Basketball team aims for top spot in SLC
By Jason Arndt
Demons coach Steve Berezowitz plans to lean on multiple returning letter winners, including last year’s leading scorer JR Lukenbill, entering the 2022-23 campaign.
Lukenbill, who recently committed to play for Northern Michigan University, brings nearly a double double to the Burlington boys basketball team after he averaged 17 points per game and seven rebounds per game as a junior.
“JR has worked extremely hard to take his game to another level,” Berezowitz said. “I am excited to watch his growth this season.”
Lukenbill, at 6-foot-5, earned Southern Lakes Conference first team honors last season.
Berezowitz, meanwhile, will also look to 6-foot-4 junior guard Connor Roffers (12.8 ppg), junior multi-sport athlete and 5-foot-11 guard Tommy Teberg (6.6 ppg) as well as junior 6-foot-3 forward Karsen Skiles (4.9 ppg) for additional support.
Burlington, which finished 17-9 overall and 11-3 in the SLC last season, will look to its experienced returners as the Demons plan to contend for a league title against perennial winners Westosha Central along with Union Grove and Waterford.
“We have a lot of experience returning, but we will need some time to figure out where everyone will fit in this season,” Berezowitz said. “We have guys that can play multiple positions so we do have some flexibility.”
The Demons, in addition to a Lukenbill, Roffers, Teberg, and Skiles, also bring back junior forward Jack Sulik, junior guard Benjamin Graham, senior guard Kieran Kendall, senior Kane Walby and senior guard Morgan Crist.
Along with multiple returners, the Demons welcome newcomers Drew Lang (junior guard), Evan Deans (junior guard), Dayne Howell (junior guard), Grant Sulik (freshman forward) and Gio Grippe (junior guard).
Offensively, Berezowitz said the Demons plan on spreading the ball around, with multiple top scorers coming back.
“We have a lot of our top scoring returning this season. We are excited to see more guys step into the scoring roles this season,” he said.
While the team presents multiple scoring options, according to Berezowitz, the Demons always maintain their focus on defense.
“We have always prided in ourselves on being really solid defensively and that is where we feel we need to be really solid,” he said. “From there we will see what kind of style we will be able to play.”
Burlington saw its season end in a WIAA Division 2 regional final to Milton.
However, like most seasons, Berezowitz still has the same objectives, which is to reach sectional play and contend for a conference title.
“Our goal is always to be in the running for the SLC,” Berezowitz said. “Our main goal is to be healthy this year and see where that can get us.”
As for Westosha Central, although the Falcons lost several key players, Berezowitz does not plan on taking the squad lightly.
“Westosha does bring back a very good squad even they lost some great players,” Berezowitz said.
To read the full story, see the Dec. 8 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.