State Girls Basketball Tournament Preview

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 40th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Championships will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14, 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:   http://www.ticketstaronline.com.  All-session, as well as individual session tickets are available for purchase online for $12 per session. A link is also provided on the WIAA website:  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 12

Time Div. Pairings 
1:35 p.m.  5 Barneveld (25-1) vs. Fall River (24-3)
5 South Shore (25-2) vs. Assumption (24-3)*

6:35 p.m.  4 Cuba City (26-0) vs. St. Mary’s Springs (24-2)
4 Fall Creek (24-2) vs. Marathon (25-1)*

Friday, March 13
Time Div. Pairings
9:05 a.m.  3 Whitewater (26-0) vs. Kettle Moraine Lutheran (20-6)
3 Hayward (24-2) vs. Xavier (23-4)*

1:35 p.m.  2 Waunakee (15-12) vs. Pius XI (26-0)
2 River Falls (15-11) vs. Cedarburg (23-2)*

6:35 p.m.  1 Middleton (22-4) vs. Divine Savior Holy Angels (24-2)
1 D.C. Everest (26-0) vs. Arrowhead (21-5)*

Saturday, March 14
Time Div. Pairings
11:05 p.m.  5 Division 5 Championship Game
4 Division 4 Championship Game*
3 Division 3 Championship Game*

6:35 p.m.  2 Division 2 Championship Game
1 Division 1 Championship Game*

*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 25 minutes following the previous game.

STATE TOURNAMENT ON THE AIR:  The State Tournament will be televised live on WKOW-TV channel 27 in Madison, WAOW-TV channel 9 in Wausau, WXOW-TV channel 19 in La Crosse, WQOW-TV channel 18 in Eau Claire, WYOW-TV channel 34 in Eagle River, WMOW-TV 4 in Crandon, WMLW-TV channel 41 in Milwaukee, KBJR-TV digital channel 6.2 in Duluth/Superior and WACY-TV channel 32 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Division of Quincy Newspapers, Inc., will produce the coverage. The championships will also be streamed on the statewide network station websites.

POST-GAME MEDIA CONFERENCES STREAMED:  The post-game media conferences will be shown live on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network immediately following each game.

