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Posted On: 10/21/18 11:44 AM
Looking ahead to the 2018-19 season, Prep Hoops Wisconsin breaks down the race in the Greater Metro Conference…
1. Brookfield Central
2. Sussex Hamilton
3. Brookfield East
5. Wauwatosa West
6. Menomonee Falls
8. Wauwatosa East
9. West Allis Hale
You can pick and choose between Central and Hamilton here. We’ll go with the team with senior guards and more leadership.
The trio of Cole Nau, David Joplin, and Gage Malensek is about as tough as it gets in the state. The Lancers are going to be better and deeper than they were a year ago. Not only does Joplin, who’s entering his sophomore year, have star potential, but Central will get lifts from Malik Abdul Wahid and Will Schultz, who were JV players a season ago, but have taken big steps in the off-season.
Certainly don’t count out Hamilton, who has the No. 1 player in the 2021 class in Patrick Baldwin Jr. and a very talented supporting cast that reached the Division 1 state semifinals a year ago. The question is did they overachieve last March after a 9-7 conference record? Or was their final month of the season a taste of what’s to come in 2018-19?
Patrick Cartier (Hillsdale) was a huge focal point and everything revolved around him, but Brookfield East still has a very talented squad with high-IQ players. A very well coached program that will defend the heck out of teams for 36 minutes, East is still a contender. Hayden Doyle, Sam McGath, Michael Poker, and Thomas Francken are all back, giving the Spartans a terrific backcourt. This team was maybe the biggest surprise in the entire state last season, reaching the Division 1 state championship game. They’ll return experience and a style that flusters a lot of opponents who don’t want to be in a fistfight.
We might be a year too early here, but Wauwatosa West has some good, young pieces and returns a ton. Tosa West went 11-14 last season, but ended the year winning four out of their last five games and were one possession away from advancing to sectionals. Senior Aaron Greer is back and played most of the 2017-18 campaign with a foot injury. Promising juniors Jaylyn Kelly and James Randolph are two players that showed some flashes in July and could be ready to surprise the conference.
PROJECTED FIRST-TEAM ALL CONFERENCE
G Gage Malensek – Brookfield Central
G Cole Nau – Brookfield Central
G Thomas Francken – Brookfield East
F Patrick Baldwin Jr. – Sussex Hamilton
F David Joplin – Brookfield Central
F Luke Taylor – Germantown
G Tanner Resch – Sussex Hamilton
G Sam McGath – Brookfield East
G Joey Platz – Marquette
G Aaron Greer – Wauwatosa West
F Steven Clay – Menomonee Falls
F Lucas Finnessy – Sussex Hamilton
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
This will be one of the more interesting races in the state. In this conference, a senior necessarily hasn’t always won the award, nor has it always gone to a player on a team who finished near the top of the conference.
Prior to the season, there are three favorites — Nau, Malensek, and Baldwin.
At Brookfield Central, Nau and Malensek could steal votes from each other. Both guards bring something different and it’s tough to decipher which one is more valuable than the other.
At Sussex Hamilton, Baldwin is the headliner, but was very unselfish last season and his supporting cast is quite deep and talented. Plus, they were young. That said, the stats may not truly tell how good of a player/season Baldwin actually has.
The pick? Two of these three share the award as co-players of the year in the Greater Metro.
Tanner Resch got his feet wet as a freshman last season and now he’s ready for bigger and better things in the backcourt. One of the most deadly shooters in the state, Resch averaged 6.3 ppg and connected on 40 3-pointers, shooting 50.6 percent from downtown. With all the attention Baldwin is going to command this season, Resch should be licking his chops.
Joey Platz has an opportunity to do some big things as a senior. Marquette graduated first-team all-conference forward Niko Kerschner, leaving Platz to be the main weapon for the Hilltoppers. A sniper that played very well in July, Platz might still be a bit of an unknown commodity and could put up scary good numbers from beyond the arc in 2018-19.