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D2 Preseason Top Ten -- La Crosse Central sits on top of another loaded D2 field

10/24/2019, 2:00pm CDT
By Mark Miller

The 2019-20 edition of the 352-page Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook is now available for purchase. Order your WBY by visiting www.wbby.com.

Here is a sneak preview of the top 10 teams in the preseason poll of Division 2 schools included in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook …


Charlie Masewicz

1. La Crosse Central
Coach: Todd Fergot, 16th year
Top Players: Johnny Davis (6-5, Sr., 23 ppg, 9 rpg), Jordan Davis (6-4, Sr., 12.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Terrance Thompson (6-7, Sr., 7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Charlie Masewicz (6-6, Sr., 2.3 ppg, 2 rpg), Brecken Austin (6-3, Sr., 2 ppg, 2 rpg), Porter Pretasky (6-3, Soph.), Devon Fielding (6-0, Soph.), Noah Compan (6-4, Soph.).   
2018-19 Records: 24-3, 12-0 in Mississippi Valley Conference
Outlook: The Red Raiders expect to advance to the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament for the fifth consecutive season. Of course, that is easier said than done and the La Crosse Central coaching staff most certainly respects all of the teams the Red Raiders could encounter on the road to Madison. Still, the confidence of the three returning senior starters -- all NCAA Division I prospects -- is a positive for coach Todd Fergot. University of Wisconsin recruits and senior twins Johnny and Jordan Davis are back for their fourth year of prep basketball, eager to bring back another Gold Ball to La Crosse after losing in the Division 2 state semifinals in each of the past two seasons. Johnny Davis is one of the leading candidates for the Mr. Basketball award after averaging 23 points and 9 rebounds as a junior while Jordan Davis is one of the better defenders in the state.  Senior forward Terrance Thompson, who has yet to commit to a collegiate program but owns several Division I offers, brings toughness, size and muscle to the Red Raiders' lineup. Seniors Charlie Masewicz and Brecken Austin saw some time a year ago and helped the Red Raiders to a 24-3 record. Their roles will increase this time around along with those of promising sophomores Porter Pretasky, Devon Fielding and Noah Compan. An exciting non-league schedule that includes games against Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis, DeKalb, Ill., and three games at the Montverde Academy Invitational in Florida figures to keep Red Raider fans on the edge of their seats. 
Coach’s Comments: "Size and length are definite assets along with the experience of our three returning starters. Developing our depth and adding some talented newcomers will be a big key to our season."


Shelton Williams-Dryden

2. Milwaukee Bay View
Coach: Darryl Longley, 5th year
Top Players: Shelton Williams-Dryden (6-5, Sr., 14 ppg, 12 rpg), Kaleel McCray-Clark (6-4, Sr., 12 ppg, 2 rpg), BJ Hentz (5-9, Sr., 9 ppg, 2 rpg), James Horton (5-10, Jr., 7 ppg, 2 rpg), Andre Cross (6-2, Sr., 5 ppg, 4 rpg), Kolten Monroe (6-6, Frosh.), Kaden Monroe (6-8, Soph.), Simeon Murchison (6-7, Frosh.).   
2018-19 Records: 21-3, 10-1 in Milwaukee CIty Conference
Outlook: The Redcats are definitely on the upswing in the Milwaukee City Conference and among Division 2 schools in the state. After sharing the league title with Milwaukee Washington last winter, Bay View is hoping for more success in 2019-20. The Redcats bring back three starters and a couple of key reserves from a squad that finished 21-3 under coach Darryl Longley. Senior Shelton Williams-Dryden earned second-team all-City Conference laurels as a junior after averaging 14 points and 12 rebounds. His ability to impact the game with his strong defense, stellar rebounding and general all-around hustle will be paramount to Bay View's chances to repeat as league champions. Seniors Kaleel McCray-Clark and BJ Hentz also are returning regulars for the Redcats. Senior Andre Cross and junior James Horton were key bench players and figure to push for starting roles along with three talented newcomers -- sophomore Kaden Monroe and freshmen Kolten Monroe and Simeon Murchison.  
Coach’s Comments: "Experience will be our biggest strength. Coming off a good year and losing just two starters, our returning guys are ready to pick up the slack. Our depth is our main concern. We have some talented incoming freshmen and they will be relied upon to solidify our bench."


