-27, 20014 to Minneapolis, Minnesota and is once again eligible for certification by the NCAA.  The tournament was certified for Division 1 College Coaches to attend this past year and the tournament saw over 150 schools in attendance during its second year as teams from across the country took part in the 1st year event.  The 2014 installment is once again eligible for certification and will offer up 14u-17u divisions with 1st and 2nd place teams receiving customized individual trophies/medals and t-shirts.  The tournament will be covered online at NY2LASPORTS.COM with other regional and national recruiting services also in attendance.  For more information on the 2014 NY2LA SPORTS Spring Extravaganza CLICK HERE

NY2LA SPORTS INVITATIONAL – MAY 16-18, 2014
The annual hoops gala returns to the courts once again May 16-18, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 9u-17u boys teams.  The tournament is annually one of the premiere tournaments in the country to close the spring travel season and the 2014 campaign promises much of the same as a host of strong programs are already confirmed to be in attendance.  The tournament will once again offer up a 3 game guarantee with 1st and 2nd place teams receiving customized individual trophies/medals and t-shirts along with solid exposure from a number of recruiting services who annually attend this event.  The tournament will be covered online at NY2LASPORTS.COM with other regional and national recruiting services also in attendance once again.  For more information on the 2014 NY2LA Sports Invitational including registrations forms CLICK HERE