Posted On: 11/19/18 8:14 PM
The 2018-19 WIAA basketball season officially kicks off on Tuesday. Who will take home the gold ball in Division 2 come march? Prep Hoops Wisconsin makes our preseason picks.
SECTIONAL FINAL 1
La Crosse Central over Merrill
The Red Raiders are a heavy favorite to return to state for the fourth consecutive season. After reaching the semifinals last season, Central reloads with their core group of Noah Parcher, Jordan Davis, Terrance Thompson, and Johnny Davis.
SECTIONAL FINAL 2
Nicolet over Kaukauna
Most don’t expect Kaukauna to get back to Madison. I think they’ll make a serious run behind Keaton Ferris and Donovan Ivory. However, Jalen Johnson and Jamari Sibley are too much to handle. You also have to figure that come March, sophomores James Graham and Kobe Johnson turn a corner and make this team even better.
SECTIONAL FINAL 3
Westosha Central over DeForest
The Falcons aren’t a sure thing to return to the Kohl Center. Even though Jaeden Zackery is back, the Falcons lost some key seniors. DeForest would be a scary matchup as the Falcons may not have an answer for Austin Westra, but we’ll go with the team that’s been here before.
SECTIONAL FINAL 4
Catholic Memorial over Milwaukee Washington
I’m going to shoot my shot with this upset special. Catholic Memorial is in store for a huge upswing with their front court of Cole Dakovich, J.C. Latham, and Rich Byhre. They could give Washington a run for their money with a physical game. Having the state’s top scoring threat in Deontay Long and a matchup nightmare like Michael Foster Jr. is hard to bet against, but I like the makeup of the Crusaders, especially if Byhre continues to improve at his current rate.
(1) Nicolet over (4) Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial’s Cinderella run ends here. After suffering a disappointing loss in the Division 1 state semifinals last season with Sun Prairie a year ago, Johnson isn’t getting denied a second consecutive year.
(2) La Crosse Central over (3) Westosha Central
Davis vs. Zackery would be a heck of an individual matchup. Zackery is capable of carrying the Falcons, but likely not against this heavyweight.
(2) La Crosse Central over (1) Nicolet
You can’t go wrong with either team. Both squads could stake their claim as the best in the state regardless of division. Central can’t match up with Johnson, but they can match up with everyone else. The Red Raiders have been to state in each of the last three seasons and that experience is invaluable. Nicolet, who may cruise into this game, is built with transfers who haven’t played much together. How will they react the first time they get hit in the mouth?