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Now Media Group Sports Director JR Radcliffe takes a weekly look at the top five boys and girls teams in the Now and Lake Country Publications coverage area and ranks the schools, updated every Sunday. Notice anything amiss? Email jradcliffe@gannett.com. This webpage won an EPPY Award for best Sports Website with 1 million unique monthly visitors or fewer this fall.

 

Player of the week 

We try to stay away from acknowledging the same player twice, but it's hard to ignore what John Diener did for Ceedarburg in the state tournament, leading the Bulldogs to a runnerup finish in Division 2. Diener scored 46 points in a double-overtime win over Milwaukee Washington, good for a new single-game record in the state tournament across divisions. He eclipsed the 45 points scored by former Appleton West and University of Wisconsin standout Brian Butch in 2003. He scored another 25 in the state final against LaCrosse Central and nearly willed his team to a thrilling victory. The 71 points is a D2 tourney record, eclipsing the 61 by Mitch Tordoff of Monroe in 2009.

Past Players of the Week

  • Ben Seefeld, Arrowhead boys
  • John Diener, Cedarburg boys
  • Khamya McNeal, Shorewood girls
  • Emily Hafemann, Martin Luther girls
  • Jacob Fierst, West Allis Central boys
  • Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc boys
  • Bryce Miller, New Berlin Eisenhower boys
  • MacKenzie Schill, Pewaukee girls
  • Jake Graf, Brookfield East boys
  • Jazmine Young, Dominican girls
  • Dasia Davis, Wauwatosa West girls
  • Demetrius Johnson, Whitefish Bay boys
  • Matt Henningsen, Menomonee Falls boys
  • Kenzie Schmitz, Germantown girls
  • Stu Vent, Muskego boys
  • Caitlyn Harper, Arrowhead girls

Boys top five 

1. STATE QUALIFIER: Brookfield Central (24-3). Brookfield Central battled through a loaded sectional, dismissing powerful challengers from Milwaukee Riverside and Milwaukee Vincent to clinch its first state-tournament trip since 2008. Andres Peralta-Werns caught fire and scored a game-high 26 in the sectional final victory that put the Lancers into a battle with Arrowhead at the Kohl Center in Madison. It was there that the Lancers fell in a heartbreaker, a 63-62 overtime loss that included a look at the buzzer which just rolled off the rim. The Lancers returning core of Gage Malensek, Cole Nau and Andres Peralta-Werns will make Central one of the favorites in 2017-18.

2. STATE QUALIFIER: Cedarburg (25-3). Led by a state tournament record 46 points, Cedarburg took down Milwaukee Washington in double overtime in the Division 2 state semifinal and advanced to its first state final, where it fell in a razor-tight battle with LaCrosse Central and Mr. Basketball winner Kobe King. Diener's 71 points over the two games set a D2 tourney record, and he'll be back on the quest to score 2,000 career points in 2017-18.

3. STATE QUALIFIER: Arrowhead (20-6). Playing a challenging schedule paid off for the senior-heavy Warhawks, who endured tense battles with De Pere and Kimberly to prevail and reach the state tourney for the first time since a 2010 state-championship run. Throw in an overtime win over Brookfield Central in the state semifinal, and it was a wild ride into the state-title game, where the Warhawks fell to three-time state champ Stevens Point. Catalyzed by lighting-quick point guard Trevell Cunningham and buoyed by seniors Alec Hamilton, Ben Seefeld, Tommy Durand and Marko Matejic, Arrowhead weathered multiple storms in the postseason and came up with big plays at crunch time.

4. New Berlin Eisenhower (20-6). Eisenhower got hot at the end of the year, winning 13 straight games before falling to Milwaukee Washington in the sectional final. The Lions were especially hot in shooting 79 percent to down Pewaukee in the sectional semifinal, avenging two previous losses during the regular season. No matter who's wearing the uniforms, the Lions always seem to be a perennial threat at the end of the year.

5. Pewaukee (21-4). Pewaukee ran into a buzzsaw against New Berlin Eisenhower, which shot 79 percent to bounce the Pirates from the sectional semifinal in Division 2. It was a disappointing end for a PHS team that had serious state-tournament aspirations, and another frustrating encounter with Ike for the Pewaukee basketball program overall. Still, the Pirates reeled in the Woodland West title in a supremely challenging league and will bring back two key juniors (Grant Basile, Jack Gohlke).

