The 2019-20 boys high school basketball season came to an abrupt end.
Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus canceled the remainder of the playoffs before sectional final games could be played, leaving eight teams in each division wondering if they would’ve reached the WIAA State Tournament.
That was galling for Tremper, which won back-to-back postseason thrillers over Franklin and West Allis Central to reach the Division-1 sectional finals for the first time since 2006. The Trojans were scheduled to face Racine Case for their first state appearance since 2001, but that game was never played.
Though it’s of little consolation, for their outstanding season the Trojans landed two of the seven players on the 56th annual Kenosha News All-County Boys Basketball first team.
Senior guard Jyon Young led the Southeast Conference with 21.4 points per game, while senior forward Jake Gross was just behind in third with 19.6 points per contest. They were each selected first-team All-Southeast Conference, as they led Tremper to a final record of 18-7.
Both also moved up to first-team All-County after being honorable mention as juniors.
Bradford, meanwhile, also had two players selected to the first team in senior forwards Max Glass and Jashon Lee, who were both second-team All-SEC. The Red Devils reached the sectional semifinals for the first time since 2011 and also finished 18-7.
Glass was the only player to repeat as a first-team All-County selection, while Lee earned his first All-County nod.
A pair of sophomore wings showed that the future of county basketball is bright, as St. Joseph’s Andrew Alia moved up to the first team after being named second-team last season and Central’s Jack Rose garnered his first All-County mention.
Finally, Indian Trail senior center Anthony Bernero was picked to the first team after being an honorable mention selection last year.
Here is a capsule look at the first-team performers, in alphabetical order (stats courtesy of WisSports.net):
Andrew Alia, St. Joseph
Stats: 19.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals per game; shot 51.6 percent (145-of-281) from the field, 82.3 percent (121-of-147) from the free-throw line and 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from 3-point range.
Honors: All-Metro Classic Conference (second team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-2 wing followed up a strong freshman campaign with a stellar sophomore season, finishing third in the Metro Classic in scoring in a conference loaded with talent. ... Only Racine St. Catherine’s Tyrese Hunter and Whitefish Bay Dominican’s Alex Antetokounmpo, who both have NCAA Division I offers, scored more in the Metro Classic. ... Probably would’ve been first-team All-Conference in any other league. ... Ranked third in the county in scoring. ... Was also second on the Lancers in rebounding and second in steals, leading them to an appearance in the regional finals. ... Scored 20 or more points 13 times and 30 or more twice. ... Season high was 36 at top-seeded Milwaukee Academy of Science in an 86-67 regional final loss on March 7. ... Recorded double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds in an 88-64 loss to Brookfield Academy on Dec. 14. ... Ranked No. 21 in the state for the Class of 2022 in the latest WisSports.net Top 50 rankings. ... Was named second-team All-County last season. ... Has drawn early interest from multiple NCAA Division I programs, with Marquette, Wright State and Belmont among them, according to St. Joseph coach Brandon Morris. ... Father, Gino Alia, played with St. Joseph great and future NBA All-Star Nick Van Exel in high school.
Coach’s comment: “I am extremely proud of Andrew in receiving this honor,” St. Joseph coach Brandon Morris said. “Knowing Andrew to be a gym rat and the amount of hours, days and weeks he commits to getting better not just on the court but in the weight room — because that is a part of his success so far — confirms hard work, dedication and commitment does pay off. First-team All-County as a sophomore in what I would consider a fully-loaded pool of high school basketball players, again, speaks to his work ethic and also his teammates. ... I would say he has the right guidance at home in his older brother, older sister, his mom, Vicki Alia, and his dad, Gino Alia. ... I would also say (thanks to) any coaches that came before Andrew’s high school coaching staff, because I personally feel those are some of the most influential people on a player’s next-level success. For that I am grateful for all those people. ... Our coaching staff and our St. Joe’s family are all very proud of Andrew for receiving this honor.”
Anthony Bernero, Indian Trail
Stats: 16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game; shot 65 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
Honors: All-Southeast Conference (second team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-2 senior center used his dominant left hand to become a force on the interior and led the Hawks in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. ... Also ranked sixth in the SEC in scoring and fifth in rebounding. ... Scored in double figures 15 times, including four games of 20 or more. ... Season high was 26 points in a 46-43 loss at Oak Creek on Feb. 7. ... That was part of a four-game stretch in which he averaged 21 points, including 25 in a 69-62 win over Milwaukee Young Coggs Prep on Jan. 25 and 23 in an 86-74 win at Tremper on Jan. 31. ... Also scored 17 points in a 79-68 win over Tremper on Dec. 13. ... Was named honorable mention All-County last season. ... Will play at NCAA Division III Carthage next season.
