Observations from the 14th annual John Chekouras Classic, held January 25, 2020 at Homestead High School in Mequon:
The 11-Player All-Chekouras Classic Squad
Antuan Nesbitt, 6-4, Jr., G/F, The Prairie School
A cerebral player who does a bit of everything, Nesbitt had two impressive one-handed dunks for The Prairie School, which pulled away late to record an 80-64 victory over Living Word Lutheran. He also drilled three shots from beyond the three-point arc on the way to scoring 25 points. He set up his teammates with quality assists, ripped down rebounds and impressed onlookers with his overall impact on the contest. He is averaging 20.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists for coach Jason Atanasoff. Nesbitt is a talented and athletic wing prospect in the 2021 class who figures to be on the recruiting radar of scholarship schools this spring and summer.
JaKobe Thompson, 6-1, Jr., G, Racine Case
The smooth left-handed wing guard scored at a high rate in transition during the first half of Case's 96-70 win over Beloit Memorial. In the second half, he showed off his soft shooting touch as he hit two three-point baskets along with a couple of mid-range jumpers. Thompson finished the contest with 25 points as Case improved to 11-3. One of the state's premier juniors, Thompson has a nose for the basket and is strong enough to finish through contact. He is averaging 19.4 points and 2.8 assists for coach Jacob Berce and the Eagles, who lead the Southeast Conference standings by one game over second-place Kenosha Bradford.
Robert DeLong 6-0, Jr., G, Janesville Parker
Always a threat to score from deep and thus a player able to spread the defense, DeLong's big three-pointer from the right wing late gave Parker the cushion it needed to hold off West Bend West. A three-year varsity performer for the Vikings, DeLong led Parker in scoring with 16 points. He made three triples and also drew several fouls. DeLong moves well without the basketball and looks for his shot when given space. He leads a young team in scoring at 13.6 ppg and went off for a career-high 27 in a loss to a very good Sun Prairie squad earlier this season.
Deshawn Webb, 6-3, Frosh., F, Living Word Lutheran
Coming off the bench for a young but promising Living Word Lutheran program, Webb made his presence felt immediately by scoring off the dribble and off strong cuts to the basket. A good, rangy athlete with solid finishing skills, Webb ran the floor and filled the lanes for the Timberwolves. One of the state's better class of 2023 prospects, Webb finished the contest with 25 points and was able to draw six fouls on The Prairie School. Webb scored 33 points in a Friday night loss to Hope School and is averaging a team-high 16.7 ppg.
Kamari McGee, 6-0, Jr., PG, Racine St. Catherine's
If there is a loose ball on the floor, McGee is going to get it. And nobody will take it away. A true lead guard who involves his teammates with his ability to penetrate and dish, McGee is one of the top defenders in the state, regardless of division or year in school. His physical strength and mental toughness, not to mention his lateral quickness and hustle, make him a terrific player on the defensive end of the court. Offensively, McGee had 18 points while finishing well in the post against taller defenders. He also knocked down two three-point shots for the undefeated Angels. A definite NCAA Division I prospect due to his leadership, ball handling, passing and defensive ability, McGee will be a player to watch this spring and summer on the circuit.
Cole Booth, 6-1, Sr., PG, Plymouth
Consistent, talented and ultra-tough, Booth made play after play on both ends of the court for Plymouth, which improved to 11-3 with a 76-59 victory over West Bend East. Booth scored 28 points, made all six of his foul shots, buried two three-point shots and drilled multiple mid-range jump shots while also constantly looking for his teammates and delivering pinpoint passes. One aspect of Booth's game that, at times, gets overlooked is his strong on-the-ball defense. His physical strength and lateral mobility make him a very tough defender, one capable of contributing early at UW-Oshkosh next season. On the campaign, Booth is averaging 22.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists for coach Tim Schultz and the Panthers.
Jameer Barker, 6-2, Jr., WG, Racine St. Catherine's
While classmates Kamari McGee and Tyrese Hunter get more acclaim in the Angels' talented backcourt, Barker certainly contributes in a positive manner as well for the Angels. He finished with a game-high 21 points and drained four three-point baskets in the win over West Allis Central. The left-handed wing guard has good size, strength and skill, and teams with Hunter and McGee to form perhaps the state's top backcourt. Like all of the Angels, Barker plays both ends and is a tough-minded competitor. He is averaging 14.8 ppg while shooting 58 percent from the field, 74 percent from the foul line and 48 percent from three-point range for the unbeaten Angels.
