ALL AREA BASKETBALL: To the victor go the spoils

Burlington’s JR Lukenbill looks for a hole in the Waterford defense during a game in January. Lukenbill earned first-team honors for the Southern Lakes Newspapers All Area Team.

First team features four all-state performers, Westosha trio

By Mike Ramczyk


Earlier this month, Sophia Rampulla took home player of the year honors for the 2022 Southern Lakes Newspapers All-Area Girls Basketball squad.

The Union Grove junior is already committed to play at Division 1 UW-Milwaukee.

Another Southern Lakes Conference superstar represents the boys this week.

Jack Rose, also known as Kenosha Kobe for his Kenosha roots and his deadly shooting, is the area’s top boys player thanks to a stellar campaign where he helped lead the Westosha Central Falcons to their second state tournament in school history.

Westosha’s talented trio of Rose, Kenny Garth and Devin Griffin helped the Falcons to the area’s best record at 25-3.

Gus Foster also led Division 3 Walworth Big Foot to a sectional final, its first since 1938.

Foster and Rose were the SLN area’s only all-state selections.

Union Grove’s Tyson Skalecki and East Troy’s Chase Cummings earned honorable mention all-state in divisions 2 and 3, respectively.

Correspondent Mike Ramczyk reached out to coaches and a few players from 16 schools, including Burlington, Waterford, Union Grove, Elkhorn, Delavan-Darien, Westosha Central, Wilmot, Lake Geneva Badger, Burlington Catholic Central, East Troy, Whitewater, Walworth Big Foot, Williams Bay, Mukwonago, Palmyra-Eagle and Williams Bay Faith Christian.

Ramczyk also covered games in person this past season to use the tried and true eye test.

Using measurables like postseason accolades, stats, team record and impact on the game, SLN presents a first team, second team and honorable mention.

There are separate player of the year and coach of the year stories.

Along with the historic playoff runs from Westosha Central and Walworth Big Foot, Williams Bay advanced to a Division 4 regional final, only to lose to powerhouse Kenosha St. Joseph.

Burlington and East Troy also enjoyed strong, winning seasons.

Without further adieu, please sit back and enjoy the 2022 SLN All-Area Boys Basketball Team.


Player of the year

       Jack Rose, senior, Westosha Central

A first team all-state and all-county selection and the Southern Lakes Newspapers player of the year, Rose led the Falcons to a 25-3 record, including a perfect 14-0 in conference. He averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and nearly two steals per game.

Rose has several Division 1 college basketball offers including Maryland and UWM and is still undecided on where he will play.

He hit a whopping 72 of 195 3-point attempts (36.9 percent), and his hot shooting was taken to another level in the postseason. He erupted to make five consecutive shots after the team trailed by two at halftime of a sectional semifinal victory against Milton. Then, Rose scored 18 points in a Division 2 state tournament loss, where his potential game-winning layup barely rimmed out.

Rose is by far the area’s best all-around player, and he can score from anywhere on the court.

“Jack’s a complete player,” Westosha coach James Hyllberg said. “He’s the ultimate competitor who can do everything well on both sides of the ball. He can score from anywhere on the court.”

      Check out a separate feature story on Rose in this edition.


Coach of the year

       Hunter Price, Walworth Big Foot

Price led the Chiefs to a Division 3 sectional final, the team’s first since 1938. It’s the farthest the boys basketball team has reached in school history.

In only his third season, he led the team to 18 wins, another school record.

Price helped coach Gus Foster to Rock Valley Conference player of the year.

“It’s validation for sure,” Price said of winning coach of the year. “A lot of times as coaches we can doubt ourselves. We put a lot of work into this and to have it lead to things like this makes it all worth it. I wish my staff could be in on this as well because they’re awesome and definitely propel me to be great. Coaches Dean Gosse, Bret Sendelbach, and John Karabas deserve a part of this award for sure.”


First team

Gus Foster, senior, Walworth Big Foot

Foster was a man among boys in the Rock Valley Conference at 6-foot-5.

He put the Chiefs on his back, riding the wave of success and school history all the way to a Division 3 sectional final, where the Chiefs fell to Milwaukee Academy of Science, 69-61.

