State tournament quarterfinal games are set for Saturday across Wisconsin in high school girls basketball. In the greater Madison area, Sectional 3 features a couple of rematches, with Sun Prairie and Middleton, as well as Monroe and Milton, meeting for a third time in the 2018-19 season.
In Division 1, #1 Sun Prairie trailed at halftime, but rallied to defeat #5 Madison East 51-44. #2 Middleton held off #3 Madison Memorial on the other side of the bracket. The Battle of the Cardinals will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at Janesville Craig.
Division 2 will see another conference rematch. #2 Monroe downed #5 DeForest 71-54 (more below), while #3 Milton topped #1 Waterford 62-54. Oregon will be the host site for round three between the teams at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Also, top-ranked Beaver Dam flexed Slinger 63-32 and will see Notre Dame on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Kaukauna.
The defending Division 3 champs are still playing. #2 Marshall defeated #1 Shoreland Lutheran 83-62, and they'll see fellow #2 seed Platteville, who knocked off #1 Prairie du Chien 48-39. Elkhorn is not exactly a halfway point for the schools, but that's where the sectional final will be Saturday at 1 p.m.
Top-ranked #1 Aquinas held off #2 Mineral Point 62-56 in Division 4, and the Blugolds will meet #2 Belleville, 60-56 winners over #1 Markesan, on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Verona.
Division 5 features #1 Black Hawk taking on #2 Independence on Saturday at La Crosse Central, while #1 Fall River faces #4 Hilbert at Oconomowoc as well.
Division 2, Sectional 3: #2 Monroe 71, #5 DeForest 54
Two second-place finishers in their respective halves of the Badger Conference met in what was billed as a battle of top defenses heading in at McFarland in a WIAA Sectional Semifinal on Thursday.
Instead, Monroe jumped out to a 12-2 lead and mostly kept the lead at around ten points for the entire evening.
Sydney Hilliard led the initial burst, quickly getting to double-digits in the first half while the Cheesemakers worked to solve an array of defenses that DeForest threw at them. The closest the Norskies got was within seven, and nearly made a rally midway through the first half on a breakaway layup attempt, but the shot missed, and Megan Benzschawel found Grace Tostrud at the other end for a three from the top of the key to swing the game five points and return the lead to 10. From there, Monroe never allowed DeForest to close within nine points the rest of the way in a 71-54 victory.
Megan Benzschawel had nine rebounds by halftime and finished with a double-double. Emily Benzschawel had a big night with 23 points, and Hilliard was one shy of her season high with 31 points on 10-for-11 shooting.
Deforest had three players into double figures, led by Maggie Trautsch with 17.
Monroe will meet Milton in a Badger South rematch on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Oregon. Milton finished 7th of eight teams in the Badger South, and Monroe won both prior meetings, by 25 and 23 points. The winning team will advance to state next week in Green Bay.
Monroe Scoring: Sydney Hilliard 31, Emily Benzschawel 23, Megan Benzschawel 11, Grace Tostrud 5, Grace Mathiason 1.
DeForest Scoring: Maggie Trautsch 17, Aleah Grundahl 13, Grace Roth 12, Taylor Tschumper 6, Sam Schaeffer 3, Natalie Compe 3.