If you think this year’s The Gazette all-area boys basketball team is good, wait until next year.
Led by Elkhorn Area High junior Jordan Johnson, four of the seven players selected are underclassmen.
Johnson, the area player of the year, is joined by sophomore Jack Campion of Milton, along with juniors Angelo Rizzo of Janesville Craig and Clayton Jenny of Edgerton.
The three seniors on the team can also more than hold their own and make the 2019-20 all-area team one of the most complete we’ve ever had. Caleb Scoville of Janesville Craig, Nick Brown of Elkhorn and the 2019 Gazette area player of the year Jordan Majeed of Beloit Turner round out this star-studded team.
The 6-foot Majeed had another stellar season in which he earned all-Rock Valley Conference first-team honors for the second straight season.
“I feel badly that Jordan didn’t get some of the all-state recognition that he deserved,” Edgerton coach Daryl Fox said. “We played against a lot of kids that received all-state recognition, and Jordan was as good, if not better than almost all of them.”
Majeed averaged 15 points a game and helped lead the Trojans to a runner-up finish in the Rock Valley and a berth in a Division 3 sectional final game.
“Jordan led us in scoring each of the last two seasons,” Turner coach Ken Watkins said. “He is a tremendous scorer who can put the ball in the basket from all three levels.
“Jordan has had a tremendously successful career at Turner, and nobody has put in more work on their game.”
Scoville burst onto the scene with a breakout senior season. The 6-3 forward finished second in the Big Eight Conference in scoring at 19.7 points a game and finished in double figures in 22 of 23 games en route to being named all-Big Eight first team. He scored 20 or more points in 13 games.
“The funny thing is that Caleb had the skill set as a junior, but his mindset changed as a senior, and he took a more aggressive approach,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said.
“Caleb is one of the best finishers around the rim I have seen in high school. He is a very capable shooter from the outside, as well, but he was so good at attacking the basket that he just didn’t shoot much outside the paint.”
Scoville also averaged six rebounds a game and was an excellent defender thanks to his athleticism.
“Scoville’s a really high basketball IQ player,” Parker coach Matt Bredesen said. “He always seemed to make the right reads and cuts. Whomever was guarding him had to know where he was at all times, as in my opinion, he moved without the ball as well as anyone in the league.”
Rizzo gave the Cougars the best one-two scoring punch in the Big Eight.
The 6-2 Rizzo was Mr. Consistency for the Cougars. He scored in double figures in all 23 games, averaged 19 points, finished third in the Big Eight in scoring and also earned all-Big Eight first-team honors.
“When you went into playing Craig, we looked at limiting/stopping Rizzo as the key to us having success,” Bredesen said. “He diversified himself this season. Last year I felt he was more of an attack-the-rim player, whereas this season you had to respect him everywhere on the floor offensively.”
Rizzo had 12 games of 20 points or more, including a pair of team-high 29-point performances.
“Angelo is one of the most competitive kids I have coached and has a great motor,” McCormick said. “He not only competes in games but in practice, as well. He makes everyone around him better through his leadership and hard work.”
Brown was a mainstay on last year’s state-tournament team and kept up his solid play this season.
The 6-5 center and UW-Parkside recruit averaged 15.5 points a game and scored in double figures in 23 of 25 games as an all-Southern Lakes first-team selection.
He also averaged 7 rebounds a game in helping lead the Elks to a share of the Southern Lakes championship and a berth in a Division 2 sectional final game.
“Nick is an excellent senior leader who does everything the right way,” Elkhorn coach Josh Skatrud said. “He’s a major matchup problem because of his ability to play inside and out.
“The most impressive part of Nick is the focus and work ethic he brings day after day. He never had a bad practice. He carried us in a lot of games this year, and even though his stats are good, they do not do justice to the impact he has on the court.”
Campion’s game just keeps getting better and better. The 5-10 point guard led the Badger South in scoring at 20.1 points per game en route to being named a unanimous all-conference first-team selection.
His stellar play was a big reason the Red Hawks went from four wins in 2018-19 to 12 this past season.
“I can’t begin to tell you the impact Jack has had on our program,” Milton coach Alex Olson said. “The way he gets his teammates involved, and the excitement he has when he sees his teammates have success is what makes him so special.
“And I honestly think he’s going to get even better because he works so hard on his game. I think he’s already the best ballhandler in the state.”
Campion scored in double figures in 22 of 23 games this season, including a 38-point outburst in a win over state-ranked Monroe. His 20.1 season scoring average in third all-time in program history.
“His quickness and shiftiness are fun to watch but a nightmare to try and stop,” Skatrud said of Campion. “His play was a major catalyst in their turnaround the last couple of year,s and the fact he is only a sophomore is scary for anyone who plays them the next couple of years.”
Jenny was the catalyst in another successful season for the Crimson Tide. The 6-1 point guard and three-year varsity starter was honorable mention all-state and an all-Rock Valley first-team pick. He averaged 12.2 points a game and was third in the conference with 4.2 assists per game.
“Clayton took his game to the next level because he turned into a closer at the end of games,” Fox said. “He wanted the ball in his hands. He wanted to take that last shot, drive to the basket and try to get to the line, where he was an excellent free-throw shooter.
“And defensively, he wanted the job of guarding the other team’s best player. He’s a fierce competitor.”
Not having to carry the scoring load on a talented Edgerton roster, Jenny directed the offense. His assist-to-turnover was an impressive 5-1.
“It’s really hard not to love the way Clayton Jenny plays,” Watkins said. “He takes care of the basketball, controls the tempo, makes the open shot, plays smart, and plays solid defense.”
“In addition, he does a lot of things that might not show up on the final stat sheet but are absolutely essential to winning.”