Girls basketball teams begin journey towards Green Bay and state tournament

Girls basketball teams begin journey towards Green Bay and state tournament

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Girls basketball teams begin journey towards Green Bay and state tournament

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The goal for girls basketball teams most seasons is to reach Madison. This season, it’s Green Bay.

The WIAA state tournaments will be at the Resch Center in Green Bay this season and in 2014 because of scheduling conflicts with University of Wisconsin hockey at the Kohl Center.

Here’s a look at Central Wisconsin teams with solid chances at reaching the state tournament, and some of the roadblocks they might face.

Wausau West

Last season: Lost a regional semifinal as a No. 6 seed at No. 3 Superior, 55-45.

This season: Won at least a share of a conference title for the first time since 1981 when it shared the Wisconsin Valley crown with Stevens Point.

Potential roadblocks: Could return to Superior (19-3) for a regional final game Saturday to face the only state-ranked team in the entire sectional. The top-ranked Spartans are No. 9 in the latest state poll.

Stevens Point

Last season: Top-seeded SPASH lost a regional final game at home against No. 4 seed Appleton North 41-32.

This season: Shared the Wisconsin Valley title with West and enters the playoffs with a No. 3 regional seeding.

Potential roadblocks: Could face North again Saturday in a regional final, this time in Appleton. North is a No. 2 seed after placing second in the Fox Valley Association behind No 1 seed Oshkosh North.

Neillsville

Last season: Won the Division 4 state tournament by beating Oshkosh Lourdes 52-42 to cap an undefeated season.

This season: Enters the Division 3 tournament with a 50-0 record over the last two seasons behind leading scorer Jenny Linder (16.7 points per game).

Potential roadblocks: The top-ranked Warriors could face their toughest task in a sectional final against No. 6 state-ranked Ladysmith.

Witt.-Birnamwood

Last season: Lost a sectional semifinal to Xavier.

This season: The No. 9 state-ranked Division 3 team, W-B was one of three state-ranked teams to finish tied for the Central Wisconsin-Eight title. The other two: D4 No. 6 Weyauwega-Fremont, D4 No. 7 Amherst.

Potential roadblocks: W-B could need to beat as many as three state-ranked teams to reach the tournament. The first could be Saturday against No. 7 Fox Valley Lutheran in a regional final, followed by a sectional semifinal rematch against No. 4 Xavier.

Amherst

Last season: Entered the playoffs as No. 2 seed and lost a regional semifinal to No. 7 Marathon.

This season: Led by Jaimee Pitt, Amherst (No. 7 in Division 4) is one of five state-ranked teams in the same Division 4 sectional.

Potential roadblocks: Could face No. 8 Oconto in a sectional semifinal, and then could face either No. 3 Algoma, No. 4 Oshkosh Lourdes or No. 6 Weyauwega-Fremont in the final.

Marathon

Last season: A No. 7 seed that beat two higher-seeded teams on the road before a sectional semifinal loss to No. 5 seed Edgar.

This season: Finished second to Assumption (No. 3 Division 5) in the Marawood-South and No. 9 in the Division 4 state poll.

Potential roadblocks: How about Edgar, again as a No. 5 seed? Marathon could open the playoffs against Holly Denfeld and the Wildcats in a regional semifinal Friday.

Assumption

Last season: Lost a Division 5 sectional final to Newman Catholic, Assumption’s last two losses have been to Newman.

This season: Won the Marawood South title, ahead of Marathon and Auburndale, behind leading scorer Mary Sigler (15.8 points per game) and freshman Gena Grundhoffer (11.4 ppg). Ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press state poll.

Potential roadblocks: Newman is in another sectional, so that hurdle is gone. At least until the state semifinals.

Newman Catholic

Last season: Made a third straight state tournament appearance but lost to Owen-Withee in Division 5 state semifinal.

This season: Moved into the state rankings this week after handing then top-ranked Assumption its first loss in 20 games this season and enters the playoffs as a No. 2 seed.

Potential roadblock: Newman is seeded second behind No. 1 Marion but is the only school in the sectional in the state rankings, making this a potentially wide-open run to the state tournament.

Owen-Withee

Last season: Beat Newman in a Division 5 state semifinal before losing the title game to Heritage Christian, the top-ranked team again this season.

This season: The fifth-ranked Division 5 team in the state owes its three losses to state-ranked teams — two to Neillsville and one to Marathon (No. 9). The Blackhawks are a balanced group led by Aleyna Goerlitz, Kennadi Batchelor and Bailey Karaba.

Potential roadblocks: Undefeated South Shore is No. 4 in the state poll, one spot ahead of O-W and on the opposite end of the sectional bracket.

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Girls basketball teams begin journey towards Green Bay and state tournament
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