A WBCA and AP all-state player, Foster averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds per game and was named the RVC player of the year.

He will play college basketball at Division 3 UW-Stevens Point next season.

Foster is Big Foot’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

“This kid just plays with passion and heart,” Whitewater head coach Dan Gnatzig said about Foster.

Price said Foster is special.

“Gus is a relentless player,” Price said. “He works incredibly hard and never takes plays off. His talent is all from sweat equity. He is a three-level scorer and fantastic rebounder.”


Kenny Garth, senior, Westosha Central

A crafty left-handed guard that can electrify the crowd with fast-break slam-dunks, Garth is a menace defensively.

A first team all-Southern Lakes and all-county pick, Garth is the most dangerous player in transition in the area, and he can easily pick a point guard’s pocket and finish with a one-handed jam on the other end or be the high-flying recipient of an alley-oop dunk.

He was the No. 2 scoring option behind Rose for the Falcons with 11.8 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting. Garth led the team in steals with 65 in 28 games (2.3).

He also went off for 18 points in the team’s state semifinal game at the Kohl Center in Madison.

A three-year starter on varsity, Garth can also knock down the 3-ball, as he hit 34 percent on the season.

Garth also averaged nearly 3 assists and a block per contest.

He could run the offense as another point guard with Devin Griffin or act as a shooting guard.

To Hyllberg, Garth is a 3-guard.

“Versatile and athletic, dangerous in transition,” Hyllberg said. “Kenny can penetrate and will finish above the rim. He’s the best 3-guard in the conference.”


Tyson Skalecki

Tyson Skalecki, senior, Union Grove

At 6-foot-6, Skalecki transformed his game into a true stretch-4.

He can score inside and outside, and he set a single season Broncos record with 500 points this season.

Skalecki earned first team All-Racine County, All-Southern Lakes and honorable mention all-state honors.

He broke school records for made 3-pointers in a season (68) and for a career (137). He also tied his own record for triples made in a game with seven.

Skalecki, who will play collegiately at Carroll University next year, averaged 19.2 points per game, second in the SLC, and 6.9 rebounds.

“Tyson took a huge step forward this year turning into a tremendous stretch four,” said Union Grove head coach Dave Pettit. “Tyson can post, go to the rim, and hit the three. He really developed an all-around game over the summer, and it showed this past season. When Tyson was hitting his shots we were pretty tough to beat. Tyson is an extremely coachable kid that is well-liked by his teammates. His leadership will be missed next year.”


Chase Cummings, senior, East Troy

A 6-foot-3 guard, Cummings earned honorable mention all-state honors as well as first team Rock Valley Conference as he led the Trojans to a 17-8 record and a second-place finish in conference.

The do-it-all star averaged 21.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

According to Gnatzig, Cummings has been one of the conference’s top 10 players for the last three years.

Cummings shot 34 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the charity stripe.


Joey Jendusa, senior, Mukwonago

The Carthage College recruit earned first team all-Classic 8 honors thanks to 17.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds for the Indians last season.

A three-year varsity starting point guard, Jendusa set an all-time assist record for the school as a senior.

He scored 992 points for his career.

“Joey’s an all-around great kid who does it on and off the court the right way,” Mukwonago coach Steve Pollnow said.


Devin Griffin, senior, Westosha Central

The top point guard in the area, Griffin ran the show for the state-qualifying Falcons.

A versatile floor general, Griffin can pass with precision in the most precarious of predicaments, with the ability to finish at the rim with power and finesse.

Griffin averaged 3.7 assists, 9.2 points and shot 49.5 from the floor, including a blistering 42.7 percent from beyond the arc (29-68).

Griffin was named second team All-Southern Lakes, but could’ve easily earned first team.

The 6-foot-2 guard had the ability to take over a game with his defense and handling of the high-powered Falcons’ attack.

“Devin is a floor general and leader,” Hyllberg said. “He makes great decisions with the ball. A true point guard who can do it all and gets his teammates involved.”

Griffin will be playing at Mayville State University.


JR Lukenbill, junior, Burlington

You hear a lot of people talk about a guy that can “jump out of the gym.”

Well, when they say it about Burlington junior JR Lukenbill, they’re telling the truth.

