The 2018 NY2LA Sports is set to tip off this Saturday with 3 excellent matchups pitting some of the better teams in the state of Wisconsin for their respective divisions against each other.  In addition to quality team matchups – many of the top prospects in the state and arguably the two top prospects in the country for their respective classes are set to collide.  Here’s a quick breakdown of each team as we head into the December 15, 2018 NY2LA Sports Classic at Brookfield Central High School in Wisconsin.


Note – Doors will open at 3:00 pm on Saturday – Please enter from Northeast entrance of the facility.

4:00 p.m. – Brown Deer vs. Homestead
6:00 p.m. – La Crosse Central vs. Brookfield Central
8:00 p.m. – Sussex Hamilton vs. Nicolet

Note – Listed in alphabetical order

Nickname – Lancers
Head Coach – Dan Wandrey
Record as of 12/13/18 – (2-1)
Division – 1
Ranking as of 12/11/18
NY2LASPORTS.COM – 4 (Statewide Non-Divisional)
WISSPORTS.NET – 2 (Division 1)
KEY PLAYERS – 2019 6-0 G Gage Malensek (21 PPG), 2021 6-6 F David Joplin (13.3 PPG), 2021 6-1 G Ben Nau (11.7 PPG), 2019 6-3 G Cole Nau (8.3 PPG), 2020 6-5 F Malik Abdul-Wahid (8.0 PPG)
Very deep and talented in the background, the three headed guard trio of Malensek and the Nau brothers pose a number of difficult matchup problems for opposing teams.  Malensek thrives off of dribble penetration while both Nau brothers when right score mostly from the perimeter.  Abdul-Wahid is an athletic versatile forward who’s coming along this season and Joplin had a strong game against Brookfield East in a win earlier this season.  At their best the Lancers are a serious threat to capture the Division 1 state crown but they’ll need complete games from all five key players as well as some consistency off the bench to get there.  

Nickname – Falcons
Head Coach – Kelly Applebee
Record as of 12/13/18 – (2-3)
Division – 3
Ranking as of 12/11/18
KEY PLAYERS – 2019 6-2 G Brooklyn Jagers (25 PPG), 2019 5-8 PG Jaylon Gentry (20.6 PPG), 2021 6-6 F Jeremiah Dotson (13.6 PPG), 2021 6-1 G Mark Wade (9.4 PPG)
Very young in a lot of respects the Falcons jumped out of the gate early with two impressive wins that saw them climb the rankings quickly.  They held a late lead over Pewaukee in the final seconds of regulation before the game tied and they eventually lost in overtime.  Since then they’ve struggled in back to back outings.  They have a senior guard tandem that can fill it up with the best of them in Jagers and Gentry and the two sophomores Dotson and Wade were really solid in both wins and then took a step back in the past three losses.  On a bit of a roller coaster to start the season, at their best Brown Deer has shown an ability to compete with the best in their division and to get back on track and compete for a Division 3 state title they’ll need some bench players to step up and consistency night in and night out from their key players.

Nickname – Highlanders
Head Coach – Sean Crider
Record as of 12/13/18 – (5-0)
Division – 2
Ranking as of 12/11/18
KEY PLAYERS – 2020 6-3 SF Declan Ciurlik (24.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.4 APG), 2019 6-1 G Ryan Waddell (16.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.2 APG), 2019 6-9 G Jacob Kleiman (9.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.2 APG), 2019 6-6 F Michael Kennedy (8.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG), 2020 6-3 F Miles Davis (6.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
A bit of a sleeper team to start the season, Homestead if off to an unblemished start thanks largely to good coaching and high quality play from junior Declan Ciurlik.  A tough blue collar max effort talent, Ciurlik is delivering some high caliber performances that pair with senior sharpshooter Ryan Waddell for a quality 1-2 punch at the top.  The Highlanders don’t stop there though as they have 6-7 guys who contribute with quality minutes on any given night and they can score from all levels while filling the box score as well.  They’re going to be a tough matchup on most nights on pure teamwork, coaching, and effort and with Ciurlik and Waddell able to make big plays when it matters they have a chance to open a lot of eyes this season and run deep into March.  Their matchup with Brown Deer Saturday has a chance to be a really good one between two potential sleepers that have the talent and coaching to have great seasons if they can put it all together consistently.

