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Parker girls coach lobbies against No. 1 seed

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Gazette Staff
February 23, 2009

As usual, Tom Klawitter was lobbying for a No. 3 seed in WIAA tournament play.


Typically, Janesville Parker High School’s girls basketball coach didn’t get his wish, and his team again wound up in the No. 1 spot.


That means the Vikings (15-5) and second-seeded Verona (16-4) will be sitting on the sidelines watching Tuesday night while everybody from No. 3 on down tips off the postseason with Division 1 regional semifinal games leading to the Lake Geneva Badger Sectional, which will be played March 6-7 at Beloit College.


“I wanted that No. 3 seed, but nobody would give it to me,’’ Klawaitter of the politicking at the coaches’ seed meeting a week ago. “I’d like a chance for our girls to play on Tuesday, but it is what is.’’


If the seeding is accurate, Parker and Verona will be meet in the sectional finals a second straight year. The Wildcats topped the Vikings, 52-39, last March at Wilmot to earn their first trip to the state tournament, where they reached the semifinals before losing to repeat champion Milwaukee Vincent.


A tournament rematch would be a third meeting this season between Parker and Verona, now a Big Eight member. The Vikings played two of their best games against the Wildcats, losing 68-64 in overtime at Verona in December and winning 57-43 at home in January.


Parker is coming off a 59-52 loss to Middleton, which deprived the Vikings of a 16th conference title in 20 years under Klawitter and enabled the Cardinals to share the championship with Verona.


But that was the “first season,” as basketball veterans like to call it, and now comes the “second season,’’ where Parker has set the standard by making a record 12 trips to the state tournament. The Vikings have missed the last two years, though, and there may be a special urgency to get back, especially with Parker star Catie O’Leary winding down on her storied high school career.


That, however, is getting ahead of the game. As the games begin Tuesday, Janesville Craig (6-14) will draw the local attention as a No. 6 seed hosting No. 11 Kenosha Tremper (3-17) in the sectional’s lower bracket, despite the Cougars’ eight-game losing streak.


The Craig/Tremper winner plays No. 3 Oregon (15-5) or No. 14 Wilmot (1-19) in Saturday’s regional finals, with the highest seed hosting. Verona will host the winner between No. 7 Burlington (8-12) and No. 10 Westosha Central (4-16) in the other regional final leading to the sectional’s lower bracket.


Parker heads the upper bracket. The Vikings’ postseason debut comes at home at 7 p.m. Saturday in a regional final against the winner of a Tuesday opener that sends No. 9 Milton (6-14) to No. 8 Kenosha Bradford (8-12).


The winner of Parker regional final heads to the Badger Sectional at Beloit College for a March 6 semifinal game against No. 4 Lake Geneva Badger (13-7), No. 5 Elkhorn (12-8), No. 12 Stoughton (2-18) or No. 13 Beloit Memorial (1-19).


The winner of the March 7 sectional final at Beloit College becomes one of eight Division 1 qualifiers for the March 12-14 state tournament at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.


Division 1
BADGER SECTIONAL

(Semifinals, final at Beloit College)


2008 champion: Verona (def. Janesville Parker, 52-39, in sectional final).


Verona defeated De Pere, 53-50, in state quarterfinals; lost to eventual champion Milwaukee Vincent, 45-26, in semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Janesville Parker (15-5), No. 11; Verona (16-4), No.16.


Top seeds: Janesville Parker, No. 1; Verona, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Middleton champion in the first state quarterfinal game at 1:35 p.m. Thursday, March. 12.


Key facts: Parker will be trying to extend its record of 12 for most state appearances. If the Vikings qualify for the first time since 2006, tournament fans will see one of the state’s premier players in 5-10 senior Catie O’Leary, a Loyola of Chicago recruit, who is averaging 21 points a game … Verona, which shared the Big Eight title with Middleton, a game ahead of Parker, features 6-4 senior Lieslie Schaefer, a Kent State recruit … Verona and Parker split its two Big Eight meetings, with each winning on its home floor—68-64 for the Wildcats in overtime, followed by 57-43 for the Vikings.


MIDDLETON SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Middleton (def. Waunakee, 55-42, in sectional final).


Middleton lost to eventual state champion Milwaukee Vincent, 57-45, in state quarterfinals).


