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D1 Preseason Top Ten -- No. 1-ranked Sussex Hamilton boasts deep and talented squad

10/25/2019, 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 1 schools included in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook …


Carson Smith

1. Sussex Hamilton
Coach: Andy Cerroni, 19th year
Top Players: Patrick Baldwin Jr. (6-9, Jr., 19.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg), Lucas Finnessy (6-4, Sr., 7.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Carson Smith (6-2, Sr., 10.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.5 apg), JT Hoytink (6-1, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.1 apg), Tanner Resch (5-11, Jr., 8.5 ppg), Nolan Rieder (6-7, Jr., 2.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg), Ian Dolney (6-0, Soph.), Alex Eichmann (6-1, Soph.), Brady Batzko (6-2, Soph.).   
2018-19 Records: 21-5, 15-1 in Greater Metro Conference
Outlook: The presence of Patrick Baldwin Jr. in the Chargers' lineup makes Sussex Hamilton the team to beat at the WIAA Division 1 level. Simply put, Baldwin is the most sought after high school basketball player in Wisconsin. He has scholarship offers from NCAA Division I programs across the country, including Marquette and Wisconsin. Baldwin's versatility, skill, unselfishness and ability to make those around him better are assets that figure to help the Chargers successfully defend their title in the state's best conference, the Greater Metro. Baldwin averaged 19.0 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore and is ranked among the top five players in the country in the 2021 class. Joining Baldwin as returning starters for veteran coach Andy Cerroni are seniors Lucas Finnessy, Carson Smith and JT Hoytink. Finnessy provides great physical and mental toughness on both ends of the court while Smith is a very skilled guard with size and skill. Hotyink runs the show for the Chargers and averaged 5.1 assists as a junior. Junior guard Tanner Resch, who can light up the scoreboard in a hurry, and junior forward Nolan Rieder also figure to play key roles for Sussex Hamilton. 
Coach’s Comments: "We have experience returning. We have multiple guys who cans core the basketball. We have great leadership and a close group that wants to succeed. The guys are very willing to work very hard. Our depth will be tested as we do not have much experience coming off the bench. We cannot have a dropoff when subs enter the game."

2. Madison East
Coach: Matt Miota, 10th year
Top Players: Anthony Washington (6-3, Sr., 17 ppg, 5 rpg), Keonte Jones (6-3, Sr., 10 ppg, 3 rpg), Marcus Justice (6-5, Sr., 6 ppg, 5 rpg), Jevan Boyton (6-4, Jr., 8 ppg, 6 rpg), David McKinley (6-1, Sr., 4 ppg, 2 rpg), Michael McIntosh (6-1, Jr., 3 ppg, 2 rpg), Carter Anderson (5-10, Jr.).   
2018-19 Records: 22-2, 17-1 in Big Eight Conference
Outlook: Madison East won the Big Eight Conference championship by three games over runner-up Madison La Follette last winter and coach Matt Miota brings back four starters. That fact alone makes the Purgolders one of the state's elite teams. Toss in the return of potential scholarship performers Anthony Washington and Keonte Jones along with productive senior Marcus Justice and emerging junior Jevan Boyton and you have the makings of a state-title contender. Madison East lost just two games last winter and is eager to take the next step and qualify for the WIAA State Tournament for just the second time since 1990. Washington is an athletic, productive and versatile wing prospect who can play along the baseline, in the paint or out on the perimeter. He averaged 17 points and 5 rebounds as a junior en route to earning first-team all-Big Eight honors. He was also chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year in the 10-team league. Jones also is extremely athletic and teams with Washington to give the Purgolders' the best one-two punch in the Big Eight. Justice and Boyton are capable scorers who bring some size to the Purgolders' roster while senior David McKinley and junior Michael McIntosh are the top candidates to replace the graduated Damontae Thompson is the starting rotation.    
Coach’s Comments: "Experience, athleticism, length and defense are all assets. Chemistry and leadership are among our question marks heading into the season."


