Second season for girls basketball begins tonight (Pierce County Preview)No Pierce County prep girls basketball team has won a regional title since Plum City did so back in 1999. That decade-long drought could end this week.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
No Pierce County prep girls basketball team has won a regional title since Plum City did so back in 1999. That decade-long drought could end this week.
Regional tournaments begin tonight at 7 p.m. with first round action in Divisions 2, 3 and 4.
For Prescott, the regional title drought is even longer, three decades long in fact.
But the winds of change are blowing starting with the fact the Cardinals are 14-6 overall and have played in a very competitive Middle Border Conference this season. Prescott's six non-conference wins are testiment to that.
They are also the No. 1 seed in their Division 3 regional, hosting No. 8 seeded Granstburg tonight. And unlike in years past when powerful squads from Boyceville or Eau Claire Regis barred the Cards' path, no such squad is in their regional tournament bracket this year.
PHS has been shifted north to the Amery Regional. If they win tonight they will take on either St. Croix Central, 7-13 overall, or Webster, 9-11. The second seeded team in the bracket is St. Croix Falls with a 12-8 record. Boyceville is in the bracket too but they are 10-10 overall and lost both their non-conference games to MBC teams Somerset and Osceola.
Grantsburg is 2-18 overall and is led in scoring by junior Kortney Morrin who averages 17.8 points per game.
Ellsworth also hopes their Middle Border competition will toughen them up for their Division 2 Osseo-Fairchild Regional. The Panthers open on the road, a No. 5 seed against 11-9 Gale-Ettrick-Treampeauleau.
The Redmen have a veteran, senior dominated team, as compared to the much younger Panthers, led by leading scorer, 5-7 senior guard Samantha Weaver. Although they finished third in the rugged Coulee Conference, they have won two straight, including a non-conference win over Holmen.
A Panther win will be their first in the regionals since 2002 and would put them in the semifinals at No. 10 ranked Durand Thursday, the No. 1 seed, MBC champions and one the favorites to win the sectional. The regional also includes Coulee champ West Salem, 16-4 overall and Sparta, 14-6 overall, from the big school Mississippi Valley Conference.
The Division 4 Durand Regional also presents an opportunity for Pierce County teams to win a title.
But to do so they will have to get past No. 13 ranked and Dairyland Conference Small Division champion Independence, 16-4 overall. Elmwood will be the Indees' first-round opponent tonight at Independence.
The Indees won the regional title two years ago and were runners-up last season. They feature a very balanced scoring table led by junior wing player Steph Walek, who averages 11 points per game. The Indees have five players 5-9 or bigger their center is 5-11 sophomore Bri Halama. Jenna Brandt and Jeana Manka are the team leaders in rebounding and assists respectively, both non-seniors.
Plum City and Spring Valley are the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds respectively and both are set to clash for the third time this season with the series tied at 1-1. To get to Thursday's semifinal game, which will be in Plum City, No. 3 seeded Spring Valley will need to get past D-SC rival Pepin, 2-18 overall, the No. 6 seed at home and the Blue Devils will need to get past No. 7 Cochrane-Fountain City, 3-17 overall, also at home.
The Pirates finished last int he Dairyland Large and their leading scorer is sophomore guard Katie Baures at 7.5 points per game. The Lakers lost twice to SV during the regular season 44-26 and 55-42 and have not won since beating St. Croix Central back on Jan. 10. Two freshmen lead Pepin in scoring, Tasha Heit and Casie Schultz with over eight points per game.
Regional semifinals are on Thursday and regional finals are on Saturday.More from around the web