Coach’s comment: “He was our most consistent player, game in and game out,” Indian Trail coach Al Anderson said. “Obviously if we don’t have him, we don’t win hardly any games. He was so consistent, it was crazy. What he did down low at 6-foot-2, it’s almost funny. He’s not big enough to be down there, but his footwork was so good he’d get guys leaning either way, and he could finish with both hands. Very crafty down there. He got a lot of offensive rebounds and got putbacks with them. He really held us together without a lot of players this year. Him being stable was a huge factor in us even finishing in the middle of the pack.”
Max Glass, Bradford
Stats: 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.8 steals per game; shot 52 percent (131-of-252) from the field, 64.3 percent (72-of-112) from the free-throw line and 35.6 percent (32-of-90) from 3-point range.
Honors: All-Southeast Conference (second team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-3 senior forward was second on the Red Devils in scoring, first in rebounds and second in steals, leading them to their first sectional semifinal appearance since 2011. ... Ranked ninth in the conference in scoring and eighth in rebounding. ... Scored 20 or more points eight times. ... Season high was 27 in a 71-51 win at Milwaukee Destiny on Dec. 4. ... Averaged 20 points in a four-game SEC stretch from Feb. 8-21, including 21 in a 64-61 loss to Tremper on Feb. 8 and 21 in a 63-59 loss at Racine Case on Feb. 18. ... Had 23 and 12 rebounds in a 52-46 regional final win over Muskego on March 7. ... Recorded seven double-doubles and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds against Tremper on Feb. 8. ... Was named first-team All-County last season. ... Has offers from NJCAA Division I schools Miles (Ariz.) Community College and Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and interest from North Dakota State College of Science and Dominican (Minn.), according to Bradford coach Greg Leech.
Coach’s comment: “Max was on varsity for the last three of his four years,” Bradford coach Greg Leech said. “During those four years, his teams averaged 15-plus wins a year. Max was an extraordinary inside and outside basketball player who meshed his talents perfectly into a team concept. He didn’t care about personal stats, of which he had many, just wins. Max was a force to be reckoned with inside, whether it be scoring or rebounding. When watching him play, at times it seemed as if I was watching a man among boys. My prevailing memory of Max and these seniors will be all the great times we had off the court. They will be missed.”
Jake Gross, Tremper
Stats: 19.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.1 steals, 1.1 blocks per game.
Honors: All-Southeast Conference (first team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-4 senior forward was arguably the key cog in the Trojans’ run to their first sectional final since 2006, as he was second on the team in scoring, first in rebounding, fourth in assists, first in steals and second in blocks. ... Reached 1,000-point milestone for Tremper career. ... Ranked third in the SEC in scoring, fourth in rebounding and second in 3-pointers made with 51. ... Scored 20 or more points 14 times and 30 or more three times. ... Took his game up a notch late in the season, scoring at least 20 points eight times in the Trojans’ final nine games and averaging 25.7 points in three postseason contests. ... Led the team with 31 points in a come-from-behind 88-83 win over Franklin in a regional final on March 7. ... Season high was 32 in a 63-54 win over Racine Horlick on Feb. 14. ... Grabbed 15 rebounds twice, in a 74-72 win at Racine Park on Jan. 24 and during a 91-67 defeat of Milwaukee Bradley Tech in a regional semifinal victory on March 6. ... Was named All-County honorable mention last season. ... Has interest from NCAA Division III schools UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater, Carthage, St. Norbert and Ripon, among others, according to Tremper coach Ben Chamness.
Coach’s comment: “Jake Gross was incredible for us all year,” Tremper coach Ben Chamness said. “He was truly the heart and soul of our team and a huge reason why we were able to have the type of season that we did. He was a leader for us both on and off the court and really exemplifies the character that we hope for in our student-athletes at Tremper. He became a 1,000-point scorer, was selected first-team All-Southeast Conference and helped lead the program to a regional championship and a spot in the sectional final game. I couldn’t be more proud of the person and player he has developed into during his career at Tremper.”
Jashon Lee, Bradford
Stats: 15.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.0 steals per game; shot 65 percent (141-of-217) from the field, 70.4 percent (50-of-71) from the free-throw line and 24.6 percent (14-of-57) from 3-point range.
