With the basketball season in full swing, it’s time to look at some area boys’ and girls’ teams that are expected to be among the tops in their respective divisions.
For the boys, the area’s top two teams are clearly Neenah and Seymour. The Rockets are a top team in Division 1 and return one of the top backcourts in the area with seniors Adam Pohlman and Taulvish McCray. Neenah also boasts one of the state’s top post players in 6-foot-10 junior Matt Heldt.
In Division 2, Seymour has the 1-2 dynamic duo of Sandy Cohen and Dakota Oskey. Oskey’s a guard that has one of the best shooting touches in the area. Cohen, a Marquette recruit, is the area’s top player overall, and his array of dunks already has fans this season buzzing.
Kaukauna reached the state tournament two seasons ago and should be strong again this season. And let’s not forget about Appleton West, led by Matt Reader and Austin Berlick, as well as Xavier, which may be the top team in the Eastern Valley Conference along with defending conference champ Little Chute.
Kimberly is the top area girls’ team and a WIAA state contender in Division 1. Frankie Wurtz, a junior guard, leads a roster full of top athletes. New London has made the Division 2 state tournament the past three seasons and lost just one starter from last year’s team. The Bulldogs are the top team in the Bay Conference and should put together another strong season.
In the Eastern Valley, Xavier and Fox Valley Lutheran are the probable title contenders, but be sure to keep an eye on Freedom, which welcomes back former coach Mike Vander Loop.
Hilbert, led by the Gehl sisters, Erica and April, are one of the smaller schools in the Olympian-Packerland, but they reached the sectionals last season and are my darkhorse pick to reach the state tournament in Division 5.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Kimberly girls’ basketball, Wednesday, 7 p.m.: The Papermakers make a visit to Makers Sports Grill to talk about their upcoming season. Online at postcrescent.com.
Appleton West at Kimberly boys’ basketball, Friday, 7:15 p.m.: It’s an early-season clash of Fox Valley Association teams. Online at postcrescent.com
Tweets Of The Week
“My mom just vacuumed the bottom of my feet.” – Karly Jackson, Neenah softball, @karlyjackson11
“Today is Christmas and it doesn’t end until December 26th.” – Kiera Miller, Appleton North girls’ volleyball, @kieramiller3h