Posted On: 03/6/18 1:02 PM
The WIAA Division 1 State Tournament resumes on Thursday. Here’s a breakdown of the remaining eight matchups in the field.
#1 Oshkosh North vs. (23-1) #4 Eau Claire North (21-2) at Wausau West
The No. 1 ranked team in Division 1 gets a big test against Eau Claire North, the champions of the Big Rivers Conference.
Oshkosh North has looked untouchable for much of the season, winning 15 games by 20 points or more. The 1-2 punch of Iowa State commit Tyrese Haliburton (23.2 ppg) and Quincy Anderson (17.5 ppg) are leading a Spartan team that’s averaging 80.6 points per contest and arguably the most explosively efficient offense in the state.
Can the Huskies do what only Kaukauna has done all season — defeat Oshkosh North? Eau Claire North is peaking at the right time, having won 10 in a row leading up to Thursday’s matchup. 2020 point guard Dalton Banks is averaging 31.0 points per game in the playoffs.
#2 Kimberly (20-4) vs. #3 Stevens Point (19-5) at Appleton East
Without Joey Hauser, Stevens Point has been able to hold its own against the state’s top teams all year and win the Mississippi Valley Conference. Having won nine-straight, the Panthers are coming off a 30-point thrashing over Oshkosh West in the regional finals. Northwest Missouri State commit Drew Blair continues to shine, putting up nearly 30 points a night.
Kimberly might be the biggest sleeper left in the field. Led by Winona State commit Alec Rosner (17.7 ppg), the Papermakers finished third in the Fox Valley Association, but showed the ability to hang with and/or beat Oshkosh North and Kaukauna, who both could win state championships.
#1 Bay Port (20-4) vs. #5 Sussex Hamilton (15-9) at Manitowoc Lincoln
Sussex Hamilton might be playing its best ball in March. The Chargers made a big statement by dropping Germantown 84-55 and followed that up by going into Waukesha North and pulling off a 12-point upset. Sussex Hamilton has won five-straight, including a victory over state title contender Brookfield East. If stud freshman Patrick Baldwin Jr. (16.3 ppg) gets hot…watch out.
The champions of the Fox River Classic Conference, Bay Port has the balance and chemistry to make it to Madison. Iowa football commit Jack Plumb (14.4 ppg) and Minnesota football/track commit Cordell Tinch (13.4 ppg) are the catalysts, but the Pirates are a deep, senior laden team that plays well off each other.
#2 Arrowhead (18-6) vs. #3 Kettle Moraine (19-5) at Waukesha North
Arrowhead swept Kettle Moraine during the regular season. However, these two teams split the Classic Eight Conference title and will now meet a third time decide who advances to the sectional final.
Both contests were hotly contested. The Warhawks edged the Lasers 61-60 on Dec. 1. In the rematch, Arrowhead pulled out a 56-53 victory on Jan. 19.
Arrowhead’s Carter Gilmore (15.4 ppg) and Kettle Moraine’s Nate Jenkins (15.6 ppg) are the top two prospects to watch in this clash.
#1 Sun Prairie (23-1) vs. #4 Madison LaFollette (19-5) at Janesville Parker
How much ground has LaFollette mad up since these two teams met in February? Sun Prairie won both head-to-head matchups by an average of 15.5 ppg.
The Cardinals are a perfect 18-0 with Jalen Johnson (17.7 ppg) in the lineup. He and Marlon Ruffin (17.2 ppg) have formed one of the most dynamic 1-2 punches in the state.
LaFollette is going to need big time efforts from their guards. The Lancers, who have won 10 of their last 12, rely heavily on the creative scoring ability of Donneil Gray (14.7 ppg) and Troy Reeves (13.0 ppg).
#2 Waunakee (22-2) vs. #3 Madison East (18-6) at Middleton
This might be the best sectional semifinal matchup in Division 1. Belmont commit Mitch Listau (23.1 ppg) and Santa Clara commit Keshawn Justice (20.5 ppg) will be a must-see head-to-head battle.
Waunakee has reached the state tournament in each of the last two seasons, but as a member of Division 2. The Warriors, who battled injuries for most of the year, are riding a 14-game winning streak.
As they often do, the Purgolders are surging late. East comes in having won 12 in a row.
#4 Racine Park (20-4) vs. #9 Marquette (13-4) at Milwaukee South
This sectional has opened up way up, with the 1-seed and 3-seed both upset last week. Perhaps no team benefits more than Racine Park, who is coming off a big victory over Milwaukee Riverside.
Marquette shocked the state with their 64-49 upset victory over top seed Franklin on Saturday.
#2 Brookfield East (22-2) vs. #6 West Allis Central (16-8) at New Berlin West
West Allis Central upset 3-seed Brookfield East to advance. Led by Jacob Fierst (16.8 ppg), the Bulldogs pulled one of the biggest stunners of the tournament despite finishing in the middle of the pack in the Woodland West Conference. A victory would not only clinch a sectional final berth, but WAC would be able to play in their own gym with a trip to state on the line.
Hillsdale commit Patrick Cartier (22.1 ppg) is having a monster senior season. One of the biggest surprise teams in Wisconsin, the Spartans look to keep their run going.