Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Girls hoops: State tournament field preview

  • WIAA-DIV-5-Girls-Basketball-8

    Clayton’s Kiana Fall puts up a shot during last year’s state tournament. Fall and the Bears are back in Green Bay for the third straight year this weekend.

    Associated Press

  • WIAA-DIV-2-Girls-Basketball

    Beaver Dam runs out on to the court to celebrates their 52-33 win over Cudahy in the Division 2 finals in the WIAA girls' state basketball championships Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Division 1

Appleton North is defending state champ and seeded fourth. Making third straight trip to state and fifth overall. Won Fox Valley Association. 22-4 record. Only losses to Wisconsin teams came against Appleton East, Milwaukee King. Knocked out Big Rivers co-champ Chippewa Falls 80-44 in regional finals. Senior guard Sydney Levy, a UW-Milwaukee recruit, is top scorer (18.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.1 rpg). Senior PG Karri Brekke, who will play at DI New Hampshire, averages 12.8 ppg. … Arrowhead is the top seed and making 10th appearance at state. Won titles in 1988 and 1991. Shared Classic 8 title with Mukwonago. Six-foot-1 senior Caitlyn Harper, the co-conference player of year, is leading scorer (14.8 ppg) and rebounder (7.0). Beat Eau Claire North 59-36 at Oshkosh West Holiday Classic. 24-2 record. Lone losses to state qualifiers Oak Creek, Mukwonago. … Mukwonago is second seed and at state for fourth time in six seasons and ninth overall. State runner-up in 2016. Semifinal against Oak Creek will be rematch of 2016 semifinal, which Indians won 49-45. Co-champ of Classic 8 with Arrowhead. 24-2 record. 6-foot junior Natalie Andersen (16.5 ppg) was co-Classic 8 player of year. Junior Grace Beyer averaging 14.3 points, 3.8 assists. Senior Angie Cera (11.7 ppg) is committed to UW-Milwaukee. … Oak Creek is at state for third time in five years and seventh time overall. Won 2014 state title. Seeded third with 24-2 record. Won Southeastern Conference title. Losses came to Milwaukee King, which Knights beat in sectional final rematch, and Kimberly. Beat state qualifier Arrowhead 66-49 in season opener. Senior wing Kassandra Bartek (12.9 ppg) and junior wing Maddie Gard (11.2 ppg) are leading scorer. Senior PG Haley Zylka averages 6 assists a game.

Division 2

Beaver Dam is top seed and defending champ and one of three D2 teams returning to state. Beat Cudahy 52-33 in last year’s final. Won North Division of Badger Conference. 23-2 record with both losses coming to out-of-state teams. Has wins over fellow qualifiers Monroe, New Berlin Eisenhower. Junior forward Tara Stauffacher is committed to Badgers and leads Golden Beavers at 11.5 ppg. Freshman guard Maty Wilke averages 11.0 ppg. … Hortonville returns to state for second straight year and third time overall. Polar Bears, who finished third in the Fox Valley Association behind D1 qualifier Appleton North and Kimberly, are the No. 4 seed. 20-6 record. Senior guard Shay Frederick (16.1 ppg, 5.1 apg) and 6-foot-2 sophomore center Macy McGlone (14.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg) lead the way. Frederick will play at Valparaiso next year. … Monroe returns after falling to eventual champ Beaver Dam in semifinals last season. Cheesemakers are No. 2 seed with 24-2 record. Making 10th state appearance. Won state titles in 1989, 2006, 2008. Champions of Badger Conference’s South Division. Junior Sydney Hilliard is three-time conference player of year with DI offers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa and others. Hilliard averages 22.2 ppg. Junior Emily Benzschawel averages 14.8 ppg. Six-foot-1 senior Sydney Mathiason averages 10.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg and has multiple DI offers. … New Berlin Eisenhower is No. 3 seed and making six appearance at state. Won titles in 2016, 2010. Runner-up in 2012, 2013. Won West Division of Woodland Conference. 23-3 record. Two of three losses to fellow qualifiers Beaver Dam, Monroe. Led by junior guard Julia Hintz (14.2 ppg, 5.3 apg) and senior forward Hannah Plockelman (13.4 ppg). Six-foot-3 sophomore Erin Hedman has offers from Wisconsin, UW-Green Bay, other DI schools.

Division 3

Amherst is No. 2 seed and making seventh state trip and first since winning 2009 title. Also won title in 1999. Champion of Central Wisconsin Conference Large Division. 25-1 record. Beat Western Cloverbelt co-champ Osseo-Fairchild 58-31 at Sentry Classic in Stevens Point. Six-foot-1 senior center Heather Pearson (16.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and junior forward Lauren Boelte (12.4 ppg) are leaders. Pearson was conference player of year and will suit up for UW-Oshkosh next year. Coach Gregg Jensen is UW-Eau Claire graduate. … Marshall is top seed and back at state for first time since back-to-back titles in 1976-77 in Class C. Champion of South Division of Capitol Conference. 25-1 record. Avenged lone loss on season with 61-39 win over Lakeside Lutheran in sectional final. Five-foot-7 freshman guard Mia Morel leads four Cardinals who average in double figures at 17.2 ppg. Morel also averages 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds and had a triple-double in win over Oregon. Second- and third-leading scorers — 6-foot forward Anna Lutz and 5-foot-11 forward Laura Nickel — also freshmen. … St. Thomas More is making its first trip to state and is No. 3 seed after finishing second in Metro Classic Conference behind Martin Luther. 21-5 record. Senior guard Brianna Flayter is school’s all-time leading scorer and average 15.5 ppg. Six-foot-1 senior Taylor Kirby averages 12.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg. Both are four-time all-conference picks. … Wisconsin Dells is also at state for first time and seeded fourth. Knocked out Heart O’North co-champ Hayward in sectional final at Chippewa Falls. Also beat Altoona in regional semifinals. Champion of South Central Conference. Five-foot-4 senior Jenna Mace was unanimous conference player of year and averages 18.1 ppg. Five-foot-10 junior Katelyn Meister led team with 19.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg.

