PHENOMNATIONHOOPS.COM - WI NEWS AND NOTES
Antonio Curro — NATIONAL RECRUITING DIRECTOR - NY2LASPORTS.COM
All eyes are on Madison right now with the WIAA boys state tournament in full swing. With the first weekend in the books a host of storylines are beginning to unfold. Here’s a look at 10 of them from the opening week of WIAA boys state tournament play today in our news and notes from around the state of Wisconsin…
(1) GERMANTOWN MAKES STATEMENT
The #1 team in the state of Wisconsin took no prisoners this weekend as they steamrolled through Hartford (91-29) and Menomonee Falls (84-47) into a section semi-final matchup with Cinderella Sussex Hamilton. Senior Zak Showalter powered the Warhawk attack and Junior Luke Fischer continues to round back into form as well.
(2) ELLINGSON POWERS SUSSEX HAMILTON
In the same fashion as Jimmy Chitwood once powered Hickory, sharpshooting guard Brady Ellingson did much of the same with Sussex Hamilton this past weekend as the 7th seeded Hamilton knocked off Homestead and Arrowhead over the weekend behind 25 and 33 point performances from Ellingson respectively. He was scintillating at times as he scored off the bounce, in the post, off mid-range looks, and through an aerial assault of trey balls. The prize at the end is matchup against the “mighty” Germantown Warhawks on Thursday, a victory over which only Gene Hackman and Norman Dale could appreciate!
(3) MEMORIAL ROLLS ON
After a week of legal issues regarding Junior Lomomba and Jamar Morris captured the headlines in Madison (CLICK HERE FOR STORY) (CLICK HERE FOR MEMORIAL DECISION) the defending state champions hit the hardwood and proceeded to dismantle Verona and Madison La Follette on their way to a Sectional semi-final matchup against Sun Praire/Middleton (Playing March 5th). Given what lies ahead or potentially lies ahead in their Sectional, anything less than a trip to Madison would be a surprise.
(4) DIAMOND DELIVERS
The premiere freshman in the state of Wisconsin came through with two strong performances over the weekend to help power Dominican to a Sectional semi-final matchup against Brookfield Academy and a red hot Dominique Criss. The big man powered in 26 points on Saturday and looks to be playing at the top of his game right now which makes Dominican even more dangerous than they already were.
Milwaukee King advanced to the Sectional semi-finals on Saturday and Milwaukee Riverside ended a disappointing season that failed to live up to many early season expectations. While the score and final result wasn’t surprising given the fact that Milwaukee King has been the class of the City Conference this season, the game was marred by extracurricular activity and had to be stopped early. What comes of it all may or may not impact King on Thursday depending on if the WIAA takes any additional action. Regardless, it was not a positive situation in any shape or fashion and shouldn't happen in any instance, much less a Regional final game. There was nothing mature, tough, street etc. about it, it's just immature, inexusable and the individuals involved embarrassed themselves, their team, their coaches, their schools, the City Conference, the City of Milwaukee, and the state of Wisconsin in the process. Collectively, all of us need to continue to work to be better than this at every level on and off the court. Disappointing.
(6) WEST ALLIS CENTRAL COMEBACK
The West Allis Central feel good story continued this past weekend as Central rolled past Brookfield East and came back from a 12 point deficit to defeat Milwaukee Vincent on Saturday behind some stellar play from 2012 F Najeal McMillian, 2012 F/C Tonnie Collier, and 2013 PG Jarvis Garrett, amongst others. Coach Mlachnik has done an excellent job this season after some early season struggled and he now has Central hosting a Sectional semi-final against Milwaukee King on Thursday in what should be an excellent contest. Conference Champion West Allis Central arguably should have had the #2 seed in the section behind Milwaukee King but had to settle for the #3 seed while Milwaukee Vincent surprisingly grabbed the #2 seed so the victory at Milwaukee Vincent after being down 12 points late in the 3rd had to feel pretty good to Coach Mlachnik and his boys and really was a testament to the toughness and grittiness they’ve shown the majority of the season.
(7) BELCHER POWERS HAMILTON
Milwaukee Hamilton has quietly gone about their business the second half of the season and don’t look now but Hamilton is once again in the Sectional semi-finals after defeating Greenfield and Racine Case. While 2014 SF Kevon Looney was stellar in both contests, 2012 PF Itavian Belcher was a huge factor as he served as a dominant force in both wins over the weekend. Should Belcher continue his stellar play this week, a return trip to Madison may not be out of the questions for Coach Diener and company.