The 6-foot-5 skywalker has a 38-inch vertical, and fast-break slam-dunks became commonplace during his junior season, and he could even elevate to stuff it home on pick-and-roll half-court action.

By far the Demons’ best player, Lukenbill’s 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2 steals per game helped him earn first team all-conference and all-county honors along with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel honorable mention all-area.

The statistical leader in almost all categories for Burlington, Lukenbill can drive past defenders and get to the rim and shoot from the outside. His leaping ability and athleticism is on another level.

He had seven double-doubles for a Demons squad that went 17-9 overall and 11-3 in the SLC, won a Division 2 playoff and took a state-ranked Milton team to the limit in a regional final.

“JR is very unselfish and was extremely efficient the entire season,” Burlington coach Steve Berezowitz said. “His team-first mentality always put his own statistical numbers aside as he did whatever was best for our team to have success.

“JR has a great work ethic and a desire to be great. He will continue to put in the extra hours to take his game to the next level. He is a fantastic teammate, and he wants to win above all else. I can’t wait to see where his game gets to as he is only scratching the surface of his basketball potential.”


Second team

 Erik Cesarz, senior, Delavan-Darien

Perhaps the best big man in the area, Cesarz fell to second team in part because the Comets only went 10-16 and 3-11 in the SLC.

However, the 6-foot-7 powerhouse who has a family full of great basketball players, some at the collegiate level, showed his true value in the postseason.

His 15 points helped the lower-seeded Comets upset host Waterford in a Division 2 playoff opener.

In fact, Cesarz was kind of a walking double-double with his 15.7 points and conference-leading 10.1 rebounds per contest. He added 2.3 assists per game.

He scored 20 or more points seven times, and he had 14 points and 14 rebounds in a three-point loss to conference champion Westosha Central.

Cesarz is a two-time first team all-SLC selection.

Hyllberg and other area coaches had high praise for Cesarz.


Ty McGreevy, senior, Lake Geneva Badger

McGreevy was fourth in the SLC in scoring with 17.1 points per game despite missing seven games.

The Badgers went 1-6 without their best player.

McGreevy was also the team’s leading rebounder and surpassed the 1,000-point milestone as a senior.

He earned second team all-SLC honors.

“He was essential to our team’s success, a great scorer, and a great leader,” said Delavan-Darien head coach Todd Pyszora.


Owen Martinson

Owen Martinson, junior, Waterford

A very skilled and athletic guard who gave Pollnow and Mukwonago “fits,” Martinson was named second team all-SLC.

He averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds per game and was the best player on the Wolverines.

“He played almost every minute of every game,” said Waterford head coach Nick Roeglin. “He defended the best guard on the other team and was always defended by the other team’s best defender.”


Jordan Pollnow, senior, Mukwonago

The coach’s son will play college ball at MSOE next year.

With 13.5 points and four rebounds per game, he earned second team all-Classic 8 honors.

“A kid who finally put it all together for us and really blossomed as a senior,” Steve Pollnow said. “Going on to play basketball at MSOE. Led us with 17 charges taken this year and if you knew my kid, that was HUGE for him as he had only taken two total in his lifetime.”


Cal Miles

Cal Miles, senior, Burlington Catholic Central

The engine that made the Toppers go, Miles led the team in scoring (11.8 ppg), rebounding (4.9), assists (2.2) and steals (1.7).

Miles was the focal point of opposing defenses in one of the area’s toughest conferences, the Metro Classic.

“They knew if they could limit or slow Cal that they would stand a good chance at victory,” Catholic Central head coach Steve Smith said. “Cal was capable of stepping up in clutch situations. He hit a deep 3-pointer with no time remaining against St. Francis to force overtime. A 3-sport athlete – captain of all three teams his senior year, Cal is an excellent leader. He leads by doing and has the respect of everyone in the locker room.”

Miles was an honorable mention all-Metro Classic selection and honorable mention all-county.

He also stars in football and baseball.


Colin Terpstra, senior, East Troy

Endorsed by Gnatzig and East Troy head coach Daryl Rayfield for the All-Area team, Terpstra was a major reason the Trojans had another big season in 2022.

