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D4 Preseason Top Ten -- Cuba City enters campaign as the team to beat

10/29/2020, 1:00pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Brayden Dailey

The 2020-21 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 4 schools included in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook …

1. Cuba City
Coach: Jerry Petitgoue, 50th year
Top Players: Brayden Dailey (6-7, Sr., 24 ppg, 12 rpg), Jack Miskey (6-5, Sr., 16 ppg, 8 rpg), Riley Richard (6-3, Sr., 7 ppg, 6 rpg), Carter Olson (5-10, Jr., 3 ppg), Mason Reese (6-1, Jr., 2 ppg), Max Lucey (6-4, Soph., 3 ppg).  
2019-20 Records: 25-0, 14-0 in Southwest Wisconsin Activities League
Outlook: The Cubans were poised to make a strong run at the school's fourth WIAA state title in boys' basketball last season when COVID-19 wiped out the season following Cuba City's triumph over Darlington in the Division 4 sectional semifinals. Jerry Petitgoue enters his 50th season -- you read that correctly -- in charge of the Cubans program with three returning starters in Green Bay recruit Brayden Dailey, rapidly improving forward Jack Misky and steady senior Riley Richard. Dailey has grown a few inches and added some weight/muscle to his frame since the end of last season, when he averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds per game while helping the Cubans to a 25-0 record. Misky owns a NAIA scholarship offer from Mount Mercy and is a two-time first-team all-SWAL performer. Juniors Carter Olson and Mason Reese, along with sophomore Max Lucey, also figure to play key roles for the Cubans. 
Coach’s Comments: "Our top strength will be our ability to score. Playing strong defense and out ability to replace two outstanding guards lost to graduation are question marks."


Antuan Nesbitt

2. The Prairie School
Coach: Jason Atanasoff, 10th year
Top Players: Antuan Nesbitt (6-4, Sr., 19.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 6.1 apg), Ashe Oglesby (6-5, Soph., 10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Asanjai Hunter (5-11, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.9 apg), Kody Krekling (6-3, Sr., 9.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Jacob Fallico (5-10, Sr., 9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.5 apg), KJ Williams (5-8, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 2.3 apg), Malcolm Moses (5-11, Sr.), Riley Larsen (6-0, Sr.), Kaleb Shannon (5-11, Soph.).  
2019-20 Records: 15-10, 7-9 in Metro Classic Conference
Outlook: In search of its first trip ever to the WIAA State Tournament, this could be the year for the The Prairie School of Racine. Six players who started at times a year ago are back, led by ultra-talented and emerging senior wing Antuan Nesbitt. A second-team all-league performer as a junior, Nebsitt is one of the state's top unsigned class of 2021 prospects. He can score, he can defend, he can rebound, he can lead the fast break and he can pass. Promising sophomore forward Ashe Oglesby is back with a year's worth of varsity experience under his belt and coach Jason Atanasoff boasts plenty of guard depth with the return of Asanjai Hunter, Kody Krekling, Jacob Fallico and KJ Williams. Quickness in the backcourt, athleticism across the board and hunger to win in one of the state's elite leagues could propel the Hawks to new heights this winter. 
Coach’s Comments: "Experience, unselfish play, basketball IQ, strength of schedule to prepare for March are among out strengths. Leadership, holding teammates accountable, rebounding, depth and physicality are among our concerns."