(8) RICE LAKE/ONALASKA SHOWDOWN
Arguably the two best teams in Division 2 rolled through their regional matchups as Onalaska dropped Hayward 68-32 and River Falls 71-42 behind 21 points and 36 points from Junior Matthew Thomas respectively. On the flip side Rice Lake dismantled La Crosse Logan 74-45 and defeated Holmen 50-41 behind the stellar play of Minnesota bound senior wing Wally Ellenson. The end result for both is a Sectional semi-final matchup on Thursday between Onalaska and Rice Lake, a game that should be taking place in Madison unfortunately. Both teams have star power, both teams execute, and both teams could capture the Division 2 state championship. This could very well be the game of the weekend and the winner is the favorite to hoist the trophy in Madison.
(9) PIUS XI FEELING THE LOVE
The Popes have quietly put together one of the best seasons of the year and 2012 PG Carrington Love has been the catalyst all season long. The UW-Green Bay commit (As of this past weekend) has done everything for the Popes this season and after defeating Waterford and Wisconsin Lutheran this past weekend, Pius XI heads into a Sectional semi-final matchup with a stellar Whitnall squad on Thursday. Should Love and senior wing Larry Fitzgerald continue their excellent play, a trip to Madison for the Popes could lie ahead.
(10) HERE COME THE PURGOLDERS
At one point during the season the Milwaukee Washington Purgolders were struggling and didn’t look like a serious post season contender. Fast forward a couple months and the Purgolders are looking very dangerous behind the likes of senior PG Derek Williams, G Deandre Harris, and junior wing Jamaar McKay. They defeated Brown Deer (57-54) on Friday and then proceeded to blast Nicolet (70-44) in impressive fashion. Up next is a showdown with a tough Wauwatosa East squad on Thursday in Sectional semi-final action where Milwaukee Washington heads in playing their best basketball off the season.
2012 PG Carrington Love of Milwaukee Pius XI verbally committed to Brian Wardle and UW-Green Bay over the weekend. Few, if any, players in the state of Wisconsin have improved as much as Love has over the past 6 months. After posting a 1st team All-Breakfast of Champions performance this fall, Love has delivered a stellar performance all season long for Milwaukee Pius XI who advanced to the sectional semi-finals after defeating Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday. Love is a solid addition for Coach Wardle and more importantly it’s a great testament to the hard work that Love put in this fall and winter.
SWISH N’ DISH SPRING WARM-UP – APRIL 6-8, 2012 – BOYS 9U-17U – MILWAUKEE, WI
The annual hoops gala hits the hardwood again in the greater Milwaukee area this April and the action promises to once again feature some of the premiere prospects in the state of Wisconsin and the country as a whole. This tournament has become one of the premiere events in the country annually and with the likes of SCOUT.COM, ESPNU.COM, NY2LASPORTS.COM, etc. standing courtside covering the tournament the exposure opportunities will be limitless once again. The tournament is open to boys 9u-17u teams and it offers a 3 game guarantee. For more information including registration and hotel information CLICK HERE
SPRING EXTRAVAGANZA – APRIL 20-22, 2012 – BOYS 9U-17U – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
The new April “live” evaluation period debuts next month and NY2LA Sports will be front and center once again with our new Spring Extravaganza in Minneapolis, MN. This brand new event is open to 9u-17u teams with the 15u-17u divisions eligible for NCAA Certification. The tournament offers a 3 game guarantee and already has confirmations from programs across the country with 14 states expected to be represented at what is shaping up to be one of the premiere tournaments in the country this weekend. For more information including registration forms CLICK HERE
NY2LA SPORTS INVITATIONAL – MAY 18-20, 2012 – BOYS 9U-17U – MILWAUKEE, WI
The spring travel season winds to a close in May but not before the 7th annual NY2LA Sports Invitational hits the hardwood in the greater Milwaukee area. This annual hoops gala for boys 9u-17u teams is once again expected to feature some of the top prospects in the state of Wisconsin and the country. The tournament offers a 3 game guarantee and the 9u-14u divisions will serve as the final qualifying tournament for the Generation Next Invitational Championships set for July 5-8, 2012. For more information including registration and hotel information CLICK HERE
Stay tuned to 414HOOPS.COM for the latest in Wisconsin hoops action all day everyday…
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.