Because Chicago Cubs fans have so outnumbered Milwaukee Brewers fans when those National League Central rivals play at Miller Park, it has been called “Wrigley Field North.”
That disparity in fan representation has been even more pronounced in recent years as the Cubs became a powerhouse team, winning the World Series in 2016 to end a 108-year drought. That phenomenon has greatly aggravated the Brewers fans who do show up because they get shouted out in their own ballpark.
With that in mind, the Brewers announced the opportunity Thursday for their own fans to get first dibs on the 10 home games against the Cubs during the 2018 season:
In a release distributed to media by the club, it states: “The Crew wants Miller Park to be filled with loud and proud Wisconsin fans when they cheer on the boys of summer against their division foe this year.”
Beginning at 9 a.m. today and continuing through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 15, residents of Wisconsin can go to Brewers.com/wisconsinpresale to purchase up to eight tickets to any of those 10 home games against the Cubs. You must have a valid Wisconsin address to qualify.
As any Brewers fan who lives in southern Wisconsin can tell you, there are many Cubs fans living north of the border. So, they’ll have no problem jumping in early to get tickets to those games to cheer on their favorite team.
This program also won’t stop Brewers fans from buying the tickets, putting them on the secondary market and making some money when Cubs fans willingly pay what it takes. Brewers fans who do attend Cubs games can tell you there has been plenty of that going on in recent years, leading to the frustration of louder cheering for the visitors.
All of that aside, you have to give the Brewers credit for making it easier for their own fans to attend home games against the Cubs. It probably won’t stop the “Wrigley Field North” scenario from playing out again, but they get an “A” for effort.
Middleton’s 3-point barrage in the first half was too much for visiting Janesville Parker on Thursday.
The Cardinals hit nine 3-pointers in the first half that started an 80-48 Big Eight Conference boys basketball victory over the Vikings.
Parker coach Keith Miller could only shake his head when talking about the Cardinals’ outside shooting.
“They were lighting it up,” Miller said. “Once, we even fouled the guy shooting and he still made it. That was kind of the night they had.”
Middleton finished the first half with a 54-16 lead as the Cardinals improved to 9-6 in the Big Eight and 11-8 overall.
“Probably seven or eight of those 3s, we had hands in their faces,” Miller said. “They were knocking it down.”
Miller did take some optimism from the second half when the Vikings outscored their hosts 32-26.
“I like how we responded,” Miller said. “We had good effort. That’s something we can build off of. We have a day off (today because of a snow day) so we’ll go right from the second half down to Beloit on Saturday night.”
Junior guard Tremar Curry led the Vikings with 20 points, but he was the only Viking to reach double figures.
Parker is 1-14 in the Big Eight and 2-17 overall.
Parker (48)—Dahlke, 2-3-8; Lippens, 0-1-1; Thompson, 3-1-7; Ellison, 2-2-7; Curry, 7-5-20; Stricklin, 1-0-3; Garvoille, 1-0-2. Totals: 12-4 12-20-48.
Middleton (80)—Hildebrand, 1-0-3; Close, 6-0-15; Vergenz, 2-0-5; Ticknor, 2-1-6; Roden, 3-0-6; Michaels, 3-1-8; Roquet, 2-2-8; Klubertanz, 2-2-6; Brunker, 4-4-18; Boyle, 1-2-4. Totals: 18-10 13-14—80.
Parker 16 32—48
Middleton 54 26—80
Three-point goals—Parker 4 (Dahlke, Ellison, Curry, Stricklin), Middleton 10 (Hildebrand, Close 3, Ticknor, Michaels, Roquet 2, Brunker 2). Free throws missed—Parker 8, Middleton 1. Total fouls—Parker 13, Middleton 13.
Walworth Big Foot doubled up on Edgerton in Rock Valley Conference girls basketball Thursday night.
Courtney Schoenbeck scored a game-high 21 points and Reagan Courier added 15 to lead the Chiefs to a 68-34 win.
Big Foot (14-5, 13-2) won its sixth straight and remained one game behind first-place Jefferson with two games to play.
Leading 13-7 with 13:05 to play in the first half, Big Foot went on a 12-4 run to go up 25-11 with 7:11 left. The Chiefs eventually led 37-14 at the break behind a combined 27 points from Schoenbeck and Courier.
Big Foot coach Rick Schoenbeck said it was nice to have a game that was decided early on and one in which he could clear his bench early in the second half.
“These girls have learned how to win, they know how to win and are having fun playing the game right now,” coach Schoenbeck said. “We’re a different team than we were earlier in the year. The younger girls are starting to understand their roles and are playing with confidence. They didn’t have that earlier in the year.
“We’re peaking at the right time, and as a coach, that’s what you’re hoping for at this time of the season. Our goals are still in front of us.”
Edgerton came in having won two straight and three of its last four after starting the season 3-12.
The Crimson Tide led once at 5-4 but got no closer than 22 the second half.
Edgerton coach Mike Schmidt said his team didn’t show up.
“I think we stepped back about three weeks tonight,” Schmidt said. “This was not the same team that has been playing its best basketball of the season the last three weeks.
“We didn’t pass the ball well at all or make many smart decisions. It just wasn’t there. We need to just forget about this one and move on.”
Eight different players scored for Big Foot in the second half, including six each from Payton Courier and reserve Abigail VandeBogert.
Bethany Oren, who came into the game second in the conference in scoring at 19.5 points per game, led the Crimson Tide with 18.
