WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: New champion to be crowned at the WIAA boys' hockey tournament
MADISON - A new champion will be crowned tomorrow at the WIAA boys' state high school hockey tournament. Defending titlist Eau Claire Memorial lost its quarter-final yesterday, 7-0 to Green Bay Notre Dame at the Alliant Energy Center's Veterans' Memorial Colesium.
Collin Appleton and Sam McCormick each scored twice, as Notre Dame improved to 27-1. Eau Claire Memorial ended its season at 23-5-1. Notre Dame will now face Verona in tonight's semifinals in Madison. Verona advanced with a 3-0 win over Superior. In the other semi, the University School of Milwaukee will face Onalaska. University beat out Wausau West 2-1 in double overtime. Nick Epperson scored the game-winner 22 seconds into the extra period. Onalaska advanced with a 4-3 victory over Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago.
Wisconsin's top-ranked Division 1 boys' high school basketball team lost its sectional opener last night. Brookfield Central was eliminated by fourth-ranked Milwaukee Rufus King, 77-74 in overtime. Earlier in the season, Brookfield Central ended Germantown's state-record 69-game winning streak. Now, Central goes home 24-1, while Germantown remains in contention for its third consecutive Division 1 state title next week. Germantown advanced with a 63-51 win over Sussex Hamilton. Meanwhile, a third state champion from a year ago was eliminated in last night's sectionals. La Crosse Aquinas lost to top-seeded and No. 3 ranked Elk Mound, 48-41. That means Germantown and Whitefish Bay Dominican are the only schools still in the running for repeat titles. Dominican won its sectional opener 65-55 over Racine Saint Catherine's. Dominican is also one of four AP No. 1s still alive throughout the five divisions. The others are Mount Horeb, Manitowoc Roncalli, and Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran -- all of whom won last evening. All boys' sectional finals will be played tomorrow. Meanwhile, the girls' high school regionals resume this evening with the second round of regional tournament play.
The girls' state hockey tournament opens this afternoon in Madison with the semifinals at the Alliant Energy Center's Veterans' Memorial Colesium. A new champion will be crowned after Hayward lost in the preliminaries. The Schofield D.C. Everest, central Wisconsin co-op, takes on the Green Bay East led Bay area co-op at noon. Then the River Falls's St. Croix Valley Fusion co-op will then go against Onalaska's Coulee Region co-op. Today's winners will go for the state title tomorrow. Also, the girls' state high school gymnastics meet opens this afternoon in Wisconsin Rapids. And the boys' state team wrestling meet begins tonight in Madison at the University of Wisconsin Field House. Tonight's wrestling is Division 1 quarterfinals and semifinals beginning at 5:30 p.m. Division 2 and 3 semifinals will wrestle at 10 a.m. tomorrow with finals in all three divisions set for 3 p.m.
University of Wisconsin women's hockey goaltenders Alex Rigsby and Ann-Renee Desbiens were both given season honors last night from the WCHA. The senior Rigsby made the all-conference first team. The freshman Desbiens was named the league's goal-tending champion with a spot on the All-Rookie team. Rigsby is the Badgers' all-time career saves' leader with 3,057. Desbiens had the WCHA's best goals-against-average in conference games at .97. Also, Wisconsin's Brittany Ammerman and Courtney Burke both made the all-league second team. Blayre Turnbull was named to the third squad. And Sarah Nurse joined Desbiens on the All-Rookie team. Minnesota sophomore Hannah Brandt received the top honor as the player of the year. Four teams remain alive after last weekend's playoff openers. Second-ranked Wisconsin takes on North Dakota at four this afternoon at the WCHA Final Face-off in Bemidji, Minnesota. The winner plays either Minnesota or Minnesota-Duluth in tomorrow night's championship game.
The Green Bay Packers and defensive lineman B.J. Raji might not be as close to a contract settlement as was reported yesterday. Several media reports indicated that Raji was close to accepting a one-year deal for four-million-dollars, with the hopes that a solid 2014 season would make him a better free-agent candidate a year from now. However, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says the 27-year-old Raji would apparently take a one-year deal only if he doesn't get more lucrative long-term offers from other teams. He'll find out if that happens after free-agency begins on Tuesday.
An arrest warrant released yesterday indicates that former Packers' All-Pro safety Darren Sharper had sex with two women without their consent. Sharper was arrested last week on allegations that he another man drugged two women before having sex with them last September. The 38-year-old Sharper is also charged in Los Angeles with seven rape-and-drug counts in two alleged attacks on women in that city. He's scheduled to have a court hearing in that case today in Los Angeles. Until now, Sharper's lawyer has contended that his client's sex was consensual. Attorney Blair Berk says reports of non-consensual sex were quote, "absolutely false."
The University of Wisconsin women's basketball team ended its season with a 74-68 overtime loss to Minnesota in last night's first round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. The 11th-seeded Badgers never trailed in regulation. They couldn't hold on to a 14-point halftime lead, in which they tied a season-high for shooting at just under 54-percent. Minnesota's Rachel Banham sent the game to OT by hitting a three-pointer with 55-point-six seconds left. The Gophers led for most of the extra period. The Badgers were down two with just over 18 seconds to go, but Minnesota went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to pull away. Michala Johnson had 19 points and ten rebounds, as Wisconsin ended its season at 10-19. Banham had 22 for Minnesota, which is now 20-11 and will play Nebraska tonight in the tournament quarterfinals.
The UW-Green Bay women's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Horizon League season title, with a 67-52 home victory over Oakland. The Phoenix also earned the top seed in next week's conference tournament, while claiming its 16th straight league title -- the longest active streak of its kind in the nation. Green Bay led by nine at the break last night, and pulled away with an 11-to-2 run early in the second half. Senior Breannah Ranger led the Phoenix with a career-high 19 points. Green Bay out-shot Oakland 54-to-36 percent. Elena Popkey and Victoria Lipscomb each scored 14 for the Golden Grizzlies, who dropped to 7-and-8 in the Horizon League and 12-16 overall. UW-Green Bay is now 12-3 in the conference and 19-8 overall. They'll close out their regular season tomorrow at home against Detroit.
The Milwaukee Brewers came from behind to beat Colorado 5-3 yesterday in an exhibition contest in Phoenix. The Crew took advantage of four Rockies' errors in the eighth inning. Irving Falu scored the winning run on a throwing error by Rockies' first baseman Kyle Parker. The Brewers also won their first replay call of the spring. Logan Schafer stole second in the sixth inning. Rockies' manager Walt Weiss challenged the safe-call, and the replay review confirmed the steal. Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse gave up two runs in three innings. After the game, the Brewers re-assigned catchers Adam Weisenburger and Cameron Garfield to their minor league camp. Milwaukee is now 5-and-4 in Cactus League play. They'll play San Diego this afternoon.