Wisconsin Sports Roundup: State boys' hockey tournament begins in Madison this weekendWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Notre Dame will go for its second straight WIAA boys' high school hockey title, when the state tournament begins in Madison this afternoon.
MADISON - Green Bay Notre Dame will go for its second straight WIAA boys' high school hockey title, when the state tournament begins in Madison this afternoon at the Alliant Energy Center.
Quarter-final games will be played in one division. Verona and Wausau West will open the proceedings at noon. Notre Dame, which has the best record among the eight schools at 24-1-1, will take on Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln. Tonight, Eau Claire Memorial plays Whitefish Bay. And in final game of the day, Superior goes against Fond du Lac. Today's winners will face each other in tomorrow night's semi-finals. The girls' tournament also opens tomorrow on the same ice at Madison's Alliant Energy Center. Title games in both tournaments are set for Saturday.
The state girls’ high school basketball regionals are back-on-track, after 13 make-up games were played last night. Barneveld was the only Number-One seed to play, and they easily advanced with a 70-8 victory over Williams Bay Faith Christian in Division 5. The biggest upset of the night was in Division 4, where 11th-seeded Orfordville Parkview eliminated No. 6 Fennimore 40-35. Also, a pair of No. 9 seeds pulled off mild upsets over eighth-seeded teams. Those winners were Beloit Memorial in Division 1, and Burlington Catholic Central in D-5. All five divisions now have 64 teams remaining. The girls’ regionals resume tomorrow night throughout Wisconsin.
Chris Narveson pitched one-and-a-third innings in his return for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3-2 exhibition loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Arizona. Narveson faced opposing hitters for the first time since last April, when he went down for the season with rotator cuff surgery. He gave up a first-inning run on a single, a walk, and an RBI single by the Royals’ Mike Moustakas. Narveson threw 30 pitches, 19 for strikes. He said it was a good return, and he avoided a tendency to try-and-do too much. One of Milwaukee’s newest relievers, Blake Badenhop, had a solid spring debut with two strikeouts in the fourth inning on one hit. Ex-Brewer Lorenzo Cain walked in the seventh inning, and scored the game-winner for the Royals on a single by Max Ramirez. Blake Lalli and Norichika Aoki hit RBI doubles for the Brewers, who fell to 1-5 in Cactus League play. Milwaukee will host the Chicago White Sox this afternoon in Phoenix. Right-hander Wily Peralta will make his spring debut for the Crew.
The Milwaukee Brewers will take a closer look today at one of four starters competing for the final three spots in the regular season rotation. Right-hander Wily Peralta will make his first start at Spring Training, when the Brewers play the Chicago White Sox in Phoenix. Peralta suffered a stiff shoulder after his first bullpen session at camp – and he’s still trying to catch up with the others. Peralta is considered Milwaukee’s top prospect. But he trouble a year ago at Triple-“A” Nashville when he went 7-11 in 28 starts with an ERA of 4.75. He was a September call-up with the Brew Crew – and he did well in that stint, going 2-1 in five starts with an ERA of 2.25. The Sox will start left-handed prospect Scott Snodgrass. Chicago is 3-0-2 so far this spring. The Brewers have dropped their last five exhibitions, and are 1-5.
Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Yovani Gallardo says he’ll be ready when he begins to pitch for his home country of Mexico in the World Baseball Classic which begins in eight days. Gallardo threw two scoreless innings before he gave up a pair of homers in the third frame yesterday against Seattle. The right-hander has one more start planned with the Brewers on Sunday before he joins Team Mexico. He understands why the coaches are nervous, as he goes off to play all-out in a major international competition when he would otherwise ease into the regular season. But Brewers’ pitching coach Rick Kranitz said he feels more comfortable now than he did during the previous world tournaments. In 2006, Kranitz coached for the Marlins when he sent Dontrelle Willis away with just one start for his team. Now, Gallardo will have two exhibition starts plus an inter-squad appearance under his belt, so he’ll be in better shape. And Kranitz said it helped that the World Baseball Classic is limiting hurlers to 65 pitches this year. It’s possible that Gallardo will pitch a week from Saturday for Mexico against Team USA – and his Milwaukee teammates Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy.
The UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team can claim the Horizon League regular season title all-to-itself tonight, with a victory at Detroit. The Phoenix – Wisconsin’s only nationally-ranked women’s team – won at least a share of the crown last weekend with an 80-53 home win over Valparaiso. UWGB is now 12-0 in conference play and 22-2 overall. The Phoenix have a 17-game winning streak, tied for the fifth-longest regular season streak in team history. Detroit is 7-5 in league play, and 14-10 overall after losing a pair at Illinois-Chicago and Loyola last weekend. Still, the Titans are perfect at home at 9-0. Detroit post-player Shareeta Brown leads the conference in field-goal percentage at 57-point-two – and she’s second in scoring with 21-points a game. On January second, Green Bay held Brown to just eight points in a 62-31 Phoenix home rout over the Titans. The Phoenix are ranked 21st in the AP media poll, and 23rd in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Also tonight, the Wisconsin Badger women are at home against Nebraska. The UW-Milwaukee women play at Loyola this evening. And the Parkside women-and-men are playing their regular season finales at Lewis.
Sectional play begins tonight for 80 Wisconsin boys' high school basketball teams. It's the Sweet-16 round in each of the five divisions. So far, there have been very few surprises. All five defending champions from a year ago are still alive -- undefeated Germantown, Onalaska, Brillion, Whitefish Bay Dominican, and Sheboygan Lutheran. And all but six of the 42 Number-One seeds are still in contention. Tonight's play determines the Elite-Eight for each grouping. The sectional finals are set for Saturday -- and then the Final Four in each division will meet at the state tournament which starts a week from today at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Two Wisconsin golfers will compete in the Honda Classic which is underway at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Jerry Kelly of Madison has an 11:15 tee-time, and Pewaukee native Mark Wilson will start his first round at 11:25. Wilson won this tournament six years ago. Boo Weekley was at four-under-par going into his final two holes of the day. Justin Rose and Graham DeLaet were also at four-under at mid-day.
