Craig girls two wins from state
The tournament seedings that coaches vote on don't always pan out.
Take the case of the wacky Division 1 Sun Prairie Sectional in girls basketball.
Top-seeded Middleton and second-seeded Verona didn't even make it out of regional play.
Fourth-seeded Sun Prairie and seventh-seeded Madison West are the two remaining teams in the upper half of the bracket, and they enter tonight's game with a combined record of 18-29.
Things played out according to plan in the lower half of the bracket, as top-seeded Janesville Craig plays second-seeded Mukwonago tonight.
Here's a look at two area games that will send teams one step closer to a state berth at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
n Mukwonago (18-6) vs. Janesville Craig (20-4), 7 p.m., today at Beloit Memorial—The winner of this Division 1 sectional semifinal game plays the Sun Prairie vs. Madison West winner on Saturday.
If Sun Prairie wins, Saturday's sectional title game will be played at 4 p.m. at Waunakee.
If Madison West wins, the sectional title game will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Sun Prairie.
Sun Prairie was the scheduled host, but the WIAA added a provision this year that any team playing in a sectional title game cannot host that game.
Mukwonago comes into tonight's game riding an eight-game winning streak. The Indians, who were the Division 1 state runners-up a year ago, finished second in the Classic Eight Conference behind Hartland Arrowhead.
The Indians are led by sophomore Bre Cera. The 5-foot-11 point guard, who has already committed to UW-Green Bay, is averaging 13.2 points per game.
“She makes them go,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken. “She started last year as a freshman on that team that went to the state title game, and she has only gotten better.
“But they've got some other kids that can play, too. They're tall and big, including a 6-2 center (Ellie Michalski). We played against them a lot during the summer sweat leagues, so we're kind of familiar with them.”
The top-seeded Cougars didn't play their best basketball of the season in winning two regional games last weekend, but Storbakken believes the Cougars' shooting woes are behind them.
Junior point guard Al Hughes leads Craig in scoring with a 14.7 average.
The Cougars have won 10 straight and allowed more than 50 points only once during the streak—in a 63-61 win over Big Eight champion Middleton.
“These kids have bought in defensively since day one,” Storbakken said of his young team that features only one senior on the roster. “I'm not worried about our scoring because I think it's only a matter of time before we break out.
“We didn't shoot that well at all against Muskego and Parker and still won them both. We've gotten this far on our defense and rebounding.”
Rounding out the starting five for Craig are senior Alli Calkins, junior Aleyha Slatter and sophomores Delaney Schoenenberger and Annie Schumacher.
n Best guess: Mukwonago 49, Craig 44.
n Whitewater (21-3) vs. Brodhead (24-0), 7 p.m. today at Janesville Parker—The winner of this Division 3 sectional semifinal game plays the winner of the Adams-Friendship vs. Madison Edgewood game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Middleton.
These two teams met once during the regular season at Brodhead. The Cardinals rallied from an early double-digit deficit and eventually won 62-59 in overtime.
Whitewater is powered by senior Brooke Trewyn but has a balanced offensive attack. Trewyn, the school's all-time scoring leader, is averaging 15.5 points per game and scored 24 in the teams' first meeting.
Junior forward Sarah Schumacher is averaging 11.3 points per game.
The Whippets have won 10 straight since losing to Brodhead, and are 19-1 since 6-foot-2 freshman center Myriama Smith-Traore returned from injury.
Brodhead counters with arguably the state's best player, Carly Mohns, along with a strong, veteran supporting cast.
The 6-foot-1 Mohns, a University of Iowa recruit, is coming off a regional title game in which she had 20 points and 21 rebounds. She had 24 points in the win against Whitewater earlier this season and is averaging 17.5 points and more than 10 rebounds per game.
Sophomore Kylie Moe is averaging 11 points per game, while senior Rachel Heller is right behind at 10.8 points per game.
Brodhead lost in a Division 3 sectional semifinal game a year ago to Lodi.
n Best guess: Whitewater 56, Brodhead 53.
Boys state tourney starts today
The WIAA state boys basketball tournaments begins today at the Kohl Center in Madison without a team from the Gazette's coverage area in the running for a gold ball.
The five state champions will be decided on Saturday:
WIAA State Tournament
At Kohl Center (Madison)
(All games televised live on Channel 27)
6:35 p.m.—Germantown (24-2) vs. Milwaukee King (24-2).
8:15 p.m.—Neenah (25-1) vs. Mukwonago (18-8).
8:15 p.m.—Germantown/Milwaukee King winner vs. Neenah/Mukwonago winner.
1:35 p.m.—West De Pere (20-4) vs. Wisconsin Lutheran (24-2).
3:15 p.m.—Rice Lake (22-2) vs. Greendale (19-8).
6:35 p.m.—West De Pere/Lutheran winner vs. Rice Lake/Greendale winner.
9:05 a.m.—Roncalli (25-1) vs. Brown Deer (21-5).
10:45 a.m.—Elk Mound (25-1) vs. Lodi (25-1).
2:30 p.m.—Roncalli/Brown Deer winner vs. Elk Mound/Lodi winner.
6:35 p.m.—Brillion (18-8) vs. Whitefish Bay Dominican ((23-3).
8:15 p.m.—Unity (22-2) vs. Blair-Taylor (22-3).
12:45 p.m.—Brillion/Domincan winner vs. Unity/Blair-Taylor winner.
1:35 p.m.—Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran (26-1) vs. Sheboygan Lutheran (25-2).
3:15 p.m.—Thorp (17-8) vs. Cochrane-Fountain City (20-7).
11:05 a.m.—N.E.W. Lutheran/Sheboygan Lutheran winner vs. Thorp/Cochrane-Fountain City winner.