2009 AP rated teams: Sauk Prairie (16-4), No. 13; Middleton (17-3), No. 14; La Crosse Logan (17-3), No. 15.


Top seeds: Middleton, No. 1; Sauk Prairie, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Lake Geneva Badger champion in the first state quarterfinal game at 1:35 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: Middleton split two meetings with Janesville Parker in the last eight days of the regular season and shared the Big Eight title with Verona. If the Cardinals return to state, tournaments fans will see one of the top three-point-shooting teams. Middleton had 101 three-pointers in 18 conference games, led by Emily Newman’s 39 and Lauren Acker’s 36 … Sauk Prairie will have to rebound from a 42-39 loss to Waunakee in a regular-season finale, which forced the Eagles to share the Badger North title with DeForest.


NEENAH SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Oshkosh West (def. Sheboygan South, 47-45, in sectional final).


Oshkosh West defeated Oak Creek, 52-50, in state quarterfinals; Brookfield Central, 41-29, in semifinals; lost to Milwaukee Vincent, 49-37, in championship game.


2009 AP rated teams: None.


Top seeds: Neenah (17-3), No. 1; Sheboygan North (15-5), No. 2; Oshkosh West (14-6), No. 3.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Waukesha North champion in the second state quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: This sectional has produced the state runner-up the last two years (Sheboygan North, 2007, Oshkosh West, 2008), but it isn’t likely to happen this time. Top-seeded Neenah was the Fox Valley Association runner-up to Appleton West (18-2), and second-seeded Sheboygan North tied for third in the Fox River Valley Classic.


WAUKESHA NORTH SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Milwaukee Vincent (def. Hartland Arrowhead, 48-37, in sectional final).


Milwaukee Vincent defeated Middleton, 57-45, in state quarterfinals; Verona, 45-26, in semifinals; Oshkosh West, 49-37, for second straight state championship.


2009 AP rated teams: Mukwonago (20-0), No. 1; Milwaukee Vincent (19-1), No. 3.


Top seeds: Mukwonago, No. 1; Milwaukee Vincent, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Neenah champion in the second state quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: If one of the top two seeds advances, this sectional champion would be the likely favorite to win the state championship. Vincent was on cruise control and ranked No. 1 until losing late in the regular-season to Milwaukee King, 67-53. Those two could meet again in the state finals … Classic Eight champion Mukwonago, with a perennially strong program, is in its first season under coach Staci Butalla after the retirement of veteran Norm Bronson.


DE PERE SECTIONAL

(Semifinals, final at UW-Green Bay)


2008 champion: De Pere (def. Ashwaubenon, 60-53, in sectional final).


De Pere lost to Verona, 53-50, in state quarterfinals.


2009 AP rated teams: De Pere (19-1), No. 2; Pulaski (18-2), No. 6; Appleton West (18-2), No. 12.


Top seeds: De Pere, No. 1; Pulaski, No. 2; Appleton West, No. 3.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Greenfield champion in the third state quarterfinal game at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: This sectional awaits probable showdowns between notable state contenders. De Pere and Pulaski finished 1-2 in the Fox River Valley Classic. De Pere defeated Pulaski, 44-28, in a regular-season finale, which was their only meeting in the 12-school conference. De Pere’s only loss was 66-50 to Milwaukee King. Pulaski’s only other loss was 47-33 to Neenah, the Fox Valley Association runner-up to Appleton West …. De Pere features UW-Green Bay recruit Adrian Ritchie, a 5-8 senior and one of the state’s top-rated guards.


GREENFIELD SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Brookfield Central (def. Muskego, 48-44, in sectional final).


Brookfield Central defeated Marshfield, 56-48, in state quarterfinals; lost to eventual runner-up Oshkosh West, 41-29, in semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Brookfield Central (19-1), No. 5; Muskego (19-1), No. 7.


Top seeds: Brookfield Central, No. 1; Muskego, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the De Pere champion in the third state quarterfinal game at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: This sectional is set up for a championship rematch between Central, an AP top 10 team all season, and Muskego, which finally caught the voters’ attention and moved into the ratings late in the season. Both teams have won 18 straight. Central’s only loss was to Sheboygan North, 49-44. Muskego’s only loss was to Milwaukee Vincent, 44-39.


WAUSAU WEST SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Marshfield (def. Eau Claire North, 50-39, in sectional final).


Marshfield lost to Brookfield Central, 56-48, in state quarterfinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Eau Claire North (17-1), No. 4; Marshfield (19-1), No. 1.


