The 5-foot-10 senior point guard’s 5.6 assists per game not only led the team but ranked second in last season’s Badger North Conference. Helbing comes off a season where he averaged 10.1 points per game thanks to lights-out 3-point shooting (30-for-45, 66&). He also averaged 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest. He enters his fourth season at the varsity level.
DeForest's Max Weisbrod, a Northern Michigan recruit, is the headliner, but there is a lot of returning talent in the Badger East.
Get to know some of the players who will be matchup nightmares for their conference rivals this season:
Brady Helbing, sr., G, Beaver Dam
Tyler Bunkoske, sr., G, Beaver Dam
Of the team’s four returning starters, Bunkoske was last season’s top scorer (12.6 ppg) and added 4.2 rebounds plus 1.7 assists per game. The 6-foot guard is also a lethal 3-point shooter (61-for-124, 49%), and will have the tall task of helping replace graduated all-state selection Nate Abel’s 26 points per game. In addition to Helbing, he’ll have the help of senior guards Alex Soto (7.8 ppg) and Evan Sharkey (3.7 ppg).
Max Weisbrod, sr., G, DeForest
Last season’s leading rebounder (5.7 rpg) and the top returning scorer (18.2 ppg) from the former Badger North Conference, Weisbrod earned all-state honors and is ranked as the No. 14 player in the state by WisSports.net. The 6-3 guard also led the conference with eight assists per game, and is committed to Division II Northern Michigan University.
Nolan Hawk, sr., W, DeForest
Hawk was the third-leading rebounder (4.8 rpg) in the former Badger North Conference and averaged 12.1 points per game. He is a 6-5 wing who also plays tight end in football, a skill set that seems to translate well into crashing the boards. Hawk recorded four double-doubles last season.
Carson Baker, sr., G, Fort Atkinson
In his fourth year on varsity, Baker comes off a season averaging 11.7 points per game after averaging 9.8 as a sophomore and 9.1 as a freshman. The 5-foot-8 guard is a left-handed shooter and will look to build off of 15- and 16-point performances that finished last season. Watch how he and senior forward Drew Evans (12.4 ppg) work together this season.
Jack Campion, sr., G, Milton
The 5-10 guard returns after a junior season in which he averaged 22.6 points per game, 6.7 assists per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, which earned him an all-state honorable mention. He is 150 points away from becoming Milton’s all-time leading scorer and has a scholarship offer from Division II Minot State.
Jordan Hibner, sr., G, Monona Grove
Entering his third season as a varsity starter, Hibner faces quite the challenge in trying to lead a squad that lost fellow double-digit scorers Lance Nelson (16.8 ppg) and Connor Bracken (12.2 ppg). The 6-3 guard averaged 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a junior. His best performance came when he scored 31 points in last year’s regional semifinal upset over Milton 75-70.
Luke Fernholz, sr., G, Stoughton
The 6-2 guard is the Vikings top returning scorer (12.7 ppg), rebounder (8.5 rpg) and passer (3.3 apg). He also added 1.4 steals per contest. He averaged a tick shy of 16 points in the final five games last year, his third as a varsity starter. He will have the help of his sophomore brother, Ty, who averaged nine points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game as a freshman.
Nathan Gapinski, sr., F, Watertown
A third-year varsity starter, Gapinski will be a key piece in helping the Goslings try to build off the momentum of a three-game win streak to end last season before losing their playoff opener. The 6-6 forward averaged 12.8 points per game and surpassed his own scoring average in three of last season’s final five contests.
Andrew Keller, sr., F, Waunakee
A 6-6 forward, Keller is Waunakee’s top returning scorer (12.7 ppg) and one of the best scoring big men in the conference. He has plenty of varsity experience, earning second-team all-conference honors back in his sophomore season. He'll also be days removed from leading the Warriors'f football team to a WIAA Division 2 state title. Keller reached double figures in eight of his last nine games.