Posted On: 10/24/18 7:06 PM
What are the top 11 non-conference games of the 2018-19 season? Prep Hoops Wisconsin looks ahead to 10 key matchups that fans should pay close attention to.
*Does not include games featuring out of state opponents
Nov. 23 Racine Park vs. Milwaukee Washington (Fresh Coast Classic)
Two teams that could each be in the state tournament square off to open the season. Milwaukee Washington, the defending runner-up in Division 2, reloads with Deontay Long and Michael Foster Jr. Racine Park features two of the top seniors in the state, Larry Canady and Nobal Days.
Dec. 1 – Martin Luther at Milwaukee Washington (Terry Porter Classic)
A week later, Washington gets another huge test. Martin Luther, a top contender in Division 3, has arguably the state’s best trio of talent in seniors Ace Evans, Trequan Carrington, and Xzavier Jones.
Dec. 15 La Crosse Central vs. Brookfield Central (NY2LA Sports Classic)
The NY2LA Sports Classic returns and brings some loaded matchups along with it. La Crosse Central, who has reached the state tournament in each of the last three seasons, is expected to return this year behind Johnny Davis, Noah Parcher, Terrance Thompson, and Jordan Davis. After winning 19 games in 2017-18, Brookfield Central reloads and enters the year as arguably the favorite in Division 1. Senior guards Cole Nau and Gage Malensek are back as well as super sophomore David Joplin.
Dec. 15 Sussex Hamilton vs. Nicolet (NY2LA Sports Classic)
The No. 1 player in 2020 meets the No. 1 player in 2021. Even better yet, they’re AAU teammates. Jalen Johnson leads Nicolet against Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Sussex Hamilton — two teams primed for a run to Madison. The Knights also feature Jamari Sibley, Kobe Johnson, and James Graham — three Division 1/high major talents. The Chargers are also a deep unit, featuring ranked talents Carson Smith, Lucas Finnessy, J.T. Hoytink, Tyler Ellingson, and Tanner Resch.
Dec. 18 Martin Luther at Waupun
Wouldn’t be surprising to see these two teams meet at state. Waupun features the favorite for Mr. Basketball, senior wing and Northern Kentucky commit Marcus Domask. He’ll get some added help from Fond Du Lac transfer Quintin Winterfeldt, who’s headed to Minnesota-Crookston. Martin Luther and Waupun met two years ago with the Warriors taking a 53-50 win.
Dec. 27 Kaukauna vs. Milwaukee Bradley Tech (Sun Drop Shootout)
Kaukauna is the defending Division 2 state champion. While there’s no more Jordan McCabe, this is still a heck of a team. Senior forward and Minnesota-Duluth commit Donovan Ivory and 2020 guard Keaton Ferris lead the Ghosts, who could repeat as Fox Valley Association champions and perhaps get back to Madison. Traveling north, Milwaukee Bradley Tech has a number of young guns ready to emerge, including the likely No. 1 player in 2022, Jeffrey Braziel.
Dec. 27 Brookfield Central vs. Martin Luther (WBY Shootout)
Credit both of these programs for playing a loaded schedule. This one won’t have any bearings on the Division 1 or 3 races, but will feature some terrific individual matchups.
Dec. 28 Mineral Point vs. Milwaukee Academy of Science (WBY Shootout)
Speaking of individual matchups, this will be a good one between Isaac Lindsey of Mineral Point and Kaleim Taylor of Milwaukee Academy of Science. Two top prospects in the 2020 class, this matchup could go a long way in determining a top five ranking. 2021 forward Brayden Dailey of Mineral Point will also match up with 2020 forward Darius Hannah of MAS.
Dec. 29 Racine St. Catherine’s vs. Westosha Central (Go Sports America Classic)
Westosha Central reached the state tournament last season, while St. Catherine’s is looking to break through in 2019. One of the state’s best kept secrets, Jaeden Zackery is a do-it-all guard for Westosha Central and doesn’t get his due as a prospect. The Angels are absolutely loaded going into this season, featuring Azarien Stepehs, Quinn Cafferty, Kamari McGee, and Tyrese Hunter.
Jan. 22 Eau Claire North at La Crosse Central
2020 guards Dalton Banks and Johnny Davis meet in late January. Banks, who holds a few Division 1 offers, actually bested Davis and the Playground Warriors with D1 Minnesota at the Battle at the Lakes in May. North won 21 games a year ago and should give Central a big test in this one.
Feb. 8 Waukesha West at Westosha Central
Waukesha West is bumped to Division 1 this season. They’ll be ready for the challenge, returning a strong group of seniors — David Skogman, Chris Bready, and Rocky Martinez — and sophomore Cameron Palesse. Definitely wouldn’t be surprising to see both of these teams in Madison the following month.
Others: Homestead vs. Milwaukee Academy of Science (Nov. 23/Fresh Coast Classic), Arrowhead vs. Milwaukee King (Nov. 23/Fresh Coast Classic), Racine Cast at The Prairie School (Nov. 27), Dominican at Sussex Hamilton (Nov. 28), Seymour at Roncalli (Dec. 1), Milwaukee King vs. Brookfield Central (Dec. 1/Terry Porter Classic), Onalaska at Chippewa Falls (Dec.1), Milwaukee Bradley Tech at Menomonee Falls (Dec. 4), Homestead vs. Brown Deer (Dec. 15/NY2LA Sports Classic), Brookfield Academy vs. Milwaukee Academy of Science (Dec. 22/I-94 Challenge), Oshkosh West vs. Brown Deer (Dec. 27/WBY Shootout), Waukesha West vs. Onalaska (Dec. 28/WBY Shootout), Racine St. Catherine’s vs. Westosha Central (Dec. 29/WBY Shootout), Racine Case at Waukesha West (Jan. 15), Kettle Moraine at Westosha Central (Jan. 15), Waunakee at Madison LaFollette (Jan. 15), Oshkosh West at Brookfield Central (Jan. 19),