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State Girls Basketball Tournament Preview

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

State Girls Basketball Tournament Preview

STEVENS POINT, Wis. The 44th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 7-9, 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 7
Division 3

#1 Marshall (24-2) vs. #4 Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (24-2) - 1:35 p.m.
#2 Laconia (26-0) vs. #3 Freedom (23-3)* 

Division 4
#1 Aquinas (25-1) vs. #4 Milwaukee Acad. of Science (19-5) - 6:35 p.m.
#2 Melrose-Mindoro (25-1) vs. #3 Colby (25-0) *

Friday, March 8
Division 5

#1 Black Hawk (26-0) vs. #4 Fall River (24-3) - 9:05 a.m.
#2 Clayton (26-0) vs. #3 Newman Catholic (24-3)*

Division 2
#1 Beaver Dam (25-1) vs. #4 Hortonville (19-7) - 1:35 p.m.
#2 Whitefish Bay (23-3) vs. #3 Monroe (20-6)*

Division 1
#1 Mukwonago (24-1) vs. #4 Middleton (21-5) - 6:35 p.m. 
#2 Bay Port (25-1) vs. #3 Kimberly (23-3)*

Saturday, March 9
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.

GATE SECURITY PROCEDURES:  All spectators entering the Resch Center are subject to pass through metal detectors. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid missing the start of each session. Doors will open 60 minutes prior to the start of competition.

