2021-22 HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
By Paul Lecker
The Wisconsin high school boys basketball season kicked off last week for most of the teams in the area, with a few starting its 2021-22 campaign this coming week.
Athens (Marawood Conference North Division), Columbus Catholic (Cloverbelt Conference East Division), Edgar (Marawood Conference South Division) and Port Edwards (Central Wisconsin Conference South Division) are defending champions that return a number of key players.
Teams like Amherst, Iola-Scandinavia, Wausau Newman Catholic, Stratford and Wisconsin Rapids Assumption bring back rosters packed full of experienced players from the past year, or even two.
Edgar made a trip to the WIAA state tournament a year ago. Will someone from the area finish their season in Madison in March?
Here is a look at the upcoming season for the 24 teams in our coverage area:
Coach (record): Brent Faber, second year, 5-17.
2020-21 record: 5-17, 2-12 fifth place Marawood Conference North Division; lost 76-44 to Edgar in WIAA Division 4 regional semifinals.
Returning players: Brandon Diedrich, 6-1 guard, 8.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, honorable mention all-Marawood Conference North Division in 2020-21; Adam Diedrich, 6-3 center, 3.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg; Brandon Hawkey, 6-4 forward, 4 ppg, 2.9 rpg; Esteban Gomez, 5-7 guard, 0.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg; JV Castillo, 5-5 guard, 1.1 ppg.
Top newcomers: Preston Bunkelman, 5-10 guard; Gatlin Faber, 5-11 guard; Jacob Hirsch, 6-1 forward; Blake Bargender, 5-10 forward; Evan Reis, 6-2 forward.
From Coach Faber: “We have a young team hoping to gain knowledge and experience.”
Coach (year): Dave Crubaugh, first year.
2020-21 record: 5-15, 0-11 seventh place Central Wisconsin Conference East Division; lost 65-49 to Northland Pines in WIAA Division 3 regional semifinals.
Returning players: Ian Hall, sr., 6-3 wing, 6.2 points, 4.9 rebounds per game in 2020-21; Jake Derezinski, jr., 5-10 guard, 1.3 ppg; Tyler Soulsby, jr., 5-10 guard, 10.9 ppg, 42 3-pointers, honorable mention all-Central Wisconsin Conference East Division; Ethan Zilisch, jr., 5-10 guard, 1.4 ppg; Parker Femal, sr., 6-1 wing/post; Jaren Alfuth, so., 6-3 guard/wing, 1.3 ppg; Matthew Glodowski, jr., 5-10 guard, 12.5 ppg, 27 3-pointers, 80 percent free throws, second-team all-Central Wisconsin Conference East Division; Wyatt Blaskowski, jr., 6-0 forward/guard, 3.8 ppg; Trevor Ehrenberg, jr., 5-9 guard, 2.1 ppg; Aidan Jastromski, jr., 6-0 forward/guard, 8.2 ppg, 22 3-pointers, 53.4 percent field goals.
Top newcomers: Beau Dietrich, so., 6-4 forward; Spencer Cohen, so., 5-10 guard.
From Coach Crubaugh: “I'm expecting us to fast break whenever possible. Our defense will be pressure man to man. Because of a lack of inside size, we will have to hit our outside shots and convert easy transition baskets to be successful.”
Coach: Josh Paltz, first year.
2020-21 record: 1-19, 1-13 sixth place Marawood Conference South Division; lost 39-36 to Port Edwards in WIAA Division 5 regional quarterfinal.
Returning players: Francis Matott, jr., 5-9 guard; Ryan Shaw, jr., 5-9 guard, 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds per game in 2020-21; Bryson Galbreath, sr., 5-11 forward, 4.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg; Reed Duellman, sr., 5-8 guard, 8.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 23 3-pointers; Jack Klatt, jr., 6-0 guard, 2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg; Blake Lobner, jr., 5-9 guard, 6.2 ppg; Cade Statz, jr., 6-0 forward, 1.3 ppg; Nick Leberg, jr., 6-0 forward, 6.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg; Kemp Ross, sr., 6-2 forward, 2.4 ppg; Aaron Livernash, sr., 6-1 forward; Alec Sullivan, sr., 6-2 forward. 6.1 ppg; Joey Moyer, jr., 5-10 forward, 1.3 ppg.
Key newcomers: Cal Birkhauser, so., 6-0 guard; Andrew Yang, sr., 5-11 forward.
Coach: Jeramie Penney.
2020-21 record: 18-5, 11-3 Marawood Conference North Division champions; lost 75-64 in WIAA Division 4 regional semifinals.