Carson Arenz

3. Onalaska
Coach: Craig Kowal, 12th year
Top Players: Carson Arenz (6-5, Sr., 15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Tyrell Stuttley (6-5, Sr., 15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Sam Kick (6-1, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg), Dakota Mannel (5-10, Sr., 6.6 ppg), Gavin McGrath (6-11, Jr., 6.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Victor Desmond (6-5, Jr., 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Hank Olson (6-0, Sr., 2.4 ppg), Evan Gamoke (5-9, Jr.), Michael Skemp (6-1, Soph.).   
2018-19 Records: 20-5, 10-2 in Mississippi Valley Conference
Outlook: One of the state's most consistently successful programs over the last decade or so, Onalaska will definitely push La Crosse Central, in both the Mississippi Valley Conference and the WIAA playoffs. Though the Hilltoppers' lack two future Big Ten players like their rivals from La Crosse Central, they nonetheless boast a very talented lineup. Seniors Carson Arenz and Tyrell Stuttley are versatile scorers who can attack the defense from multiple spots on the court. Junior guard Sam Kick is a stellar point guard with two years of varsity experience already under his belt. Junior Gavin McGrath continues to grow and mature physically while also developing his offensive skills. At 6-foot-11 and with good timing on blocking shots, McGrath will be a huge defensive asset for the Hilltoppers. Senior Dakota Mannel is the fifth returning regular while senior Hank Olsen and juniors Victor Desmond and Evan Gamoke also figure to receive substantial playing time for coach Craig Kowal and the Hilltoppers, who have exciting non-league games with Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis, Kaukauna, Lakeville North, Minn., Sun Prairie and DeForest, among others.  
Coach’s Comments: "We return eight of our top nine players so experience is a strength. I also expect us to be balanced with an ability to score both inside and on the perimeter. Vocal leadership and athleticism are among our question marks."


Jacob Newhouse

4. Kaukauna
Coach: Michael Schalow, 25th year
Top Players: Keaton Ferris (6-0, Sr., 12.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Logan Jedwabny (6-2, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Jacob Newhouse (6-5, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Chris Morgan (6-1, Soph.), Jordan Strohl (5-7, Jr.), Will Carl (6-2, Jr.), Carson Sippel (6-0, Soph.), Tyson Stelow-Waldrop (6-4, Soph.).   
2018-19 Records: 20-6, 14-4 in Fox Valley Association
Outlook: Like Onalaska, Kaukauna has been a dominant program in the state for a long time now. That fact won't change in 2019-20 as coach Mike Schalow enters his 25th season at the school with a roster loaded with speed, quickness, skill and versatility. Senior Keaton Ferris is a four-year varsity performer for the Ghosts who sees the court about as well as any lead guard in the state. Senior Logan Jedwabny averaged 17.3 ppg as a junior while helping the Ghosts to a 20-6 record. He can fill it up from deep and also attack the hoop off ball fakes. Senior forward Jacob Newhouse is one of the more enjoyable players to watch in the state due to his ability to score in so many different ways at 6-foot-5. Ashwaubenon transfer Chris Morgan will team with Ferris and Jedwabny in an extremely talented backcourt. Morgan has a flair to his game, particularly when passing the ball. He already owns a NCAA Division I scholarship offer from West Virginia. Juniors Jordan Strohl and Will Carl along with sophomores Carson Sippel and Tyson Stelow-Waldrop also figure to be in the playing rotation for the Ghosts. 
Coach’s Comments: "Team speed, confidence and free-throw shooting are assets. Rebounding and half-court defense are question marks."

5. Milwaukee Madison
Coach: Quemont Greer, 4th year
Top Players: Tonnie Gregory (5-10, Sr., 15 ppg, 4 spg), Davin Fields-Johnson (6-5, Jr., 5 ppg, 8 rpg), Robert Becker (6-3, Sr., 6 ppg, 7 rpg), DeBaron Tooms (6-0, Sr., 3 ppg), Ezekiel Jackson (6-0, Soph., 3 ppg), Dushun James (6-5, Soph., 3 ppg, 6 rpg), Jeffrey Brazziel (6-5, Soph.), Murl Smith (6-0, Jr.), Dino Cook (6-4, Frosh.).   
2018-19 Records: 18-6, 8-3 in Milwaukee CIty Conference
Outlook: Even though the Spartans have some major holes to fill in their lineup, they remain among the elite teams in the Milwaukee City Conference. Kryan Gaines (25 ppg), Ty Morgan (10 ppg) and De'Anthony Johnson (9 ppg) graduated from last year's club that went 18-6 while Brandon Leach (17 ppg) now is attending Milwaukee Washington. Nonetheless, coach Quemont Greer welcomes back second-team all-City Conference performer Tonnie Gregory, who netted 15 ppg and came up with 4 spg as a junior. Senior Robert Becker, junior Davin Fields-Johnson and sophomore Dushun James all saw plenty of action last winter and should contend for starting roles. Two transfers and a freshman also figure to be in the mix. Sophomore Jeffrey Brazziel is the best of the three newcomers. The athletic and versatile 6-foot-5 wing player is ranked No. 1 among players in the 2022 class in the state by WisSports.net and averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds while playing for the varsity squad at league-rival Milwaukee Bradley Tech last season. Junior Murl Smith is another transfer while freshman Dino Cook could also work his way into the playing rotation at Madison. 
Coach’s Comments: "Competitiveness, defense and rebounding will be our primary strengths. I look for Milwaukee Bay View, Milwaukee Riverside and Milwaukee Washington to rank among the top teams in the City Conference along with our team."