Carter Lancaster

3. Darlington
Coach: Tom Uppena, 5th year
Top Players: Carter Lancaster (6-4, Sr., 20.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Cayden Rankin (6-6, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Curtis Stone (6-1, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Easton Evenstad (5-11, Jr., 7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Hunter Hardyman (6-3, Jr., 4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Matthew Ruf (6-1, Sr., 2.2 ppg), James Hartwig (6-5, Sr.), Parker Fitzsimons (6-1, Sr.).  
2019-20 Records: 22-3, 12-2 in Southwest Wisconsin Activities League
Outlook: One team beat Darlington last winter -- Cuba City. In fact, the Cubans handed the Redbirds all three of their losses, by 25 points at Cuba City, by 10 points at Darlington and by seven points in the WIAA playoffs at Mineral Point. Coach Tom Uppena and his players are eager to get another shot at the Cubans, particularly with four starters back from a club that went 22-3. Senior Carter Lancaster is the top returning performer for Darlington. The four-year varsity performer is a three time first-team all-SWAL performer who owns NCAA Division II scholarship offers from Northern State and Upper Iowa. Lancaster, senior Cayden Rankin and senior Curtis Stone are returning double-figure scorers while junior Easton Evenstad also is a capable offensive option. Senior Matthew Ruf and junior Hunter Hardyman also should play prominent roles for the Redbirds. 
Coach’s Comments: "Our returning depth, athleticism and experience are all strengths. Perimeter shooting and developing a killer instinct are question marks."


Mason Martinson

4. New Glarus
Coach: Travis Sysko, 19th year
Top Players: Mason Martinson (6-4, Sr., 15.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg), Nathan Streiff (6-2, Sr., 11.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg), Darris Schuett (5-11, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg), Devon Vasquez (6-7, Sr., 4.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Carter Siegenthaler (5-10, Jr.), Will Meland (5-10, Sr.), Breckin Faber (6-2, Sr.), Dominic Tollakson (6-1, Sr.), Dain Walter (6-7, Jr.), AC Strok (6-0, Soph.).  
2019-20 Records: 15-9, 9-1 in Capitol South Conference
Outlook: Three returning starters will try to help New Glarus capture its fifth straight league title in the Capitol South Conference. Senior Mason Martinson is four-year varsity performer who earned Player of the Year laurels in the conference as a junior. His versatility, strength and desire to win are all huge pluses for the Glarner Knights. Joining Martinson as returning regulars are seniors Nathan Streiff and Darris Schuett. Both are potential double-figure scorers for veteran coach Travis Sysko. New Glarus will have good size in the post this season with the return of senior Devon Vasquez (6-7) and potential of junior Dain Walter (6-7). New Glarus, which won the 2019 WIAA Division 4 state title, has won 39 of 40 league games the past four seasons. 
Coach’s Comments: "This team will look differently than teams of the past at New Glarus. We are going to have size that we typically don't see. Martinson was Player of the Year in the post for us and I anticipate him playing more minutes on the wing this year. With our size, we will look to get the ball in the paint. I think we should be able to defend the paint well, and I see our experience being a plus for us as well. Perimeter shooting could be a weakness. Perimeter defense could also be a concern. We need to find a lock-down defender who can guard the opposing team's best player."


Luke Pautz

5. Roncalli
Coach: Joe Garceau, 6th year
Top Players: Luke Pautz (6-3, Jr., 11.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg), Jack Beckner (6-2, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Tyler Bonin (5-10, Sr., 2.0 ppg), Hunter Chalupny (6-0, Sr.), Trevor Fiecko (6-5, Sr.), Brayden Yanda (6-2, Soph.), Ryan Fischer (6-0, Jr.), Joseph Witczak (6-0, Jr.).  
2019-20 Records: 21-4, 12-2 in Eastern Wisconsin Conference
Outlook: Losing four starters to graduation might be a steep hill to climb, but the Jets have proven over the years that depth and consistency can overcome a lack of experience. Coach Joe Garceau's program went 56-13 at the varsity, JV1 and JV2 levels a year ago, including 21-4 at the varsity level. Junior Luke Pautz is the top returning performer for the Jets. An outstanding defender and versatile offensive player, Pautz can do a bit of everything, including handling the ball, passing and rebounding. He averaged nearly a double-double as a sophomore at 11.9 ppg and 9.5 rpg. Senior Jack Beckner is the other returning player with plenty of experience while seniors Tyler Bonin, Hunter Chalupny and Trevor Fiecko saw some action in reserve roles. Look for sophomore Brayden Yanda to make an impact with the varsity squad at Roncalli this winter.
Coach’s Comments: "A team-first mentality, youthfulness with kids who love to play basketball, and scoring options inside and outside are strengths. Lack of experience, adjusting to the speed of the varsity game on both offense and defense, on-ball defense and team rebounding are areas we look to improve."

