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East Troy looks like Trojan force in Lakes race

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JOHN N. BARRY
November 29, 2007

Perfection.


Elkhorn High coach John Handel says that’s what it’s going to take for anybody to beat East Troy in Southern Lakes Conference boys basketball this season.


East Troy went 12-0 in capturing the title a year ago, and with all five starters returning, the Trojans are heavy favorites to repeat.


“It’s going to take a heckuva an effort by somebody in our conference to beat East Troy this year,’’ Handel said. “You’d have to play a perfect game.’’


Waukesha Memorial seemingly did that in the second half Tuesday night, rolling up a 43-25 advantage over East Troy en route to a 61-50 nonconference victory. But that doesn’t diminish the Trojans’ status, particularly in the Southern Lakes.


“They have everything you would want in a really good high school team,’’ Handel said. “They have the size with (Alex) Bondar, the athleticism with a (Jory) Tess and a great shooter in (Kyle Jones).”


With East Troy pegged to repeat as Southern Lakes champion, the battle may be for second. Elkhorn was the runner-up a year ago, while Whitewater finished third. Both schools suffered heavy graduation losses, including Whitewater’s Michael Zweifel, the conference Player of the Year.


“There’s definitely some parity after East Troy,” Handel said.


A wealth of individual talent returns throughout the conference. Delavan-Darien brings back 6-foot-8 junior Aaron Logterman, and the Elks return 6-1 junior Eric Bryson. Whitewater junior Miles Hookstead averaged 13 points a game a year ago, while Fort Atkinson senior Josh Meyerhofer scored 13.9 points a game last season.


Delavan-Darien coach Bob Beighton said the formula for success remains the same in the Southern Lakes.


“In reality, you probably have to go 6-0 at home and at least 3-3 on the road,” Beighton said. “That puts you at 9-3 in the conference, and a lot of years that has been good enough.


“But this year, I don’t think that will be good enough. East Troy is that good. They’re going to present matchup problems for everybody they play.”


Not only are the Trojans heavily favored to win the Lakes, but they entered the season as the ninth-ranked team in Division 2 by wishoops.net. After an 18-2 regular season a year ago, East Troy lost its WIAA Division 2 tournament opener to Wisconsin Lutheran, and the expectations obviously are to go beyond that this season.


But first, can the Trojans put together back-to-back perfect seasons in the Lakes? Stay tuned.


DELAVAN-DARIEN


Head coach: Bob Beighton, 11th year (128-90).


2006-07 record: 9-12 overall, 5-7 in Southern Lakes (fourth place).


Last conference title: 2004.


Key losses: Josh Christiansen, who averaged 8.9 points and 8.1 rebounds a game last year.


Returning starters: Aaron Logterman, 6-8, jr., center (8.4 ppg, 5.8 reb.); Myles Oswald, 6-4, sr., forward (6.5 ppg, 3 rpg).


Other lettermen: Jarrett Fowlkes, 5-7, jr., guard; Joe Kiemen, 5-11, sr., guard; Bryan Kolanda, 6-0, sr., forward; Kevin Nieuwenhuis, 6-0, sr., guard; Ricky Quillman, 6-0, sr., guard.


Other likely contributors: Garrett Brickner, 6-4, soph., forward; Tyler Butke, 6-5, soph., center; Pat Lee, 6-4, jr., center.


Season outlook: The Comets figure to finish in the upper half of the Southern Lakes standings.


Junior center Aaron Logterman established himself as one of the top post players in the Lakes after nearly averaging a double-double last season (8.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg).


EAST TROY


Head coach: Darin Lotig, fifth year (41-44).


2006-07 record: 18-3 overall, 12-0 in Southern Lakes (first place).


Last conference title: 2007.


Key losses: None; all five starters return.


Returning starters: Alex Bondar, 6-8, sr., center (13.9 points per game, 10.2 rebounds per game); Kyle Jones, 6-3, sr., guard (13 ppg); Jory Tess, 6-0, sr., guard; Alan Loth, 6-2, sr., forward; Tom Manschot, 6-0, sr., guard.