6. Milwaukee Lutheran
Coach: Marcus Jackson, 2nd year
Top Players: Jourdan Weddle (6-2, Sr., 17 ppg, 8 rpg), Javeon Tolliver (6-0, Sr., 16.5 ppg, 3 rpg), Alex Harper (5-9, Sr., 4 ppg, 3 rpg), Danny Perdzock (6-6, Sr., 10 ppg, 6 rpg), Terry Moye (6-0, Sr.), Marcellus Taliaferro (6-7, Sr., 6 ppg, 3 rpg), Ivory Britton (5-11, Jr.), Conor Tucker (5-11, Jr.), Ronald Johnson (6-0, Jr.).   
2018-19 Records: 20-4, 10-2 in Woodland East Conference
Outlook: Three starters are back for Milwaukee Lutheran, which surprised many in the Woodland Conference last year by going 20-4 under first-year coach Marcus Jackson. Seniors Jourdan Weddle and Javeon Tolliver are all-league caliber performers for the Red Knights. Weddle averaged nearly a double-double at 17 ppg and 8 rpg while Tolliver used his quickness and skill in the backcourt to average 16.5 ppg. Senior Alex Harper also is a returning regular for the Red Knights. Key backups from a year ago who figure to challenge for starting spots include seniors Danny Perdzock, Terry Moye and Marcellus Taliaferro. Depth should be a strength for Milwaukee Lutheran as juniors Ivory Britton, Conor Tucker, Ronald Johnson, Kaleb Daniel and Karon Grey led the Red Knights' JV squad to a 20-1 record.
Coach’s Comments: "Defensive pressure, fast-paced tempo, experience, depth and offensive punch are strong points. After our two biggest guys, we don't have a lot of height."


Ashton Janowski

7. Pewaukee
Coach: David Burkemper, 2nd year
Top Players: Josh Terrian (6-3, Soph., 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg), Ashton Janowski (6-2, Soph., 7.5 ppg), Logan Dobberstein (6-6, Soph., 5.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Travis Bentley (6-0, Sr., 4.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg), John Terrian (6-3, Sr.), Kollen Osterman (6-0, Soph.), Emmett Loew (6-0, Soph.), A.J. Hintz (5-11, Jr.), Milan Momcilovic (6-7, Frosh.).    
2018-19 Records: 20-5, 8-4 in Woodland West Conference
Outlook: The amount of young talent in the Pewaukee program borders on the ridiculous as coach David Burkemper's roster is literally loaded with promising talent in the freshmen and sophomore classes. Though the Pirates lost five senior starters to graduation from a club that went 20-5 in Burkemper's first year as head coach, Pewaukee once again figures to rank among the elite in the ultra-competitive Western Division of the Woodland Conference. Sophomore Josh Terrian, Logan Dobberstein and Ashton Janowski all saw major minutes as freshmen and produced well for the Pirates. Those three form a strong nucleus along with seniors Travis Bentley and Josh Terrian, and sophomore Kollen Osterman. In addition, talented freshman Milan Momcilovic, a versatile 6-foot-7 forward, also figures to earn his way into the playing rotation. Though the Pirates remain very young, the level of mental toughness and skill in the program is exceptionally high. 
Coach’s Comments: "Our kids play with a very high basketball IQ so that will be a strength along with the ability to shoot. Youth, lack of size and physical strength are among our concerns."


Payton Flood

8. River Falls
Coach: Zac Campbell, 7th year
Top Players: Payton Flood (6-5, Sr., 5.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Zac Johnson (6-3, Jr., 14.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg), JT Dougherty (6-8, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Mike Johnson (6-4, Sr., 5.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Liam Dougherty (6-8, Jr., 3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Michael Tiffany (6-4, Sr.), Arsenio Black (6-0, Sr.), Michael Schurman (6-0, Soph.), Ragan Pinnow (6-0, Soph.).    
2018-19 Records: 16-7, 9-3 in Big Rivers Conference
Outlook: The Wildcats might sustain a few losses during the regular season due to the competition it encounters in the predominantly Division 1 Big Rivers Conference, but come playoff time, look for River Falls to make a big splash. The size and experience in the River Falls' program is impressive, to say the least. Twin juniors JT and Liam Dougherty are ever-improving 6-foot-8 forwards with excellent mobility and improving offensive skills. The presence of two 6-8 players in the River Falls' lineup most certainly will make it extremely difficult for opponents to score with any level of consistency in the lane. JT Dougherty is a more accomplished offensive player than his brother at this point in their development, but both JT and Liam are capable of ripping down rebounds and blocking shots. Junior sharpshooter Zac Johnson can get on a big-time roll from downtown, and he is also a difficult cover off the bounce due to his physical strength and aggressiveness. Senior Payton Flood joined JT Dougherty and Johnson in the starting lineup a year ago and together with senior reserve Mike Johnson brings even more size to coach Zac Campbell's squad. River Falls is playing a very competitive non-league schedule in addition to the 12 difficult games in the Big Rivers Conference. Games against Prescott, Appleton Xavier, Brown Deer, St. Paul Johnson and New Richmond will further toughen up the Wildcats for the post season.  
Coach’s Comments: "Commitment to improve, coachability, length and the ability to score in multiple ways are strengths. Quickness, depth and vocal leadership are question marks."


