The high school season is in full swing and the state of Wisconsin is front and center as always with some solid prospects, teams, and storylines to watch this season.  So here’s our first installment of our news and notes from across the Badger state for the 2018-2019 boys high school basketball season…
(1) Nicolet
The Knights are athletic, versatile, and loaded and they’re the team to beat this season.  Junior Jalen Johnson and sophomores Kobe Johnson and James Graham III join with standout Junior Jamari Sibley and a strong cast of role players to form a formidable team this season.  They have depth, skill, athleticism, and big game experience to go along with a number of the Division 1 prospects.  On paper they are the cream of a loaded Division 2 crop in the state of Wisconsin.  
(2) Sussex Hamilton
A deep and talented group returns for Sussex Hamilton and on paper the Division 1 state championship would seem to run through them, Brookfield Central, or Waukesha West early on.  Sophomore standout Patrick Baldwin Jr. powers the Chargers attack but they have a lot of talented depth in the form of fellow sophomores Tanner Resch and Nolan Rieder as well as juniors Lucas Finnessy, J.T. Hoytink, and Carson Smith.  Baldwin is the #1 sophomore in the country because he’s that good and that skilled but the balance and depth of the Chargers gives them the potential to cause a lot of problems for opposing teams as they can hit you from all different angles.  They’re well coached, experienced after last season’s deep run, and talented.
(3) Milwaukee Washington
Off to a solid start with a quality win over Racine Park at this past weekend’s Fresh Coast Classic, the Purgolders were one missed jump shot away from a state championship last season and they return looking to take the next step after a couple of disappointing ends to the season the past couple of years.  Sophomore Michael Foster Jr. powers this attack and he’s one of the tops in the nation for his class for a reason as he has the capability of putting a team on his back when needed.  Senior Deontay Long returns but the key to this season could very well be emerging guard Chianti Clay Jr. who will be called on to fill the void left by departing senior Jordan Dinsmore.  They are expected to once again be the class of the City Conference and they’re in the conversation with Nicolet, La Crosse Central, etc. for state championship contenders at the Division 2 level.
(4) La Crosse Central
Two years ago they captured a state title and last year their run didn’t have the same ending but when it comes to talent on paper Central is really good and they look primed for a deep run once again.  Senior Noah Parcher is a catalyst for an attack that includes talented juniors Johnny Davis and Jordan Davis along with powerful interior standout Terrance Thompson.  They can score from the perimeter, in the paint, and they pose a lot of matchup problems with their versatility and ability to play multiple styles.  They have as good a chance as any of ending up in Madison and they like Washington and Nicolet would appear to be the front runners to capture the Division 2 state championship this season.
(5) Brookfield Central
A couple years ago Central wrapped the season on an excellent run and fell short in the final game but last year they were a bit up and down in terms of consistency.  The 2018-2019 season is entirely different year and the expectations couldn’t be any higher.  Powered by a strong senior backcourt in Cole Nau and Gage Malensek the Lancers on paper appear to be the class of the Greater Metro Conference.  Sophomores Ben Nau and David Joplin are Division 1 prospects in their own right but the key to this season could very well be the play of emerging role players.  One such talent is junior wing Malik Abdul-Wahid and senior Jack Cooney should be a factor as well.  They are a formidable group and if they can come together this season they have a chance to end up in Madison challenging for the state title once again.  
Others of Note – Waukesha West, Racine Park, Waupun, Brown Deer, Brookfield East, Greendale Martin Luther, Madison La Follette, Franklin, Kimberly, Racine St. Catherines
Jaylon Gentry – PG – Brown Deer
An unsung talent so to speak, Gentry can play and the Falcons have a lot of talent that no one is talking about to go along with an excellent coach whose already captured state titles.  Gentry powers a multi-dimensional attack and look for him to deliver a high caliber senior campaign for Brown Deer this season.
Terrance Thompson – PF – La Crosse Central
Already holding a handful of Division 1 offers, Thompson’s play is the key to Central’s fortunes this season.  He’s strong, he controls the glass, he can finish around the basket, and he has the ability to step out and kick down the 15 footer as well.  As he goes so will Central as his double double ability game in and game out will open things up for others and create matchup problems for opposing teams.
Tyrese Hunter – PG – Racine St. Catherines
An explosive guard with handles, athleticism, and skill, Hunter powers the St. Cats attack and he’s a tough cover on every level.  The Angels are well coached and the play of Hunter will be critical to their big picture fortunes this season.  
Maximus Nelson – SF – Appleton North
A talented and skilled sharpshooting wing, Nelson will be called upon to be a big factor for North right off the bat.  He has size, length, and an excellent perimeter stroke so look for him to have some high caliber performances during his first year playing high school basketball.  He’s a legitimate Division 1 prospect who’s just starting his ascent.  
Mark Wade – G – Brown Deer
A skilled and talented guard who can score at every level, Wade is a matchup problem with toughness and the talented young sophomore will be a huge part of the balanced Brown Deer attack this season.  The Falcons have a chance at capturing another Division 3 title this season and Wade’s play in terms of consistency and production will be a huge factor in determining whether the end up in Madison or not this upcoming March.
(Note – This is not an exclusive list)
Sussex Hamilton vs. Nicolet – December 15th – NY2LA Sports Classic
The two best teams in the state collide with both teams loaded with prospects and talent.  There isn’t a better matchup on paper in the state of Wisconsin this season and Brookfield Central High School will be the setting.
La Crosse Central vs. Brookfield Central – December 15th – NY2LA Sports Classic
Two of the premiere teams in the state collide and both have college prospects up and down their rosters.  La Crosse Central has 3 of the premiere juniors in the state while Brookfield Central has two of the best seniors and two of the best sophomores.  The game will be played at Brookfield Central and is another must watch matchup.
Brookfield Central vs. Martin Luther – December 27th – WBBY Shootout
Central is loaded and expected to challenge for the Division 1 state championship while Martin Luther has their own plans this season and they too have a chance at grabbing the Division 3 crown.  Ace Evans, Xzavier Jones, Trequan Carrington, and Jeramie King present a lot of problems for opposing teams.  The guard play in this one could be exciting to watch.  
Onalaska vs. Waukesha West – December 28th – WBBY Shootout
A young Onalaska team that has size and skill matches up with a talented West team that on paper could challenge for the Division 1 state championship.  Last year’s West team underachieved but this season bolstered by senior big man David Skogman they look primed for a deep run.  Onalaska can match West’s size with junior Carson Arenz and sophomore Gavin McGrath.  This is an interesting matchup to watch this season.
Milwaukee Washington vs. Martin Luther – December 1st – Terry Porter
One would expect an up tempo game here as it plays to the strengths of both teams but without a shot clock you really never know.  Washington comes at you with Foster, Long, Clay, etc. and Martin Luther has some firepower of their own with guards Carrington and Evans along with XJ and King.  This is an interesting matchup on paper and one to watch 
NY2LA Sports Classic – December 15, 2018 – at Brookfield Central High School
Sussex Hamilton, Nicolet, La Crosse Central, Brookfield Central, Homestead, and Brown Deer hit the hardwood on December 15th for this stellar high school platform.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION