High School Girls Basketball State Preview

posted by Jimmie Kaska - 

WIAA Basketball DL

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 43rd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 8-10, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

PURCHASING TICKETS: Ticket price for the tourney is $10 per session when purchased at the Resch Center. Tickets for the tournament will also be available for purchase online at the Ticket Star website: www.ticketstaronline.com. All-sessions, as well as individual session tickets are available for purchase online for $12 per session. A link is also provided on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org or call Ticket Star at 1-800-895-0071.

STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: The single elimination tournament features a five-division format with four teams qualifying in each of the five divisions.

Thursday, March 8

Division 3

#1 Marshall (25-1) vs. #4 Wisconsin Dells (25-1) - 1:35 p.m.

#2 Amherst (25-1) vs. #3 Saint Thomas More (21-5)*

Division 4

#1 Aquinas (26-0) vs. #4 Crandon (22-2) - 6:35 p.m.

#2 Melrose-Mindoro (26-0) vs. #3 Manitowoc Lutheran (21-4) *

Friday, March 9

Division 5

#1 Black Hawk (27-0) vs. #4 Newman Catholic (21-6) - 9:05 a.m.

#2 Bangor (24-3) vs. #3 Clayton (24-3)*

Division 2

#1 Beaver Dam (23-2) vs. #4 Hortonville (20-6) - 1:35 p.m.

#2 Monroe (24-2) vs. #3 New Berlin Eisenhower (23-3)*

Division 1

#1 Arrowhead (24-2) vs. #4 Appleton North (22-4) - 6:35 p.m.

#2 Mukwonago (24-2) vs. #3 Oak Creek (24-2)*

Saturday, March 10

3-Point Challenge - 9:30 a.m.

Division 5 Championship Game - 11:05 a.m.

Division 4 Championship Game*

Division 3 Championship Game*

Division 2 Championship Game - 6:35 p.m.

Division 1 Championship Game*

*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 15 minutes following the previous game.

STATE TOURNAMENT ON THE AIR: The State Tournament will be televised live on WKOW-TV in Madison, WAOW-TV in Wausau, WXOW-TV in La Crosse, WQOW-TV in Eau Claire, WYOW-TV in Eagle River, WMOW-TV in Crandon, WMLW-TV in Milwaukee, KBJR-MY9 in Duluth/Superior and WCWF W-14 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Division of Quincy Media, Inc., will produce the coverage. The championships will also be streamed on the statewide network station websites. Also, download the Magic of March app for live streaming video, scores, highlights and more about the WIAA State basketball tournaments. Live coverage of the tournaments on iOS or Android phones and tablets are also available on the app.

3-POINT CHALLENGE STREAMED LIVE:  The 3-Point Challenge will be streamed live on the NFHS Network Saturday at 9:30 a.m. To watch the competition, register and subscribe to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $9.95 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription image in the middle of the page. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription.

POST-GAME MEDIA CONFERENCES STREAMED: The post-game media conferences will be shown live without subscription on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network immediately following each game.

TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The first WIAA State Girls Basketball Championship Tournament was held in 1976. The tournament was held at the UW Field House from 1976-97 and also in 1999, 2000 and 2002. The championships were held at the Kohl Center in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2010-12, and at the Alliant Energy Center in 2004 and 2006-09. The current site of the tournament, the Resch Center in Green Bay, became the home of the tournament in 2013. The tournament featured a three-class format until 1991, when a four-division format was adopted. In 2011, a fifth division was added. Cuba City has won the most State titles over the years with 11 followed by Barneveld with six and Milwaukee Washington with five. Fall Creek, Flambeau and Kimberly have won four. There have been 93 different schools that have won championships. Cuba City has the distinction of having appeared in the most State Tournaments with 16. Janesville Parker has participated 12 times, and Barneveld, Durand, Fall Creek and Newman Catholic have qualified for 11 State Tournaments with Arrowhead, Kimberly, Middleton, Monroe, Milwaukee Washington and Oostburg having qualified 10 times.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD: Top-seeded Arrowhead is making its 10th appearance at State and its first since 2015. The Warhawks have claimed a pair of titles from their nine previous appearances, one in 1988 and the other in 1991. They finished in a first-place tie with Mukwonago in the Classic 8 Conference this season. The Warhawks are the representatives out of the Sheboygan North Sectional following their 49-34 win over Bay Port in the final. Second-seeded Mukwonago is making its ninth appearance at State and its fourth in the past six seasons. The Indians finished runner-up in their most recent experience in 2016 and also in 2013. They earned a return trip to State with a 61-56 win over Madison East in the Janesville Craig Sectional final. They are the co-champions of the Classic 8 Conference with Arrowhead this season. Oak Creek, which was issued the third seed, returns to the tournament field for the second time in the past three seasons and for the third time in five years. The Knights are making their seventh appearance overall, which includes a title won in 2014. The Knights had a string of three straight appearances from 1982-84, which produced a runner-up finish in 1983. They are the champions of the Southeastern Conference this season, and they advance to the State semifinals from the West Allis Central Sectional after defeating Milwaukee King 66-57 in the final. Defending champion and fourth-seeded Appleton North returns to State for the third year in a row and for the fifth time overall. The Lightning cruised past Kimberly in the final of the Oshkosh North Sectional final, 65-41, to earn the opportunity to retain the title. They finished first in the Fox Valley Association this season.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD: Defending champion and top-seeded Beaver Dam is back attempting to win its second title. It is the Golden Beavers’ fourth appearance overall. They made their initial State appearance back in 1991 when they finished runner-up in Division 1. Their return to the State Tournament comes by virtue of a 70-49 victory over West De Pere in the Neenah Sectional final. The Golden Beavers are the champions of the North Division of the Badger Conference this season. Second-seeded Monroe is making its second consecutive appearance and its 10th overall. The Cheesemakers have won three State championships, those coming in 1989, 2006 and 2008. In addition, they placed runner-up in 1988 and 2000. Monroe is the champion in the South Division of the Badger Conference this season. The Cheesemakers downed Jefferson 68-31 in the final of the Sun Prairie Sectional to qualify for the State tournament field. Third-seeded New Berlin Eisenhower won the State title in its most recent experience in 2016. The Lions also won the championship in 2010 and made back-to-back appearances that resulted in runner-up finishes in 2012-13. This will be their sixth appearance overall. The Lions edged Pius XI Catholic 41-39 in the Brown Deer Sectional final to advance into the final field of four. They finished the regular season atop the standings in the West Division of the Woodland Conference. Fourth-seeded Hortonville is in the State tournament field for the third time and for the second straight season. The Polar Bears have lost in the semifinals in each of their previous appearances. They are the survivors of the Stevens Point Sectional having eliminated Onalaska 69-59 in the final. They finished third in the Fox Valley Association this season behind Division 1 qualifier Appleton North and Kimberly.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD: Top-seeded Marshall returns to the State tournament field for the first time since winning back-to-back Class C championships in 1976 and 1977, which accounts for the Cardinals only two previous appearances at State. This year, they are the champions in the South Division of the Capitol Conference and are the representative from the Sun Prairie Sectional. The Cardinals defeated Lakeside Lutheran 61-39 in the sectional final. Amherst, the #2 seed in the bracket, is making its seventh appearance and its first since winning the school’s second title in 2009. The Falcons made four consecutive trips to the State tourney from 2006-09, which also produced a runner-up finish in 2007. Their first championship was in 1999. They are the champions of the Large Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference, and they earned their berth in the tournament field by topping Southern Door 50-39 in the Kaukauna Sectional final. Third-seeded Saint Thomas More will experience playing in the State tournament for the first time following the Cavaliers’ 63-40 win over Laconia in the Waukesha South Sectional. They finished in second place in the Metro Classic Conference behind Martin Luther this season. Fourth-seeded Wisconsin Dells advances to the State tournament for the first time in school history. The Chiefs’ road through the Chippewa Falls Sectional culminated with a 46-29 triumph over Hayward in the final. They are the champions of the South Central Conference in 2018.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Top-seeded Aquinas is State-bound for the second straight season after finishing runner-up a year ago in the programs first State appearance. The Blugolds are undefeated this season, and they are the champions of the Mississippi Valley Conference. They breezed through the Baraboo Sectional, winning their games throughout the tournament by an average of 45 points, including an 86-33 blowout over Cambridge in the sectional final. Prior to its membership in the WIAA, Aquinas won back-to-back WISAA Division 2 championships in 1996-97 and finished runner-up in Class A in 1985 and 1989. Second-seeded Melrose-Mindoro will experience the State tournament for the first time in school history. The Mustangs are undefeated and the champions in the Large Division of the Dairyland Conference this season. They rolled over Colfax 52-31 in the final of the River Falls Sectional to punch their ticket to the Resch Center. Third-seeded Manitowoc Lutheran will make its initial appearance at State following its 71-57 victory over Milwaukee Academy of Science in the Whitefish Bay Sectional final. The Lancers finished runner-up in the Big East Conference standings this year. Prior to joining the WIAA through membership option, the Lancers had a runner-up finish in Class B of the WISAA tournament in 1989. Fourth-seeded Crandon advances to the State tournament for the first time by winning the Antigo Sectional by virtue of the Cardinals’ 50-44 victory over Marathon in the final. During the regular season, the Cardinals tied for the Northern Lakes Conference championship with Elcho.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD: Top-seeded Black Hawk is making its fourth appearance in the State tournament and its first since a string of three straight appearances from 2009-11. That run of success produced a runner-up finish in Division 4 in 2010. The Warriors return berth in the final field of four comes with an 81-41 win over Hustisford in the Oconomowoc Sectional final. That margin of victory also represents their average victory margin throughout the tournament. They are undefeated and the champions of the Eastern Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season. Second-seeded Bangor returns to the State Tournament for the second straight season and for the third time overall. The Cardinals’ first appearance produced a Division 4 championship in 1997, and they lost in the semifinals last year. This season, the Cardinals are the champions of the Scenic Bluffs Conference. They earned their way to the State semifinals through the La Crosse Central Sectional with a 55-41 win over Shullsburg in the final. Third-seeded Clayton will make its third straight State tournament appearance and its fourth overall. The Bears’ quest for a State title ended in the semifinals in each of their previous three encounters, the first coming in Division 4 in 1995. They qualify this season after a 55-40 victory over Shell Lake in the Spooner Sectional final. The Bears were runners-up to Cameron in the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this season. Fourth-seeded Newman Catholic is making its 11th State appearance and its first since 2013. The Cardinals won the Division 4 title in 2010 and the Division 5 crown in 2011. In addition, they won the Division 3 State championship in 2002. Furthermore, their appearances in 2005 and 2006 produced runner-up finishes. The Cardinals placed third in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this season behind Marathon and Stratford. The Cardinals defeated Gillett 52-40 in the Appleton East Sectional final to earn their way back to the Resch Center this season. Prior to joining the WIAA, Newman Catholic won a Class A championship in the defunct WISAA tournament.