Reece Sproul

9. Stoughton
Coach: Nolan Weber, 4th year
Top Players: Adam Hobson (6-4, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Nathan Hutcherson (5-9, Sr., 3.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Reece Sproul (6-6, Jr., 3.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Cael McGee (6-1, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg), Luke Fernholz (6-1, Soph., 2.0 ppg), Ethan Skavlen (6-4, Sr.), Owen Chase (6-0, Sr.), Tyler Martinson (6-4, Sr.).    
2018-19 Records: 13-11, 10-4 in Badger South Conference
Outlook: Michigan Tech recruit Adam Hobson headlines a very talented returning core of players for Stoughton, which hopes to end Monona Grove's two-year reign as champions of the Badger South Conference. Hobson is an athletic and skilled wing player who competes with a very good feel for the game. The returning first-team all-league player led Stoughton in scoring (16.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) as a junior. Senior guard Nathan Hutcherson and juniors Cael McGee and Reece Sproul joined Hobson in the starting rotation. McGee is a slasher who cans core while Sproul provides some size and length in the post. Senior Jack Nelson, a University of Wisconsin football recruit, will not play in 2019-20 as he plans to early enroll at Wisconsin. Still, seniors Ethan Skavlen, Owen Chase and Tyler Martinson along with sophomore Luke Fernholz figure to more than make up for the loss in production caused by Nelson's departure.   
Coach’s Comments: "We have a lot of very physically talented players. We return one of the most underrated players in the state in Adam Hobson, who led us in almost every category a year ago. But we will only go as far as the guy's around him are willing to take us. We have multiple players who can score and we have a team capable of being great defensively. Consistency and chemistry were our biggest issues a year ago and those are our biggest concerns going into this season. We have the length, athleticism and basketball skill to be one of the best teams in our area. Now we need to advance with our maturity and ability to close out games."


Michael Casper

10. Merrill
Coach: Jake Schalow, 4th year
Top Players: Michael Casper (6-1, Sr., 15.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg), Caleb Timm (6-4, Sr., 5.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Connor Mootz (6-1, Sr., 3.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Piersen Pyan (6-4, Sr., 3.7 ppg), Nathan Woller (6-3, Jr., 3.7 ppg), Jake Zelinski (6-3, Jr.), Tim Handlin (5-10, Jr.), Isaac Sutton (6-3, Jr.).    
2018-19 Records: 21-5, 10-2 in Wisconsin Valley Conference
Outlook: Defending Wisconsin Valley Conference champion Merrill lost three players to graduation who earned all-league honors last winter. Nevertheless, coach Jake Schalow's squad once again figures to contend for the title in the mostly Division 1 league. Second-team all-Wisconsin Valley selection Michael Casper tops the list of returning players for the Bluejays. Casper is an aggressive player on both ends of the court and competes with tons of energy. He averaged 15.3 points and 3.9 rebounds as a junior. Caleb Timm, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, also returns to the starting rotation while seniors Connor Mootz and Piersen Pyan along with junior Nathan Woller should contend for starting spots after playing significant minutes off the bench a year ago. Newcomers from a 15-7 JV squad also will figure into the Bluejays' playing rotation. As usual, Schalow will get his team to perform well as a unit by emphasizing strong defense and sharing the ball on offense. 
Coach’s Comments: "We bring back a lot of experience and possess a very good work ethic. Commitment and depth also are strengths. Lack of size and rebounding are our biggest question marks coming into the season."

OTHERS TO WATCH
Burlington, Elkhorn Area, Grafton, Greenfield, Medford, Monroe, Mosinee, New Berlin Eisenhower, New Richmond, Nicolet, Plymouth, Reedsburg, Seymour, Wauwatosa East, Wauwatosa West, Whitefish Bay, Wilmot, Wisconsin Lutheran.

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