Germantown, 2 MU recruits impress at state championships


Shoes squeaking. Referees’ whistles blowing. And that voice. That sharp, piercing voice. The voice belongs to an outgoing, older woman who sat directly behind me at the Wisconsin boys basketball high school state championships last weekend at the Kohl Center.

The first game Friday morning featured a fantastic finish in the division 3 semifinal between Brown Deer and Manitowoc Roncalli. After several back and forth plays, Brown Deer won in overtime by 3 points thanks to a last-second block. The next game was the other D3 semifinal, with Lodi taking on the Elk Mound Mounders. Lodi won a close game, thanks to the play of Massachusetts-Lowell recruit Jordan Shea, who glided effortlessly up and down the court, seemingly never in a hurry. There was also a tremendous alley-oop by John Hatch of Lodi, who showed off his tremendous athleticism all game long.

In the first of two D2 semifinal games, Wisconsin Lutheran easily beat West De Pere, forcing 24 turnovers with a suffocating full-court press. The next game was between Rice Lake and Greendale and featured 6’ 10” Henry Ellenson of Rice Lake, a top 50 recruit in the class of 2015 who is being recruited by Marquette, among other schools. Ellenson had a monster game, finishing with 22 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 70-58 victory.

The D1 semifinals occupied the final Friday session at the Kohl Center. These are almost always the best teams in the state, since D1 is the largest division in Wisconsin. The first game was between two-time defending champion Germantown and Milwaukee Rufus King. A fast-paced and exciting game ended with Germantown victorious 77-60, thanks to 25 points from North Dakota State recruit Evan Wesenberg.

Even though his team lost, freshman standout Jordan Poole proved he has a bright future ahead of him for Rufus King. Poole had 8 points, 2 assists and 2 steals and showed remarkable confidence and poise. The next game was between Neenah and Mukwonago, but it was a relatively slow game due to Mukwonago’s deliberate pace. That pace did not end up benefitting the Indians, though, as Neenah won 58-41.

Championship Saturday started off with a thrilling D5 game between N.E.W. Lutheran and Thorp. Thorp was brutal offensively in the first half, but turned it around in the second half to win by seven. The next three games were all decided by double digits. In Division 4, everyone paid close attention to Diamond Stone of Dominican, a 6’10” junior who is a top ten recruit nationally. Marquette is one of many schools offering him a scholarship. Stone did not disappoint, finishing with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 blocks, leading Dominican to their third straight championship.

In D3, Brown Deer defeated Lodi handily, thanks to their half-court trap zone that forced many turnovers. Wisconsin Lutheran won D2 after defeating Ellenson and Rice Lake, who could not handle the defensive pressure of the Vikings’ guards. Ellenson finished with 21 points and 12 boards.

The last game between Germantown and Neenah figured to be a blowout, but Neenah hung with the Warhawks. It was a three point game with less than a minute to go, but Buffalo recruit Lamonte’ Bearden made some clutch free throws down the stretch to give Germantown their third straight title, 48-42. Germantown was the most impressive team at the tournament, which was definitely one to remember for all the great games, food and people. And that voice.