Ten Notes on High School Ball
High School Notes
1) With the high school season soon to be upon us, I'm setting my primary viewing goals for the year. Probably the two biggest ones include venturing out to see junior sensation Trevon Hughes, and getting to see my old JV coach run his varsity team at Waukesha North. I've been derelict in not seeing Hughes, and I'd like to have the information to compare his worth to that of Jerry Smith. As for Waukesha North, Coach Ricciardi's been there something like 8 years and I keep forgetting to check out the fieldhouse. This year, all that ends, as I'm still itching to recognize plays, and North has a very good guard.
2) It wouldn’t be a high school preview without me talking about my alma mater, Wauwatosa East. The Red Raiders graduated an experienced class of seniors last year and many may think the cupboard is bare, other than their one superstar, Jerry Smith. This is far from the truth, however. While I tend not to put much stock into JV teams, from the snippets that I saw last year, Tosa East didn’t have a normal JV team. There’s a lot of talent coming up, and a good number of sophomores could contribute this year. This might not be the really big year, but look for a highly ranked squad this year, and a potentially special 2005-6 season.
3) Rumor has it that Milwaukee’s Sectional #8 returns to the Klotche Center on the UWM campus this year. Great move, if it’s true. When your sectional contains perennial powers such as Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Washington, Marquette, and Tosa East, and teams that are generally good, such as Bay View, Pius, and Milwaukee Tech, it should be played at a grand location. In many ways, I enjoy seeing these games even more than the state tournament. The Wisconsin Lutheran College and Whitefish Bay High School gyms weren’t cutting it. Let’s get back to a location where almost everyone who wants to see the game can get tickets.
4) I’m not sure if there will be another day of games at the Bradley Center on Martin Luther King Day, but I know if there is, I won’t be attending again. While I was excited to see Madison LaFollette, Milwaukee Custer, and Marquette play, I was not excited to watch fights break out literally every 20 minutes. Nor was I pleased to see George Karl booed while speaking at a charity event that his organization was putting on. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel glossed over the poor security and ensuing chaos at the game, opting for a feel-good story about a series of charity games, but to anyone who attended, it is clear that this was a very poorly run event.
5) Well, his four years are almost up, so yes, next year I will finally stop fixating on watching Alexis Pease of Marquette and his outstanding post presence. If I could drop down to 6 feet tall and give that kid my extra three inches I would, because he would be one hell of a college center if he was a few inches bigger.
6) I’m sure I’ve said it before, but if Milwaukee Public School security was running our airport security, terrorists wouldn’t have a chance. I’m sure I’ll brave the metal detectors at some point to get a look at King’s freshman phenom, Korrie Lucious. When I do, I’ll make sure not to have gum wrappers in my pocket, since that is traditionally what makes me set off the metal detectors. Meanwhile, I accidentally forgot to take two sets of keys out of my pocket last time I flew and walked through without a peep from the machine.
7) Assuming I’m not traveling to a bowl game at a really early date, I hope to attend the Badger Classic at the UW Fieldhouse on December 27-28. It may necessitate taking some time off work, but the chance to watch Milwaukee Vincent, Wisconsin Dells, and South Dakota’s top player, Badger recruit Joe Krabbenhoft will be worth it. And of course, since it’s in Madison, the possibility of a post-game trip to the Essen Haus or Red Shed doesn’t hurt either.
8) Speaking of the Badger Classic, the only bad thing about Milwaukee Vincent’s inclusion in the event is that it means there will be no Milwaukee Vincent holiday tournament this year. Such names as Boo Wade, Greg Brown, Devin Harris, Scott Merritt, and Marshall Williams have played in this tournament over the years. Though it generally was somewhat of a sham as a “tournament,” as Vincent and Tosa East always played in the finals, it was a fun event with some great basketball, and I hope it returns next year.
9) I wish there was a way to get the champions of each division in the WIAA to play one another. If a playoff could have been set up last year, I honestly don’t know who would have won it. Division 4 champions Randolph had two division 1 recruits. Division 3 Whitefish Bay Dominican is a traditional power who can play with almost anyone year in and year out. Division 2 Waukesha Catholic Memorial actually beat Division 1 Milwaukee Vincent during the regular season, and played one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen in the state championship game. And Division 1 Milwaukee King was not an overwhelming champion as we sometimes see in Division One. It would have been great. My money would have been on Catholic Memorial. At least the public and private schools get to play one another these days.
10) I’m still dying to get to a game at Cuba City some day. My old book delivery summer job took me there on a few occasions, and the trophy cases there were awe-inspiring. If only Cuba City was located closer to civilization, I’d be set.