BIG FOOT 68, EDGERTON 34
Big Foot (68)—Schoenbeck 7-5-21; R. Courier 5-4-15; Demco 2-0-4; P. Courier 3-1-8; Foster 3-0-6; Peterson 1-0-2; Larson 1-0-2; VandeBogert 3-0-6; Lueck 2-0-4. Totals: 27-10-68
Edgerton (34)—Oren 6-6-18; Martin 1-0-3; Demrow 2-1-5; Stamm 1-0-3; Schuman 1-0-2; C. Danks 0-1-1; Shaw 0-2-2. Totals: 11-10-34
Walworth Big Foot 37 31—68
Edgerton 14 20—34
Three-point goals—Big Foot 4 (Schoenbeck 2, R. Courier, P. Courier), Edgerton 2 (Stamm, Martin). Free throws missed—Big Foot 2, Edgerton 8. Total fouls—Big Foot 17, Edgerton 8.
One streak died and one lives on.
Wisconsin entered its Big Ten game Thursday riding a five-game losing streak.
Host Illinois had lost 12 consecutive games to UW, however.
The Badgers ended their losing streak and continued their domination of the Illini with a 78-69 victory at the State Farm Center.
Ethan Happ was on fire early and fashioned perhaps his best overall performance of the season with 27 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the way.
UW finished with 20 assists and just 10 turnovers; Illinois finished with seven assist and 13 turnovers.
The Badgers (11-15, 4-9 Big Ten) won for the first time since Jan. 19, when they routed the Illini (12-13, 2-10) in Madison.
UW is alone in 10th place—the bottom four teams play on Day 1 of the Big Ten tournament—one game ahead of Minnesota (14-12, 3-10) and Iowa (12-14, 3-10).
The Badgers also defeated Illinois for the 13th consecutive time, including six in a row in Champaign.
Next up for UW is a home game Sunday against Michigan (19-7, 8-5), which is coming off a 61-52 loss to Northwestern.
Freshman guard Brad Davison, who sat the final 5 minutes 17 seconds of the first half after picking up his second foul, contributed 14 points and five assists. He hit 2 of 4 3-pointers.
Sophomore guard Brevin Pritz bounced back from two ugly performances with a strong all-around effort.
Pritzl contributed 16 points and six rebounds in the first victory over Illinois. He hit 3 of 6 3-pointers and 6 of 13 shots overall. In the next five games, however, he hit 7 of 30 3-pointers (23.3 percent) and 10 of 38 shots overall (26.3 percent).
Pritzl played a season-low six minutes in UW’s 68-63 loss at Maryland. His turnover in the closing seconds of the first half led to a breakaway and he did not play after halftime.
Pritzl was outstanding Thursday and finished with 15 points, including 13 after halftime; six rebounds; and two assists. He hit 3 of 3 three-pointers to help UW finish 8 of 15. He hit 6 of 6 free throws as UW hit 20 of 27.
Freshman guard Trent Frazier entered the night averaging 16.9 points and shooting 37.5% from three-point range over the last seven games. His worst game during the run came in the loss to UW, when he hit 1 of 5 three-pointers and 5 of 14 shots overall and finished with 11 points.
Frazier scored 10 points in the opening half to keep the Illini within three. He hit 7 of 11 three-pointers and finished with 31 points. Leron Black added 13 points for the Illini.
Happ carried UW early and hit his first seven field-goal attempts, including three on inbound plays.
UW trailed, 24-20, but went on a 9-1 run thanks to four points from Happ, a three-pointer from Nate Reuvers (nine points) and two free throws from Pritzl.
UW’s lead grew to 32-27 on a three-pointer by Alex Illikainen with 2:50 left but the Badgers failed to build on the lead.
Iverson (nine rebounds) missed two free throws and Happ picked up his second foul going for the rebound on the second miss. That came with 2:09 left and Happ spent the rest of the half on the bench.
Reuvers and Aaron Moesch each hit two free throws to push UW’s lead to six points but the Illini closed to within 36-33 at the half on a three-pointer by Frazier.
Frazier kept carrying the Illini in the second half.
Three times he buried a three-pointer to forge a tie, the last time at 52-52 with 11:11 left.
UW was able to build a 58-52 lead with 8:27 left thanks to contributions across the board.
Happ scored inside, Reuvers hit a jump hook and Iverson scored on a drive. Happ scored in the lane again after an Illinois turnover to give UW its biggest lead, 60-52, with 6:29 left.
Black scored after grabbing an offensive rebound but Davison buried a three-pointer from the corner, off a feed from Happ, to push the lead to 63-54.
After the Illini got two free throws from Mark Alstork, Pritzl buried a three-pointer off a feed from Happ for a 66-56 lead with 4:47 left.
UW’s lead was 66-58 but a turnover led to a three-pointer by Aaron Jordan with 3:23 left to cut the lead to 66-61.
Pritzl buried a three-pointer off a feed from Happ to give UW a 71-64 lead but Frazier answered with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to four with 2:21 left.
Ford missed an open three-pointer for UW but Frazier missed a three-pointer over Happ and Pritzl grabbed the rebound with 1:36 left.
UW called a timeout with 1:22 left and 16 seconds left on the shot clock.
Pritzl was fouled with 1:19 left and went to the line for the one-and-one. Pritzl made the first and then drained the second for a 73-67 lead.
Iverson poked the ball free and Happ was fouled with 1:10 left. Happ missed the front end, however.
Black missed a shot over Happ; Iverson grabbed the rebound and Pritzl was fouled with 47.1 seconds left. Pritzl drained both to give UW a 75-67 lead as UW hit 9 of 11 free throws in the final 3:16.
UW officials announced before the game that Alando Tucker, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the men’s program, has been named UW’s Director for Student-Athlete Engagement.
Tucker is to work with incoming student-athletes and their families to enhance how they acclimate to life at UW and in the community.
“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity,” Tucker said in a UW release. “I always wanted to come back to the university in some capacity. I thought this would be a perfect fit for me.”