THREE-POINT CHALLENGE:  The WIAA will conduct the third annual 3-Point Challenge prior to Saturday’s championship games. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Resch Center. A ticket for the Division 3, 4 and 5 championship games session is required for admittance into the event. The top two players per division were selected for the contest based on the best 3-point field goal percentage with a minimum of 75 attempts during the regular season. The contestants representing Division 1 are senior Justice Filip of Madison East, who advanced to the semifinals in the competition last year, and sophomore Christine Fortune from Appleton West. Representing Division 2 are juniors Laijanique Perry-Ellis of Milwaukee Washington and Hannah Belanger of Grafton. The Division 3 participants are juniors Mackenzie Correll of Northwestern and Molly Schmitz of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. Division 4 will be represented by seniors Carley Elmhorst of Colby and Lexi Schmidtknecht of Cochrane-Fountain City, and the Division 5 contestants are senior Brooke Hopkins of Tri-County and junior Cara Miller of Prairie Farm. Visit the information on the WIAA website for more details about the 3-Point Challenge.

RUSH TO THE RESCH: One school qualifying for the State Girls Basketball Tournament in each of the five divisions will receive $2000 from the Greater Green Bay Community by selling the most pre-sale tickets in their respective division.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the WIAA website www.wiaawi.org and choose the Tournament Information link on the home page or the girls basketball home page.

FOLLOW STATE TOURNEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Girls Basketball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaagb. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

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