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In-depth previews for teams participating in the 2020 John Chekouras Classic

01/16/2020, 11:15am CST
By Mark Miller

Saturday, January 25, 2020
At Homestead High School

11:00 A.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Milwaukee Vincent Vikings
 Ravonte Dantzler, 5th year
Enrollment: 809
Top Players: Brionne Williams (6-1, Jr., 18.5 ppg), Ronja Kelly (6-1, Jr., 14.3 ppg), Kishon Barnes (6-3, Jr., 11.5 ppg), Jordan Lawrence (6-1, Sr., 6.3 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 8-5 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Vikings compete in the Milwaukee City Conference and are a perennial powerhouse in the league ... Coach Ravonte Dantzler is a former standout player at Milwaukee Messmer who later played NCAA Division I basketball at South Alabama ... Barnes is a returning starter from last year's club that went 10-12.
Coach's Comments: "Depth, athleticism and rebounding are strong points. Experience, mental toughness and free-throw shooting are concerns."

Racine Park Panthers
Coach: Tray Allen, 1st year
Enrollment: 1,360
Top Players: Stevie Henderson (6-3, Sr., 10.3 ppg), Terry Gamble (5-9, Sr., 12.2 ppg), Jorryn Franklin (5-9, Soph., 9.0 ppg), Caleb Cornelius (6-3, Jr., 8.6 ppg), Tyvon Cade (5-9, Frosh., 9.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 2-11 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Panthers compete in the Southeast Conference and have been competitive despite their losing record ... Three of Park's losses have been by six points or less ... Henderson is the most experienced returning player from a Park squad that went 17-6 last season ... Allen is in his first year as head coach at Park after previously serving as an assistant at the school.
Coach's Comments: "High energy and defense are our strengths. Lack of experience remains our biggest challenge."


12:30 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

The Prairie School Hawks
 Jason Atanasoff, 9th year
Enrollment: 270
Top Players: Antuan Nesbitt (6-4, Jr., 20.2 ppg), Asanjai Hunter (5-11, Soph., 12.5 ppg), Jacob Fallico (5-10, Jr., 10.6 ppg), Kody Krekling (6-3, Jr., 7.5 ppg), Ashe Oglesby (6-5, Frosh., 7.9 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 7-4 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Hawks compete in the Metro Classic Conference ... Nesbitt, Fallico and Krekling are returning starters from a club that finished 14-11 a year ago ... Nesbitt is ranked among the top juniors in Wisconsin in the Player Rankings.
Coach's Comments: "Depth, team speed, unselfishness and pressure defense are strengths. Lack of size, rebounding and leadership are among our concerns."

Living Word Lutheran Timberwolves
Coach: Chuck Oliver, 1st year
Enrollment: 201
Top Players: Mason Martinez (5-11, Soph., 13.7 ppg), Tyler McKnight-Hoaglund (6-0, Soph., 9.4 ppg), Deshawn Webb (6-3, Frosh., 11.9 ppg), Elijah Flowers (6-0, Soph., 6.3 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 3-6 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: Oliver is in his first year as head coach at Living Word Lutheran, which is located in Jackson, Wis., and is a member of the Midwest Classic Conference ... Martinez started a year ago and is the lone returning regular from a club that finished 9-15.
Coach's Comments: "Point-guard play is a strength with the return of Martinez. Experience is our No. 1 challenge."


2:00 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Beloit Memorial
 Dondre Bell, 2nd year
Enrollment: 1,651
Top Players: Jaden Bell (6-2, Sr., 11.4 ppg), Azeez Ganiyu (6-5, Sr., 11.8 ppg), Kobe Chandler (6-2, Sr., 8.9 ppg), Daonne Hanna (Sr., 7.0 ppg), Cam Boyd (6-3, Sr., 6.2 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 1-7 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Purple Knights compete in the Big Eight Conference ... Jaden Bell and Azeez Ganiyu started a year ago as juniors and helped Beloit to a 3-20 record ... Beloit has a deep tradition in boys' basketball with 26 appearances at the WIAA State Tournament.
Coach's Comments: "Size and speed are our strengths. Shooting and basketball IQ are question marks."