Division 4

La Crosse Aquinas is the top seed and back at state after 44-43 to Howards Grove in last year’s title game. Champion of Mississippi Valley Conference won four playoff games by an average of 45 points. Blugolds won WISAA titles in 1996, 1997. Unbeaten Blugolds beat Big Rivers co-champ Chippewa Falls 99-64, Heart O’North co-champ Hayward 63-49, Western Cloverbelt co-champ Regis 75-35. Five-foot-10 guard Lexi Donarski was La Crosse Tribune’s all-area player of year as a freshman last year and committed to Iowa State in eighth grade. The sophomore averaged 15.5 ppg, 4.2 apg. Six-foot sophomore Courtney Becker (10.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and senior forward Whittni Rezin (10.1 ppg) were also in double figures. Becker has DI offer from North Dakota State. Rezin, senior guard Jessa Peterson, senior forward Kyah Steiner all plan to play at UW-La Crosse next year. … Crandon is at state for first time and seeded fourth. Shared North Lakes Conference title with Elcho. 22-2 record. Sophomore guard Tabitha Renkas (13.9 ppg) and junior guard Alexa Neilitz (11.2 ppg) lead team in scoring. No seniors on roster. … Manitowoc Lutheran is seeded third in WIAA state debut. Had runner-up finish in Class B in 1989 WISAA tournament. Runner-up in Big East Conference behind Oostburg. 21-4 record. Six-foot-2 junior Emily Behnke leads team with 11.7 points, 9.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Grace Melso averages 11.4 ppg. … Melrose-Mindoro is No. 2 seed and at state for first time in program history. Lone loss past two seasons was against Aquinas in last year’s sectional semifinals. Champion of Large Dairyland Conference. Knocked out Fall Creek, Regis, Durand, Colfax to punch ticket to Green Bay. Six-foot sophomore Emily Herzberg (12.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is committed to DI South Dakota State. Mesa Byom (11.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg), a 6-foot-1 sophomore, has offers from Montana State and South Dakota. Juniors Erika Simmons (14.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Katie Christopherson (13.9 ppg) lead team in scoring. Sophomore PG Calette Lockington (11.6 ppg, 4 apg) gives Mustangs five first-team all-conference players.

Division 5

Bangor returns to state for second straight season and third time overall. Won D4 state title in 1997. Champion of Scenic Bluffs Conference. Lost to eventual state champ Loyal in semifinals last year. 24-3 record. Only losses to D4 state qualifiers Melrose-Mindoro and Aquinas and G-E-T. Beat Independence in regional final and Small Dairyland champ Blair-Taylor in season opener. Six-foot-2 senior Emma Wittmershaus averages 16.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg. Two-time conference player of year will play at UW-Milwaukee next year. Senior Jaclynn Freit (12.4 ppg) will play at UW-La Crosse. … Black Hawk is top seed and makes its fourth straight state trip and first since three straight appearances from 2009-11. Unbeaten Warriors won Eastern Division of Six Rivers Conference and won playoff games by average of 40 points. Sophomore forward Natalie Leuzinger (17.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg) was conference player of year. Freshman guard Bailey Butler (15.8 ppg) and sophomore Hannah Butler (12.1 ppg) other leading scorers. … Clayton is No. 3 seed and at state for third straight season and fourth time overall. Has yet to advance to state title game. Finished second to Cameron in Central Lakeland. Knocked out East Lakeland champ Flambeau in regional finals and McDonell in sectional semifinal. Win over Macks avenged regular-season loss. 24-3 record. Five-foot-8 junior Alison Leslie, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds in state semifinal loss last year, averaging 18.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg. Five-foot-7 junior Kailey Ketz averages 13.1 ppg. Kiana Fall, a 5-foot-3 junior guard, averages 5 assists per game. Leslie, Ketz both hit 1,000 career points this year. No seniors on roster. Coach Kevin Fall in UW-Eau Claire grad. … Wausau Newman is making its 11th state trip but first since 2013. Seeded fourth. Won D3 title in 2002, D4 title in 2010, D5 title in 2011. Took third in Marawood’s South Division behind Marathon, Stratford. 21-6 record. Senior forward Signe Fronek leads team with 18.2 ppg. Sophomores Julia Seidel (13.0 ppg) and Jadelyn Ganski (12.3 ppg) other scoring leaders.

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