Posted On: 03/3/18 10:07 AM
A look at the games to watch across the state of Wisconsin in Saturday’s WIAA regional finals.
#3 Stevens Point vs. #6 Oshkosh West
This is a dangerous matchup for Point. Oshkosh West is much better than their 11-12 record, having gone through the loaded Fox Valley Association. Northwest Missouri State commit Drew Blair does a lot of the heavy lifting for the Panthers, but the Wildcats have a pretty good matchup for him in 2020 guard Karter Thomas.
Point knocked off Appleton East 70-57 on Friday. Meanwhile, West just got past Eau Claire Memorial 67-63 in their regional semifinal. The Wildcats also may have an advantage in the paint with Derek Kroll (20.7 ppg). He’ll be facing a smaller SPASH lineup that may struggle to keep him away from the rim.
#4 Racine Park vs. #5 Milwaukee Riverside
If you were ranking teams in their respective seeds, there’s probably not a more dangerous 4-seed than Park and a better 5-seed than Riverside across all divisions. This feels like a sectional matchup as both teams are capable of making a run to Madison.
The Tigers escaped Racine Case on Friday, advancing with a 74-64 victory in their opener. Loaded with guards, Riverside has a three-headed monster in East Tennessee State Carlos Curtis and seniors Jason Webb and Montrell Jacobs.
A deep, talented squad, Racine Park gets contributions across the board from their top 8-9 guys consistently. Larry Canady and Nobal Days are the headliners, but the Panthers have 5-6 players that can go get them a bucket. Defensively, this is a long, fast athletic group that causes 36 minutes of havoc.
#2 Beaver Dam vs. #3 Nicolet
An intriguing matchup between two teams from different areas. Beaver Dam got past Milwaukee Madison 79-72 on Friday. Nicolet knocked off West Bend East 69-50 in their regional semifinal.
Can the Golden Beavers match up with the Knights on the inside? Nicolet features Jamari Sibley and Jack Brahm, two aggressive mismatch problems that test your defensive principles. Beaver Dam counters with UW-Parkside commit Sam Wilke, who leads his team in points (17.8), rebounds (4.0), and assists (3.8).
#2 Whitnall vs. #3 New Berlin Eisenhower
Kentucky commit Tyler Herro has been sensational this season. Perhaps Mr. Basketball in 2018, Herro notched his eighth 40-point game of the season to lead Whitnall past Milwaukee Bay view on Friday.
But New Berlin Eisenhower isn’t going to just roll over. This is a team that finished second in a tough Woodland West Conference and were also competitive against the Falcons when they met a month ago. Bryce Miller (19.8) may need to play his best ball, but don’t sleep on the Lions in this one.
#2 Bloomer vs. #3 Ellsworth
How Bloomer managed to win the Heart O’ North Conference and go 21-2 up to this point has been one of the better stories in the state, considering they lost their two best players to transfer. The Blackhawks are getting nearly 16 points per game from Payton Dachel, and advanced on Friday with a 49-35 victory over Northwestern.
At 19-4, Ellsworth took care of Amery 74-52 in the regional semifinal. The Panthers have a couple of big scoring weapons in Alex Motley (19.9 ppg), Drake Flom (18.5 ppg), and Logan Benson (15.7 ppg).
#2 Black River Falls vs. #3 Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau
This feels like a toss up that could either way. Black River Falls won the Coulee Conference by one game over GET. However, the teams split the two regular season meetings with each matchup decided by no more than six points. Should be an intriguing battle between Chris Thompson (22.8 ppg) and Ethan Anderson (28.2 ppg).
#2 The Prairie School vs. #3 Milwaukee Academy Science
This feels like it could be a state game, but somehow these two title contenders meet in a regional final.
Milwaukee Academy of Science survived a scare, 74-66 against Hope Christian on Friday. However, the 2020 trio of Amani Glosson, Darius Hannah, and Kaleim Taylor make the Novas not only a contender to pull off an upset, but a state title threat as well.
The Prairie School has exceeded expectations all season. UC-Irvine commit J.C. Butler and his supporting cast have been outstanding en route to winning the Metro Classic Conference. The Hawks advanced via a 60-41 win over Palmyra-Eagle.
#2 Grantsburg vs. #3 Webster
Two teams that each have at least 19 wins, Grantsburg and Webster each won a share of the Lakeland West Conference. Webster took the first meeting 79-71, but Grantsburg returned the favor 56-53 in January to earn a regular season split.
Wisconsin football commit John Chenal is the player to watch in this one. Chenal is posting 19.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game this season.
#2 Pecatonica vs. #3 Barneveld
Co-champions of the Six Rivers East Conferences will meet to decided who stays alive and who goes home. In the regular season, Pecatonica took a 64-63 thriller on Jan. 16. However, Barneveld got revenge, winning a 66-54 battle just a few weeks ago. Who will take the rubber match and move onto sectionals?