PHENOMNATIONHOOPS.COM - WIAA STATE DIVISION 2 PREVIEW - 5 TEAMS TO WATCH
Antonio Curro — NATIONAL RECRUITING DIRECTOR - NY2LASPORTS.COM
Arguably the most exciting and competitive division in the upcoming WIAA state tournament is is a loaded Division 2 that features some of the surprise stories of the year so far. Flavien Davis and Wisconsin Lutheran may be the defending state champions at the D2 level but they will have to navigate through a loaded field of teams if they expect to repeat. Here's a look at 5 teams who could easily hoist the trophy in Madison later this month...
(NOTE - LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
Catholic Memorial (20-2 Regular Season)
Arguably the most over achieving team in the state this season, experience paved they way for a stellar campaign as Princeton bound Sr. G T.J. Bray (17.1 PPG) and Hillsdale College bound Sr. G Derek Schell (17.6) were sensational at times. Mix in Sr. F/C Austin Pucylowski (11.3 PPG) and you have a team that can beat anyone when they play together. One thing that's a bit different here is that everyone has established roles and when you combine that with an experienced and talented backcourt, they are as dangerous on any given night. Their lack of size, interior presence, and athleticism are areas of weakness. Nevertheless, provided they play together game in and game out they have a great chance of ending up in Madison.
Port Washington (18-4 Regular Season)
They feature a state player of the year candidate in Wisconsin bound Sr. G Josh Gasser (23.4 PPG) who can take over the game at any time. Gasser can stroke the jumper and gets to the rack but most importantly he is the one guy on the court who must be accounted for at all times making more opportunities available for someone to step up big in the coming weeks. Enter Jr. F Shance Kennedy (11.2 PPG) and Sr. F Corey Steinmetz (10.6 PPG) who will have to come up big game in and game out for Port to end up in Madison.
Seymour (20-2 Regular Season)
They may not have generated most of the hype this season when it comes to other Division 2 teams on the board but one thing they definitely can do is get it done on the hardwood. They easily feature the top 1-2 punch in the Division 2 tournament when it comes to Jr. G Calahan Skogman (19.1 PPG) and Jr. F Phil Romback (15.8 PPG). The difference between Seymour's 1-2 punch and Memorial's is that Seymour has more size and Romback presents huge problems with his ability to step away and knock down the trey ball. Regardless, Skogman is a talent who's stock continues to soar and he's a difference maker with his ability to score the basketball. This team is the least talked about #1 seed in the D2 tournament but may very well be one of the dangerous and a trip to Madison and a shot at the D2 state chip is well within reason.
Waupun (20-2 Regular Season)
The one team none of the favorities in the D2 tournament want to play and a big reason for that is Sr. G Austin Armga (25.8 PPG) one of the most dominant scoring talents in the state. Yet while Armga can fill it up with the best of them, the Warriors also feature Sr. G Cory Nickel (14.9 PPG) and Sr. F Derrick Winterhack (11.7 PPG). This team has balance but most importantly they also have a player in Armga who can make the big play when it matters the most and that alone makes them very dangerous.
Wisconsin Lutheran (19-3 Regular Season)
The defending Division 2 state champions take to the court with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and a virtual afterthought by some despite being the hottest team in the field as they hit the court with a 10 game winning streak. Led by Loyola-Chicago bound Sr. SF Flavien Davis (21.4 PPG) who is the most versatile talent in the D2 field. Davis's ability to dominate the glass, play inside-outside, and step his game up down the stretch have Lutheran as the clear cut favorite to capture another state chip. Mix in excellent coaching by 2nd year Head Coach Ryan Walz and a cast of hungry role players like Jr. PG Terry Nash (9.9 PPG) and Sr. F Tim Rotruck (9.2 PPG). Much like Madison Memorial to be the man you really have to beat the man. Lutheran is battle tested, experienced, well coached and playing their best basketball at the right time.
Note: Antonio Curro is the National Recruiting Editor for NY2LASPORTS.COM, GENERATIONNEXBASKETBALL.COM and 414HOOPS.COM. He is also a national consultant for ESPNU and the HOOPSCOOP.