Indian Trail players cheer as coach Rob VanDyke finishes cutting down the net after the Hawks WIAA Division 1 regional final victory Saturday night.

Kenosha County boys basketball trio two wins from the WIAA State Tournament

Indian Trail, Westosha Central and St. Joseph all capture regional titles

By Mike JohnsonKENOSHA.COM

Johnson began covering sports in Kenosha in 2004 as a staff writer for the Kenosha News and eventually became a news and sports editor there, serving in that role and covering the community until May 2022. Johnson grew up in Kenosha, graduating from Bradford High School in 2000 and then the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He still happily resides in town with his wife, Bridget, and son, Brady.

A trio of high school boys basketball teams from Kenosha County are two wins away from reaching the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Tournament.

Indian Trail (Division 1), Westosha Central (Division 2) and St. Joseph (Division 4) have all reached the WIAA sectionals in their respective divisions after capturing regional championships this past Saturday. Sectional semifinal games are scheduled for Thursday night, then Thursday’s winners advance to Saturday’s sectional finals.

The four sectional champions in each of the five divisions throughout the state will compete in the WIAA State Tournament, scheduled for Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, March 18, at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Here’s a closer look at the three county teams vying for sectional championships:

The 2022-23 Indian Trail boys basketball team



What: WIAA sectional semifinal

Where: Mukwonago High School (605 W. Veterans Way, Mukwonago)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday (March 9)

Up next: Winner advances to the sectional final on Saturday (March 11) against either Franklin or Mukwonago at Kettle Moraine High School (349 N. Oak Crest Drive, Wales). Time is 7 p.m., but time for sectional final games is subject to change.

FYI: Indian Trail is the No. 4 seed in the sectional, while Kettle Moraine is the No. 1 seed. The other sectional semifinal pits No. 2 seed Franklin, the Southeast Conference champion, against No. 6 seed Mukwonago. None of the four remaining teams in the sectional were ranked in Division 1 in the latest state coaches poll. … Led by head coach Rob VanDyke, Indian Trail finished second in the SEC behind Franklin and has won 12 of its last 14 games. The Hawks reached sectionals with a 95-44 win over Milwaukee Pulaski in the regional semifinals and a 67-51 defeat of Waukesha South in the regional finals. … Indian Trail has one of the top juniors in the state in 6-foot-8 forward Manasseh Stackhouse, who leads all SEC players with 22 points per game and is second in rebounding at 9.1 per game. … Senior guard Jackson Wilhelmson, listed at 6-5, averages 15.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Hawks. … Indian Trail is seeking the first State Tournament appearance in program history. The Hawks have reached the sectional finals once, in 2015. … Kettle Moraine finished fourth in the Classic Eight Conference, but that’s arguably the toughest conference in the state. The Lasers beat two of Indian Trail’s fellow SEC teams, Tremper and Oak Creek, to win their regional title. … Junior guard Drew Wagner leads Kettle Moraine with 18.4 points per game, and the Lasers are coached by Trevon Hughes, a former standout point guard for the University of Wisconsin. … Kettle Moraine is also seeking the first State Tournament appearance in program history.

The 2022-23 Westosha Central boys basketball team



What: WIAA sectional semifinal

Where: Wilmot High School (11112 308th Ave., Wilmot)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday (March 9)

Up next: Winner advances to the sectional final on Saturday (March 11) against either McFarland or Stoughton at Elkhorn High School (482 E. Geneva St., Elkhorn). Time is 1 p.m., but time for sectional final games is subject to change.