Racine Case Eagles
Coach: Jacob Berce, 3rd year
Enrollment: 1,800
Top Players: JaKobe Thompson (6-1, Jr., 18.7 ppg), Terryon Brumby (6-0, Soph., 14.8 ppg), Jonathan Renkins (6-1, Sr., 11.0 ppg), Amari Jedkins (6-8, Soph., 9.1 ppg), Nick Fugiasco (6-3, Sr., 6.8 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 9-3 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Eagles compete in the Southeast Conference and boast one of the top teams in the rugged eight-team circuit ... Thompson is one of the state's top juniors while Brumby and Jedkins rank among the top sophomores in Wisconsin ... Thompson and Brumby comprise one of the more prolific scoring backcourts in the state as they combine to average 33.6 ppg.
Coach's Comments: "Depth, quickness and experience are our strengths. Size and rebounding are concerns."


3:30 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Janesville Parker Vikings
 Matt Bredesen, 2nd year
Enrollment: 1,488
Top Players: Robert DeLong (6-0, Jr., 12.5 ppg), Brenden Weis (6-5, Jr., 12.4 ppg), Brady Biba (6-5, Sr., 9.1 ppg), Ethan Thompson (5-10, Jr., 8.6 ppg), Matthew Hartig (6-3, Jr., 7.4 ppg), Braxton Conners (6-1, Jr., 8.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 2-9 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Vikings compete in the Big Eight Conference ... Hartig, DeLong, Biba and Weis were starters last winter when Parker finished 4-19 ... Parker's rebuilding project under Bredesen includes several players competing on club teams as well as Parker competing in many summer tournaments.
Coach's Comments: "Experience, basketball IQ and perimeter shooting are strengths for our team. Consistent post play and team speed are among our concerns."

West Bend West Spartans
Coach: Ryan Matenaer, 1st year
Enrollment: 1,204
Top Players: Aaron Tennies (5-10, Jr., 16.1 ppg), Lukas Broske (6-5, Sr., 12.6 ppg), Chase Melstrand (6-2, Sr., 6.7 ppg), Emmanuel Wallace (5-10, Jr., 5.1 ppg), Brad Weber (6-3, Sr., 3.9 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 2-9 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Spartans compete in the North Shore Conference ... Matenaer is a former assistant at West Bend West and took over the head-coaching duties after former coach Todd Pyszora left to take the coaching position at Delavan-Darien ... Tennies is a returning starter who averaged 13.2 ppg as a sophomore for the Spartans.
Coach's Comments: "Work ethic and chemistry are our strong points while rebounding and ball handling are question marks."


5:00 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Plymouth Panthers
 Tim Schultz, 5th year
Enrollment: 752
Top Players: Cole Booth (6-1, Sr., 21.6 ppg), Aiden Reilly (6-3, Sr., 11.7 ppg), Cooper Gosse (6-1, Sr., 10.1 ppg), Sam Shutter (6-3, Sr., 7.6 ppg), Jeb Nytes (6-8, Soph., 7.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 10-3 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Panthers compete in the East Central Conference ... Booth ranks among the elite guard prospects in Wisconsin in the 2020 class and has committed to defending NCAA Division III national champion Oshkosh ... Nytes is one of the state's more promising sophomore frontcourt prospects ... Booth, Reilly and Gosse are returning regulars from a team that went 19-5 a year ago ... Schultz, who previously coached at New Holstein and Sheboygan South, recently won his 200th career game.
Coach's Comments: "Athleticism and work ethic are our strengths. We need to improve our rebounding, team defense and free-throw shooting."

