Full season, plenty of players, return


North and South get a full season of basketball.

Christian and Lutheran each return several players.

First games were held last Tuesday, and here’s an outlook for all four teams …


Last year: 3-20, (2-17 in BEC)


Four of its top five scorers are back.

However, the leader graduated last year.

Glad to be back

Michael Modahl: The senior missed last year with a knee injury. As a sophomore, he made first-team all-BEC. 

“He will be a focal point other teams will try to stop, which will give the others opportunity to shine in their rolls,” coach Brett Flipse said.

Noah Heinen: The junior is the top returning scorer (he ranked second last year with 8.8 ppg) and rebounder (also second at 4.6). 

“He got better as the season went on,” Flipse said.

Josiah Stecker: The senior was third in scoring a year ago (6.2). 

“He is our spark plug and our leading scorer from last years returning starters,” Flipse said.

Brandon LaMahieu: This senior, a steady point guard according to his coach, ranked fourth in scoring (4.5).

Tough to replace

Sam Hendrikse: He landed on the all-Big East second team after finishing fourth in the league in scoring (17.0). He led the Eagles in rebounding, too.


ELIJAH WHITE (right) is one of several players who return for Lutheran.
– Photo by Jenni Pickel

Last year: 25-3, 15-2 (BEC)


The Crusaders took second in the league and advanced to the sectionals finals last year.

Three all-Big East players are back, including the top two scorers from a year ago.

They have to replace just one starter and several of them have played together since fifth grade.

“There’s a great familiarity,” coach Nick Verhagen said. “They have a natural ability to read each other on the court because they know each other so well.”

Glad to be back

Casey Verhagen: The senior ranked third in the state in steals (4.2 per game), seventh in points (27.1) and 15th in assists (6.3), earning him conference player of the year honors. He is a three-time all-BEC player, including a first-team member the last two seasons, and holds the school record for most assists. There’s a good chance he could reach 2,000 total points, too.

Andrew Verhelst: The junior also made first team after finishing third in the league in rebounding (9.1) and second on his squad in scoring (13.8).

Robby Michael: This senior earned all-conference honorable mention the past two seasons. Last year, he was fourth in scoring (10.4) and second in assists (3.6).

Tough to replace

Jonah Jurss: This all-Big East honorable mention player was third in scoring (11.7) and rebounding (4.4).


Last year: 4-6


Last season did not begin until Jan. 8 and only 10 games were played. 

“I know our guys are hungry and are truly embracing their opportunity this year,” coach Eric Worth said.

Worth also thinks this is a great group of young men that are ready to compete every day. He adds they all enjoy playing for each other and they want what’s best for the team.

“I believe we can compete with just about anyone,” he said. “We may have some growing pains early on as we figure out who fits where within our group and how to play together. I have no doubt we’ll continue to improve as a group and we’ll be tough down the stretch.”

Three starters are back, including the lone Golden Raider to make all-league last year.

Glad to be back

Max Tutas: The junior was one of only two sophomores who made all-Fox River Classic last year. He earned a spot on the all-defensive team, too. 

“Max is stronger in every facet of his game,” Worth said. “He has committed to the weight room in the offseason and is bigger, faster and stronger. His shot and ability to attack has improved greatly. Defensively, he is a year wiser and is seeing the entire floor much better. I’m expecting big things from Max and he is expecting the same thing from himself.

Luke Schmidt, Chase Schoenenberger: Like Tutas, these two also started.


Last year: 1-9


Like the Golden Raiders, the Redwings only played 10 games and did not begin until Jan. 8.

The one South athlete who made all-conference a year ago graduated.

But the second- through fifth-leading scorers all return to a team that features grit, coachability, effort, hustle, and the ability to dive on the floor and take charges, according to coach Jesse Shaw.

However, there are six sophomores and eight new players who have never played varsity.

“We are going to have a growth mindset this year and work to get better in every practice and all games this season,” Shaw said.

Glad to be back

Alex Kaffine: The senior averaged 8.3 ppg and is the leading returning scorer.

Jacob Leonhard: This senior ranked third with 7.8 ppg and second with 4.1 rpg.

Matt Leonhard: The sophomore chipped in with 7.2 ppg last year.

Lukas Ladwig: Another senior, he averaged a team-best 2.6 assists and provided 6.3 ppg.

Tough to replace

Marcell Drone: He was named all-FRCC honorable mention thanks to averages of 18.2 points (fourth in the league) and 7.9 rebounds (second). He also finished as the school’s all-time leading rebounder.



Oostburg is the reigning league champion but it has to replace its two first-team all-BEC players.

Howards Grove is ranked 10th in the state (Division 4) by The Basketball Yearbook and features former Lutheran student Miles Barnstable.


Ashwaubenon features two all-conference first-team players from a year ago: seniors Marcus Tomashek and Matt Imig.

Manitowoc has to replace the league’s player of the year, Mason Dopirak.

Categories: Sports

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