Carter Gilmore

3. Arrowhead
Coach: Craig Haase, 20th year
Top Players: Carter Gilmore (6-8, Sr., 20 ppg, 9.6 rpg), Sam Hytinen (6-4, Jr., 6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Chris Burg (6-1, Sr., 2.8 ppg), Blake Ewer (6-5, Jr.), Keegan McCullough (6-1, Sr.), Fuzzy Marek (6-0, Sr.), Nick Tiahnybik (5-11, Jr.), Zach Graham (6-3, Jr.), Jordan Leoni (6-3, Jr.), Jake Davis (6-3, Jr.), Mac Wrecke (6-3, Frosh.).   
2018-19 Records: 19-5, 13-3 in Classic Eight Conference
Outlook: University of Wisconsin recruit Carter Gilmore, who accepted a perferred walkon opportunity from coach Greg Gard a few months ago, headlines the list of returning players for coach Craig Haase at Arrowhead. The returning Player of the Year in the Classic Eight Conference, Gilmore impacts the game in so many positive ways that he once again figures to have the ball in hands more often than not for the Warhawks. Gilmore can play multiple positions, score from outside the three-point arc and use his size and skill to overpower smaller opponents on the way to the basket. As a junior, Gilmore averaged 20.0 points and 9.6 rebounds as Arrowhead went 19-5. Left-handed sophomore Sam Hytinen showed plenty of promise as a sophomore and earned his way into the Warhawks' starting rotation thanks to his shooting skill and basketball IQ. While Gilmore and Hytinen are the lone returning starters, Haase can count on senior Craig Burg and junior Blake Ewer to provide some quality minutes for the Warhawks, the preseason pick to the win the Classic Eight title. Newcomers from JV and freshmen teams that went a combined 32-12 could also contend for playing time.
Coach’s Comments: "Athleticism, experienced scoring and depth are strong points. Rebounding, defense and ball handling are among our concerns."


Malik Abdul-Wahid

4. Brookfield Central
Coach: Dan Wandrey, 6th year
Top Players: David Joplin (6-6, Jr., 17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg), Ben Nau (6-0, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg), Malik Abdul-Wahid (6-5, Sr., 6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Josh Bruggink (6-5, Sr., 2.2 ppg), Eric Radisevic (6-8, Sr.), Andrew Rohde (6-3, Soph., 2.5 ppg), Cam Devine (6-3, Jr.), Jack Ockwood (5-10, Jr.).   
2018-19 Records: 23-5, 12-4 in Greater Metro Conference
Outlook: Defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Brookfield Central lost some key players to graduation, to be sure. Replacing the leadership and overall skill package of Cole Nau (Hillsdale College) is the biggest challenge coach Dan Wandrey faces as the Lancers enter the new campaign. But there also is plenty of returning talent. Juniors David Joplin and Ben Nau own scholarship offers from NCAA Division I programs, while senior Malik Abdul-Wahid recently committed to NCAA Division II Winona State. Joplin is a very productive inside player who led the Lancers in both scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg) as a sophomore. Nau is a terrific perimeter shooter who can also rebound, defend and pass. Abdul-Wahid is an emerging forward with outstanding length, athleticism and an improved ability to score. While Joplin, Nau and Abdul-Wahid form a strong nucleus, Wandrey also will count on the considerable talents of seniors Josh Bruggink and Eric Radisevic along with promising sophomore Andrew Rohde. Bruggink, Radisevic and Rohde all saw action off the bench last season. In addition to 16 rigorious games in the Greater Metro, Brookfield Central has scheduled non-league games against Milwaukee Madison, Arrowhead, Madison La Follette, Deerfield, Ill., Oshkosh West and Wisconsin Lutheran.  
Coach’s Comments: "Tradition and a winning attitude are strengths. I believe offensive explosiveness, experience and size also are strong points. Leadership, team defense, consistency and replacing Cole Nau and a seven-member senior class are concerns."


Jake Buchanan

5. Kimberly
Coach: Lucky Wurtz, 12th year
Top Players: Jake Buchanan (6-1, Sr., 16 ppg, 2 rpg), Mitch Bartol (6-5, Sr., 2 ppg), Logan Pearson (6-2, Sr., 5 ppg), Alec Martzahl (5-11, Sr.), Michael Alt (5-11, Sr., 2 ppg), Jack Kiefer (6-2, Sr.), Conner Wnek (6-4, Sr., 4 ppg), Grant Asman (6-8, Jr.), Jackson Paveletzke (6-2, Soph.), Jackson Dudek (6-5, Jr.), Brett Peroni (6-4, Jr.).   
2018-19 Records: 22-3, 16-2 in Fox Valley Association
Outlook: There might not be a program in Wisconsin with more depth than Kimberly. The Papermakers simply have a loaded program with players of considerable talent up and down the roster. Finding enough playing time for all of the gifted players within the program might be the most difficult task coach Lucky Wurtz encounters this winter. Even after losing four starters to graduation, the Papermakers enter the campaign as the team to beat in the 10-member Fox Valley Association. Senior guard Jake Buchanan recently accepted a NCAA Division II scholarship offer from Rockhurst College and is a returning first-team all-FVA performer. He averaged 16 ppg as a junior and can get on a big-time roll from deep if needed. Sophomore Jackson Paveletzke, one of the state's class of 2022 prospects, figures to join Buchanan in the Papermakers' starting backcourt. Size is a definite strength with the return of promising 6-foot-8 junior Grant Asman, who recently picked up a NCAA Division II offer from Michigan Tech. Seniors Mitch Bartol and Connor Wnek along with juniors Brett Peroni and Jackson Dudek also figure to see playing time on the frontcourt.
Coach’s Comments: "The return of Jack Buchanan in our backcourt is definitely a strength along with overall guard play, shooting, tradition and great chemistry. Defense and rebounding are concerns. We lost four starters to graduation so we have some holes to fill in our lineup."

