| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
BROOKFIELD – There isn’t much more that Wauwatosa East could have done in the season’s first three weeks to show it is a legitimate contender in both the Greater Metro Conference and Division 1.
First, there was a season-opening win over Sussex Hamilton, which at the time had a healthy Patrick Baldwin Jr. Then came a win over highly touted Menomonee Falls.
Friday night may have been the Red Raiders’ strongest statement yet. Tosa East went into Brookfield East and maintained its unblemished record in the toughest conference in the state with a convincing 72-56 victory.
The game showed just why the Red Raiders are so dangerous.
First, they are incredibly balanced. All five starters scored at least 12 points, with none scoring more than Leon Bond’s 17. They have the deepest starting lineup in the conference, with each player able to create on offense and defend multiple positions.
Few players in the state are more bouncy than Bond, a junior who threw down a pair of dunks Friday night. A Division I recruit, Bond’s athleticism also extends to the defensive end, where he provides strong help-side defense and rebounds well.
Marcus Mbow, Tosa East’s 6-foot-6 and 300-pound center, added 16 points against the Spartans. Mbow is a highly regarded football recruit headed to Purdue next season and you can see why that’s the case when he’s on the hardwood. He doesn’t play like a 300-pound big man, showing off the handle of a guard, passing well and scoring from different angles.
Guard Brian Parzych had 12 points but is the most active of the Red Raiders on the floor. He creates offensively, swarms on help-side defense, is the team’s most dangerous shooting threat and seems to wind up on the floor every other possession.
Another guard, Jay Hinson Jr., has taken perhaps the biggest leap on the team, going from 6.4 points per game last year as a junior to 14.2 this year, including 15 on Friday. Like all of Tosa East’s starting five, he is dangerous when headed toward the rim and has active hands on defense.
Charles Alexander Singleton rounds out the lineup with more length (6-foot-6) and athleticism, which he showcased on a baseline dunk against Brookfield East. He joins Parzych, Bond and Hinson in averaging at least 14 points per game.
Here are four more takeaways from the week in high school boys basketball.
The Lightning strike
On Tuesday night, Brandin Podziemski showed out once again and picked up a scholarship offer from Illinois after his 36-point performance, but it was Luke Haertle and Lake Country Lutheran that downed Podziemski’s St. John’s Northwestern team, 82-79, in a showdown of two of the better Division 3 squads in the state.
Haertle not only chased Podziemski around on defense for most of the night, and doing so pretty well as the Lancers’ star hit tough shot after tough shot, but matched his counterpart with 36 points.
It was an impressive showing from Haertle, who added 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals as he surpassed 1,000 career points as a junior. He attacked the rim aggressively against St. John’s 1-3-1 zone, displayed excellent body control and got to the line 14 times.
“He played a really, really good game tonight,” Lake Country Lutheran head coach Mark Newman said. “To defend Podziemski all night long, do a pretty good job all things considered against an unreal scorer like that, and then have the energy to score 36 on offense and hit the big shots he did, that’s impressive.”
Podziemski displayed once again why he’s one of the top players in the state and earned offers from Kentucky and Kansas before Illinois’ interest. He scored 26 points in the second half, becoming the go-to player down the stretch and burying looks from all over with multiple defenders on him. Podziemski is averaging 34.9 points through seven games.
Another player scoring at a remarkable clip is Sussex Hamilton senior guard Tanner Resch, who is doing so to help keep his team afloat following star forward Patrick Baldwin Jr.’s high ankle sprain.
Resch dropped 49 points in an upset of Brookfield East on Tuesday night and followed it up with 33 points in a slower-tempo game against Wauwatosa West that his team won in overtime, 74-68.
Resch is averaging 38 points in four games since Baldwin’s injury, accounting for nearly half (47.8%) of the Chargers’ scoring in that stretch as they have gone 3-1.
Blackshirts get on the board
Entering this season, the last time that Waukesha South walked away from a Classic 8 game victorious, the current senior class was in eighth grade.
That streak is no more. The Blackshirts put an end to their 62-game conference losing skid with a 60-58 win over Catholic Memorial on Tuesday.
Tyran Cook scored 22 points for South, which, in its previous game, lost by just two points to Muskego, the No. 8 team in the area.
The Blackshirts fell to 1-3 after a 79-72 loss to first-place Waukesha West on Friday, but their average margin of defeat is only five points.
The Pirates’ treasure
Few teams in the area have kept scoreboard operators as busy as Pewaukee. The Pirates, en route to a 6-0 start, have averaged 85.8 points per game thanks to a balanced attack.
They feature Milan Momcilovic, arguably the state’s top sophomore prospect, who averaged 29 points in two wins over Pius XI this week, but go much deeper. Nick and Ashton Janowski can both fill it up, as can other key rotation pieces such as Josh Terrian, Logan Dobberstein, AJ Hintz, Tanner Moroder and Emmett Loew.
When Pewaukee faces Kimberly on Wednesday, there will be two high-powered offenses going at it, as the Papermakers scored more than 100 points in three of their first four games.