Morning State Sports Briefs: State girls' basketball tournament begins at the Kohl CenterWisconsin Sports
-- Four games are on tap for today, as the state girls’ high school basketball tournament opens at the Kohl Center in Madison.
MADISON - Four games are on tap for today, as the state girls’ high school basketball tournament opens at the Kohl Center in Madison.
The Division-Five semi-finals are up first. Defending champion Wausau Newman will kick things off against Owen-Withee at 1:35. And then unbeaten Seneca will take on Milwaukee Heritage Christian. Semi-finals in Division-Four will be played tonight. Defending champion Eau Claire Regis goes against Oshkosh Lourdes. And the day’s final game will have unbeaten Neillsville taking on Howards Grove. Semi-finals in the other three divisions will be played tomorrow. Title games in all five groups are set for Saturday.
The Milwaukee Bucks will play five games in the next six nights, including two against teams which are just ahead of them in the playoff race. One of those teams is the Boston Celtics, whom the Bucks will host this evening. Boston holds the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, three games ahead of ninth-place Milwaukee. New York is now one game ahead of the Bucks for the eighth-and-final playoff spot – and the Knicks gained a half-game on the Bucks with a three-point win over Philadelphia last night. Milwaukee will play at New York on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Celtics are dealing with injury problems in their front-court. Power forward Kevin Garnett has moved to center due to the losses of Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox. And former Wisconsin center Greg Stiemsma from Randolph is getting some playing time in the post for Boston. The Celtics are 24-21. Milwaukee is 21-24 with a six-game winning streak.
Spring practices begin today for the University of Wisconsin football team. The Badgers will hold 15 workouts through April 28th, when the annual Spring Game will be played at Camp Randall Stadium. Among other things, the coaches will pick candidates for three new starters on the offensive line. Center Peter Konz, right guard Kevin Zeitler, and right tackle Josh Oglesby all left after the Rose Bowl. They’ve also got some big defensive holes to fill, with five of last year’s top-10 tacklers now gone. And coach Bret Bielema will look for new cohesiveness in his staff, after six new assistants came on board. The Badgers won’t settle on a new quarterback until their pre-season camp in August. Jon Budmayr and Curt Phillips still have injury problems. Joe Brennan is available after he threw for 48 yards in late-game situations a year ago. Redshirt freshman Joel Stave is also available. And there’s still a chance the Badgers can bring in former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien, who’s set to transfer for his senior year the way Russell Wilson did last season. O’Brien will visit the UW on Saturday.
The Green Bay Packers are said to be interested in re-acquiring defensive end Dave Tollefson. Media reports say the Packers are looking into the free agent from the New York Giants – but a visit has not been scheduled yet. Tollefson is scheduled to visit Seattle today. The Packers drafted him as a seventh-rounder in 2006. He was let go after his rookie year, and the Giants picked him up. Tollefson has been a reserve, but he got to play more last season due to injuries. He had five sacks, two forced fumbles, and 21 total tackles. Tollefson has 10 sacks for his career. Yesterday, the Packers lost back-up corner Pat Lee to the Oakland Raiders. And the numbers are in for Jarrett Bush’s new contract. He’s due to make five-and-a-quarter million dollars in three years. That’s a raise from his last three-year deal worth four-and-a-half million. Bush received a million-dollar signing bonus, the same as he was given in 2009.