Honors: All-Southeast Conference (second team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-5 senior forward was a high-efficiency scorer who helped guide the Red Devils to their first sectional semifinal since 2011, leading the team in scoring and steals and ranking second in rebounding. ... Ranked eighth in the SEC in scoring. ... Scored 20 or more points six times, including a season-high 27 in a 63-60 win at Milwaukee Madison on Dec. 16. ... That was part of a three-game stretch in which he averaged 23.3 points. ... Scored 26 in a 64-63 loss at Tremper on Jan. 7. ... Notched four double-doubles, including two against Racine Park, and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds three times. ... This is his first All-County selection.
Coach’s comment: “Jashon was absolutely our most improved player from the previous season,” Bradford coach Greg Leech said. “He dedicated the past summer to basketball and it certainly paid off, as he became our leading scorer this season. Jashon’s improvement made the difference in going from seven wins to 18 with a regional championship this year. With similar talents and size, Jashon and Max (Glass) gave us a great advantage and heartburn to coaches.”
Jack Rose, Central
Stats: 17.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.5 blocks per game; shot 47.3 percent (164-of-347) from the field, 72.2 percent (52-of-72) from the free-throw line and 33.6 percent (42-of-125) from 3-point range.
Honors: All-Southern Lakes Conference (first team).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-4 wing turned heads during the summer following his freshman season and followed it up with a strong sophomore campaign for the Falcons. ... Led the team in scoring and rebounding and was third in assists, second in steals and second in blocks, leading Central to a share of the SLC title and a regional final appearance. ... Ranked sixth in the conference in scoring and ninth in rebounding. ... Had seven games of 20 or more points and two of 30 or more. ... Season high was 32 in a 72-53 win at Elkhorn on Dec. 10. ... Made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points in a 57-37 win over Union Grove on Feb. 21. ... Had double-doubles of 16 points and 12 rebounds in a 67-44 win over St. Joseph on Dec. 27 in the Doctors of PT Holiday Classic at Carthage, 12 points and 12 rebounds in a 55-48 loss at Bradford on Jan. 15 and 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 54-48 loss at Waukesha West on Jan. 21. ... Ranked No. 4 in the state for the Class of 2022 in the latest WisSports.net Top 50 rankings. ... This is his first All-County selection.
Coach’s comment: “What makes Jack stand out is his work ethic and his practice habits,” Central coach James Hyllberg said. “A critical focus in our program is how hard guys practice, and Jack brings it every day in every drill. Jack was asked to do just about everything this season while being guarded by the opponent’s best defensive player and double teams. Aside from the fact that he can score, I was impressed that he led our team in rebounds. I love the fire and passion that he has, and he has developed a ‘whatever it takes to win’ mentality. Jack is a great teammate, and his attitude along with the rest of the team was the foundation to this year’s success. Being first-team All-Conference as a sophomore is a huge honor. As Jack develops and gets stronger, he has the potential to dominate games.”
Jyon Young, Tremper
Stats: 21.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals per game.
Honors: All-Southeast Conference (first team); Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division-1 All-State (honorable mention).
Lowdown: The 6-foot-2 senior guard was one the area’s highest scorers, as he led his team, the county and the SEC in points per game. ... His 43 made 3-pointers also ranked third in the conference. ... Scored 20 or more points 12 times and 30 or more four times. ... Season high was 33 in a 97-90 win over Union Grove on Dec. 16. ... That was part of three straight games with at least 30 points, including a 30-point effort in an 88-87 win at Racine Case on Dec. 19. ... Went on a tear of five straight games with at least 20 points late in the season, including 26 in a 91-67 regional semifinal victory over Milwaukee Bradley Tech on March 6. ... Season high of eight rebounds came during a 64-61 win at Bradford on Feb. 8. ... Was named All-County honorable mention last season. ... Has received interested from NCAA Division II and III schools, as well as junior colleges at both levels, according to Tremper coach Ben Chamness.
Coach’s comment: “Jyon Young had an outstanding season for us and helped lead this team to achieve some very special things in his senior season,” Tremper coach Ben Chamness said. “He took his game to another level this year after having a very good junior season, and that is a credit to the work he put in on his game over the offseason. His stellar play was a major factor in the turnaround season that this group was able to have. Jyon was selected as an honorable mention All-State player by the WBCA, first-team All Southeast Conference and was selected to play in the WBCA All-Star Game.”