On Tuesday night, the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament began with regional action across Wisconsin, with games across all five divisions. All remaining teams will play in regional semifinals on Friday, with regional finals to be held Saturday.
Division 1 featured only a handful of area games. #18 Fond du Lac upended #15 Watertown in Sectional 2, 55-46. In Sectional 3's pair of play-in games, #15 Kenosha Tremper advanced past #18 Janesville Parker 75-61, while a late tip-in didn't go for #17 Beloit Memorial at #16 Badger, as Badger won 59-58.
In Division 2, Sectional 2, #6 Beaver Dam advanced past #11 West Bend West 54-37. Sectional 3 saw several area teams in action. #8 Monroe outlasted #9 Sauk Prairie (see below). #6 Reedsburg eased past #11 Baraboo 70-40, while #7 Stoughton took down #10 Portage 66-50. #8 Waterford beat #9 Milton 53-48, while #7 Union Grove got past #10 Fort Atkinson 56-34.
Division 3, Sectional 3 saw Lodi, Evansville, Edgewood, Marshall, Big Foot, Lake Mills, Lakeside Lutheran, Columbus, and Luther Prep advance. Division 4 winners on Tuesday included Wisconsin Heights, Cuba City, Waterloo, Deerfield, Cambridge (in an 11-over-6 upset), and Brodhead. Division 5 was, for the most part, upset-free, with only a couple across the entire state from Tuesday night's full slate.
#8 Monroe 61, #9 Sauk Prairie 56 - Division 2, Sectional 3
Two of the biggest teams in the Badger Conference, or even Division 2, Sectional 3, got together on Tuesday night in Monroe.
Both teams had four starters ranging in height from 6'4" to 6'7" and plenty more length off the bench, making the game more about pace and fundamentals than the size advantage both teams enjoyed throughout their respective seasons. Early on, it was the zone defense and deliberate, grind-it-out offense of Sauk Prairie that held the advantage, at one point going up by six points before settling for a 31-27 lead. In the second half, the pace picked up as Monroe rallied to tie or take the lead six times after halftime.
Late in the game, Monroe's Nick Schumacher made a steal off of an inbound pass, and was fouled to go to the line to put the Cheesemakers up 59-56. A three-point try missed for Sauk Prairie, and Monroe hit two more free throws to seal a playoff-opening win over Sauk Prairie.
Monroe plays at top-seeded Mount Horeb on Friday. The Vikings are #9 statewide in the WisSports.net Coaches Poll.
SAUK PRAIRIE: 31|25=56
Monroe Scoring: Cade Meyer 18, Kade King 16, Nick Schumacher 11, J.T. Seagreaves 11, Michael Lange 3, Carson Leuzinger 2.
Sauk Prairie Scoring: Spencer Breunig 22, Jack Henderson 13, Trevor Spray 11, Tucker Holloway 3, Brandt Wilson 3, Ben German 2, Garrett Hertzfeldt 2.