Other lettermen: Nick Douglas, 5-10, sr., guard; Andy Kiesow, 6-3, sr., forward; Steve Rodefer, 5-10, sr., guard.


Other likely contributors: Cody Condon, 6-3, jr., forward; Dan Douglas, 5-7, jr., guard; Mitch Windle, 6-1, jr., forward.


Season outlook: With all the starters returning from last year’s championship team, including first-team all-conference selections Bondar and Jones, the Trojans are an overwhelming choice to win a second straight title.


East Troy (1-1) has geared up for the Southern Lakes with a tough nonconference schedule that has included Waukesha South and Waukesha Memorial. The Trojans also play Indianapolis Arlington over the Christmas break.


ELKHORN


Head coach: John Handel, 11th year (141-82).


2006-07 record: 16-6 overall, 9-3 in Southern Lakes (second place).


Last conference title: 2005.


Key losses: Four starters, including first-team All-Southern Lakes selections Jake Larsen and Scott Wedige (13.9 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game).


Returning starter: Eric Bryson, 6-2, jr., guard (6.6 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game).


Other lettermen: Brandon Wagner, 6-0, sr., guard; Alex Lockwood, 6-1, sr., guard; Drew White, 5-10, sr., guard; Max Findreng, 6-0, sr., guard; Tyler Olson, 6-2, sr., forward.


Other likely contributors: Jake Gahart, 5-10, jr., guard; Ross Olson, 5-10, jr., guard; Brian Schmidt, 6-3, jr., forward; Skyler O’Laughlin, 6-9, soph., center; Alex Suchy, 6-5, soph., center.


Season outlook: Who will pick up the scoring slack with the loss of four starters, including Wedige, the leading scorer from a year ago? Bryson will have to carry the load offensively until Handel can find some scoring among seven returning lettermen and a talented sophomore class.


FORT ATKINSON


Head coach: Todd Voss, second year (4-17).


2006-07 record: 4-17 overall, 3-9 in Southern Lakes (sixth place).


Last conference title: 2002.


Key losses: One starter, Luke Sherrat (3.1 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game).


Returning starters: Josh Meyerhofer, 6-1, sr., guard (13.9 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game); Dan Malison, 6-2, sr., forward (5.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg); Reid Hitt, 6-2, sr., forward (5.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg); John Kotz, 5-11, sr., guard (4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg).


Other lettermen: Matt Belz, 5-9, sr., guard; Matt Masterson, 6-2, sr., forward.


Other likely contributors: Nick Dresdow, 6-5, jr., forward; Jacob Bohn, 6-3, jr., forward; Lucas Smithyman, 5-7, sr., guard; Marc Erickson, 6-0, jr., guard; Jacob Ensilin, 6-0, jr., guard.


Season outlook: Other than defending champion East Troy, Fort Atkinson is the most experienced team in the Southern Lakes. Fort Atkinson welcomes back four starters, including senior Josh Meyerhofer, honorable mention all-conference a year ago.


The Blackhawks (0-1) struggled on the defense a year ago and must rebound better on both ends of the court in order to finish in the upper half of the conference.


JEFFERSON


Head coach: Jay Benish, first year.


2006-07 record: 1-20 overall, 1-11 in Southern Lakes (seventh place).


Last conference title: 1985.


Key losses: Two starters, Aaron Abbey and Kyler Kabat.


Returning starters: Bobby Barbano, 5-10, sr., guard; Trevor Probst, 6-1, jr., forward; Bryan Poredos, 6-3, jr., center.


Other lettermen: Josh Avarado, 6-3, sr., forward; Russell Baumgard, 6-2, sr., forward; Dante Vogel, 5-11, sr., guard; Michael Splittgerber, 5-10, sr., guard; Corey Lipperer, 6-4, sr., forward; Nate Fosberg, 6-4, sr., forward; David Fleischmann, 5-10, sr., guard.


