Morning State Sports Briefs: WIAA boys basketball regionals begin tonightThe playoffs begin tonight for just over 500 Wisconsin boys’ high school basketball teams. The WIAA added a fifth division this year. 368 teams will be in action this evening, and the rest have first-round byes to Round-Two this weekend.
The playoffs begin tonight for just over 500 Wisconsin boys’ high school basketball teams. The WIAA added a fifth division this year. 368 teams will be in action this evening, and the rest have first-round byes to Round-Two this weekend.
There are 77 schools in the Division-One bracket, 89 in Division-Two, 114 in Division-Three, 102 in Division-Four, and 120 in the fifth and smallest grouping. The final AP boys’ poll was released yesterday, and the top three teams in Division-One were unchanged from a week ago. Appleton East leads Division-One with a 22-0 record. Germantown is second at 21-1, and Milwaukee Riverside is third at 20-2. In Division-Two, Waunakee was still at the top, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran and New Richmond. La Crosse Aquinas finished at Number-One in Division-Three, with East Troy and Manitowoc Roncalli in the second-and-third spots. Blair-Taylor ends the regular season atop Division-Four, with Oostburg second and Eau Claire Regis third. And Randolph led Division-Five all season, followed by Benton and Clayton.
Wisconsin girls’ high school teams are in their final week of regular season play. Middleton continues to lead the AP Division-one poll, with Glendale Nicolet second and Milwaukee Pius XI third. Union Grove is the new Division-Two leader. Luxemburg-Casco, which led for most of the season, has dropped to second with Pewaukee third. Whitefish Bay Dominican leads Division-Three, followed by Columbus and Richland Center. Eau Claire Regis still tops Division-Four, with Oshkosh Lourdes and Hurley in the two-and-three spots. And Wausau Newman remains atop Division-Five, followed by South Wayne Black Hawk and Seneca.
The Milwaukee Bucks will host Detroit tonight without center Andrew Bogut and forward Ersan Ilyasova. Bogut injured his left rib-cage during Saturday night’s home loss to Chicago, and it’s not known how long he’ll be out. Ilyasova will miss his second straight game after suffering a concussion last Friday at practice. The problems are just the latest in a season riddled with injuries for the Bucks. As a result, they have not gotten into a rhythm, and they’re 22-36. The Pistons, meanwhile, have troubles of their own. They’re 22-39, and veteran guard Rip Hamilton hasn’t played since February fifth. He’s listed as having a groin injury, and he got fined for missing a shoot-around at Philadelphia after he refused to accept a trade to Cleveland.
The Marquette University women’s basketball team has earned a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament that begins on Friday night. The Golden Eagles have the Number-Five seed, and will play either 12th-seeded Pittsburgh or Number-13 seed South Florida on Saturday in Hartford Connecticut. 20th-ranked Marquette ended its regular season last night, losing at Cincinnati 65-62. The Bearcats took the lead for good with 1:25 left when Shelly Bellman hit a three-pointer. The Golden Eagles blew two chances to send the game to overtime. Shareese Ulis scored 20 points for Cincinnati, which ended a 13-game losing streak. The Bearcats went 2-14 in Big East regular season play, and 9-19 overall. Tatiyiana McMorris scored 18 points for Marquette, which closed out its Big East schedule at 10-6. They’re 22-7 overall going into the conference tournament.
UW-Stevens Point moved up one place to third in this week’s national small college men’s poll from D3Hoops.com The Pointers ended their regular season at 24-3 – and the defending national champions will be on the road for the first two rounds of the NCAA Division-Three tournament. Point will open against Saint Norbert on Friday at Concordia-Mequon, with the host school to face Luther College in the other first-round game. Saint Norbert moved up four spots in this week’s poll to No.16, while Concordia dropped three spots to 24th. UW-River Falls also made the NCAA field. They remained 22nd in this week’s poll, and will play Illinois Wesleyan on Friday in Saint Paul. Whitworth of Spokane Washington moved back into the top spot in this week’s men’s poll.
In the D3hoops.com women’s poll, Stevens Point moved up one spot to third. The Pointers are 25-2, and they’ll host the first two rounds of their national Division-Three tournament. The Pointers will open on Friday against Saint Norbert, which moved up two places to 14th in the new D-Three poll. Whitewater is the only other Wisconsin school in the Top-25. They dropped three places to 24th, and will open their tournament run against Mount Union on Friday at Thomas More in Kentucky. Two unranked Wisconsin schools made the NCAA field. La Crosse will play Wisconsin Lutheran on Friday at Illinois Wesleyan.