Top seeds: Eau Claire North, No. 1 in upper bracket; Marshfield, No. 1 in lower bracket.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Whitefish Bay champion in the fourth state quarterfinal game at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: Eau North and Marshfield seem headed for a sectional final rematch. North handed Marshfield its only loss this season, 43-39, in the Ashwaubenon Holiday Classic. The Huskies’ only loss was 36-34 to River Falls. North still has two regular-season makeup games this week before beginning tournament play on Saturday.


WHITEFISH BAY SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Oak Creek (def. Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels, 45-39, in sectional final).


Oak Creek lost to eventual runner-up Oshkosh West, 52-50, in state quarterfinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Milwaukee King (17-3), No. 8; Milwaukee DSHA (18-2), No. 10.


Top seeds: Milwaukee King, No. 1; Milwaukee DSHA, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Wausau West champion in the fourth state quarterfinal game at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: If Milwaukee King advances, tournament fans will see one of the state’s top-ranked players in Marquette recruit in Sarina Simmons. The 6-1 senior forward scored 30 points and had 14 rebounds in King’s 67-53 victory two weeks ago that left two-time defending state champion Milwaukee Vincent with its only loss of the season. King also handed second-ranked De Pere its only loss, 66-50. King’s losses were to Chicago Marshall, 53-50; Vincent, 66-62; and Heritage Christian, Ind., 67-41. DSHA has lost twice to fifth-ranked Brookfield Central.


Division 2
JANESVILLE CRAIG SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Monroe (def. Delavan-Darien, 49-46, in sectional final).


Monroe defeated Altoona, 49-47, in state semifinals; Freedom, 42-34, for championship.


2009 AP rated teams: Columbus (20-0), No. 1; Monroe (18-2), No. 2; Madison Edgewood (17-3), No. 7; Reedsburg (16-4), No. 11; Delavan-Darien (17-3), No. 12; Lakeside Lutheran (16-4), No. 13; Brodhead (17-3), No. 15.


Top seeds: Regional A—Richland Center (17-3), No. 1; Reedsburg, No. 2. Regional B—Monroe, No. 1; Brodhead, No. 2. Regional C—Columbus, No. 1; Edgewood, No. 2. Regional D—Delavan-Darien, No. 1; Union Grove (13-7).


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Waukesha South champion in the first state semifinal game at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: Janesville may be host to a showdown between the state’s top two ranked teams—Columbus and Monroe. Columbus could have the tougher task reaching that sectional title game, with a potential regional final against Edgewood and sectional semifinal against Delavan-Darien, a repeat champion in the Southern Lakes.


Badger South co-champions Monroe and Edgewood split their conference series, with each winning on the other’s home court … Edgewood has won 14 straight … Monroe’s rotation includes six of the top seven players from last year’s state championship team … With Columbus in 2002 and 2003, Jefferson in 2005, and Monroe in 2006 and 2008, this sectional has produced five of the last seven state champions.


WAUKESHA SOUTH SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Grafton (def. Wisconsin Lutheran, 57-43, in sectional final).


Grafton lost to Freedom, 65-61 in overtime, in state semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Grafton (18-2), No. 6; Ripon (17-3), No. 8.


Top seeds: Regional A—Ripon, No. 1; Campbellsport (14-6), No. 2. Regional B—New Berlin Eisenhower (17-3), No. 1; Pewaukee (15-5), No. 2. Regional C—Grafton, No. 1; Whitefish Bay (9-11), No. 2. Regional D—Wisconsin Lutheran (15-5), No. 1; Cudahy (14-6), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Janesville Craig champion in the first state semifinals game at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: This sectional features Ripon senior Taylor Wurtz, a University of Wisconsin recruit and rated by many as the state’s top player, and Grafton senior Sarah Eichler, a UW-Green Bay recruit.



CHIPPEWA FALLS SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Altoona (def. Neillsville, 51-28, in sectional final).


Altoona lost to eventual champion Monroe, 49-47, in state semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Durand (18-2), No. 4; Amery (18-2), No. 5; Altoona (15-4), No. 14.


Top seeds: Regional A—Amery, No. 1; Hayward (17-3), No. 2. Regional B—Barron (15-5), No. 1; Altoona, No. 2. Regional C—Durand, No. 1; Sparta (13-6), No. 2. Regional D—Wittenberg-Birnamwood (17-3), No. 1; Pioneer Westfield (13-7), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plasys the Seymour champion in the second state semifinal game at 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: No clear-cut favorite here in a likely battle of top 10 teams and an Altoona team that made it tough on Monroe in last year’s state semifinals.


