Tom "Sky" Skibosh covers the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and New Berlin prep scene for Community Newspapers. If something is going on in local sports, Sky has an opinion about it. If you agree or not with what Sky says, we want to see your comments.
Most of the Brookfield and Wauwatosa High School basketball teams will be playing their final conference games of the year this week before taking some time off for Christmas and then returning for some holiday tournaments or some individual non-conference games.
Here's some early thoughts on the teams I cover.
Wauwatosa East has been writing a similiar script like last season, but when a team goes 26-1, it's the bottom line that counts. Larry Bradley, Jr. may be in uniform by next Friday's game against Pius XI once the legal guardian paperwork is done and with that addition, I really don't see anyone in the Greater Metro Conference giving the Red Raiders a run for their money. They were possibly more talented than last year's team without the 6-3 Bradley.
Wauwatosa West should be fun to watch this year this season with coach Mike Landisch's penetrate and kickback offense. This suits Ray Sterling, Jr. Bendell Lee and Sam Krenzien well, while Andy Minkley, more of a setup shooter, will get the hang of it. Barry Ballinger's play underneath will also be a key to the Trojans' success. It will also be interesting to see how the four suspended players fit in when they return soon.
Someone keep Tosa East coach Rob Hamill away from high places and sharp knifes. His girls have lost three games by a total of five points and have played better than their record indicates. Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey has recently been lighting up the net and that is something the Red Raiders need, a second scorer to go along with Margaret Panter.
The surprise team of the city might be Tosa West. Coach Mike Pietrowiak recently got scrappy Molly Boyle back and Jesse Zeisse will be back soon. The inside play of Ashley Ballinger will also be a key for the Trojans this season. Jackie Glaser, who was under the weather in a recent game, and Andrea Kwak have played well in the early going, among others.
Mike Gosz, Hamilton Athletic Director, won't be getting a Christmas card from Brookfield East coach Andy Farley this year. The Spartans have opened up with Brookfield Central, Wauwatosa East and Marquette, all on the road. Daniel Patton is leading the way for the Spartans, is one of the top outside shooters I have seen this season. C.J. Gregg is a talented big man and Devonte Harper has done a good job of running the offense.
It's early yet, but coach Mark Adams has to be pleased with the Lancers quick start. Seven players are scoring between 5.0 and 7.0 points per game as Central has shown early season balance. Kevin Hynes, filling big shoes at point guard, and John Winius has hit some huge shots so far this season. Adams not only has a freshman on his team for the first time, but 6-4 Seth Mortag is STARTING on top of it.
My story in this week's paper goes into more detail on the defending champion Lady Lancers talented team this year. Joana Bielefeld and Erin Lueder do a great job of leading this team, but their suporting cast has improved. 6-1 Jesse Thomas, 5-10 sophomore Valarie Agnello, 5-9 Maggie Mattiacci and 5-8 Kate Sandstrom have all had key roles in Central's fast start. And coach Dan Wandrey has put in a devasting 1-3-1 zone defense this season.
If coach Tara Schmitt can get all her best players healthy or eligible, the Lady Spartans could be a force again. Marley Blood has been out with a high angle sprain and a few other players have had some athletic code and grade problems, but others have stepped up. One of the most aggressive players I have seen so far is Kennedy Curtis, who has helped East's inside game in Blood's absence.
Hope to see some of you at the Holiday Tournaments the next two weeks.
Be a Hit and Have a Ball.