Posted On: 03/1/18 3:43 PM
A look at the top matchups in Friday’s WIAA regional semifinal action…
(5) Sussex Hamilton vs. (12) Germantown
Hamilton is on upset watch.
Germantown has a solid Division 2 post prospect in Luke Taylor that’s capable of dominating on both ends. A skilled, blue collar big man, Taylor is putting up 15.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. The Warhawks, who finished last in the Greater Metro Conference, are better than their 6-16 record.
Can stud freshman Patrick Baldwin Jr. rise to the occasion in his first playoff experience? A likely five-star talent in 2021, Baldwin is averaging nearly 16 points to lead his squad.
Hamilton and Germantown split the two regular season meetings, with the Warhawks taking the most recent matchup 66-62 on their home floor.
(7) Homestead vs. (10) Fond Du Lac
Two teams from loaded conferences, but only one can advance. Both programs feature underrated junior prospects who are on the verge of breaking out.
Homestead finished tied for second in the North Shore Conference. 2019 guard Ryan Waddell (17.1 ppg) has been on a tear over the last few weeks for the Highlanders.
Fond Du Lac took their lumps, but won six games in the Fox Valley Association, arguably the best conference in the state. 2019 forward Quintin Winterfeldt (16.6) has also come on strong late in the season.
(7) Racine Horlick vs. (10) Milwaukee Hamilton
This one is going to be a track meet.
Led by electric guard Keontae White (24.6 ppg), Milwaukee Hamilton is never out of a ball game. Playing well at the right time, the Wildcats have won three of their last four against city opponents, including an eye-opening victory against King.
Horlick has some high octane scorers of their own. The 1-2 punch of Marquise Milton (22.9 ppg) and Marcus Caldwell (21.4 ppg) led Horlick to a four place finish in a strong Southeast Conference. The Rebels also come in hot, having won five of six.
(3) Whitefish Bay vs. (6) Wauwatosa West
Tosa West looks dangerous as a 6-seed. The Trojans have won three-straight by an average of 22.0 points per game. West also doesn’t have to travel far, playing just 20 minutes from home.
Can they hold up against a balanced Whitefish Bay attack? The Blue Dukes have a lot of weapons and spread the ball around, led by 2018 point guard Cade Garcia (15.7 ppg). However, Whitefish Bay has dropped their last two entering the tournament.
(5) New Berlin West vs. (4) Greendale
A Woodland West battle takes place in this regional semifinal.
New Berlin West can score a ton of points, led by 2018 forward Tyler Torosian (20.0 ppg), rising 2020 point guard Desmond Polk (19.0 ppg), and 2018 wing Joe Robey (17.3 ppg).
Greendale is getting a big senior season from do-it-all G/F Vlado Zrnic (19.9 ppg). One of the most difficult players to match up with in the Division 2 field, Zrnic is capable of leading this potential upset.
The two teams split the regular season series, with Greendale coming out with a 72-71 victory in the most recent meeting.
(3) Southern Door vs. (6) Sturgeon Bay
Two Packerland Conference rivals meet on Friday.
Southern Door went a perfect 16-0 in conference play, but Sturgeon Bay has played them tough. The Clippers lost a hard-fought 76-70 battle in the first meeting. The Eagles were able to drop Sturgeon Bay 63-46 in the rematch after the Clippers put together a first half to forget.
2019 guard Kyle Daoust is putting up monster numbers, leading Southern Door in points (21.8), rebounds (7.8), and assists (5.5). However, Sturgeon Bay has a number of capable scorers that could make this one interesting.
(5) Denmark vs. (4) Sheboygan Falls
This might one of the most evenly matched semifinals in the state.
Denmark has a plethora of scoring options and come in having won four of their last five games. The Vikings are coming off an 89-48 thumping over 12-seed Kiel in their first game of the tournament.
Sheboygan Falls is led by 2018 forward Jared Petrie, who is a jack of all trades prospect. The senior is putting up 18.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. The Falcons are also playing well, winners in five of their last six. Falls knocked off Saint Lawrence Seminary 75-41 in the opening round.
(3) Milwaukee Academy of Science vs. (6) Hope Christian
How will the youngsters of MAS fare in their opening contest?
The Novas have a trio of Division 1 prospects in the 2020 class — Kaleim Taylor (22.9 ppg), Darius Hannah (15.5 ppg), and Amani Glosson (12.5 ppg). An independent school, MAS was able to play a tough schedule and will certainly be battled tested.
Hope Christian has got some players too, with three averaging in double figures. HC has won four of five, including a 91-65 victory over Williams Bay to open the tournament.
(5) Cuba City vs. (4) Darlington
Pretty good matchup between two teams that won 15 games apiece this season and both finished tied for third in the SWAL Conference.
Cuba City took the first meeting 66-45, but Darlington returned the favor 71-65 in late January.
The Cubans have a young guard in 2020 watch, Brady Olson, who’s averaging 18.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, which are all team highs.
(5) Rio vs. (4) Randolph
These two programs won a combined 33 games leading up to Friday.
Rio advanced with a 62-34 victory over 12-seed Argyle, while Randolph took a 56-41 decision vs. 13-seed Cambria-Friesland. Both teams tied for second in the Trailways West Conference. However, the Rockets won both regular season meetings.