New Berlin - If you know New Berlin West coach Jeff Lewiston, you are probably familiar with a saying he has.
"We might not pass the 'eye test,' but tradition never graduates."
No, tradition doesn't graduate, but All-Star forward Dan Sidesky did. But the Vikings do return six players, three of whom started at one time or another.
"We lost our leading scorer, Dan Sidesky, who is now playing at UW-Oshkosh, and several other key players, mostly perimeters," Lewiston said. "We return good overall size and some experience but need to find out where our scoring punch and ball handling will come from."
Leading the way is senior Darin Sowinski, an honorable mention all-conference selection and the team's leading scorer (10.6 points per game) last year.
Lewiston can also call on center Austin Fritz (5.1 points) and guards Jake Grossmann (4.5) and Tyler Thompson (2.8), all seniors.
Perhaps one of the biggest keys to the Vikings' success is senior guard/forward Kevin Marx, who will do a lot of things for the Vikings that don't always show up in the box score.
Lewiston is also counting on several juniors, including Andrew Knoll, a guard-forward, who was on the varsity for half the year as a sophomore. He is currently out with a groin injury.
Other returning juniors are forward Scott Reichel and Cahamika Wijenayake, guard Tim Rink and Brett Connors, a 6-foot-6 inch center.
"We have a sound basketball tradition and reputation for playing good defense and adjusting our system to get the most out of our personnel," Lewiston said. "Our young players will have to learn on the fly and grow up early as we have a lot of tough games ahead.
"We hope to get a little better each day, and I think we can be very competitive in the conference race. With our numbers we really need to stay away from illness and injuries, however."
The Vikings take on crosstown rival New Berlin Eisenhower at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ike.
Kenosha St. Joe's
After a slow start - West trailed 15-10 after the first period, the Vikings went on an 18-6 tear in the second quarter to take a 28-21 halftime lead at St. Joe's on Friday.
But the Lancers doubled the score 36-18 in the second half to run away with a 57-46 win.
"We were bigger than them, but they were quicker and defending that caught up with us in the second half," Lewiston said. "We had some great shots, but didn't shoot well. At one point we missed three 2-foot shots in a row."
The Vikings missed Knoll, who was still out with a groin injury.
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