Returning players: Cooper Diedrich, sr., 6-2 guard, 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game, 41 3-pointers, first-team all-Marawood North and conference Co-Player of the Year in 2020-21; Connor Sheahan, jr., 6-0 guard, 0.3 ppg; Caden Decker, sr., 6-2 guard, 0.3 ppg; Evan Guralski, sr., 5-10 guard, 0.9 ppg; Nathan Wolf, jr., 6-1 forward/guard; Kody Lepak, sr., 6-3 wing, 8.2 ppg, 31 3-pointers, honorable mention all-Marawood North; Aiden Janke, jr., 6-5 wing/post, 13.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 31 3-pointers, first-team all-Marawood North.
Top newcomers: Evan Wantlin, jr., 5-9 guard; Andy Schaer, so., 6-1 wing; Connor Komarek, jr., 6-0 wing.
Coach (record): Chad Weinfurter, 14th year (247-75).
2020-21 record: 16-6, 11-4 second place Marawood Conference South Division; lost 67-55 in WIAA Division 4 regional final.
Returning players: Alex Willfahrt, jr., 6-2 wing, honorable mention all-Marawood South, 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, 17 3-pointers in 2020-21; Gavin White Eagle, sr., 5-10 guard, 2.2 ppg; Trayton Weber, jr., 6-1 guard, 1.2 ppg; Austin Quinlan, sr., 5-8 guard; Lucas Yeske, jr., 6-2 guard, 0.3 ppg; Terrance Cottrell-Roberson, sr., 5-10 guard, 5.2 ppg, 15 3-pointers; Mason White Eagle, jr., 6-1 forward, 4.2 ppg.
Top newcomers: Blake Raab, fr., 5-7 guard; Kaden Anderson, so., 5-11 guard; Evan Scholl, so., 6-0 guard; Tim Schmitt, jr., 6-1 forward; Charles Jewell, jr., 5-10 forward; Ian Brown, jr., 6-0 forward; Caden Weinfurter, so., 6-3 guard.
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC DONS
Coach: Joe Konieczny.
2020-21 record: 19-6, 13-1 Cloverbelt Conference East Division champions; lost 64-59 to Port Edwards in WIAA Division 5 regional final.
Returning players: Emmitt Konieczny, so., 6-0 guard, 9.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, 51 3-pointers, second-team all-Cloverbelt East in 2020-21; Grant Olson, jr., 6-1 guard, 11 ppg, 4 rpg, 25 3-pointers, second-team all-Cloverbelt East; Sam Wilczek, sr., 5-11 guard, 8.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 21 3-pointers, honorable mention all-Cloverbelt East; Cole Noreen, sr., 4.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 21 3-pointers 6-0 guard; Cole Timmler, sr., 5-8 guard; Blake Jakobi, so., 5-9 guard, 2.4 ppg; Charlie Moore, so., 5-10 guard, 5.9 ppg; Brock Bennington, sr., 5-9 guard; Sammy Neville, sr., 5-8 guard; Lucas Kreklau, so., 6-2 forward.
Top newcomers: Nathan Nemitz, so., 5-9 guard; Kohle Hilgemann, so., 6-3 forward; Alex Edwards, so., 6-2 forward; Cy Becker, so., 6-0 forward.
Coach (record): Jimmy Flink, seventh year (45-92).
2020-21 record: 10-13, 6-8 tied for fifth place Cloverbelt Conference East Division; lost 71-53 to Stratford in WIAA Division 3 regional semifinals.
Returning players: Richard Streveler, sr., 5-10 point guard/wing, 12.7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists per game, second-team all-Cloverbelt Conference East Division; Brandon Voelker, sr., 5-0, wing/post, 8.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg; Brody Decker, sr., wing, 2 ppg, 1.1 rpg; Caden Healy, jr., 6-3 post, 7.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg; Tucker Meyer, jr., 6-3 wing/post, 8.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg; Kaden Wiese, jr., 6-1 point guard/wing, 6.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg; Mateo Lopez, jr., 5-11 wing/post, 1.6 ppg.
Top newcomers: Carson Rau, sr., 5-11 wing; Brayden Boyer, sr., 6-0 post; Tevin Rue, jr., 5-8 guard/wing; Joe Streveler, so., 5-11 post; Lucas Karl, sr., 5-10 wing; Iggy Truss, sr., 6-1 post.
From Coach Flink: “Our expectation is finishing toward the top of the conference. We return one of the best players in our conference in Richard Streveler, along with a lot of players who gained varsity experience last season. Keys are staying focused on the defensive end and rebounding, and also Richard Streveler’s leadership and his ability to make everybody around him better.”