• Who Has Best Shot at Winning Division 1 Championship?

    by Troy Sparks

    All four of the Division 1 teams in the state tournament have impressive resumes. Three of the four teams won more than one state championship. Only Germantown is seeking to raise the gold ball on Saturday night for their first ever state title.

    The Warhawks have been the top team in the state all year and is still undefeated after 26 games. Even though they gutted out a win in the sectional finals in Manitowoc against De Pere, their next big challenge will be against Madison Memorial, Friday in Madison.

    If Germantown can get over the hurdle and beat the Spartans this time, then their chances of winning the title will be theirs to lose.

    In the second Division 1 semifinal game, Milwaukee King will prove that they are back where they belong, at the state tournament. The Generals were barred from the playoffs in 2009 after committing a WIAA violation. The last time they were at state was in 2007. Oshkosh West will give King a run for their money. I expect that game to be more interesting than the Germantown vs. Memorial contest.

    Let's look at who would I think would be the best teams to play in the finals:

    I have followed Germantown for about three weeks and saw a team that has all-around talent. They like to get up and down the court and pressure teams with their full-court defense. The Warhawks have size and some great shooters. And judging on their physical battle with De Pere, they can bang around if needed. Coach Steve Showalter see the other three Division 1 teams as up-tempo squads too. If that's the case, then it will be a track meet.

    Milwaukee King wants people to know that they might be small, but they will outwork everyone else. I wouldn't be surprised if they are practicing at 3 a.m. while the rest of us are sleeping. The Generals don't have any household names or salivating Division 1 college prospects like in the past. It doesn't matter to them. Winning another championship will be a sweet revenge for them.

    Madison Memorial don't have that standout guy, in my opinion, that you have to afraid of. Nor do they have that wave of all-state caliber guys like Vander Blue, Mike Nelson, Wesley Matthews, Jeronne Maymon, Kori Vernon or Jerad Ajami.

    Oshkosh West has been a state champion before, so they know what it takes to win. However, you can never count West out. Anyone who doubts that the club can take it all are crazy. They might be the underdogs among the four teams. People root for the underdogs all the time.

    Since I'm biased. I prefer a Germantown vs. Milwaukee King final. We will see. The fun begins Friday night.