Nickname – Red Raiders
Head Coach – Todd Fergot
Record as of 12/13/18 – (3-0)
Division – 2
Ranking as of 12/11/18
NY2LASPORTS.COM – 3 (Statewide Non-Divisional)
WISSPORTS.NET – 2 (Division 2)
KEY PLAYERS – 2020 6-5 SG Jonathan Davis (27 PPG), 2020 6-4 G Jordan Davis (19 PPG), 2019 6-0 G Noah Parcher (9.5 PPG), 2020 6-7 F/C Terrance Thompson (7.0 PPG), 2019 5-8 PG Deandre Davis
Hampered by injuries to start the year the Red Raiders are still off to an impressive 3-0 mark.  State champions at the Division 2 level a couple seasons ago, Central is primed to challenge for the title once again.  Junior guard Jonathan Davis powers the attack and he’s a legitimate Division 1 prospect that already holds an offer from Wisconsin.  His twin brother Jordan has also stepped up his play early this season and he’s a huge part of the attack.  The biggest key is the dirty work around the basket at junior big man Terrance Thompson returned earlier this week from injury and he’s a virtual lock for a double double on most nights while also causing matchup problems around the basket for opposing teams.  They’re experienced, talented, and a legitimate force to capture the Division 2 crown again this season.  To do it they’ll night high level performances from their top 3 and some solid consistent contributions from Parcher and Davis along with their bench.  They’re matchup with Brookfield Central Saturday could be a classic if both teams are clicking on all cylinders.  

Nickname – Knights
Head Coach – Allan Hanson
Record as of 12/13/18 – (5-1)
Division – 2
Ranking as of 12/11/18
NY2LASPORTS.COM – 1 (Statewide Non-Divisional)
WISSPORTS.NET – 1 (Division 2)
KEY PLAYERS – 2020 6-9 G/F Jalen Johnson (17.5 PPG), 2020 6-8 F Jamari Sibley (22.8 PPG), 2021 6-3 PG Kobe Johnson (11.0 PPG), 2021 6-7 F James Graham III (6.8 PPG), 2019 F/C Jarrett Henderson (3.0 PPG), 2019 6-5 F C.J. Hayes (5.8 PPG), 2019 6-0 Sonny Phinisee (4.4 PPG)
The favorite to capture the Division 2 state title right now, Nicolet is loaded and it starts with the 1-2 punch of juniors Jalen Johnson and Jamari Sibley.  Both high majors courting over 20 high major offers a piece at this point, Johnson and Sibley play well together without one needing to dominate the ball.  Johnson is a walking near triple double every night while Sibley is a variety of perimeter jumpers, slashing dunks, put backs, and solid rebounding.  Defensively both have the ability to lock up at the highest level when dialed in and both have to be accounted for as big time producers in every game plan.  Sophomore guard Kobe Johnson is in the midst of a breakout years as he’s shown vision, playmaking, and an ability to score at multiple levels giving Nicolet a third weapon on the hardwood that has to be accounted for.  Emerging sophomore forward James Graham III comes off the bench and he can rip the nets from long range and score in bunches as well.  Both Johnson and Graham also hold high major offers already.  The role players so to speak that is Henderson, Hayes, Phinisee, etc. have already made their presence felt with effort, intangibles, etc. and Henderson has double double potential when he’s at his best.  They are long, athletic, skilled, deep, well coached, and only getting better.  To beat them you have to execute efficiently and counter their big performances with some of your own.  Their matchup with Sussex Hamilton is loaded with college prospects on both sides and a must see matchup if you can get there.  

Nickname – Chargers
Head Coach – Andy Cerroni
Record as of 12/13/18 – (1-0)
Division – 1
Ranking as of 12/11/18
NY2LASPORTS.COM – 2 (Statewide Non-Divisional)
WISSPORTS.NET – 3 (Division 1)
KEY PLAYERS – 2021 6-10 G/F Patrick Baldwin Jr. (32 PPG & 8 RPG), 2020 6-1 G Carson Smith (10 PPG), 2020 6-1 G JT Hoytink (10 PPG), 2019 6-5 G/F Tyler Ellingson (9 PPG), 2020 6-4 F Lucas Finnessy (8 PPG), 2021 6-9 F/C Nolan Rieder, 2021 6-0 G Tanner Resch
A deep state tournament run that ended in defeat in Madison last season gave much needed experience to a young and very talented team.  Early on this season they’re the favorites to capture the Division 1 state title.  Powered by the #1 sophomore in the country in Patrick Baldwin Jr., the Chargers have a go to guy with the ability to take over the game and flip the scoreboard in bunches.  Arguably the best pure shooter to play at the high school level, Baldwin had grown and added some solid mid-range moves to his gifted perimeter stroke to make for a versatile and dominant matchup problem for most teams.  But Sussex Hamilton is far from a one man show as they’re well coached and have a deep team that could go as many as 7-8 impactful guys by seasons end.  Smith and Hoytink will be called upon to provide solid backcourt leadership and Ellingson and Resch bring some nice perimeter shooting to the table as well.  The key for them could really come down to the play of Finnessy and by season’s end Rieder as they could be a very formidable interior duo that could make life really easy for Baldwin at times will multiple weapons on the floor and an ability to score inside and outside.  Baldwin is the alpha but they’re deep, experienced, and going to get better by the week.  Obviously their matchup with Nicolet pits the two best teams in the state against each other at this point and arguably the top player in the 2020 class and 2021 class nationally across from each other in Jalen Johnson of Nicolet and Baldwin.  That being said each team is talented, deep, and well coached so it could be an instant classic if everyone is clicking.

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