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Tipoff time: Girls tourney also has new look

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Gazette staff
March 8, 2011

The new look in WIAA tournament play tips off tonight for the high school girls.


It will be the same format that made its debut with the boys last week.


For the first time since the girls basketball tournament began in 1976, there no longer will be an eight-team state showcase for Division 1. The division has been split in half, allowing for five enrollment divisions overall, each with four state qualifiers.


Under the new format, only schools with enrollments of 1,200 and above are in Division 1. The eight sectional champions in that division must match up in “Super Tuesday” games—or super sectionals—to determine the four-team state field.


Qualifying in the other divisions remains unchanged. Four sectional champions in each of those divisions advance to the state tournament.


The other enrollment cutoffs: Division 2, 600-1,199; Division 3, 328-599; Division 4, 200-327; Division 5, below 200.


Another dramatic change will be the absence of Division 1 state tournament games until the Friday night semifinals. Thursday sessions will include Division 5 and 4 semifinals. Divisions 3 and 2 semifinals will precede Division 1 in a six-game Friday schedule, and all five championship games will be on the traditional Saturday, starting with Division 5 at 11:05 a.m.


Girls action begins with tonight’s regional openers in all divisions. Division 2-5 regional semifinals are Friday, followed by regional finals in all divisions on Saturday.


Sectionals in all divisions are Thursday and Saturday, March 17 and 19. Division 1 super sectionals at venues throughout the state are Tuesday, March 22, finalizing the 20-team field for the March 24-26 state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.


The prospects leading into the girls tournaments:


Division 1

UW-WHITEWATER SUPER SECTIONAL


Burlington Sectional


2010 champion: Verona (def. Janesville Parker, 44-33, in a sectional final at Janesville Craig).


Verona lost to eventual champion Milwaukee Pius, 58-41, in the state quarterfinals.


2011 AP rated teams: Janesville Craig (18-4), honorable mention.


Top seeds: Muskego (17-5), No. 1; Janesville Craig, No. 2; Janesville Parker (15-7), No. 3; Franklin (14-8), No. 4.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Verona champion in a super sectional at UW-Whitewater. The super sectional winner plays Wisconsin Lutheran champion in the second state semifinal game at 8:15 p.m. Friday, March 25.


Notable: Verona has defeated Parker in the sectional finals the last thee years, but the Wildcats reached the state semifinals only in 2008 … Parker has made 12 state appearances, the most in Division 1 and second only to Cuba City’s 13 overall. The Vikings, however, have not been to the state tournament since 2006, when they made their third straight trip.


The Janesville schools have drawn first-round regional byes tonight in this sectional. Craig hosts the Mukwonago (5-17) or Kenosha Bradford (2-19) in Saturday afternoon’s regional finals, while Parker hosts Beloit Memorial (8-14). If the Janesville teams win, they’ll meet in a sectional semifinal game at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Burlington … Craig, the Big Eight runner-up to top-ranked Middleton, is seeking its first trip to the state tournament.


Verona Sectional


2010 champion: Middleton (def. Waunakee, 75-43, in a sectional final at Middleton).


Middleton lost to Wausau West, 53-48 in overtime, in the state quarterfinals.


2011 AP rated teams: Middleton (21-1), No. 1; Oconomowoc (19-3), honorable mention,


Top seeds: Middleton, No. 1; Oconomowoc, No. 2; Verona (16-6), No. 3; Madison East (13-8), No. 4.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Burlington champion in a super sectional at UW-Whitewater. The winner plays the Wisconsin Lutheran champion in the second state semifinal game at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, March 25.


Notable: Middleton has just won its fifth straight Big Eight championship, and the Cardinals are seeking their fourth straight trip to state. They lost in the quarterfinals two of the last three years. Their only appearance in the title game was a 58-40 loss to Janesville Parker in 1993, when their star player was Angie (Halbleib) Murphy, now the Verona head coach … Middleton has won 21 straight this season since losing its nonconference opener, 75-69 to Morgan Park, Ill.


WISCONSIN LUTHERAN SUPER SECTIONAL


Brookfield East Sectional


2010 champion: Milwaukee Pius (def. Oak Creek, 48-43, in a sectional final at Whitefish Bay).


Pius defeated Verona, 58-41, in the state quarterfinals; three-time defending champion Milwaukee Vincent, 64-58, in the semifinals; and De Pere, 34-23, in the championship game.