SEYMOUR SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Freedom (def. Fox Valley Lutheran, 48-26, in sectional final).


Freedom defeated Grafton, 65-61 in overtime, in state semifinals; lost to Monroe, 42-34, in championship game.


2009 AP rated teams: Freedom (18-2), No. 3; Valders (18-2), No. 9; Fox Valley Lutheran (16-4), No. 10; New London (16-4), No. 16.


Top seeds: Regional A—Freedom, No. 1; Oconto Falls (13-7), No. 2. Regional B—West De Pere (16-4), No. 1; Denmark (11-9), No. 2. Regional C—New London, No. 1; Weyauwega-Fremont (13-7), No. 2. Regional C—Valders, No. 1; Fox Valley Lutheran, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Chippewa Falls champion in the second state semifinal game at 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: Freeom has had to replace 70 percent of its scoring from last season, but the Irish keep rolling. They split with Ripon and Fox Valley Lutheran in winning the Eastern Valley championship over those two teams.


Division 3
REEDSBURG SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Markesan (def. Cuba City, 44-37, in sectional final).


Markesan defeated Colfax, 41-35, in state semfinals; lost to Oostburg, 43-37, in championship game.


2009 AP rated teams: Cuba City (20-0), No. 1; Orfordville Parkview (17-3), No. 15.


Top seeds: Regional A—La Crosse Aquinas (13-7), No. 1; Whitehall (18-2), No. 2. Regional B—Auburndale (11-9), No. 1; Pittsville (10-10), No. 2. Regional C—Wisconsin Heights (15-5), No. 1; Lancaster (13-7), No. 2. Regional D—Cuba City, No. 1; Parkview, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the West Bend champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: Cuba City had a 75-game win streak snapped in last year’s sectional final. The Cuban have won 95 of their last 96, which would give them 98 of the last 100 and beyond. They are looking for their four state championship in five years and ninth overall … If top seeds advance, Parkview’s Rock Valley South runners-up would face the Cubans in Saturday’s regional final at Monroe … Markesan has moved to the West Bend Sectional.


WEST BEND SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Oostburg (def. Racine Prairie, 45-24, in sectional final).


Oostburg defeated Amherst, 57-28, in state semifinals; Makesan, 43-37, for the championship.


2009 AP rated teams: Shoreland Lutheran (19-1), No. 9; Cambridge (17-3), No. 10; Oostburg (17-3), No. 14.


Top seeds: Regional A—Oostburg, No. 1; Markesan (16-4), No. 2. Regional B—Cambridge, No. 1; Deerfield (14-6), No. 2. Regional C—Hope School (13-7), No. 1; Heritage Christian (17-3), No. 2. Regional D—Shoreland Lutheran, No. 1; Racine Lutheran (11-9), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Reedsburg champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, March 13.


Key facts: Shoreland Lutheran had its unbeaten record spoiled by Hope School, 55-47, in the final week of the regular season, but it still may be threat to Oostburg’s defending state champions … Two of Cambridge’s three losses were to unbeaten Columbus, the No. 1 team in Division 2 … Markesan became the state runner-up last year after winning the Reedburg Sectional.


ALTOONA SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Colfax (def. Osseo-Fairchild, 59-55, in sectional final).


Colfax lost to eventuall runner-up Markesan, 45-41, in state semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Neillsville (19-1), No. 3; Colfax (20-0), No. 4; Hurley (20-0), No. 8; Eau Claire Regis (17-3), No. 11; Osseo-Fairchild (18-2), No. 12; Fall Creek (15-5), No. 16.


Top seeds: Regional A—Prescott (14-6), No. 1; St. Croix Falls (12-8), No. 2. Regional B—Colfax, No. 1; Osseo-Fairchild, No. 2. Regional C—Hurley. No. 1; Ladysmith (14-6), No. 2. Regional D—Neillsville, No. 1; Fall Creek, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Ashwaubenon champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 12.


Key facts: This sectional is loaded with potential champions, with the prospect of Neillsville playing Colfax for the trip to state.


ASHWAUBENON SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Amherst (def. North Fond du Lac, 64-50 in two overtimes).


Amherst lost to eventual champion Oostburg, 57-28, in state semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Amherst (20-0), No. 2; Algoma (20-0), No. 5; Howards Grove (20-0), No. 6; Wausau Newman (18-2), No. 7; Winnebago Lutheran (19-1), No. 13.