Other likely contributors: Brandon Bare, 6-1, jr., guard; Steven Baumgard, 6-2, jr., forward; Ramsey Tabor, 6-3, jr., forward.


Season outlook: Benish, a former assistant coach at Viterbo University, takes over a program that has struggled the last few seasons. The Eagles (0-2) have 10 seniors, including four starters, and look for steady improvement.


MILTON


Head coach: Brian Hammil, 14th year (142-224).


2006-07: 6-15 overall, 4-8 in Southern Lakes (fifth place).


Last conference title: 2006.


Key losses: Four starters, including Michael Bier, who averaged 12 points a game last season in earning second-team all-conference recognition.


Returning starter: Kyle Ledger, 5-10, sr., guard (5 points per game, 2 rebounds per game).


Other lettermen: Matt Drew, 5-10, sr., guard; Desmond Pollard, 6-1, sr., forward; John Ziegler, 6-2, jr., forward; Chris Nelson, 5-10, sr., guard.


Other likely contributors: Craig Jansen, 6-5, jr., center; Mason Walters, 6-5, jr., center; Cody Ganz, 6-6, jr., center; Brandon Knudtson, 5-11, soph., guard; Jacob Brown, 6-1, jr., forward.


Season outlook: With only one starter returning, Hammil will look to a strong junior class to pick up the scoring slack. Meanwhile, the Red Hawks played in winning their nonconference opener, 53-34 over Waterford.


WHITEWATER


Head coach: Hugh Gnatzig, 17th year (207-186).


2006-07 record: 19-5 overall, 8-4 in Southern Lakes (third place).


Last conference title: 1995.


Key losses: Michael Zweifel, who averaged 22.8 points per game last season en route to being named Player of the Year in the Lakes; Luke Buchholz, who averaged 11.2 points per game in earning second-team honors.


Returning starters: Miles Hookstead, 6-4, jr., center (13 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game); Grant Bughman, 6-2, sr., forward (4.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg).


Other lettermen: Mark Zweifel, 6-0, sr., guard; Kyle Lencho, 6-0, sr., guard; Tony Bilderback, 6-1, soph., forward.


Other likely contributors: David Shears, 6-0, soph., guard; Jon Brock, 6-0, sr., guard.


Season outlook: How do the Whippets replace all-everything Michael Zweifel?


Hookstead is a good place to start. The junior center came on strong at the end of last year and had a solid off-season.


2007-2008 SOUTHERN LAKES BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE/RESULTS


TUESDAY, NOV. 20


Lake Mills def. Jefferson, 35-33; East Troy def. Waukesha South, 63-47.


FRIDAY, NOV. 23


Elkhorn def. Tomahawk, 77-31; Delavan-Darien def. Milwaukee Riverside, 59-56.


SATURDAY, NOV. 24


Hortonville def. Elkhorn, 62-50; New Berlin West def. Delavan-Darien, 48-31.


MONDAY, NOV. 26


Oregon def. Fort Atkinson, 43-34.


TUESDAY, NOV. 27


Waukesha Memorial def. East Troy, 61-50; Milton def. Waterford, 43-34; Delavan-Darien def. Clinton, 53-19; McFarland def. Jefferson, 65-32.


FRIDAY, NOV. 30


Whitewater at Elkhorn, Jefferson at Delavan-Darien, Fort Atkinson at Milton.


MONDAY, DEC. 3


Brodhead at Jefferson (NC), East Troy at Pewaukee (NC).


TUESDAY, DEC. 4


Delavan-Darien at Lake Geneva Badger (NC), Williams Bay at Whitewater (NC).


THURSDAY, DEC. 6


Elkhorn at Fort Atkinson, Delavan-Darien at Whitewater, Milton at East Troy, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy at Jefferson (NC).


SATURDAY, DEC. 8


Milton at Westosha Central (NC), Cambridge at Whitewater (NC).


TUESDAY, DEC. 11


Milton at Delavan-Darien, Fort Atkinson at Whitewater, East Troy at Jefferson, Oregon at Elkhorn (NC).