2011 AP rated teams: Milwaukee Pius (21-1), No. 3; Milwaukee Vincent (19-2), No. 4.


Top seeds: Milwaukee Pius, No. 1; Milwaukee Vincent, No. 2; Milwaukee King (15-6), No. 3; Brookfield Central (16-6), No. 4.


Notable: Classic Eight champion Pius and Milwaukee City champion Vincent appear to be on a collision course in this sectional. If they advance, they would meet in the Saturday, March 19, final to determine who plays the Racine Case Sectional champion in a super sectional at Wisconsin Lutheran College … Pius’ only loss was 66-61 to Hartland Arrowhead. Vincent has lost only to Marian Catholic (Ill.), 70-61, and Brookfield Central, 59-58. Vincent handed fifth-ranked Racine Case one of its two losses, 65-64, in a nonconfefrence opener. Pius has a 67-63 win over second-ranked Glendale Nicolet (20-2).


Racine Case Sectional


2010 champion: Racine Case (def. Muskego, 64-52, in a sectional final at Brookfield Central).


Case lost to three-time defending champion Milwaukee Vincent, 68-62, in the state quarterfinals.


2011 AP rated teams: Racine Case (19-2), No. 5.


Top seeds: Racine Case, No. 1; Oak Creek (17-5), No. 2; South Milwaukee (15-7), No. 3; Racine Horlick (12-10), No. 4.


Notable: Case features the state’s top-ranked player, 5-10 senior guard Samantha Logic, who has committed to the University of Iowa … The Eagles’ only losses this season were 65-64 to fourth-ranked Milwaukee Vincent in a nonconference opener and 84-52 to Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young.


STATEWIDE WRAP


UW-Stevens Point Super Sectional


Marshfield Sectional contenders: Eau Claire North (20-2), No. 6 in the AP state ratings; Chippewa Falls (20-2), No. 9; Marshfield (19-3), No 10.


Oshkosh North Sectional contenders: Appleton North (18-4), honorable mention in AP state ratings; Fond du Lac (16-6), Oshkosh West (15-7).


Notable: Wausau West and Beaver Dam represented these sectionals in last year’s state tournament. This super sectional champion plays the UW-Oshkosh champion in the first state semifinal game at 6:35 p.m. Friday, March. 25. Eau Claire North has 16 straight wins, including two victories over Chippewa Falls, which finished second to the Huskies in the Big Rivers Conference.


UW-Oshkosh Super Sectional


Sheboygan South Sectional contenders: De Pere (19-3), No. 7 in AP state ratings; Pulaski (20-2), No. 8; Kimberly (17-5), honorable mention.


Kettle Moraine Sectional contenders: Glendale Nicolet (20-2), No. 2 in AP state ratings; Kettle Moraine (16-6), Hartland Arrowhead (16-6), Waukesha South (16-6).


Notable: De Pere and Milwaukee Vincent represented these sectionals in last year’s state tournament, and De Pere became the runner-up. Vincent is now aligned with the Wisconsin Lutheran Super Sectional. The winner of this super sectional plays the UW-Stevens Point champion in the first state semifinal game at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, March 25. Pulaski won the Fox Valley Classic championship by one game over De Pere this season.


Division 2

SUN PRAIRIE SECTIONAL


2010 champion: Monroe (def. Union Grove, 48-37, in a sectional final at Janesville Craig).


Monroe lost, 31-30, to Winneconne in the state semifinals.


2011 AP rated teams: Union Grove (21-1), No. 2; Milton (18-3), No. 6; Baraboo (17-5), No. 9; Reedsburg (18-4), No. 10; Madison Edgewood (15-7), honorable mention.


Top seeds: Upper bracket—Baraboo, No. 1; Madison Edgewood, No. 2. Lower Bracket—Milton, Union Grove, each No. 1 in its regional.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Marshfield champion in the first Division 2 state semifinal game at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 25.


Notable: Milton avenged its only conference loss by beating Edgewood, 55-45, in a regular-season finale to win the Badger South championship. The Red Hawks draw a first-round regional bye tonight and host Whitewater


(12-10) or Oregon (5-17) in Friday’s regional semifinals. If the top seeds advance, Milton would face Southern Lakes champion Union Grove in a Thursday, March 17, sectional semifinal game at Janesville Craig. Union Grove has won 20 straight since losing to Shoreland Lutheran, 44-38, in its second game.