Best of the rest
6. Oak Creek (21-3), 7. Martin Luther (22-4), 8. Brown Deer (18-6), 9. Muskego (20-5), 10. Franklin (18-7), 11. Menomonee Falls (17-8), 12. Whitnall (16-7), 13. Mukwonago (16-8), 14. Dominican (14-11), 15. Wauwatosa East (14-11)

Other schools (alpha)
Brookfield Academy (15-9), Brookfield East (11-12), Catholic Memorial (15-8), Cudahy (3-20), Germantown (11-12)Grafton (13-11), Greendale (12-13), Greenfield (13-10), Homestead (11-13), Kettle Moraine (10-14), Lake Country Lutheran (11-13), New Berlin West (10-14), Nicolet (14-10), Oconomowoc (10-13), Port Washington (5-18), Shorewood (6-18), South Milwaukee (6-17), St. Francis (4-19), St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (12-11), St. Thomas More (9-15), Sussex Hamilton (10-13), University Lake School (2-21), University School (18-6), Waukesha North (6-17), Waukesha South (3-20), Waukesha West (9-14), Wauwatosa West (12-11), West Allis Central (11-12), West Allis Hale (5-19), Whitefish Bay (8-15)

Boys rankings final, March 11, 2017.

Girls top five

STATE QUALIFIER: Cudahy (20-8). The Packers got white-hot at the perfect time. The same team that lost a 56-37 decision to Wauwatosa East earlier this year beat the same squad in the Division 2 sectional final, 43-34, and it wasn't the only sign that Cudahy had turned it around. Big-time wins over better-seeded New Berlin Eisenhower and New Berlin West were just as huge, and then the Packers downed Hortonville in the state semifinal before falling short against powerhouse Beaver Dam in the state-title game. With Division 1 recruit Bailey Eichner (William and Mary) and talented junior Hannah Kulas leading the way, not to mention former Grafton coach Bob Maronde (who won two state titles with the Black Hawks program), the Packers enjoyed a wild ride to the finish.

STATE QUALIFIER: Martin Luther (26-2). In Division 3, Martin Luther held off Waupun in an exciting sectional final and completed its first-ever run to the WIAA state tournament. During the season, the Spartans twice defeated Division 4 sectional finalist Kenosha St. Joseph, topped Division 1 squads Janseville Craig and Franklin and took their only loss to a Beaver Dam program that might be the state's No. 1 team overall. At state, Martin Luther dominated Bloomer in the semifinal before struggling from the field in a state-title loss to Madison Edgewood.

1. Germantown (23-3). Germantown accomplished so much but fell one win shy of its first state tournament. The Warhawks won a fourth straight North Shore Conference title and, for the first time, won it by going undefeated at 14-0, a fitting send off before leaving for the Greater Metro next year. Kenzie Schmitz, whose career will continue at Miami (Ohio), leaves the program as its all-time eading scorer, and freshman Natalie McNeal is one of the more exciting players in the Class of 2020.

2. Oak Creek (21-5).The Knights fell to Milwaukee King in the sectional final, and the undefeated Generals just may be the best team in the division and the state. Without any scorers at 11 points per game or better, the Oak Creek experience is a total team effort centered on defense, and one that helped this team win another Southeast Conference title. They'll be right back in the fray next year.

3. Mukwonago (22-3). Mukwonago went toe-to-toe with a very tough Middleton team in a sectional semifinal, but an injury to sophomore Natalie Andersen loomed large when Middleton rallied in the second half to knock off the top seed. Considering MHS played all season with two freshmen and two sophomores in its starting lineup, this is a team that should be expected to make serious noise next year, perhaps as our preseason choice as No. 1 in Roundball Rankings.

4. New Berlin Eisenhower (19-6). Eisenhower once again reached the sectional with an impressive win over Pewaukee, but upstart Cudahy got in the way once the defending-champion Lions got there. A late 3-pointer by Julia Hintz was no good, and Ike was saddled with a 47-45 loss. This is a team that brings back a healthy contingent of players next year, including the current sophomore Hintz and junior Katie Ludwig.

