Morning State Sports Briefs: Wausau West goes for back-to-back state hockey titlesWisconsin Sports
-- Wausau West High School never won a boys’ state hockey title until a year ago. Now, they’ll go for back-to-back crowns when the state tournament begins this afternoon at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
MADISON - Wausau West High School never won a boys’ state hockey title until a year ago. Now, they’ll go for back-to-back crowns when the state tournament begins this afternoon at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
Quarter-finals will be played today in one division. Eau Claire Memorial kicks things off at noon against Brookfield Central/East. Wausau West takes on Milwaukee Marquette in Game-Two. This evening, Superior faces Green Bay Notre Dame. And Sparta wraps up the day against Verona. Today’s winners will square off the in the semi-finals tomorrow. And a four-team girls’ tournament begins tomorrow as well. Title games for both are set for Saturday.
The Green Bay Packers now have over 360,000 owners, after the team’s latest stock sale ended last night. About a quarter-million individuals and couples became Packers’ stock-holders for the first time, after the fifth stock sale in Green Bay’s history took place since mid-December. More than 268,000 shares were sold for $250 each. Many were holiday gifts. It raised about $67-million– or almost half the cost of the Packers’ current expansion and improvements at Lambeau Field. About 6,700 new seats are being added in the south end zone, and new video-boards are among the improvements. Both are expected to be ready for next season, and the rest of the project is due to be finished in 2013. Team president Mark Murphy said the response to the latest stock offering was quote, “overwhelming.” Wisconsin fans bought about half the new shares. Illinois and California each made up about eight-and-a-half percent of the total stock sold. And two-thousand Canadians bought in, after being allowed to do so last month. The stock has offers no financial benefits, it cannot be sold to anybody but the team, and it can only be passed down to relatives. But the stock does allow shareholders to elect officers and board members – and most of all, it gives them bragging rights of being NFL owners.
The 11th-ranked UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team still has a lot to play for, after clinching its 14th straight Horizon League season title. The Phoenix will close out the regular season tonight at Loyola and Saturday at Illinois-Chicago. The Phoenix look to keep their momentum going, as they head into the conference and NCAA tournaments. Senior forward Julie Wojta has 31 career double-doubles, and she can break Green Bay’s Division-One record with a pair this week. Wojta also needs nine steals to break a Phoenix season mark. She has 95 right now. Also, coach Matt Bollant says forward Sarah Eichler is helping the team gets its swagger back. She was out with an ankle injury when the Phoenix lost its only game of the season at Detroit on February 9th. UWGB is 25-1 overall and 15-1 in Horizon League play. Loyola is 6-9 in the conference and 12-and-15 overall. The Phoenix crushed the Ramblers 76-to-49 on New Year’s Eve. Loyola is coming off a four-point win over Illinois-Chicago last Saturday. Patrice King had 25 points for Loyola in that game. Also tonight, UW-Milwaukee is at Illinois-Chicago. The UW-Madison women open against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament this evening. And the UW- Parkside women face Kentucky Wesleyan in the Great Lakes Valley Conference tourney.
University of Wisconsin men’s coach Bo Ryan has earned a big honor for his coaching days at UW-Platteville. Ryan and Eau Claire’s Ken Anderson have been named as the coaches for the WIAC All-Time men’s basketball team. Ryan led Platteville from 1985-to-’99, and Anderson headed the Eau Claire program from 1969-through-’95. Seventeen players were named to the All-Time Team, which is part of the WIAC’s 100th anniversary celebration. Eau Claire has five players on the squad – Tony Carr, Gib Hinz, Mike Ratliff, Frank Schade, and Chester Smith. Stevens Point has three honorees – Jason Kalsow, Tim Naegeli, and former NBA star Terry Porter. Also named were Ty Evans and Aubrey Lewis-Byers of Whitewater, Merrill Brunson and Ben Hoffmann of Platteville, Ralph Sims and Tim Dworak of Oshkosh, Rich Melzer and Roger Kuss of River Falls, and Joe Werner of La Crosse.
Two Wisconsin golfers are competing in the PGA’s Honda Classic that got underway this morning in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson was at one-under-par after 10 holes, putting him in 13th among the 72 players on the course by mid-morning. Jerry Kelly of Madison was at four-over after 12 holes. Davis Love the Third was the early leader at five-under.
Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said today he would start the regular season with 12 pitchers. That means only five spots will be open for bench players during the Cactus League exhibition season which begins on Sunday in Arizona. In his daily briefing with reporters, Roenicke said there are not too many off-days early in the season – and he does not want to overuse his pitchers. He said starters Zack Greinke and Randy Wolf would both get some work on Sunday, when the Brewers play a split-squad from the San Francisco Giants. The starters will be limited to 35 pitches in their opening spring appearances. On another subject, Roenicke said Corey Hart has looked comfortable at first base. The skipper says he wants Hart to be ready to play the position to back up left-handed hitting Mat Gamel, especially when the Brewers face strong southpaws. Roenicke said Hart – an all-star right fielder – would get enough exhibition games at first to be ready for that spot.
Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers spent some time today at the Brewers’ Spring Training camp in Phoenix. The National Football League’s MVP ran to the outfield to shag some balls – and he’s planning to film some TV spots for the Brewers. Rodgers is a close friend of Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun. And he staunchly defended Braun while arbitrators were deciding whether to overturn Braun’s 50-game suspension for testing positive for what was reported to be synthetic testosterone. Braun was exonerated late last week. And Rodgers immediately went on Twitter to proclaim that Major League Baseball quote, “tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man.”
Two Ripon College players were named today to the All-Midwest Conference men’s basketball first team – senior forward Aris Wurtz and junior guard Taylor Koth. Saint Norbert sophomore guard Brandon Gries also made the top squad, along with Griffin Lentsch of Grinnell and Travis Clark of Lake Forest. Clark is the league’s player-of-the-year. Chris Conger of Lake Forest is the Midwest coach-of-the-year, after leading the Foresters to only their third league crown in school history. Clark, a center, averaged 18 points and almost 10 rebounds a game. Wurtz was second in the conference in scoring with 25 points a game. Koth was third with 22 per contest. Gries led Saint Norbert in both scoring and assists. Also, Chris Siebert of Lawrence was named to the all-league second team, along with David Bremner of Beloit and Alec Molter of Carroll.
Janette Groer of Carroll University in Waukesha was named today as the women’s basketball player-of-the-year in the Midwest Conference. Groer, a senior forward, led the league with just over 18 points and about four assists per game. Melissa Bittner was named the coach-of-the-year, after leading Monmouth College of Monmouth, Illinois to its first NCAA Division III national tournament appearance in school history. Groer was named to a six-player all-conference first team along with senior guard Krista Pelky and senior forward Jamie Kuhl of Saint Norbert, junior forward Erin Lind of Ripon, junior guard Sam Schuring of Lake Forest, and senior guard Haley Jones of Monmouth. Six players were also named to the all-league second team, including a pair from Wisconsin – Krista Hawkinson of Saint Norbert, and Katie Raymond of Ripon.
In the boys’ state high school basketball regionals…
Division 3: West Salem 53, Altoona 38
Division 4: Iowa-Grant 58, Whitehall 47
Division 5: Seneca 47, De Soto 40
In girls’ regular season high school basketball…
Kenosha Bradford 57, Kenosha Reuther 31
Milwaukee Bradley Tech 56, Milwaukee School of Languages 39
Milwaukee Pius XI 71, Waukesha Catholic Memorial 32
Milwaukee Pulaski 60, Milwaukee Ronald Reagan 31
Milwaukee Washington 79, Milwaukee Bay View 27
Muskego 39, Oak Creek 35
New Berlin Eisenhower 76, Greendale 22
New Berlin West 65, Milwaukee Thomas More 15
Pewaukee 60, Brown Deer 32
Racine Prairie 37, Milwaukee Heritage Christian 33
South Milwaukee 41, Whitnall 33
St. Francis 40, Shorewood 35
Verona 50, Beloit Memorial 25
Wauwatosa West 55, Greenfield 51
Whitefish Bay Dominican 88, Beaver Dam Wayland Academy 43
Wisconsin Lutheran 46, Slinger 38
In the American Hockey League…
Milwaukee 3, Peoria 2