Tom "Sky" Skibosh covers the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and New Berlin prep scene for Community Newspapers. If something is going on in local sports, Sky has an opinion about it. If you agree or not with what Sky says, we want to see your comments.
They run the show. The game goes through their hands 90 per cent of the time. In the final seconds, the ball better touch their hands or your team could be in trouble.
We're talking about point guards, folks, and a quick look into the local scene shows for the most part, the area schools are in pretty good shape.
Let's take a close look at those situations in Brookfield and Wauwatosa and how I rank them as the season opens.
BROOKFIELD EAST - Junior Vanessa Brown is one of the best point guards I have seen this year - her quickness gives her a big advantage over other players - and this year she is scoring - 47 points in three games (15.7 ppg). Last year she would easily make a steal, race down court and miss the lay-up. This year she is finishing the play. East got killed in a loss to Homestead with Brown on the sidelines with an injury and Highlanders' coach Bill Scasny told me that was a big reason for his team's easy victory.
WAUWATOSA WEST - West's situation is in great shape with diminutive sophomore Jackie Glaser back for her second season at point. With a year under her belt, the soft-spoken Glaser has started to verbally lead this young Trojan team. With the game on the line, you want the ball in her hands, since she is an excellent free throw shooter. Coach Mike Pietrowiak has also encouraged the unselfish Glaser to take the open shot more.
BROOKFIELD CENTRAL - Senior Anna Butzlaff, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is back for the Lady Lancers, and her ability to handle the point effectively gives Joana Bielefeld a chance to move back to the 2-guard, a more natural position for the offensive-minded junior.
WAUWATOSA EAST - Coach Rob Hamill starts a 3-guard offense, but when the ball is in the hands of Margaret Panter the Red Raiders are best off. An excellent shooter, like West's Glaser, the 5-6 junior needs to take more shots for Tosa East to be successful.
WAUWATOSA WEST - West has the advantage to start the season, as Andrew Krenzien is the complete point guard for coach Mike Landisch. He can handle the ball, play defense and make the big shot - from the field and the free throw line.
BROOKFIELD CENTRAL Senior guard Lee Severson finds it's hard to walk let along play point guard for the Lancers with his right foot in a boot. Central's sixth-man extraordinaire last year is suffering from plantar fasciitis, a painful ailment that affects the bottom of the foot and heel and is caused by overstressing the ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone. Coach Mark Adams is uncertain about if - or when - Severson can return. In Severson's absence, Adams has moved the talented Cory Degner to point guard. Adams needs his leadership and experience and the ball in the hands of his 6-1 senior. He is one of the most talented players in the area, but this is a new assignment for the likeable Degner.
WAUWATOSA EAST - Coach Tim Arndorfer expected to start the season with one of the better defensive point guards in the area. But when your soccer star gets hurt trying a field goal for the football team, well, things aren't going your way. Tony Walls has a knee injury that will keep it out until at least Xmas and maybe longer. So far Arndorfer has been relying on Mike Cupertino and Keondre Gholston to handle the chores in Walls' absence and they have been up-and-down, but two games doesn't tell you much. What helps is the Red Raiders are the most talented team in the Greater Metro Conference and that helps make up for the inexperience at point.
BROOKFIELD EAST BOYS - Not so for coach Andy Farley, who doesn't have enough fingers to plug the dike with all the holes his talented senior class left him last year. He has four returning letter-winners in name only, as only forwards Brian Condon and Ryan Kursel had enough playing time to gain any experience. Devonte Harper, a 5-7 returnee who didn't play much last season, is handling the position for the first time as a regular and he is surrounded by other inexperienced players. It could be a tough road to hoe for the Spartans this year.
Conference plays starts in the next week for everyone, so watch these youngsters if you have a chance. If you agree or disagree with my rankings, let me know.
And remember, always be a hit and have a ball.