March 19, 2009

Maymon hopes to put Madison Memorial back on top

MADISON, Wis. Jeronne Maymon will be moving on to bigger things soon enough. But before he starts thinking about playing at the next level, he wants to help Madison Memorial get back to the top.

Maymon, who was named The Associated Press' Wisconsin state player of the year as a junior last season, signed a letter of intent with Marquette in November. He could end up playing a key role there right away, as the Golden Eagles will lose their three senior stars to graduation.

But first, Maymon wants to help the Spartans forget about last year's two-point overtime loss to Wauwatosa East in the Division 1 finals.

"Jeronne's our leader," Memorial coach Steve Collins said. "We go as Jeronne goes, and everything starts with him. You can see the last week of practice he just brought us to a different level."

Maymon, a 6-foot-7 forward who averages 17.8 points per game, will lead the Spartans into Thursday's opening game against Germantown as state tournament play begins at the Kohl Center.

It's the sixth consecutive state tournament appearance for Madison Memorial, including a championship in 2005.

Germantown is making its second straight state tournament appearance after qualifying for the first time last season. The Warhawks beat Menomonee Falls 57-52 to advance.

Bay Port is the only undefeated team left in Division 1 at 23-0, and is returning to the tournament after losing in the quarterfinals last year. The Pirates like to play an up-tempo game and press on defense.

"We don't need a shot clock, that's for sure," coach Nate Rykal said.

They'll face Beloit Memorial, which is returning to the state tournament for the 26th time and is seeking what would be a record eighth title. The Purple Knights needed two overtimes to make it to state, beating Elkhorn in the Janesville Craig Sectional.

Milwaukee Washington features a pair of consistent scoring threats: senior guard Antone Byrd (20.2 points per game) and sophomore forward Quevyn Winters (18.1 points per game). The Purgolders have won four state titles, most recently in 1993. They took out last year's champions, Wauwatosa East, in overtime to advance to the state tournament.

Now they'll take on Oshkosh North and senior forward Tank Johnson, who averages 18.9 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Spartans are making their fourth overall state tournament appearance and the first since 1997.

University of Oregon recruit Jamil Wilson averages 21.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for Racine Horlick, which hasn't qualified for the state tournament since 1989.

They'll face Eau Claire North, which is making its second straight trip to the state tournament and its seventh appearance overall.

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