5. Pewaukee (20-4). Pewaukee looked like it had a team that would finally overcome the perennial challenge of New Berlin Eisenhower, but once again, the Lions stood in the Pirates' way of what looked like a tantalizingly clear path to the state tournament otherwise. The Pirates, who have never been to state, have a ton of young talent back and will be back in the conversation next year, even as they must bid adieu to senior standout MacKenzie Schill.

Best of the rest
6. Arrowhead (20-4), 7. Martin Luther (25-1), ​8. Cudahy (19-7)
, 9. New Berlin West (20-4), 10. Brookfield Central (16-9), 11. Cedarburg (18-7), 12. Sussex Hamilton (18-7), 13. Wauwatosa East (19-7), 14. Homestead (17-7), 15. Franklin (16-8)

Other schools (alpha)
Brookfield Academy (17-8), Brookfield East (12-12), Brown Deer (4-18), Catholic Memorial (7-17), Dominican (16-8), Grafton (12-11), Greendale (3-20), Greenfield (8-14), Kettle Moraine (12-11), Lake Country Lutheran (11-13), Menomonee Falls (11-12), Muskego (15-9), Nicolet (2-21), Oconomowoc (12-12), Port Washington (7-17), Shorewood (16-9), St. Francis (5-17), St. Thomas More (10-14),  South Milwaukee (8-16), University Lake School (13-8), University School (14-8), Waukesha North (4-20), Waukesha South (9-14), Waukesha West (11-12), Wauwatosa West (9-15), West Allis Central (4-20), West Allis Hale (11-13), Whitefish Bay (14-10), Whitnall (12-11)

Girls rankings final, March 4, 2017.

League standings

Classic 8: Boys | Girls
Greater Metro: Boys | Girls
Metro Classic: Boys | Girls
Midwest Classic: Boys | Girls
North Shore: Boys | Girls
Southeast: Boys | Girls
Wisconsin Little Ten: Boys | Girls
Woodland East: Boys | Girls
Woodland West: Boys | Girls

State rankings: Boys | Girls

Beyond the box 

The 2017 tournament marks the first time since 1992 that none of the defending champions are back to retain their crowns. Not only were the five reigning champs -- Verona, New Berlin Eisenhower, Hayward, Mineral Point and Assumption -- kept out of Green Bay, but none of them even made the sectional final. Ike, Hayward and Mineral Point all sustained upset losses in sectional semifinals.

Stat leaders

Boys current scorers

  1. Tyler Herro, Whitnall (Jr.), 23.2 ppg
  2. Kyle Clow, Germantown (Sr.), 22.9
  3. John Diener, Cedarburg (Jr.), 22.9
  4. Brandon Weston, St. John's NW Military Acad. (Fr.), 21.5
  5. Alex Setzer, Brookfield Academy (Sr.), 20.6
  6. Gage Malensek, Brookfield Central (Soph.), 20.3
  7. Aidan Clarey, Brookfield Academy (Fr.), 20.2
  8. Drew Yetka, Oak Creek (Sr.), 19.9
  9. DeAndre Anderson, Shorewood (Jr.), 19.9
  10. Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc (Sr.), 19.8
  11. Ryan Haertel, West Allis Hale (Sr.), 19.5
  12. Jordan Johnson, Cedarburg (Sr.), 19.0
  13. Jay Gentry, Brown Deer (Jr.), 18.7
  14. Brandon Hau, Mukwonago (Sr.), 18.7
  15. Max Alba, Franklin (Jr.), 18.6
  16. Xavier Johnson, Whitefish Bay (Sr.), 18.6
  17. Trequan Carrington, Martin Luther (Soph.), 18.5
  18. Mikael Green, Shorewood (Sr.), 18.4
  19. Keaton Stremick, Waukesha South (Sr.), 18.1
  20. Kevion Taylor, Whitnall (Sr.), 17.8
  21. Jake Graf, Brookfield East (Sr.), 17.8