Former NFL general manager Bill Polian says the Green Bay Packers’ biggest need is at running back – and after that, he’d try to improve the outside linebacker and safety positions. Polian is now a commentator on ESPN, and he has unveiled what he calls his “outsider’s evaluation” for all 32 NFL teams. Polian has been a top personnel executive with Buffalo, Carolina, and Indianapolis. In his words, “This team is a Super Bowl contender, and therefore a special veteran such as Steven Jackson might interest them.” Jackson is a free agent running back from Saint Louis. Polian also said another pass-rushing outside linebacker like Clay Matthews would be a big help for the Packer “D.” Polian said Green Bay makes quote, “very few mistakes in cap management and personnel selection. Look for them to continue that trend.”
The Green Bay Packers’ Hall-of-Fame has acquired two photos with 96 autographs from the 1996 Super Bowl championship team. Mondovi native Larry Winsand traveled to 28 cities in 16 years to get everybody, and he donated the items to the team’s hall. The autographs included 56 players, team president Bob Harlan, GM Ron Wolf, coach Mike Holmgren and his staff, the radio broadcasters, and other Packer employees at the time. Winsand, who now lives in Richmond, Virginia, said he was only planning to get autographs from Holmgren, the offense, and the defense from the ’96 champions. But his project expanded to include all members of the organization. The photos will be displayed in the Packers’ Hall-of-Fame at Lambeau Field.
The Milwaukee Wave ended a two-game losing streak with a 12-8 victory last night at Syracuse. Wave goal-tender Marcel Feenstra scored on a field-long blast into the opposing goal. That gave Milwaukee a 10-2 lead, and the Wave weathered a Syracuse rally in the second half to hang on for the win. The Wave improved to 19-and-5, while Syracuse fell to 8-and-16. Milwaukee will close out its regular season this weekend with a pair of home contests on Saturday night against Syracuse and Sunday against Wichita.
The UW-Milwaukee men are in first place after Day-One of the Horizon League swim meet in Chicago. The Panthers have a five-point lead over second-place Cleveland State, 119-114. UW-Green Bay is fifth with 72. In the women’s competition, Cleveland State has the early lead with Green Bay in second, nine points back. Milwaukee, last year’s women’s champ, is in fifth. Kendra Rottier of Green Bay won her second straight conference gold in the one-thousand-meter freestyle. And the Milwaukee women won their second straight crown in the 200-freestyle relay.
The University of Wisconsin men’s swim team is in sixth place after the opening of the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Indiana. The Badgers set a school record time in the 800-freestyle relay in six-minutes, 23.98 seconds. And senior Michael Weiss set a new Badger record in the 200-free with his opening leg of the relay. It earned Wisconsin a national meet bid, but the records still only yielded a fourth-place conference finish in the event.
Wisconsin’s Ed Nuttycombe has been named the Big Ten Conference men's indoor track coach-of-the-year. The award was handed out yesterday, after the Badger men won the league title last weekend. It was Wisconsin's first indoor crown in five years, and the 13th under Nuttycombe. He has also led the Badgers to 13 outdoor track titles, and was named the coach-of-the-year in that sport last spring. All told, Nuttycombe has 22 coach-of-the-year honors in Madison.
Former Bucks’ guard Ray Allen plans to resume his Hollywood acting career when he retires from the NBA. Allen starred with Denzel Washington as a widely-recruited high school superstar in Spike Lee’s 1998 film “He Got Game.” Allen also played another basketball player in “Harvard Man,” which was about a point-shaving scandal. The 37-year-old Allen played his first five-and-a-half seasons with Milwaukee before moving on to Seattle – Boston, where he won an NBA title – and this season, with Miami. He said he wants to play a few more years of basketball. But Allen tells Fox Sports he wants to return to the big screen. He said he was inspired a few years ago when he met Leonardo DiCaprio in Las Vegas – and he told Allen he should pursue acting when he finally hangs up his basketball laces.
Former U.S. women’s national soccer team member Kristen Weiss was named today as an assistant coach with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Coach Paula Wilkins announced the hiring. Weiss is also a three-time coaches’ All-American at Virginia, ending in 2006. She spent last season at UW-Milwaukee as an assistant – and she has also coached at Clemson and Maryland. Weiss replaces Carmelina Moscato, who plans to resume her pro playing career with the Chicago Red Stars – as well as the Canadian national squad.
Jason Dunn of Lawrence University in Appleton has been named the Midwest Conference men’s tennis player-of-the-week. Dunn, a senior, won a pair of singles’ matches against players from UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse. He also had a doubles’ victory against Eau Claire.
Wisconsin High School Girls Basketball Regionals
Beloit Memorial 51, Kenosha Bradford 43
Janesville Craig Sectional
Elkhorn 37, Union Grove 20
Fort Atkinson 56, Delavan-Darien 32
Oregon 57, Westosha Central 43
Brookfield Central Sectional
Waukesha Catholic Memorial 59, Kenosha Indian Trail 42
Sun Prairie Sectional
Jefferson 57, Walworth Big Foot 35
Marshall 66, Beloit Turner 59
Orfordville Parkview 40, Fennimore 35
Barneveld 70, Williams Bay Faith Christian 8
Benton/Shullsburg 57, Williams Bay 24
Burlington Catholic Central 51, Pecatonica 33
Lake Country Lutheran 83, Milwaukee Salam School 16
Potosi 70, Madison Abundant Life 27