FRIDAY, DEC. 14


Delavan-Darien at Elkhorn, Jefferson at Milton, Whitewater at East Troy, Waterford at Fort Atkinson (NC).


MONDAY, DEC. 17


Evansville at Milton (NC).


TUESDAY, DEC. 18


Whitewater at Beloit Turner (NC), Lake Geneva Badger at Elkhorn (NC), Lakeside Lutheran at Jefferson (NC).


FRIDAY, DEC. 21


East Troy vs. Indianapolis Arlington in Milwaukee Lutheran Showcase, 6 p.m.; Wilmot at Delavan-Darien (NC).


SATURDAY, DEC. 22


Racine Park at Delavan-Darien (NC).


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26


Elkhorn vs. Mineral Point in WBCA Classic at UW Field House, 11 a.m..


THURSDAY, DEC. 27


East Troy at Waterford tournament; Whitewater tournament (NC); Northland Pines tournament (Elkhorn vs. Wautoma, 6 p.m.; Oconto Falls vs. Northland Pines, 8 pm.); Fort Atkinson tournament (Monroe vs. Janesville Parker, Fort Atkinson vs. Lakeside Lutheran).


FRIDAY, DEC. 28


East Troy at Waterford tournament; Elkhorn at Northland Pines tournament (1 or 2:45 p.m.); McFarland tournament (McFarland vs. Fennimore, 3 p.m.; Milton vs. Platteville, 4:30 p.m.); Whitewater, Fort Atkinson tournament finals.


SATURDAY, DEC. 29


Milton at McFarland tournament finals.


THURSDAY, JAN. 3


Jefferson at Whitewater, Delavan-Darien at Fort Atkinson, Elkhorn at East Troy, Milton at Edgerton (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 8


Elkhorn at Milton, Fort Atkinson at Jefferson, East Troy at Delavan-Darien, Whitewater at Lakeside Lutheran (NC).


FRIDAY, JAN. 11


Milton at Whitewater, Elkhorn at Jefferson, East Troy at Fort Atkinson,


MONDAY, JAN. 14


Jefferson at Waupun (NC), Delavan-Darien at Westosha Central (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 15


Janesville Parker at Milton (NC), Fort Atkinson at Waukesha West (NC).


THURSDAY, JAN. 17


Delavan-Darien at Milton, Jefferson at East Troy, Whitewater at Fort Atkinson.


FRIDAY JAN. 18


Wilmot at Elkhorn (NC).


SATURDAY, JAN. 19


Palmyra-Eagle at Jefferson (NC), 3 p.m.; Whitewater at Walworth Big Foot (NC), 6 p.m.


MONDAY, JAN. 21


Fort Atkinson at Delavan-Darien.


TUESDAY, JAN. 22


East Troy at Elkhorn, Lakeside Lutheran at Milton (NC).


FRIDAY, JAN. 25


Milton at Elkhorn, Jefferson at Fort Atkinson, Delavan-Darien at East Troy.


MONDAY, JAN. 28


Whitewater at Orfordville Parkview (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 29


Jefferson at Evansville (NC), McFarland at Fort Atkinson (NC).


THURSDAY, JAN. 31


East Troy at Milton, Fort Atkinson at Elkhorn, Whitewater at Delavan-Darien


TUESDAY, FEB. 5


Milton at Fort Atkinson, Delavan-Darien at Jefferson, Elkhorn at Whitewater, Lake Geneva Badger at East Troy (NC).


FRIDAY, FEB. 8


Whitewater at Milton, Jefferson at Elkhorn, Fort Atkinson at East Troy.


MONDAY, FEB. 11


Whitewater at Jefferson.


TUESDAY, FEB. 12


Fort Atkinson at Beaver Dam (NC), Delavan-Darien at Beloit Turner (NC), East Troy at Union Grove (NC).


THURSDAY, FER. 14


Milton at Jefferson, East Troy at Whitewater.


FRIDAY, FEB. 15


Elkhorn at Delavan-Darien.





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