Boys active career scorers

  1. John Diener, Cedarburg (Jr.), 1,693
  2. Jordan Johnson, Cedarburg (Sr.), 1,398
  3. Kevion Taylor, Whitnall (Sr.), 1,322
  4. Tyler Herro, Whitnall (Jr.), 1,313
  5. Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc (Sr.), 1,088
  6. Walter Taylor, University School (Sr.), 1,086
  7. Brandon Hau, Mukwonago (Sr.), 1,085
  8. Mikael Green, Shorewood (Sr.), 1,077
  9. Sullivan Kulju, New Berlin Eisenhower (Sr.), 1,007
  10. Alou Dillon, Wauwatosa West (Sr.), 1,001
  11. Ben Seefeld, Arrowhead (Sr.), 919
  12. Trevell Cunningham, Arrowhead (Sr.), 870
  13. Max Alba, Franklin (Jr.), 865
  14. Wyatt Cook, Pewaukee (Sr.), 834
  15. Jay Gentry, Brown Deer (Jr.), 824 

Girls current scorers 

  1. Nikita Conroy, West Allis Central (Sr.), 22.0 ppg
  2. Kiara Redman-Trotter, St. Francis (Soph.), 21.6
  3. Chloe Marotta, Homestead (Jr.), 20.9
  4. Kenzie Schmitz, Germantown (Sr.), 20.6
  5. Khamya McNeal, Shorewood (Fr.), 20.5
  6. Jazmine Young, Dominican (Jr.), 20.3
  7. Sierra Grubor, Whitnall (Sr.), 18.7
  8. Kate Benes, Lake Country Lutheran (Fr.), 18.4
  9. Hannah Belanger, Grafton (Soph.), 18.3
  10. MacKenzie Schill, Pewaukee (Sr.), 18.3
  11. Theresa Wichser, Brookfield Academy (Jr.), 17.8
  12. Grace Beyer, Mukwonago (Soph.), 17.0
  13. Mattie Schimenz, Brown Deer (Fr.), 16.4
  14. Olivia Sobczak, Oconomowoc (Fr.), 16.3
  15. Alyssa Nelson, New Berlin West (Jr.), 16.0
  16. Hannah Kulas, Cudahy (Jr.), 15.9
  17. Caroline Busch, Brookfield Central (Sr.), 15.8
  18. Calli Delsman, Waukesha West (Sr.), 15.6
  19. Kalli Murphy, Cedarburg (Jr.), 15.5
  20. Abby Guidinger, Kettle Moraine (Sr.), 15.4

Girls active career scorers

  1. Kenzie Schmitz, Germantown (Sr.), 1,403
  2. Caroline Busch, Brookfield Central (Sr.), 1,260
  3. Nikita Conroy, West Allis Central (Sr.), 1,225
  4. Sierra Grubor, Whitnall (Sr.), 1,179
  5. Theresa Wichser, Brookfield Academy (Jr.), 1,122
  6. Chloe Marotta, Homestead (Jr.), 1,113
  7. Bailey Eichner, Cudahy (Sr.), 1,079
  8. Emily Hafemann, Martin Luther (Sr.), 1,055
  9. MacKenzie Schill, Pewaukee (Sr.), 1,006
  10. Jazmine Young, Dominican (Jr.), 1,000
  11. Hannah Kulas, Cudahy (Jr.), 941
  12. Marissa Igunbor, Menomonee Falls (Sr.), 907
  13. Hannah Belanger, Grafton (Soph.), 858
  14. Maddy Harrison, Muskego (Jr.), 793
  15. Alyssa Nelson, New Berlin West (Jr.), 788 

Stats accumulated from Wissports.net database through March 4, 2017.

Signed and sealed

Boys

Division 1

John Diener, Cedarburg (DePaul)*
Alou Dillon, Wauwatosa West (South Dakota State)
Brandon Hau, Mukwonago (IUPUI)
Tyler Herro, Whitnall (Wisconsin)*

Division 2

Kyle Clow, Germantown (Michigan Tech)
Trevelle Cunningham, Arrowhead (Lindenwood)
Kevion Taylor, Whitnall (Winona State)

Girls

Division 1

Grace Gilmore, Arrowhead (Western Illinois)
Bailey Eichner, Cudahy (William and Mary)
Chloe Marotta, Homestead (Marquette)*
Kenzie Schmitz, Germantown (Ohio)

Division 2

Calli Delsman, Waukesha West (Minot State)
Abby Guidinger, Kettle Moraine (Minnesota-Crookston)
Hannah Kath, Muskego (McKendree)
Grace Weber, Kettle Moraine (Illinois-Springfield)
Macy Williams, Sussex Hamilton (Mary)

