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Breakout stars, heavyweight battle and a team record highlight boys basketball takeaways

In the final full week of action before the holidays for some area boys basketball teams, early conference races took shape as teams made their push for positioning headed into the new year. Here are three takeaways from the week.

Wisconsin Lutheran sets a program mark in scoring

Wisconsin Lutheran showcased its depth of scoring in a 113-42 rout of Cudahy that set a program record for points in a game. The Vikings were led by 21 points from senior Logan Rindfleisch, 19 of which came in the first half as Wisconsin Lutheran opened up a 65-18 lead. Senior Kon Knueppel tallied a fifth consecutive double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Trey Raabe added 11 points; juniors Ben Langebartels, Wynn Hotchkiss and Josiah Rice each had nine; senior Grayson Young and sophomore Amos Ewing each scored eight; junior Alex Greene had seven; junior Nick Cross added six; junior Isaiah Mellock had four; and junior Malcolm Campbell scored two.

A free throw from Ewing got the Vikings to the century mark for the fifth time in school history, and a basket by Rice got them above the previous record of 106. That mark had been reached twice, in a 2021 win over Pius XI Catholic (106-71) and a triple-overtime 2016 win over Germantown (106-97).

Rebounding and second-chance baskets were key for Wisconsin Lutheran against Cudahy, as the Vikings enjoyed a 60-19 advantage on the boards. The win was part of a 2-0 week headed into Saturday for Wisconsin Lutheran, which also beat Onalaska at Madison College in the first of two games scheduled at the 60Eight Tournament this weekend. The Vikings had won their first seven games entering Saturday.

Germantown, Milwaukee Juneau among early conference leaders

Two middle of the road teams in their respective conferences from a year ago have appeared to make an early leap to the top of the standings. Milwaukee Juneau (5-1, 4-0 City Conference) picked up wins over Milwaukee Vincent (96-82) and Milwaukee Audubon (63-55) this past week to take a two-game advantage in the City Blue Division.

Breakout freshman Dooney Johnson (27.2 points per game) leads a surging offense that also is receiving valuable scoring from sophomores Ladell White Jr. (17.8) and Jaden Hardiman (11.6). Juneau finished tied for third in the City Blue last year at 7-5 but is off to a much hotter start to 2023-24.

Germantown finished 6-10 to take seventh in the Greater Metro last year but finds itself atop the conference at 4-0 after a week that included wins over Wauwatosa East (90-57) and West Allis Hale (88-51). Depth and experience are leading the way for the Warhawks. Senior Mason Freibruger leads scorers with 12.7 points per game, followed by sophomore Cahlil Jones (11.0) and senior Peyton McKenna (10.8).

Germantown faces a tough conference stretch the next three weeks, with a Dec. 19 matchup with Marquette, Dec. 22 contest against Brookfield Central and a Jan. 5 date with Sussex Hamilton. Whether the Warhawks come through with a couple wins there could go a long way toward conference title hopes.

Matchup of top-three area teams goes to St. Thomas More

In one of the few early heavyweight battles in the area, St. Thomas More, ranked No. 2 in the area by the Journal Sentinel, defeated No. 3 Dominican 91-78 at home Tuesday. NCAA Division I prospects Sekou Konneh (32 points, 11 rebounds, 15-of-19 shooting) and Amari McCottry (29, 9, 10-of-14) starred for the Cavaliers with Indiana Pacers players Tyrese Haliburton and Obi Toppin reportedly in attendance. Thomas More senior Evan Oleson added 13 points, while junior Kenari Parr rounded out double-digit scorers with 12.

Dominican attempted to attack the Cavaliers defense from beyond the arc to mixed success, shooting 9-of-28 from deep. Junior Aaron Womack III, who has an offer from UW-Milwaukee, had 26 points to lead the Knights, followed among double-digit contributors by senior Jaiden Martin with 19, senior Derrick Johnson with 15 and junior Kingston Caldwell with 10.

The win for Thomas More (6-0, 4-0 Metro Classic) sets an early pecking order in the conference over Dominican (7-1, 3-1). The rematch, scheduled for Jan. 30 at Dominican, is certainly circled on the Knights' calendars.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Breakout stars, heavyweight battle highlight area boys basketball