Leading scorer

DeForest’s Deven Magli (right) and Sun Prairie’s Ben Olson eye a rebound during a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal. Magli scored a team-high 19 points in the Norskies’ 66-51 victory.

Tired of knocking on the door, the DeForest High School boys basketball team wants to kick it down in 2021-22.

The Norskies went 16-6 last season and were WIAA Division 1 state semi-finalists in 2020-21. They want more out of this season.

“We are right there playing for the conference championship,” said Craig Weisbrod, who is about to enter his 22nd year as DeForest’s head coach, having compiled a 264-226 with the Norskies. “A lot of second places in the last few years. I think we have the mental toughness to carry us through a long season. It is definitely a major goal for these seniors.”

From last year’s group of starters, only Trace Grundahl is gone, having averaged five points and two rebounds per game.

Leading scorer Max Weisbrod, who recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Northern Michigan University, is back. The 6-foot-4 guard poured in 18.4 points a game last season, to go with 5.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest.

Standing 6-2, backcourt mate Brody Hartig (6.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg) returns, as well, along with 5-10 Tim Fredrickson (4.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg). The trio gives DeForest a strong group of guards.

Up front, forwards Deven Magli (10.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Nolan Hawk (13.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) also started for DeForest last season. They’re back, too. Additionally, the Norskies expect to get significant contributions from 6-1 guards Alex Van Ooyen and Cole Thennis and 6-4 forward Anthony Holliday.

“Max, Brody and Tim will run the team,” said Coach Weisbrod. “Nolan, Deven and Josh are our finishers. Cole and Alex are our shooters.”

With their athleticism, experience, returning scoring and chemistry, DeForest can play a variety of styles offensively and defensively. The Norskies will be tested by a tough conference and non-conference schedule. Depth is also a concern.

“We want to play fast, run the floor and fast break, but we can also execute in a half court,” explained Coach Weisbrod, who said DeForest will run motion or ball-screen action on offense.

Expect the Norskies to be fundamentally sound on the defensive end, while also playing smart and competing hard.

“We plan primarily on man (defense) but will change up with some zones,” said Coach Weisbrod. “We also like to press full court, try to take away what the other team does well and really just be solid.”

That’s the way the Norskies want to play if they’re guarding opponents, boxing out for rebounds, or getting the right positioning.

DeForest will challenge for the Badger East Conference title in 2021-22, with Waunakee and Milton also vying for the top spot.

“Waunakee will be very good and very big,” said Coach Weisbord. “Milton is very talented with Jack Campion.”

DeForest kicks off the 2021-22 campaign by hosting Baraboo on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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