*verbal only  

Trophy case

State titles by area teams:

Boys

  • 7. Dominican (2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • 3. Germantown (2012, 2013, 2014); Wauwatosa East (1948, 1989, 2008), Whitefish Bay (1996, 1998, 2011)
  • 2: Brown Deer (2014, 2015), Catholic Memorial (2004, 2010), South Milwaukee (1952, 1976)
  • 1: Arrowhead (2010), New Berlin Eisenhower (2008), New Berlin West (2000), St. Francis (1976), Shorewood (1942), Whitnall (1988), Waukesha (1944), Port Washington (1937)

Girls

  • 2: New Berlin Eisenhower (2016, 2010), Grafton (2009, 2007), Arrowhead (1991, 1988)
  • 1: Oak Creek (2014), Nicolet (2011), Kettle Moraine (1999), Brookfield Central (1985), Wauwatosa East (1981)

State appearances by area teams:

Boys

  • 16: Wauwatosa East (last: 2008)
  • 10: Brookfield Central (last: 2017)
  • 8: Dominican (last: 2016), South Milwaukee (last: 1996), Shorewood (last: 1981)
  • 6: Germantown (last: 2015), Whitefish Bay (last: 2011)
  • 5: Sussex Hamilton (last: 1987)
  • 4: Arrowhead (last: 2017), Whitnall (last: 2016), Brown Deer (last: 2015), Mukwonago (last: 2014)
  • 3: Cedarburg (last: 2017), Greendale (last: 2015), Brookfield East (last: 1979)
  • 2: Muskego (last: 2016), West Allis Central (last: 2015), Catholic Memorial (last: 2010), New Berlin Eisenhower (last: 2008), Port Washington (last: 2007), Homestead (last: 1994), Grafton (last, 1994), Nicolet (last: 1993), West Allis Hale (last: 1970)
  • 1: Pewaukee (2001), New Berlin West (2000), Waukesha South (1999 -- Waukesha High School made 14 trips), Waukesha West (1998), Cudahy (1981), Oak Creek (1980), St. Francis (1976)
  • 0: Brookfield Academy, Greenfield, Franklin, Kettle Moraine, Lake Country Lutheran; Martin Luther, Menomonee Falls, Oconomowoc, Thomas More, Waukesha North, Wauwatosa West

Girls

  • 9: Arrowhead (last: 2015)
  • 8: Mukwonago (last: 2016)
  • 7: Whitefish Bay (last: 2011), West Allis Hale (last: 2000)
  • 6: Oak Creek (last: 2016), Kettle Moraine (last: 2004)
  • 5: New Berlin Eisenhower (last: 2016), Grafton (last: 2009), Greendale (last: 2007), Brookfield East (last: 2004), 
  • 4: Nicolet (last: 2011)
  • 3: Brookfield Central (last: 2009), Franklin (last: 2007), Whitnall (last: 2005), Waukesha South (last: 2005)
  • 2: Cedarburg (last: 2015), Port Washington (last: 2000), Homestead (last: 1995), Brown Deer (last: 1993), Wauwatosa East (last: 1981)
  • 1: Cudahy (2017), Martin Luther (2017), Dominican (2011), Catholic Memorial (2005), Waukesha North (1994), New Berlin West (1986), South Milwaukee (1985), St. Francis (1981)
  • 0: Brookfield Academy, Cudahy, Germantown, Greenfield, Lake Country Lutheran, Martin Luther, Menomonee Falls, Muskego, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Shorewood, Sussex Hamilton, Thomas More, Wauwatosa West, West Allis Central

2017 state-championship results

Boys

Division 1: Stevens Point 85, Arrowhead 56
Division 2:LaCrosse Central 55, Cedarburg 53
Division 3:Xavier 73, Prescott 47
Division 4:Destiny 76, Darlington 65
Division 5:Barneveld 58, Shullsburg 28

Girls

Division 1: Appleton North 49, De Pere 34
Division 2: Beaver Dam 52, Cudahy 33
Division 3: Edgewood 51, Martin Luther 30
Division 4: Howards Grove 44, Aquinas 43
Division 5:Loyal 74, Milwaukee Acad. of Science 61

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