6. Sun Prairie
Coach: Jeff Boos, 25th year
Top Players: Colin Schaefer (6-0, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Delaware Hale (6-6, Sr., 12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Dawson Hughes (5-11, Sr., 7.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg), Carter Amundson (5-10, Sr.), Cole Amundson (5-10, Sr.), Zay Lyles (6-0, Sr.), Caden Fitz (6-4, Sr.), Connor Carpenter (6-0, Jr.), Durlin Radlund (5-10, Jr.), Drew Houtakker (6-3, Jr.), Ben Olson (6-3, Soph.), Evan Malcore (6-5, Soph.), Addison Ostiango (6-3, Soph.).   
2018-19 Records: 21-7, 12-6 in Big Eight Conference
Outlook: Extremely quick point guard Colin Schaefer and athletic big man Delaware Hale are returning starters for Sun Prairie, which lost to Brookfield Central in last year's WIAA Division 1 state-title game. Schaefer's ability to push the ball in transition and weave his way through and around half-court defenses figures to set up his teammates well for scoring opportunities. Schaefer also is a capable scorer himself as he averaged 11.3 ppg as a junior while playing in just nine games due to an injury. Hale gives veteran coach Jeff Boos a true rim protector and a player capable of becoming a dominant rebounder. Vastly improved senior guard Dawson Hughes joins Schaefer in the Cardinals' backcourt after being one of the Cardinals' top reserves last season. Senior twins Carter and Cole Amundson will challenge for significant playing time in the backcourt as well. Juniors Connor Carpeter, Drew Houtakker and Durlin Radlund along with versatile sophomore Ben Olson also could be key contributors for Sun Prairie, which will split into two high schools for the 2022-23 school year.
Coach’s Comments: "Team depth, competitiveness of our players and team play are strengths. Rebounding and consistency on both ends of the floor are question marks."


Ashton Kallstrom

7. Eau Claire North
Coach: Todd Marks, 5th year
Top Players: Dalton Banks (6-2, Sr., 23.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 7.1 apg), Ashton Kallstrom (6-0, Sr., 9.9 ppg), Chad Kron (6-0, Jr., 9.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Luke Warren (6-2, Sr., 5.1 ppg), Jarrett Loe (6-1, Sr.), Elyjah Johnson (5-11, Sr.), Henry Wilkinson (6-4, Soph.), Roscoe Rennock (6-2, Soph.), George Wilkinson (6-1, Sr.), Luke Berg (6-0, Sr.), Eli Persons (6-4, Jr.).
2018-19 Records: 14-9, 7-5 in Big Rivers Conference
Outlook: Highly respected Eau Claire North coach Todd Marks boasts one of the state's elite-level backcourts with the return of seniors Dalton Banks and Ashton Kallstrom along with junior Chad Kron. One of the leading candidates for the Mr. Basketball award, Banks averaged 23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists en route to earning Player of the Year honors in the Big Rivers Conference as a junior. Banks accomplished those lofty statistics while being one of the most unselfish players on the floor. He recently committed to NCAA Division I Southern Illinois. Kallstrom and Kron are both excellent shooters and each possesses a very good feel for the game. All three backcourt performers are more than capable of getting 20-plus points on any given night. Senior Luke Warren averaged 5.1 points off the bench a year ago and figures to challenge for a starting spot along with junior Eli Persons and sophomores Henry Wilkinson and Roscoe Rennock, among others. The Huskies will be challenged big-time in the very deep and talented Big Rivers Conference in 2019-20, but with the three-guard lineup Marks has at his disposal, Eau Claire North is the preseason pick to win the seven-team conference title.
Coach’s Comments: "Guard play is our main strength. Basketball IQ and perimeter shooting are also strong points. Physicality, size and rebounding are all concerns."