6. Edgar
Coach: Dave Huss, 8th year
Top Players: Drew Guden (6-1, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Kyle Brewster (6-0, Sr., 12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Austin Dahlke (6-0, Sr., 10.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Brayden Baumgartner (6-5, Sr., 6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Konnor Wolf (6-2, Sr., 6.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Max Larson (6-2, Sr., 2.0 rpg), Nate Drabek (6-0, Sr.), Cole Schilling (6-0, Sr.), Jaxson Kurtzweil (5-9, Sr.), Everet Brehm (5-9, Jr.), Ayden Weisenberger (5-10, Jr.).  
2019-20 Records: 18-6, 11-5 in Marawood South Conference
Outlook: Long known for its success on the gridiron, Edgar is hoping to make a big splash on the hardwood under coach Dave Huss. And with four returning regulars from a team that went 18-6, the chances of that taking place in 2020-21 are outstanding. Three-double figure scorers return in seniors Drew Guden, Kyle Brewster and Austin Dahlke. All three earned all-league honors in the highly competitive Marawood South Conference with Guden on first team, Brewster on second team and Dahlke an honorable mention selection. In addition, seniors Brayden Baumgartner and Konnor Wolf received substantial playing time for the Wildcats last season. Two games each with the likes of Auburndale, Marathon and Stratford in league play will prepare the Wildcats well for a deep playoff run. 
Coach’s Comments: "Experience, athleticism, speed, quickness, depth and ball security are strengths. Finishing around the rim, shot selection and consistent outside shooting are question marks."

7. Milwaukee Academy of Science
Coach: Agape Keys, 15th year
Top Players: Donald McHenry (6-1, Sr., 21.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Albert Harrell (5-5, Soph., 6.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg), Delon Zollicoffer-White (6-6, Sr.), Leon Zollicoffer-White (6-8, Jr., 4.9 ppg), Damien Brookshire (6-4, Jr., 4.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Emmanuel Stoffel (6-4, Jr., 2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Maurice Cole (5-7, Jr.), Troy Williams (6-4, Soph.).  
2019-20 Records: 20-3, Independent
Outlook: Many felt Milwaukee Academy of Science would have advanced to the WIAA State Tournament for the first time in school history last March had COVID-19 not ended the season just after the sectional semifinal level. MAS was set to play Roncalli in a sectional final and had won 20 of 23 games with UW-Milwaukee recruit Kaleim Taylor and Bradley recruit Darius Hannah leading the way. Although both Taylor and Hannah have moved on to the collegiate level, MAS remains a very strong team. Coach Agape Keys boasts one of the state's top backcourt performers in senior Donald McHenry, a shifty lead guard who can get to the basket and finish. McHenry led MAS in scoring at year ago at 21.1 ppg and teams with sophomore Albert Harrell in a very talented and quick backcourt. Up front, MAS will count heavily on senior Delon Zollicoffer-White and juniors Leon Zollicoffer-White, Damien Brookshire and Emmanuel Stoffel.
Coach’s Comments: "Playing together and going off Donald McHenry's leadership will be strengths. This team wants to be great by showing hard work in practice."


Austin Weis

8. Cameron
Coach: Troy LaVallie, 12th year
Top Players: Austin Weis (6-4, Sr., 17 ppg, 7 rpg), Richie Murphy (5-8, Sr., 13 ppg, 4 rpg, 8 apg), Ian Payne (6-1, Sr., 13 ppg, 6 rpg), Josh Halverson (5-9, Sr., 5 ppg), Dylan Foss (5-6, Sr., 2 ppg), Jordan Folz (6-2, Sr.), Alex Myers (5-2, Sr.), Wyatt Warner (6-0, Jr.).  
2019-20 Records: 18-7, 13-3 in Heart O'North Conference
Outlook: Cameron's adjustment to the Heart O'North Conference went very smoothly. After competing in the Lakeland Conference for many years, the Comets moved into the Heart O'North last winter and promptly won the league title by one game over runner-up Cumberland. Coach Troy LaVallie's squad is favored to repeat its league crown behind the return two first-team all-conference performers and a second-team honoree. First-team picks Austin Weis and Richie Murphy along with second-team selection Ian Payne form the best trio in the 10-team league, which adds St. Croix Falls this season. Weis, who recently committed to NCAA Division III Loras College, is a long, athletic wing who can score and rebound. Murphy is an extraordinarily quick point guard who averaged 8.0 assists as a junior. Seniors Josh Halverson and Dylan Foss also return and should challenge for starting roles.
Coach’s Comments: "Our guard play and depth will be two key strengths for us. Weis, Murphy and Payne are all three-year varsity starters and they have a lot of experience. Lack of post players and physical strength are concerns."