West Bend East Suns
Coach: Kyle Fueger, 4th year
Enrollment: 1,041
Top Players: Sam Geldnich (5-10, Jr., 15.0 ppg), Keghan Tighe (6-5, Sr., 11.2 ppg), Dawson Rondorf (6-3, Jr., 9.1 ppg), Evan Roell (6-0, Jr., 8.9 ppg), George Seaman (6-2, Jr., 4.1 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 3-8 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Suns compete in the North Shore Conference ... West Bend East finished 14-9 last season, but lost four starters to graduation ... Tighe is the lone returning regular for coach Kyle Fueger, who guided the Suns to a 34-36 record the past three seasons.
Coach's Comments: "Outside shooting is a strength along with sharing the basketball and team defense. Rebounding and an inside presence are concerns."


6:30 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Racine St. Catherine's Angels
 Nick Bennett, 4th year
Enrollment: 421
Top Players: Tyrese Hunter (6-1, Jr., 18.7 ppg), Jameer Barker (6-2, Jr., 14.1 ppg), Elijah Lambert (6-4, Sr., 11.2 ppg), Kamari McGee (6-0, Jr., 11.1 ppg), Elijah Sabala (6-1, Sr., 6.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 12-0 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Angels compete in the Metro Classic Conference ... St. Catherine's is ranked No. 1 among WIAA Division 3 schools in Wisconsin in the Coaches Poll ... Hunter, McGee, Barker and Lambert are collegiate prospects with Hunter and McGee hearing from NCAA Division I programs ... Nick Bennett is a former All-American at UW-Stevens Point.
Coach's Comments: "Quickness, depth and experience are strong suits. Defensive focus and ball handling are among our question marks at times."

West Allis Central Bulldogs
Coach: David Mlachnik, 9th year
Enrollment: 1,073
Top Players: Shilo Bowles (6-6, Sr., 19.0 ppg), Najashi Tolefree (6-5, Soph., 12.6 ppg), Jaqunis Rhodes (5-8, Jr., 12.7 ppg), Greyson Pritzl (6-1, Soph., 8.7 ppg), Zaevion Wesley-Carter (6-5, Jr., 7.0 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 9-3 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Bulldogs compete in the Western Division of the Woodland Conference ... Bowles, Rhodes and Tolefree are returning starters from  West Allis Central squad that went 22-4 and advanced to the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament last season ... Bowles ranks among the top seniors in Wisconsin while Tolefree and Pritzl are both very promising sophomores.
Coach's Comments: "Post play, senior leadership, offensive chemistry and rebounding are assets. Defense and shooting are concerns."


8:00 P.M. Game (Updated 1/24/2020)

Homestead Highlanders
 Sean Crider, 4th year
Enrollment: 1,324
Top Players: Declan Ciurlik (6-3, Sr., 17.3 ppg), Ethan Kelly (6-2, Sr., 10.4 ppg), Ethan Enders (6-3, Sr., 8.2 ppg), Evan Enders (6-2, Soph., 4.5 ppg), Miles Davis (6-3, Sr., 4.4 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 5-7 (Through Jan. 23)
Notes: The Highlanders compete in the North Shore Conference ... Ciurlik ranks among the leaders in scoring, rebounding and asissts in the conference ... Homestead finished 20-5 a year ago and Ciurlik and Ethan Enders are returning regulars for coach Sean Crider.
Coach's Comments: "Defense, rebounding and leadership are strengths. Scoring and ball handling are question marks."

Oak Creek Knights
Coach: Kyle Johnsen, 2nd year
Enrollment: 2,142
Top Players: Jason Sinani (6-3, Jr., 17.8 ppg), Kael Stulo (6-0, Jr., 13.9 ppg), Adam Bruins (6-4, Jr., 7.8 ppg), Jalen Murphy (6-0, Jr., 6.8 ppg), Zach Bachinski (6-2, Sr., 3.7 ppg).
2019-20 Record: 8-5 (Through games of Jan. 23)
Notes: The Knights compete in the Southeast Conference ... Sinani rates among the elite class of 2021 prospects in Wisconsin due to his size, strength and skill ... Sinai and Stulo are returning starters from a club that went 9-14 in coach Kyle Johnsen's first year as head coach. 
Coach's Comments: "Three-point shooting and our transition game are strengths. Rebounding and overall youth are concerns."

Tag(s): Border Battle