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Those of us in the Coulee Region who have seen Central High School junior Johnny Davis develop as an athlete over the past three boys basketball seasons could imagine a year like the one he just put together.

Johnny Davis mug

Johnny Davis

Around the state, however, there were some questions if Davis could do what he does against Wisconsin’s best.

Davis silenced that doubt with his performance in the WIAA Division 2 state semifinals after leading the Red Raiders to the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season. While that game ended in a loss to Milwaukee Washington, it helped Davis’ place as one of Wisconsin’s best players, and earned a spot on The Associated Press All-State first team, a decision made by a statewide panel of voters.

Davis was one two unanimous choices on the first team, with the other being Nicolet’s Jalen Johnson, who was also named the AP player of the year. Davis and Johnson were joined on the first team by Sussex Hamilton’s Patrick Baldwin Jr., Waupun’s Marcus Domask, and Milwaukee Washington’s Mike Foster Jr.

Davis and Domask were the other finalists for AP player of the year.

Grant Manke mug


Onalaska juniors Carson Arenz and Tyrell Stuttley, Bangor junior Grant Manke, and Central senior Noah Parcher all earned honorable mention.

Davis — a 6-foot-5 junior who has a scholarship offer from the University of Wisconsin and tweeted Monday that he received an offer from West Virginia — has continued to diversify his skills since coming on the scene and helping Central win a state title as a freshman.

He averaged 23.1 points this season, and had 31 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists in the semifinal against Milwaukee Washington, a 72-71 overtime loss. Davis made two free throws with four seconds left to push Central to overtime against the Purgolders.

Sun Prairie’s Jeff Boos won the AP’s coach of the year award after leading his team to the Division 1 state championship game. New Glarus’ Travis Sysko, Greendale Martin Lutehr’s Paul Wollersheim and Brookfield Central’s Dan Wandrey were also finalists.

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Colten Bartholomew is a reporter and columnist for River Valley Media Group. Colten is the college sports coordinator for the La Crosse Tribune.