Greenfield — Over the years, many talented basketball players have come out of the Whitnall School District.
None, however, has ever done what the Whitnall Youth Basketball Club's fifth-grade boys accomplished last month - capture a youth state championship.
That team took home the Wisconsin Invitational Division 2 State crown on April 17, compiling a 7-0 record in the tournament, capped by a 33-30 triumph over Monona Grove in the title game.
'This is really exciting,' said head coach Chris Herro. 'None of the Whitnall teams have ever won this. It is unique to win any kind of state championship, and to make a run like this is impressive.'
The team was strong all season, compiling a 54-4 record.
'It was the product of hard work and good team chemistry,' said Herro, who played basketball for West Allis Hale High School. 'Also, we had a couple of kids who were a bit more advanced in the game.'
The fifth-grade roster includes a couple of last names familiar to area basketball fans: Joe Tilley and Adam Pelkofer, both of Hales Corners Elementary School. Tilley's father Joe was a top scorer for Franklin High School, and Whitnall High School has seen a string of Pelkofers enjoy success on the court.
The team's leading scorer is Tyler Herro of Edgerton Elementary, who averaged about 20 points. Herro and Andrew Mallmann, also of Edgerton, made the all-tournament first-team.
Other team members are Daniel Wolff, Sean Damro and Lucas Merritt, all of Edgerton; and Trent Boschke, Will Kegel and Devin Breitenstein, all of Hales Corners Elementary.
Also in the state tournament, the Whitnall sixth and seventh-grade teams placed in the top eight in their respective divisions.