Last winter, area boys basketball teams put on quite a show in the WIAA playoffs.
Sheboygan Lutheran brought home the Division 5 state title after a thrilling 67-66 win over Racine Lutheran in the championship game.
Plymouth and Howards Grove each advanced to a sectional final before falling to the Division 2 runner-up Kaukauna and Division 4 champ Whitefish Bay Dominican, respectively.
And Sheboygan North, Oostburg and Ozaukee all reached the sectional semifinals.
Tonight, this year’s squads will look to continue the success their programs had a year ago when the WIAA playoffs kick off with regional quarterfinals around the state.
Nine teams will be action tonight, led by Central Lakeshore Conference runner-up Lutheran, at home against No. 14 Oneida Nation. The Crusaders earned a three-seed for their title defense.
Also opening the postseason at home will be Ozaukee in Division 4 and Kohler in D5.
The No. 6 Warriors open with No. 11 Milwaukee Career and Technical Education out of the Milwaukee City Conference, while the Blue Bombers host CLC foe Sheboygan Christian.
An interesting note between the No. 10 Eagles and No. 7 Bombers is that Christian swept Kohler during the regular season, yet received a lower seed.
In Division 3, No. 9 Kiel travels to No. 8 North Fond du Lac, with the winner to face No. 1 Oostburg on Friday.
No. 11 Cedar Grove-Belgium heads to No. 6 St. Thomas More and No. 12. New Holstein makes a short trip to No. 5 Chilton.
Also in D4, No. 10 Random Lake will play at No. 7 Bonduel and in Division 5, No. 13 Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah travels to No. 4 Hilbert.
Six area teams received byes and will open play Friday.
For the fourth time in eight years, rivals Sheboygan North and Sheboygan South will meet in the playoffs when the Golden Raiders host the Redwings at 7 p.m. Friday.
In Division 2, Eastern Wisconsin Conference champion Plymouth, a six-seed, faces the tough task of traveling to No. 3 West De Pere, champion of the Bay Conference.
Oostburg and Sheboygan Falls both received byes in D3 while Howards Grove earned a first-round pass in Division 4.