9. Durand
Coach: Justin Redetzke, 9th year
Top Players: Gunnar Hurlburt (6-4, Jr., 14.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Caden Berger (6-4, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Simon Bauer (5-8, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Joey Biesterveld (6-3, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Dawson Kurth (5-10, Sr., 3.0 ppg), Cole Wittig (5-9, Sr.), Charlie Brenner (5-9, Sr.), Blaine Bauer (5-9, Sr.), Ethan Anibas (6-1, Jr.).  
2019-20 Records: 18-6, 12-2 in Dunn-St. Croix Conference
Outlook: With four players returning who earned all-league laurels a year ago, Durand most definitely is favored to repeat as champions in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Coach Justin Redetzke boasts the lone returning first-team all-league picks in juniors Gunnar Hurlburt and Simon Bauer. Second-team choice Caden Berger and honorable mention pick Joey Biesterveld also return. Hurlburt, Bauer, Berger and Biesterveld all are more than capable of reaching double-scoring figures on any given night and form a rock-solid nucleus for the Panthers. Senior Dawson Kurth and some talented newcomers from a 14-8 JV1 squad will provide quality depth go after their third league crown in four years.
Coach’s Comments: "Experience, play-making ability and rebounding figure to be assets. Consistent shooting from deep is a question mark."


Craig Ward

10. Marshall
Coach: Dan Denniston, 6th year
Top Players: Craig Ward (6-1, Jr., 17.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Reid Truschinski (6-5, Jr., 11.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Cole Denniston (5-10, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Bryce Frank (5-9, Jr., 2.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Michael Lutz (6-5, Jr.), Luis Bello (6-1, Jr.), Mason Collins (5-10, Jr.), Canon Seidschlag (6-1, Jr.), Kelby Petersen (6-2, Sr.).  
2019-20 Records: 16-8, 7-3 in Capitol South Conference
Outlook: Even though there will be few seniors on the Marshall roster this season, optimism is running high the Cardinals can challenge New Glarus for the title in the Capitol South Conference. A very talented -- and experienced -- junior class will lead the way for coach Dan Denniston. Class of 2022 prospects Craig Ward, Reid Truschinski, Cole Denniston and Bryce Frank are returning regulars from a club that won 16 games. Ward is a returning first-team all-league performer with deep shooting range while Truschinski picked up second-team honors and gives Marshall an inside presence. Finding some quality depth is the biggest question mark for Marshall entering the campaign.
Coach’s Comments: "We have four returning starters and all will be juniors. I would hope the experience gained will pay big dividends this season. We have a strong junior class that has played a lot together and because of this, we should have very good chemistry. I think we will be a good scoring team and a team that plays unselfishly and shares the ball. Rebounding and all-around physicality are questions. We need to find a couple of players willing to do the dirty work and small things that make a great team."

OTHERS TO WATCH: Coleman, Crivitz, Cumberland, Deerfield, Fall Creek, Grantsburg, Howards Grove, Iola-Scandinavia, Manawa, Marathon, Melrose-Mindoro, Neillsville, Oconto, Pardeeville, Phillips, River Ridge, Saint Mary's Springs, Shiocton, Stratford, Unity.

For the latest and most up to date boys' basketball news and recruiting information, follow Mark on Twitter @wisbbyearbook. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Mark by clicking here.

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