Greyson Pritzl, 6-3, Soph., WG, West Allis Central
A pure shooter from deep, Pritzl has stretched out over the past year and now is a lanky 6-foot-3 wing guard with an impressive wing span. The son of former Manitowoc Lincoln and UW-Ohksosh standout Scott Pritzl, Greyson Pritzl connected on three triples and scored 13 points for the Bulldogs in their loss to St. Catherine's. As he continues to grow into his body and add some weight and strength to his frame, Pritzl figures to be a player to watch in the 2022 class due to his size and very impressive shooting skills. He is averaging 9.1 ppg and scored 19 in a recent victory over New Berlin West.
Kody Krekling, 6-3, Jr., F, The Prairie School
Krekling got off to a hot start, scoring 10 points in the first eight minutes of the game, mostly off strong cuts to the basket for layups. He then got hot from three-point range as he connected on two in a row and three for the contest. He finished with a career-high 29 points -- shattering his previous career high of 16 points set earlier this season in a victory over Shoreland Lutheran. A wing player with good size and strength, Krekling is averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 rebounds for The Prairie School, which rebounded from its 76-57 loss to Martin Luther on Friday with a strong offensive showing against Living Word Lutheran.
Stevie Henderson, 6-3, Sr., F, Racine Park
Though he fouled out and did not score in the second half, Henderson provided a calming influence on the court for a Park squad that withstood a late Milwaukee Vincent rally to notch a 48-44 triumph. Park's third victory of the season against 12 setbacks got off to a very good start as the Panthers took a 26-19 lead at intermission against a Vincent squad that was 9-5 overall and 6-0 in the Milwaukee City Conference entering the contest. And Henderson fueled the quick start with 12 points, including a three-pointer and making three-of-four foul shots. A key player for a Park team that went 17-6 a year ago, Henderson is averaging 10.8 points per game for first-year coach Tray Allen.
Miles Davis, 6-3, Sr., F, Homestead
After making just four three-point shots in 13 games heading into the Highlanders' contest with Oak Creek, Davis erupted for four three-point baskets and a career-high 20 points as Homestead smothered Oak Creek with a terrific defensive effort in a 47-31 victory. Davis made four three-point shots before adding three regular field goals and two made foul shots as Homestead improved to 7-7 under coach Sean Crider. Davis and senior classmates Ethan Kelly, Ethan Endres and Declan Cirulik spearheaded a strong half-court defense that limited Oak Creek to just 12 points in the first half and a season-low 31 points for the contest.
Others Who Played Well
Jason Sinani, 6-3, Jr., G, Oak Creek
Ethan Kelly, 6-2, Sr., G, Homestead
Declan Ciurlik, 6-3, Sr., G/F, Homestead
Tyrese Hunter, 6-1, Jr., G, Racine St. Catherine's
Elijah Lambert, 6-4, Sr., F, Racine St. Catherine's
Calvin Hunter, 5-9, Jr., G, Racine St. Catherine's
Najashi Tolefree, 6-5, Soph., F, West Allis Central
Shilo Bowles, 6-6, Sr., F, West Allis Central
Cooper Gosse, 6-1, Sr., G, Plymouth
Sam Shutter, 6-3, Sr., G/F, Plymouth
Aiden Reilly, 6-3, Sr., G/F, Plymouth
Sam Geldnich, 5-10, Jr., G, West Bend East
Brady Biba, 6-5, Sr., F, Janesville Parker
Chase Melstrand, 6-2, Sr., F, West Bend West
Sincere Smith, 5-10, Jr., G, Beloit Memorial
Nick Fugiasco, 6-3, Sr., F, Racine Case
Terryon Brumby, 6-0, Soph., G, Racine Case
Ashe Oglesby, 6-5, Frosh., F, The Prairie School
Mason Martinez, 6-0, Soph., G, Living Word Lutheran
Brionne Williams, 6-1, Jr., G/F, Milwaukee Vincent
KIshon Barnes, 6-3, Jr., G/F, Milwaukee Vincent
Tyvon Cade, 5-9, Frosh., G, Racine Park
Final scores ...
Racine Park 48, Milwaukee Vincent 44
The Prairie School 80, Living Word Lutheran 64
Racine Case 96, Beloit Memorial 70
Janesville Parker 50, West Bend West 44
Plymouth 76, West Bend East 59
Racine St. Catherine's 90, West Allis Central 57
Homestead 47, Oak Creek 31
To Homestead athletic director Erich Hinterstocker, Homestead basketball coach Sean Crider and the family and friends of the late John Chekouras for an excellent day of basketball. Details pertaining to next year's John Chekouras Classic will be released over the summer on www.wbby.com. The date is set for February 6, 2021.