Top seeds: Regional A—Amherst, No. 1; Wausau Newman, No. 2. Regional B—Gillett (15-5), No. 1; Coleman (15-5), No. 2. Regional C—Algoma, No. 1; Manitowoc Roncalli (16-4), No. 2. Regional D—Howards Grove, No. 1; Winnebago Lutheran, No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Altoona champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 12,


Key facts: About the only thing this sectional lacks is the top-ranked team. The chance for an unbeaten state qualifier is huge.


Division 4
FORT ATKINSON SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Sheboygan Christian (def. South Wayne Black Hawk, 33-30, in sectional final).


Sheboygan Christian lost to Menasha St. Mary, 49-37, in state semfinals.


2009 AP rated teams: South Wayne Black Hawk (18-2), No. 5; Waupun Central Wisconsin Christian (15-5), No. 15


Seeded teams: Regional A—Black Hawk, No. 1; Pecatonica (13-7), No. 2. Regional B—Burlington Central (11-9), No. 1; Albany (10-10), No. 2. Regional C—Randolph (15-5), No. 1; Central Wisconsin Christian, No. 2. Regional D—Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah (8-12), No. 1; Lake Country Lutheran (15-5), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the La Crosse Central champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: If ratings mean anything , Six Rivers East co-champion Black Hawk should be ready to go a step beyond last year.


LA CROSSE CENTRAL SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Eleva-Strum (def. Potosi, 67-55, in sectional final).


Eleva-Strum lost to eventual champion Flambeau, 57-40, in state semifinals.


2009 AP rated teams: Wisconsin Rapids Assumption (20-0), No. 2; Potosi (19-1), No. 3; New Lisbon (18-2), No. 6; Barneveld (18-2), No. 7; Independence (16-3), No. 9.


Top seeds: Regional A—Independence, No. 1; Plum City (12-8), No. 2. Regional B—Wisconsin Rapids Assumption, No. 1; New Lisbon, No. 2. Regional C—Barneveld, No. 1; Weston (17-3), No. 2. Regional D—Potosi, No. 1; River Ridge (13-7), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Fort Atkinson champion in the first state semifinal game at 9:05 a.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: This may represent the private schools’ best shot to win a state championship, but Assumption will have to weather a sectional that has five of the state’s top 10 ranked teams … Assumption defeated top-rated Prentice, 68-50, in a regular-season finale.


SPOONER SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Flambeau (def. Thorp, 60-33, in sectional final).


Flambeau defeated Eleva-Strum, 57-40, in state semifinals; Menasha St. Mary, 61-36, for the championship.


2009 AP rated teams: Prentice (19-1), No. 1; Siren (20-0), No. 3. Flambeau (13-5), No. 10; Clayton (18-2), No. 12.


Top seeds: Regional A—Siren, No. 1; Northwood (10-8), No. 2. Regional B—Prentice, No. 1; Flambeau, No. 2. Regional C—Clayton, No. 1; Frederic (13-5), No. 2. Regional D—Alma Center Lincoln (4-14), No. 1; Greenwood (4-14), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Waupaca champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: After a 68-50 loss to second-ranked Wisconsin Rapids Assumption in a regular-season finale, Prentice probably will lose its No. 1 rating in today’s voting. The Buccanneers also will have to get through a regional that includes three-time defending state champion Flambeau.


WAUPACA SECTIONAL

2008 champion: Menasha St. Mary (def. Niagara, 63-48, in sectional final).


Menasha St. Mary defeated Sheboygan Christian, 49-37, in state semifinals; lost to Flambeau, 61-36, in championship game.


2009 AP rated teams: Menasha St. Mary (16-4), No. 8; Marion (18-2), No. 11; Wausaukee (17-3), No. 13; Almond-Bancroft (16-4), No. 14.


Seeded teams: Regional A—Wabeno (16-3), No. 1; Phelps (12-7), No. 2. Regional B—Marion, No. 1; Almond-Bancroft, No. 2. Regional C—Wausaukee, No. 1; Niagara (11-9), No. 2. Regional D—Menasha St. Mary, No. 1; Valley Christian (8-11), No. 2.


Agenda: This sectional champion plays the Spooner champion in the second state semifinal game at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 13.


Key facts: This appears to be another good shot for the private schools to place a team in the state tournament.




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