Monroe, a three-time state champion (most recently in 2006 and 2008) under 22-year coach Kevin Keen, has represented this sectional at the state tournament the last three years and four of the last five. The Cheesemakers are only 11-11 this season under first-year coach year Sam Mathiason.


STATEWIDE WRAP


Marshfield Sectional


Top contenders: New London (19-3), No. 5 in AP state ratings; Hayward (18-3), No. 8; Ashland (15-5), honorable mention; Lakeland (14-7), La Crosse Logan (14-8).


Notable: Altoona won this sectional last year and is now a Division 3 school. The sectional champion plays the Sun Prairie champion in the first state semifinal game at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 25.


Oshkosh West Sectional


Top contenders: Luxemburg-Casco (21-1), No. 1 in AP state ratings; Beaver Dam (18-4), No. 7 Green Bay Notre Dame (16-6), honorable mention; West Bend East (16-5), honorable mention; Cedarburg (16-6).


Notable: Winneconne won this sectional last year and now is a Division 3 school. Luxemburg-Casco was No. 1 in the ratings until losing to Division 1 contender Pulaski, 45-38, late in the regular season. The Spartans regained the No. 1 spot this week in the final poll. This sectional champion plays the West Allis Central champion in the second state semifinal game at 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 25.


West Allis Central Sectional


Top contenders: Pewaukee


(2-1), No. 3 in AP state ratings; New Berlin Eisenhower (20-2), No. 4; Whitefish Bay (17-5), Cudahy (15-7), New Berlin West (14-8).


Notable: Eisenhower defeated Wineconne, 59-50, for last year’s Division 2 state title. The Lions handed Pewaukee its only loss this season, 55-43. This sectional champion plays the Oshkosh West champion in the second state semifinal game at 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 25.


Division 3

WAUNAKEE SECTIONAL


2010 champion: Cuba City (def. Fennimore, 52-22, in a sectional final at Reedsburg).


Cuba City defeated Brillion, 56-40, in the state semifinals; Oostburg, 53-40, for the championship.


2011 AP rated teams: Richland Center (21-1), No. 4; East Troy


(19-3), No. 8; Edgerton (19-3), No. 10.


Top seeds: Upper bracket—Wisconsin Dells (15-5), Richland Center, No. 1 in regionals. Lower bracket—Lakeside Lutheran (16-6), Edgerton, No. 1 in regionals.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays Chippewa Falls champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Friday, March 25.


Notable: Richland Center has been a perennial Division 2 contender, with state trips in 2003 and 2004, and now becomes a Division 3 sectional favorite. The Hornets have lost only to Lancaster, 33-30, in their 14th game of the season.


Edgerton just gained its first conference championship in the program’s history by winning the Rock Valley North by two games. However, the Crimson Tide will have to bounce back from losses to Fort Atkinson (60-49) and Rock Valley North runner-up East Troy (58-56) in the last week.


Baraboo won the Badger North by one game over Reedsburg. Lakeside finished second to second-ranked Columbus in the Capitol North and gave the Cardinals two tough games.


After dominating this sectional area, Cuba City moved to Division 4 in the new WIAA format.


WAUKESHA WEST SECTIONAL


2010 champion: Oostburg (def. Shoreland Lutheran, 52-45, in a sectional final at West Bend).


Oostburg defeated Osseo-Fairchild, 64-43, in the state semifinals; lost to Cuba City, 53-40, in the championship game.


2011 AP rated teams: Whitefish Bay Dominican (22-0), No. 1; Columbus (21-1), No. 2; Winnebago Lutheran (20-2), No. 7; East Troy (19-3), No. 8; Lomira (19-3), No. 9.


Top seeds: Upper bracket—Columbus, Winnebago Lutheran, each No. 1 in its regional. Lower bracket overall—Dominican, No. 1; East Troy, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Ashwaubenon champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 25.


Notable: Oostburg has moved to Division 4 after winning this sectional last year. Rock Valley runner-up East Troy comes off a 58-56 win conference champion and then-sixth-ranked Edgerton. The Trojans lost to the Crimson Tide, 62-57, in the first meeting. If the top seeds advance, East Troy will face top-ranked Dominican in a Thursday, March 17, sectional semifinal game.


STATEWIDE WRAP


Chippewa Falls Sectional


Top contenders: Neillsville (22-0), No. 4 in AP state ratings; Mondovi (18-4), honorable mention; Ladysmith (18-4), Altoona


(15-7), Amery (15-7).