40 YEARS OF 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 in 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 10. Barneveld and Milwaukee Washington have won five, and Fall Creek, Flambeau and Kimberly have won four. There have been 82 different schools that have won championships. Cuba City has the distinction of having qualified for the most State Tournaments with 16, including this year. Janesville Parker has participated 12 times. Fall Creek has now qualified for 11 State Tournaments with Durand, Kimberly, Milwaukee Washington, Newman Catholic and Oostburg having qualified 10 times.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:   Arrowhead is making its second appearance at State in the past three seasons and for the ninth time overall. The Warhawks have claimed a pair of titles from their eight previous appearances, one in 1988 and the other in 1991. They finished in a first-place tie in the Classic 8 Conference this season with Waukesha West. The Warhawks are the representatives out of the Sheboygan South Sectional following their 55-48 win over De Pere in the final. Middleton is also making its ninth appearance in the State Tournament and the first since a run of five straight ended in 2012. The Cardinals have finished as State runner-up twice, once in 1993 and again in 2003. They advance to the State semifinals after beating Janesville Craig 66-57 in the Sun Prairie Sectional final. The Cardinals finished third in the Big Eight Conference this season behind co-champions Janesville Craig and Verona.  D.C. Everest returns to the State Tournament for the first time in 21 years and for the sixth time in the program’s history. The Evergreens lone State championship came in 1986. They are the undisputed champions of the Wisconsin Valley Conference this season. The Evergreens won the Stevens Point Sectional with a 59-42 win over Neenah in the final. Divine Savior Holy Angels is making its fourth appearance at State and its first since 2006. The Dashers have been ousted from title contention in the quarterfinal round in each of their three previous appearances. They won one title and were runners-up twice as a former member of WISAA. The championship came in Division 1 in 1996. They are the champions of the Greater Metro Conference this year and are the representatives out of the Brookfield Central Sectional by virtue of their 48-35 win over Oak Creek in the final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Pius XI is making its second straight tournament appearance and its fifth overall. The Lady Popes won the Division 1 championship in 2010 for their lone title. They are the champions in the West Division of the Woodland Conference this season. The Lady Popes navigated through the Brown Deer Sectional to advance to the State semifinals with a 38-33 win over New Berlin West in the sectional final. They were a perennial power during its membership in WISAA. They won 18 championships and finished runner-up once. They had 12 straight championships from 1982-1993 and four straight from 1997-2000. Waunakee qualifies for State for the first time since 2001 by claiming the title of the Janesville Craig Sectional with a 68-55 victory over Waterford in the final. The Warriors one State title came in Division 2 in 1993. This season, the Warriors placed third in the North Division of the Badger Conference. The only other experience in the State Tournament for Cedarburg came in Division 1 in 2006 when the Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals. This year, they finished second to Germantown in the North Shore Conference standings. They earned their way into the State Tournament with a 56-52 win over Green Bay Southwest in the Fond du Lac Sectional final. It’s the first State Tournament experience for River Falls. The Wildcats run through the playoffs came on the heels of a fifth-place finish in the Big Rivers Conference. They advance to the semifinals following a 49-40 win over Mosinee in the final of the Marshfield Sectional.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Defending champion Kettle Moraine Lutheran returns to the field attempting to win back-to-back titles after winning the championship in their first State appearance last season. The Chargers beat Waupun 53-42 in the West Allis Central Sectional final to earn a return to the tournament field. They are the champions of the Wisconsin Flyway Conference this season. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Chargers won a WISAA Class B championship in 1990 and finished runner-up on four other occasions. Hayward is making its second appearance in the State Tournament. The first came in 1989, which resulted in a loss in the Class B semifinals. The Hurricanes are the champions of the Heart O’ North Conference this season, and they emerged as representatives from the Chippewa Falls Sectional by edging Durand 43-42 in the final. Whitewater is making its inaugural appearance in the State Tournament. The Whippets punched their ticket to the final field of four with a 57-54 victory over Dodgeville in the Middleton Sectional final. They finished undefeated in the North Division of the Rock Valley Conference to capture the league title this season. Xavier will also be playing in the State Tournament for the first time following its 53-47 win over Valders in the Green Bay Preble Sectional final. The Hawks are runners-up in the Eastern Valley Conference this season. They won a title as a former member of WISAA in 1978 and was runner-up an additional nine times.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Defending champion Cuba City returns to the Resch Center for the third straight season and is making its membership-leading 16th appearance in the State Tournament. The Cubans have won more State titles than any other program with 10, winning championships in 1977, 1980, 1990, 1991, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and again last year. They also have a runner-up finish in 2009. They won the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League title again this season and advanced to State through the Baraboo Sectional with a 70-44 win over Aquinas in the final. Fall Creek makes its 11th appearance in the State Tournament and its first since 2009. The Crickets had a great run of success in the 1980s and 90s, winning championships in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1996 to go with runner-up finishes in 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998. They tied with Regis for the championship in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season and proceeded to win the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional with a 73-62 triumph over Cameron in the final. Marathon returns to State for the first time since a three-year run of appearances ended in 1998 with a Division 3 title. It is the Red Raiders’ fifth appearance overall. Another notable result came with a runner-up finish in Class C in 1987. They defeated Algoma 48-32 in the final of the Antigo Sectional after placing first in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this season. St. Mary’s Springs will be experiencing the State Tournament for the second time. The Ledgers made their first appearance last year, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. They return to the semifinals after downing Dominican 55-34 in the Arrowhead Sectional final. They finished second in the Wisconsin Flyway Conference behind defending Division 3 champion Kettle Moraine Lutheran, which has qualified for the tournament in Division 3 again this season.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD:   Last year’s champion Barneveld qualifies for the State Tournament for the third consecutive season and for the 10th time overall. The Golden Eagles have now won five State titles, capturing the crown in 1995, 1998, 1999, 2005 and again last season. In addition, they have runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2013. They are the champions in the Eastern Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season. The Golden Eagles beat Bangor 68-42 in the final of the Richland Center Sectional to earn the opportunity to defend their title.  Assumption will make its third consecutive appearance in the State Tournament, having won the title in 2013 and finishing runner-up last year. It is the Royals’ fourth journey to State overall. They finished runner-up in the South Division of the Marawood Conference behind Division 4 qualifier Marathon. Another attempt at the crown remains conceivable following a 68-48 win over Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran in the final of the Oconto Falls Sectional. South Shore is making its fourth overall appearance and its second in the past three seasons. The Cardinals finished runner-up in 2004 and lost  in the semifinals in 2002 and 2013. They defeated McDonell Central 59-55 in the final of the Spooner Sectional for their entry onto the State Tournament bracket. The Cardinals are the champions in the West Division of the Indianhead Conference. Fall River has qualified for the State Tournament for the first time. The Pirates celebrate their first berth in the tournament after taking down Sheboygan Christian 70-55 in the Kettle Moraine Sectional final. They are the champions of the Southern Division of the Trailways Conference this season.

THREE-POINT CHALLENGE: The WIAA will conduct its first 3-Point Challenge prior to Saturday’s championship games. The event will begin at 9 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 sophomore Caroline Busch from Brookfield Central and senior Katie Walz of Waukesha West. Representing Division 2 are seniors Sammy Kozlowski of New Berlin Eisenhower and Madison Blair of Waterford. The Division 3 participants are junior Kylie Moe of Brodhead and senior Riley Spear of Marshall. Division 4 will be represented by senior Jamie Spanbauer of Lourdes Academy and sophomore Emily Hafemann of Martin Luther; and the Division 5 contestants are freshman Amber Baehman of Tri-Country and senior Shelly Kneifl of Abbotsford. Visit the information on the WIAA website for more details.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the WIAA website http://www.wiaawi.org and choose the Tournament Information link on the home page or the girls basketball home page.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Girls Basketball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawigirlsbk. Also follow updates on Facebook.

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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