Michael Poker

8. Brookfield East
Coach: Joe Rux, 4th year
Top Players: Michael Poker (6-0, Sr., 12 ppg, 4 rpg), Sam McGath (6-2, Sr., 10 ppg, 4 rpg), Hayden Doyle (6-0, Jr., 10 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Brady Wellman (6-1, Sr.), Nick Pluemer (6-1, Sr.), Simon Attenberger (6-0, Sr.), Luke Pluemer (5-10, Jr.), Bryce Thomas (6-2, Jr.), JJ Hemmer (6-3, Jr.), Will Staviski (6-3, Jr.).   
2018-19 Records: 20-5, 12-4 in Greater Metro Conference
Outlook: The Spartans bring back three starters, all of whom averaged in double figures for a club that won 20 of 25 games. Seniors Michael Poker and Sam McGath along with junior Hayden Doyle bring plenty of experience, leadership, mental and physical toughness, and a winning attitude to the Brookfield East lineup. The talented trio simply knows how to play the game, and play in the right win in order to notch a victory. Brookfield East lost first-team all-league picks Riley LeTourneau and Thomas Francken to graduation, but Poker and McGath earned second-team all-conference laurels and Doyle already owns a NCAA Division II scholarship offers from Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. Seniors Brady Wellman, Nick Pluemer and Simon Attenberger along with juniors Luke Pluemer, Bryce Thomas, JJ Hemmer and Will Staviski also figure to challenge for spots in the playing rotation for coach Joe Rux, who owns a 324-113 career coaching record during his tenures at Manitowoc Roncalli and Brookfield East.  
Coach’s Comments: "Guard play and overall experience at that position will make us a difficult team to match-up with on the offensive end of the floor. We will also be very aggressive on the defensive end. Can our lack of height be neutralized with sound fundamentals on both ends of the floor? That is our biggest question."


Carter Capstran

9. Franklin
Coach: Tyler Podoll, 5th year
Top Players: Carter Capstran (6-5, Jr., 12.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Nicodemus Meyer (6-9, Jr., 2.3 ppg), Marko Rajkovic (6-5, Jr., 2.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg), Elliot Harris (6-2, Jr., 2.4 ppg), Vinko Polovic (6-6, Jr.), Josh Mirsberger (6-0, Jr.), Jake Watson (5-11, Jr.), Dolan Clark (5-8, Jr.), Angel Rosario (5-9, Jr.).
2018-19 Records: 19-6, 11-3 in Southeast Conference
Outlook: Coach Tyler Podoll has guided the Sabers to a 66-31 record and a Southeast Conference title during his four years as head coach. Additional success is anticipated in 2019-20 despite the fact Podoll must replace the graduated Zak Klug, Jacob Vonderwell, Ron Wilson and Zach Martens in his starting lineup. Rugged junior forward Carter Capstran  is the lone returning regular for Franklin and he is a good one as he averaged 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds as a sophomore and earned honorable mention all-Southeast recognition. While Capstran will anchor the frontline, he by no means is the only talented player on the Sabers' big frontline. Juniors Nicodemus Meyer (6-9), Marko Rajkovic (6-5) and Vinko Polovic (6-6) also will contend for playing time, giving the Sabers the biggest team in the Southeast Conference. In the backcourt, senior Elliot Harris and juniors John Mirsberger, Jake Watson, Dolan Clark and Angel Rosario figure to push for starting spots.
Coach’s Comments: "The team will be long, with a strong interior presence both offensively and defensively. If the team can commit to getting touches in the post, that will lead to great open shots by our second strength, shooting. We also have a good amount of basketball experience with many high-level AAU guys. Commitment to defensive principles and mental and physical toughness are needed to match conference and sectional opponents."


JaKobe Thompson

10. Racine Case
Coach: Jacob Berce, 3rd year
Top Players: JaKobe Thompson (6-1, Jr., 19.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Nick Fugiasco (6-3, Sr., 5.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Amari Jedkins (6-7, Soph., 5.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Terryon Brumby (6-0, Soph., 11.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Jay Jay Rankins (6-1, Sr., 5.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Logan Schmidtmann (6-0, Sr., 5.3 ppg), JayVian Farr (5-8, Sr., 5.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Sentreal Gilliam (6-2, Sr., 4.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg).
2018-19 Records: 13-10, 7-7 in Southeast Conference
Outlook: Racine Case boasts a very explosive offensive basketball team and if the Eagles can find some consistency on defense, they could emerge as one of the elite teams in the state. Eight players return who averaged at least 4.3 ppg, led by junior guard JaKobe Thompson, a returning first-team all-league performer who led Case in scoring as a sophomore at 19.3 ppg. Thompson can get to the rim and to the foul line, and he can also pop in perimeter shots. Sophomore Terryon Brumby teams with Thompson in the Eagles' backcourt after averaging 11.4 ppg as a freshman. Sophomore Amari Jedkins gives the Eagles excellent size, length and hustle in the post. Seniors Nick Fugiasco, Jay Jay Renkins, Logan Schmidtmann, JayVian Farr and Sentreal Gilliam figure to provide leadership for still somewhat young but very talented team.
Coach’s Comments: "Depth is our top asset. We had 10 different guys start multiple games last season and eight are returning. Quickness is another strength. Size and rebounding are our top concerns."

OTHERS TO WATCH
Bay Port, D.C. Everest, De Pere, Eau Claire Memorial, Kenosha Indian Trail, Kettle Moraine, Madison La Follette, Milwaukee King, Neenah, Waunakee, West Allis Central, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.

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