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 95 different schools that have won championships. Cuba City has the distinction of having appeared in the most State Tournaments with 16. Janesville Parker and now Newman Catholic have participated 12 times, and Barneveld, Durand, Fall Creek and now Kimberly, Middleton and Monroe have qualified for 11 State Tournaments with Arrowhead, Milwaukee Washington, Oostburg and now Mukwonago having qualified 10 times.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Last season’s runner-up and this year’s top seed Mukwonago is making its 10th appearance at State and its fifth in the past seven seasons. The Indians also finished runner-up in 2013 and then again in 2016. They earned a return trip to State with a 62-55 win over Milwaukee King in the West Allis Central Sectional final. They are the champions of the Classic 8 Conference this season. Second-seeded Bay Port will return to the State Tournament for the first time since 2000 and for the third time overall. The Pirates’ furthest advance in the tournament was to the semifinals in 1988 when Division 1 featured eight qualifying teams. They are the champions of the Fox River Classic Conference this season. The Pirates came out on top in a low-scoring game versus Arrowhead in the Manitowoc Lincoln Sectional final, 26-24 in overtime, to advance into the tourney field. Kimberly, seeded third, qualifies for the State Tournament for the 11th time and for the first time since 2014. The Papermakers made five appearances in the 1980s and four in the 1990s. They have won four State titles. They won the Class A championship in 1987 and the Class B title in 1989. They added Division 2 titles in 1996 and 1998. The Papermakers also finished runner-up in Class A in 1982 and in Division 2 in 1997. They are the champions of the Fox Valley Association this season, and they are the representatives from the D.C. Everest Sectional with a 62-60 win over Wausau West in the final. Fourth-seeded Middleton has qualified for the State Tournament for the 11th time. It is the Cardinals’ second appearance in the past three seasons. They made an impressive run of five State Tournaments from 2008-12. The Cardinals have finished as State runner-up twice, once in 1993 and again in 2003. They advance to the State semifinals this season after cruising past Sun Prairie 60-45 in the Janesville Craig Sectional final. The Cardinals finished atop the standings in the Big Eight Conference this season. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Two-time defending champion and top-seeded Beaver Dam is back attempting to become only the fifth program to win three straight titles and the first to do it since Milwaukee Vincent from 2007-09. It is the Golden Beavers’ fifth 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 68-40 win over Notre Dame in the Kaukauna Sectional final. The Golden Beavers are the champions of the North Division of the Badger Conference this season. Third-seeded Monroe is making its third consecutive appearance and its 11th 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 runner-up in the South Division of the Badger Conference behind Monona Grove this season. The Cheesemakers defeated Milton 62-51 in the final of the Oregon Sectional to return to the State Tournament field.  The two-seed, Whitefish Bay, has seven previous appearances in the State Tournament with the last coming in 2011. The Blue Dukes’ best outcome in any of the previous tournaments was a runner-up finish in Class A in 1986. They defeated Pewaukee 63-43 in the final of the Brookfield East Sectional. The Blue Dukes finished the regular season second in the North Shore Conference behind Slinger. Hortonville is in the State Tournament field for the fourth time and for the third straight season. The Polar Bears have lost in the semifinals in each of their previous appearances. They are the representatives  of the Marshfield Sectional after eliminating River Falls 67-49 in the final. They finished fourth in the Fox Valley Association this season, which was won by Division 1 qualifier Kimberly. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Defending  champion and top-seed Marshall returns to the State Tournament field for the fourth time looking to duplicate the feat it achieved in 1976 and 1977 when the Cardinals won back-to-back Class C championships. This year, they are the champions in the South Division of the Capitol Conference and are the representative from the Stoughton Sectional  after the Cardinals defeated Platteville 78-61 in the final. Second-seeded Laconia advances to the State Tournament for the first time in school history. The Spartans road through the Watertown Sectional culminated with a 60-42 triumph over Milwaukee Languages in the final. They are the champions of the Flyway Conference this season. Third-seeded Freedom is making its second appearance and its first since its only other experience resulted in a runner-up finish in Division 2 in 2008. The Irish tied for the championship of the North Eastern Conference with  Luxemburg-Casco and Wrightstown this season, and they earned their berth in the tournament field by ousting Kiel 53-40 in the Ashwaubenon Sectional final. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, the fourth seed, will experience playing in the State Tournament for the first time following the Red Hawks’ 47-22 win over Hayward in the Altoona Sectional. They won the Coulee Conference championship this season. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Defending champion Aquinas is the #1 seed making its third straight appearance. The Blugolds finished runner-up in 2017 in the program’s first State appearance. They are the champions of the Mississippi Valley Conference. They have advanced through the Verona Sectional following an 89-53 trouncing of Belleville 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. Last year’s runner-up, second-seeded Melrose-Mindoro, will experience the State Tournament for the second time. The Mustangs are the champions in the Large Division of the Dairyland Conference this season.  They rolled to a 61-32 win over Colfax in the final of the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional to earn their return ticket to the Resch Center.  Third-seeded Colby advances to the State Tournament for the first time by winning the Wausau West Sectional by virtue of the Hornets’ 67-50 victory over Crandon in the final. During the regular season, the Hornets won the East Division of the Cloverbelt Conference championship. Milwaukee Academy of Science is the fourth seed also making its initial appearance at State following its 78-60 victory over Howards Grove in the Sheboygan North Sectional final. The Novas play an independent schedule without a conference affiliation. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Black Hawk is the #1 seed making its fifth appearance in the State Tournament and its second in a row. The Warriors  made 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 State Tournament comes with a convincing 70-39 win over Independence in the La Crosse Central Sectional final. They are the champions of the Eastern Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season. Second-seeded Clayton will make its fourth straight State Tournament appearance and its fifth overall. The Bears’ quest for a State title has 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 61-36 victory over Northwood in the Spooner Sectional final. The Bears are the champions in the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this season. Newman Catholic is making its second appearance in a row and its 12th State appearance overall. 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 won the title in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this season. They defeated Wausaukee 49-37 in the Wausau 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. Fall River, the fourth seed, qualifies for the State Tournament for the third time and for the first time since the second of back-to-back appearances in 2015-16. Both of those experiences resulted in losses in the semifinals. The Lady Pirates beat Hilbert 37-31 in the Oconomowoc Sectional final to earn their return to the tourney. They are the runners-up in the West Division of the Trailways Conference this season. 

THREE-POINT CHALLENGE: The WIAA will conduct the 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 junior Aaliyah McMillan of Chippewa Falls and senior Natalie Cerrato of De Pere. Representing Division 2 are freshman Sarah Newcomer of Pewaukee and junior Maxine Paulowske of Kewaskum. The Division 3 participants are freshman Abbie Aalsma of Waupun and junior Sophie Cedarblade of Elk Mound. Division 4 will be represented by freshman Mallory Lindsey of Mineral Point and senior Devin Wagner of Lancaster, and the Division 5 contestants are sophomore Mattie Craker of McDonell Catholic and junior Remi Geiger of Loyal. 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.

BELLIN ATHLETIC TRAINING:  Bellin Health Sports Medicine is the exclusive provider of licensed athletic training services for the State Girls Basketball Tournament.

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