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 14.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and made 76 3-pointers in 25 games, with a 37.8 percent clip from behind the arc.

Terpstra earned second team all-Rock Valley honors.


Henry Mannelli, senior, Williams Bay

The 6-foot-6 senior earned first team Trailways South honors after helping the Bulldogs reach a Division 4 regional final and finish with a 15-11 record.

The Bay was second in conference with an 8-4 mark.

Mannelli was a beast down low, averaging 13 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

He also shot 45 percent from the field.

“Henry has grown by leaps and bounds from where he started last year as a varsity role player,” said Bay coach Shane Cullian. “He matured into a post/forward position as the year progressed and recorded 7 double-doubles, all in the back half of the conference slate. We would not be in the position we are without Henry deciding early on that he was going to crash the boards, draw fouls to get to the free-throw line, and play the back end of the press with intensity. He has a high ceiling and became a work horse for us in the low and high post down the stretch.”


Hudson Torrez, sophomore, Walworth Big Foot

A two-year varsity starter, Torrez helped lead the Chiefs to a sectional final in his sophomore season.

He earned second team all-Rock Valley honors thanks to 10 points and 2.3 steals per game.

His four dimes per contest ranked second in the conference.

Torrez has a high ceiling with two more years left. He is already receiving rave reviews from his peers.

“He’s the best point guard in the RVC and area in my opinion,” Gnatzig said. “He has great quickness and skill set for a sophomore.”

“Hudson is the best ball handler I’ve coached,” Price said. “What he lacks in size he makes up for with speed. He gets shots off that not many others can because of how quick he is. He’s also an incredible on-ball defender.”


Drew Davey, senior, Elkhorn

The Elks’ leading scorer and primary defender, the multi-sport athlete was hard to stop.

“We asked him to do a lot and he delivered,” Elkhorn coach Josh Skatrud said. “He’s an excellent scorer and defender who was a tough matchup.”

Davey was third in the SLC with 18.2 points per game.

He added 6.2 rebounds per contest.

Despite an 11-14 overall record, the Elks went 10-4 in the SLC, good for third place.


Honorable mention

      Burlington: Connor Roffers, 12.8 ppg, 2.7 reb., 2 assists, 2nd team all-SLC, HM all-Racine County, “Connor was an integral part of our success this season,” Berezowitz said. “Connor usually took on the task of also guarding our opponents’ top player each game. He is very versatile defensively, which gave us some much-needed dependability on the defensive end of the floor. Connor is a tireless worker, and I am excited to see his growth the next few years.”

      Burlington Catholic Central: Max Robson, Evan Krien.

      Delavan-Darien: R.J. Jordan, 11.3 ppg, 2.3 apg.

      East Troy: Dayne Lindow, Ben Kurth.

      Elkhorn: Carter Kammes, 15.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2nd team all-SLC, “Major force inside and out,” Skatrud said. “Could score on the block and shoots it well. Big addition this season for us.”

      Lake Geneva Badger: Brad Lyon, 13.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, HM all-SLC

      Mukwonago: Collin Madson, 14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, HM all-Classic 8; Aidan Gilson, 11.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, HM all-Classic 8, “One of the best defenders in the state,” Pollnow said.

      Palmyra-Eagle: Brady Koopman, 10.9 ppg, 50% fg, 8 rpg, 1.4 steals, 1.2 blocks, 2nd team all-Trailways, “He was the main reason we turned things around after a 1-11 start,” Palmyra-Eagle coach Brandon Wilde said.

      Union Grove: Owen Nowak.

      Walworth Big Foot: Tyler Wilson, 10 ppg, 6 rpg, 54% fg, HM all-RVC.

      Waterford: Eric Kunze.

      Westosha Central: Wyatt Anderson, 7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, HM all-SLC, “Will do whatever it takes to win,” Hyllberg said.

      Whitewater: Wyatt Nickels, 12 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2 assists, HM all-RVC, “Wyatt defended the best players in the conference and was defended by the best every game,” Gnatzig said.

      Williams Bay: Owen King, 13 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg; Kelton Randall, 10.6 ppg, 35% 3-pointers

      Williams Bay Faith Christian: Cameron Viss.

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