Rob Jeter of UW-Milwaukee has been named the Horizon League men’s basketball coach-of-the-year. Jeter led the Panthers to victories in their final nine regular season games, giving them a share of the regular season title and the top-seed in this week’s conference tournament. Jeter is a former assistant to UW-Madison head coach Bo Ryan and played for Ryan at UW-Platteville. Milwaukee has two byes before hosting a semi-final game on Saturday night. Panthers’ forward Anthony Hill made the all-conference first team. Rahmon Fletcher of UW-Green Bay made the second squad. And Milwaukee guard Kaylon Williams and Green Bay center Alec Brown both made the all-newcomer team. Norris Cole of Cleveland State is the Horizon player-of-the-year. Ray McCallum Jr. of Detroit is the top rookie, and Geoff McCammon of Loyola is the Sixth-Man-of-the-Year for the second straight time. The Horizon League men’s tourney begins tonight. UW-Green Bay has the seventh seed, and will play at number-six Wright State.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team is back in the Top-10 in both national polls. The Badgers moved up two spots today in both the AP media survey and the USA Today-ESPN coaches’ poll. Wisconsin is now 22-6 after topping Northwestern yesterday to finish a perfect 16-0 at home. Wisconsin is also 13th in the new RPI Rankings which help determine seedings for next month’s NCAA Tournament. Ohio State moved back into the Number-one spot in both men’s polls. Marquette moved up 17 spots in the RPI Rankings to 51st, after winning three straight games. On the women’s side, UW-Green Bay is ranked 15th by the AP, two places higher than last week. The Phoenix are 27-1, and they secured sole possession of the Horizon League regular season championship last week. Green Bay is 35th in the RPI Rankings.
Three University of Wisconsin women’s basketball players were named today to the All-Big Ten Conference teams. Senior guard Alyssa Karel was named to the all-league second team by the both the league’s coaches and media – the second year in a row she received the honor. Senior post player Lin Zastrow was given second-team honors by the coaches and third-team honors by the media. And senior forward Tara Steinbauer was given an honorable mention by the media. Suzy Merchant of first-place Michigan State was named the consensus coach-of-the-year. Kalisha Keane of the Spartans was picked as the player-of-the-year by the coaches, while Jantel Lavender of Ohio State was selected as the top player by the media. The Big Ten Tournament begins Thursday in Indianapolis. Sixth-seeded Wisconsin will play No.11 seed Illinois in their opener.
Tony Mane of UW-La Crosse and Jake Smith of Superior were named today as the co-men’s basketball players-of-the-year in the WIAC. It’s the second time in the last three seasons that the top honor has been shared. Mane, a senior guard, led the conference with 25-point-six points a game, an .879 free throw percentage, and three-point-one-five three-pointers per contest. And he became La Crosse’s all-time leading scorer with 2,095 career points. Smith, a senior guard-and-forward, was third in the conference with a scoring average of 17 points a game while grabbing just over six rebounds. Both also made a 10-member all-conference first team. Jeff Berkhof of UW-River Falls was named the coach-of-the-year. Mane and Phil Negri of Whitewater are the sport’s top scholar-athletes.
UW-Stevens Point senior center Britta Peterson was named today as the WIAC women’s player-of-the-year. She also made the all-conference first team for the third year in a row. Peterson was second in the league with a .576 field goal percentage, while averaging 14 points and around two-and-a-half assists and two steals per game. Stevens Point coach Shirley Egner was named the league’s coach-of-the-year, after the Pointers won their fourth straight conference tournament title. Hannah Mesick of Eau Claire and Dana Churchill of La Crosse were named the sport’s top scholar-athletes.
The UW-Parkside women will play in this weekend’s semi-finals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball tournament. The Rangers have the number-two seed, and will play either Drury or Lewis in the semis on Saturday night in Saint Louis. Parkside advanced with a 69-59 home victory over No. 11 Bellarmine on Saturday. Top-seeded Quincy will face either Indianapolis or Northern Kentucky in the other semi-final. Those winners will square off next Sunday, with an NCAA Division-Two tournament berth on the line. The Parkside men ended their season on Saturday night with a 92-64 loss to Southern Indiana in the first round of their Great Lakes Valley tournament. The men closed out with a 9-18 overall record.
Three Wisconsin college hockey teams are at the top of their respective national polls this week. The UW-Madison women are still Number-One in their U.S College Hockey Online Division-One poll. The UW-River Falls women remain atop their Division-Three survey. And Saint Norbert is the new Number-One for the Division-Three men. The Milwaukee School of Engineering is ninth in the D-Three men’s poll and UW-Superior is 15th. Superior is ninth in the D-Three women’s poll. The Wisconsin men dropped five spots to 18th in their Division-One survey, after falling to 19-13-4 overall. The Saint Norbert men moved up from second a week ago, after a pair of victories moved them into next weekend’s finals of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. The River Falls women earned the top-seed and hosting rights for their NCHA semi-finals and finals this weekend. And the Badger women earned the top-seed in the WCHA semi-finals beginning on Friday in Minneapolis.
Former Green Bay Packers’ running back Ahman Green will play in the Canadian Football League this year. The 34-year-old Green has signed with the defending CFL Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes. He’s the Packers’ all-time leading rusher. Last year, Green played for Omaha in the United Football League.
The Milwaukee Admirals are playing at Toronto in a rare mid-day contest. The Admirals have a two-game losing streak. But they’re still tied with Houston for first place in the American Hockey League’s West Division with a record of 33-16-3-7. Toronto is in fourth place in the North Division, but they’re two points away from first. The Marlies are 32-21-1-5, and they’ve split six contests on their current eight-game home-stand. The Admirals defeated Toronto in a shoot-out on January eighth, the only time the teams have played each other this season. The Admirals have had forward Wade Belak since last Friday, after he played 15 games with Milwaukee’s parent NHL team in Nashville.