FYI: This is truly a sectional semifinal matchup between a pair of heavyweight teams that are running hot into sectionals. Central has won 18 games in a row since a five-point non-conference loss to Indian Trail on Dec. 27, while Whitnall has won 16 of its last 18. Central, a No. 1 seed in the sectional, was ranked No. 3, and Whitnall, a No. 2 seed, checked in at No. 6 in Division 2 in the latest state coaches poll. … The other sectional semifinal pits No. 1 seed McFarland against No. 2 seed Stoughton, but neither of those teams are state-ranked. … After winning the Southern Lakes Conference title outright, the seventh SLC title in eight seasons under head coach James Hyllberg, the Falcons topped county rival Wilmot, 84-61, in the regional semifinals then had to outlast Waukesha West in a tense regional final game on Saturday at Central, emerging with a 69-61 victory. … Sophomore point guard Elijah Griffin leads Central in scoring at 13.5 points per game and is also averaging 7.5 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. He recorded an incredible 25 assists in a non-conference win over Tremper on Feb. 4 and ranks tied for third in the state in assists per game, according to … The Falcons feature a very balanced scoring attack, as senior guard John Kinzler (10.2 points per game), senior guard Alex Sippy (9.4), senior forward Wyatt Anderson (8.7), sophomore forward Liam Lubkeman (8.7), junior guard Quinn Burns (6.9), junior guard Carson Schultz (6.2) and sophomore forward Daniel Turner (5.0) are all scoring options for Central. … The Falcons are seeking their second consecutive State Tournament appearance and the third in program history, all under Hyllberg. … Whitnall, meanwhile, won the Woodland East Conference and reached sectionals with a 78-70 win over Racine Park in the regional semifinals and a 70-59 defeat of Burlington, which finished second to Central in the SLC, in the regional finals. … The Falcons are led by sophomore guard Jack Lutz (17 points per game) and senior guard Austin Herro (14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds per game). Herro is the younger brother of Tyler Herro, the former Whitnall star who’s now a starting guard for the NBA’s Miami Heat and averaging 20.4 points per game this season. … Whitnall has made four State Tournament appearances, the last in 2016. The Falcons won the Class B state title in 1988.

The 2022-23 St. Joseph boys basketball team


ST. JOSEPH (16-10) VS. WILLIAMS BAY (17-9)

What: WIAA sectional semifinal

Where: East Troy High School (3128 Graydon Ave., East Troy)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday (March 9)

Up next: Winner advances to the sectional final on Saturday (March 11) against either Kohler or Valders at Whitefish Bay High School (1200 E. Fairmount Ave., Whitefish Bay). Time is 7 p.m., but time for sectional final games is subject to change.

FYI: In a sectional that’s been rife with upsets, St. Joseph stands as the top seed – as well as the only No. 1 seed – remaining. Williams Bay, seeded No. 6, upset No. 2 seed Horicon in the regional semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, No. 4 seed Valders shocked No. 1 seed Howards Grove — ranked No. 2 in Division 4 in the latest state coaches poll — while No. 3 seed Kohler upended No. 2 seed Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs, which was ranked No. 4 in the state. … After finishing fifth in the loaded Metro Classic Conference, St. Joseph captured its second straight regional championship with a 59-56 regional semifinal win over Living Word Lutheran and a 61-46 defeat of Milwaukee Juneau, both at the Madrigrano Gymnasium. … The Lancers have won four of their last five games and are led by all-everything junior guard Eric Kenesie, who ranks second in a talent-laden Metro Classic with 21.2 points per game, second with 6.0 assists per game and first with 3.2 steals per game. Senior forward Peter Stapleton is averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, junior guard Tommy Santarelli is averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and freshman wing Dominic Santarelli is averaging 5.7 points and 5.7 boards per contest. … St. Joseph is seeking its third WIAA State Tournament appearance and its first since 2003. … Williams Bay finished third in the Trailways South Conference and has won five of six entering sectionals, including a 53-45 defeat of The Prairie School, one of St. Joseph’s Metro Classic rivals, in the regional semifinals and a 64-57 road upset of Horicon in the regional finals. … Senior wing Kelton Randall (14.1 points per game) and senior guard Owen King (14 points, 5.6 rebounds per game) lead the Bulldogs, who are seeking the first State Tournament appearance in program history. … St. Joseph and Williams Bay also met last postseason, a round earlier, as the Lancers pulled away for a 76-54 victory in a regional final at the Madrigrano Gymnasium.