Notable: Altoona joins Division 3 after being a Division 2 state qualifier last year. The Railroaders could face Neillsville in the sectional semifinals. This sectional champion plays the Waunakee champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Friday, March 25.


Ashwaubenon Sectional


Top contenders: Chilton (21-1), No. 5 in AP state ratings; Freedom (20-2), No. 5; Kewaunee (19-3), honorable mention; Appleton Xavier (17-4), honorable mention; Brillion (16-6), Oconto Falls (16-6), Oconto (17-5).


Notable: Freedom has been a frequent Division 2 power in this area, most recently qualifying for the 2008 state tournament. This sectional champion plays the Waukesha West champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 25.


Division 4
STATEWIDE WRAP

Baraboo Sectional


Top contenders: Westby (21-1), No. 5 in AP state ratings; Fennimore (20-2), No. 8; Belleville (19-3), No. 10; Darlington (18-4), honorable mention; Cambridge (13-9).


Notable: Cuba City (13-9) joins the Division 4 field in this sectional after winning four Division 3 state championships since 2005, including last year. But the Cubans aren’t expected to be a factor after a rare “down” season. This sectional champion plays the Eau Claire Memorial champion in the first state semifinal game at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, March 24.


Eau Claire Memorial Sectional


Top contenders: Eau Claire Regis (21-1), No. 1; in AP state ratings; Hurley (21-1), No. 4; Colfax (20-2), No. 6; Osseo-Fairchild (18-4), No. 9; Washburn (18-4), honorable mention.


Notable: The key game in the sectional might be a regional final matchup of Regis and Colfax.


Waupaca Sectional


Top contenders: Oshkosh Lourdes (20-2), No. 2 in AP state ratings; Algoma (21-1), No. 3; Gillett (18-4), honorable mention; Amherst (19-3), honorable mention.


Notable: Amherst, the Division 3 state runner-up in 2007 and champion in 2009, joins Division 4 in this sectional. The sectional champion plays the Waukesha North champion in the second state semifinal game at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, March 24.


Waukesha North Sectional


Top contenders: Oostburg


(19-3), No. 7 in AP state ratings; Milwaukee Heritage Christian


(20-2), honorable mention; Shoreland Lutheran (19-3), honorable mention.


Notable: Shoreland Lutheran handed Union Grove the second-ranked Division 2 team, its only loss—44-38 in the second game of the season. Oostburg moves to Division 4 after being the Division 3 runner-up to Cuba City last season. The Flying Dutch have won three state titles, most recently as 2008—all in Division 3.


Division 5
STATEWIDE WRAP

Watertown Sectional


Top contenders: South Wayne Black Hawk (22-0), No. 1 in AP state ratings; Fall River (19-3),


No. 8; Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah


(14-8),Burlington Catholic Central (9-13).


Notable: Black Hawk reached the Division 4 state title game with a 27-1 record last year before falling to Wausau Newman, 64-40. The Warriors were No. 2 behind Newman in the AP ratings all season, then claimed the No. 1 spot when Newman lost its finale. This sectional champion plays the Pulaski champion in the second state semifinal game at 3:15 p.m.; Thursday, March 24.


Pulaski Sectional


Top contenders: Wausau Newman (21-1), No. 2 in AP ratings; Almond-Bancroft (19-3), No. 10; Wausaukee (16-6), Wabeno (13-9).


Notable: Newman is the defending Division 4 state champion. The Cardinals are looking for their eighth state appearance since 2001. Newman held the No. 1 rating all season until losing its finale, 48-42 to fourth-ranked Prentice (21-1), which gained a season split with the Cardinals.


La Crosse Central Sectional


Top contenders: Seneca (22-0), No. 3 in AP state ratings; Royall (20-2), No. 7; Highland (18-4), No. 9; Cashton (17-5), honorable mention; Independence (18-4), honorable mention; Kickapoo (17-5).


Notable: This sectional champion plays the Spooner champion in the first state semifinal game, which will be the opening game of the entire tournament, at 1:35 p.m. Thursday, March 24.


Spooner Sectional


Top contenders: Prentice (21-1), No. 4 in AP state ratings; Siren


(20-2), No. 5; Minong Northwood (19-3), No. 6; Winter (17-3), Lake Holcombe (18-4).


Notable: Prentice has been to the state tournament eight times and won three state titles—all in Division 4. However, the Buccaneers have not been to state since 1993, and their last title was in 1992.



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