Wolverines feature tall front line
By Chris Bennett
At the very least, Paul Charapata won’t have to ask how to get to the locker rooms at Elkhorn, or wonder where the restroom is at Wilmot.
In his second season in charge of the Waterford Union High School basketball team, Charapata should be more comfortable with the rigors of coaching prep sports.
Whether comfort translates into more wins remains to be seen.
Waterford dropped to 0-3 Friday night with a 79-75 home defeat to Greenfield.
Matt Borchardt led the Wolverines with 20 points, and Matt Korman added 18.
Waterford finished 11-14 and 6-8 in the Southern Lakes Conference in Charapata’s first season. The 6-8 mark in conference play put the Wolverines in sixth place – Westosha Central won the conference title.
Waterford’s 2015-16 season ended March 5 on the road in front of a packed house and boisterous fans.
The Wolverines lost 68-52 to the Demons in a WIAA Division 2 regional final game at Burlington.
The Wolverines beat third-seeded McFarland 57-55 March 4 in a regional semifinal at McFarland to advance and play the second-seeded Demons.
Waterford opened the postseason March 1 at home with a 69-43 victory over 11th-seeded Milton in a regional quarterfinal game.
“I knew from experience it comes down to the last portion of the schedule,” Waterford coach Paul Charapata said. “We had a pretty good vibe going.”
Waterford entered postseason play on a three-game losing streak and quickly won two games before facing the Demons.
“We have some stability and length,” Charapata said of his current roster. “Our six returning letter winners all logged playing time last season.”
Senior center and returning letterman Ryan Jungbauer is 6-foot-6. Guard/forward Will Busch is 6-4. Guards Matt Korman, Matt Plantz, Andrew Lindner and Matt Borchardt round out the returning lettermen.
New faces include 6-4 center/forward Alex Strabley. Guards Paul Schmidt, Mike Schimelfenyg, Richie LePine, Dylan Weber and forwards Sam Engel, Kirk Kaldor and Jesse Krueger might also contribute.
All but two of the players on the Wolverines’ roster top six feet in height.
“This season will be a test of our fundamental abilities and toughness,” Charapata said. “We face with a very competitive conference and non-conference schedule.”
Greenfield, Mukwonago, West Allis Hale and Racine Case are among the Wolverines’ tougher non-conference opponents.
As for the SLC, Central returns several seniors, as do Union Grove and Delavan-Darien. Wilmot also returns considerable talent. Burlington is always tough, and Elkhorn expects to be much improved this season.