Posted On: 02/19/21 1:31 AM
The WIAA boys basketball playoffs continue on Friday with regional semifinal action. Here’s a look at three key games to watch across the state…
(3) BROOKFIELD CENTRAL AT (2) BROOKFIELD EAST
Crazy to think that one of these teams is going home on Friday in a game that’s good enough to be a state tournament matchup. After splitting the regular season series, these crosstown rivals will duke it out in a grudge match to decide who moves onto the regional finals to likely face top-seed Wauwatosa East.
East won the first meeting 84-79 on Dec. 8. Washington (St. Louis) commit Hayden DoyleHaydenDoyle5'11" | CGBrookfield East | 2021StateWI led the Spartans to a 19-4 record, averaging 26 points, seven rebounds, and four assists along the way. Junior guard is having a breakout campaign, posting just shy of 15 points per game during his first year on varsity.
The preseason favorites in Division 1, Central is getting hot at the right time. The Lancers have won five-straight, including a 60-59 win over East on Feb. 5. That run also contains victories over state powers Waukesha West, SJNA, and Menomonee Falls. The trio of Texas commit David JoplinDavidJoplin6'6" | SFBrookfield Central | 2021State#54NationWI (24.7 ppg), St. Thomas commit Ben NauBenNau6'1" | PGBrookfield Central | 2021StateWI (16.7 ppg), and junior guard Andrew RohdeAndrewRohde6'2" | SGBrookfield Central | 2022StateWI (14.3 ppg) has been as good as advertised.
(3) FREEDOM AT NOTRE DAME (2)
A team that won 19 games during the regular season, Freedom is a scary 3-seed in Division 2. The Irish feature Northern Michigan commit Landon Van CalsterLandonVan Calster6'6" | SFFreedom | 2022StateWI, a 6-foot-6 mismatch problem who averages 15 points and four assists per game. Freedom also finished tied for first in a very good North Eastern Conference.
A power from the Fox River Conference, Notre Dame went 16-8 against a very good schedule. Featuring a balanced lineup, the Tritons knocked off the likes of East Troy, Xavier, Lourdes Academy, West De Pere, Roncalli, Beaver Dam, and Bay Port this season.
(3) MARSHALL AT LAKESIDE LUTHERAN (2)
Two conference champions square off in Division 3. The two teams met in non-conference play with Marshall edging Lakeside Lutheran 55-52 on Dec. 11.
Marshall won the Capitol South, splitting the league title with New Glarus. The Cardinals feature junior guard Craig WardCraigWard6'2" | CGMarshall | 2022StateWI, who’s averaging 19 points and 3.0 assists per game.
One of the top sophomores in the state, Levi BirkholzLeviBirkholz6'2" | SGLakeside Lutheran | 2023StateWI, helped Lakeside Lutheran win the Capitol North by two games. Birkholz is having a breakout season, averaging 19 points, six rebounds, and two assists per outing.
Others: Chippewa Falls at Hudson, Reedsville at Shiocton, Hortonville at Stevens Point, West De Pere at Kimberly, Ripon at Xavier, Wilmot at Pewaukee, Kewaunee at Brillion, Sun Prairie vs. DeForest, West Allis Central at Oak Creek, Muskego at Burlington